Diabetes Disease ProcessMichelle BryanLiberty UniversityDr. Lauren SingorBIOL 102, Principles of Human Biology12/03/2018Diabetes Disease ProcessIntroductionAccording to a new CDC report, more than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). This disease continues to be a growing health problem but can be managed through a few simple lifestyle changes.Organ systems that are affected by diabetes include the integumentary system, nervous system, circulatory system, endocrine system, digestive system, urinary system and reproductive system.
Within these organ systems, diabetes can affect many organs which will be discussed later.We automatically assume that it means a person has high blood sugar when they have diabetes. Diabetes occurs when your blood glucose or blood sugar is too high. Blood glucose is the primary source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin which is a hormone made by the pancreas helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. If the body does not make enough insulin or does not use insulin, glucose then stays in your blood and cannot reach your cells (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2016).
DescriptionDisease ProcessThe diabetes disease process is not a complicated one. The American Diabetes Association (2014) states:Several pathogenic processes are involved in the development of diabetes. These range from autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic B-cells with consequent insulin deficiency to abnormalities that result in resistance to insulin action. The basis of the abnormalities in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism in diabetes is deficient action of insulin on target tissues.
Deficient insulin action results from inadequate insulin secretion and/or diminished tissue responses to insulin at one or more points in the complex pathways of hormone action. Impairment of insulin secretion and defects in insulin action frequently coexist in the same patient, and it is often unclear which abnormality, if either alone, is the primary cause of the hyperglycemia. (American Diabetes Association, 2014)Effect on Organ SystemsDiabetes can cause damage to many organs throughout your body. One effect is damage to the large blood vessels in the circulatory system. This can cause microvascular disease. Diabetes can increase your risk of having a stroke or heart attack because excess blood sugar can cause blood vessels to narrow which hinders blood flow. Neuropathy, or nerve damage within the central nervous system, happens when blood vessels do not deliver enough oxygen. The most common form of nerve damage is called peripheral neuropathy. This can cause pain and numbness in the toes, feet, legs and arms. High blood sugar can damage blood vessels in the kidneys which, over time, will prevent the kidneys from filtering out waste in the blood. Diabetes is one of the main causes of kidney disease and kidney damage.Diabetes can affect the digestive system. High glucose levels can cause gastroparesis. This condition makes it hard for your stomach to completely empty.The integumentary system is another organ system that can be affected by diabetes. Dehydration causes your skin to become dry and crack due to the high blood sugar. Skin that is too moist is more susceptible to infections including bacterial, fungal and yeast infections.Effect on Homeostasis and the Body as a WholeYour body breaks down sugars from food after you eat and uses them for energy. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. This pulls the sugar from the blood and puts it into cells for energy. When you have diabetes, the insulin cannot be used effectively because the pancreas either produces too little or none. This increases blood glucose levels and the deprivation of energy in the rest of the cells. This does not allow the body to maintain homeostasis and has major effects on the body and almost every organ is affected.DiagnosisHow the Disease is DiagnosedThe are multiple tests that can be performed to determine if someone has diabetes. One is the A1C test. Another is a fasting plasma glucose test and a random plasma glucose test. All these tests determine the sugar levels of the blood but during various times.Common SymptomsSome common symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, blurry vision, slowed healing of wounds, metabolic syndrome, and dry skin.Main CausesThe main causes of diabetes depend on the type. There 3 most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational. Type 1 diabetes is caused from the immune system attacking and destroying cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and can occur most often in middle-aged and older people. A person is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if there is a family history and if they are overweight. High blood pressure can also increase the change of developing type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes develops in some women during pregnancy. This usually goes away after the baby is born but can increase the chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.TreatmentTreatment & ManagementThe treatment of diabetes also depends on the type. All types require the management of blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and quitting smoking. A healthy diet and exercise are also important. Type 1 diabetics must take insulin to stay alive. Someone with type 2 diabetes can take diabetic pills like metformin, insulin or other shots. Diabetes is a very serious disease, but many people can lead an active and happy life with a few lifestyle changes and medical care (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2016).Steps for PreventionDiabetes is not always preventable. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. You can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by losing weight if you are overweight, exercise for at least 30 minutes during most days and follow a reduced-calorie diet.ConclusionSummaryIn conclusion, diabetes is a disease that affects many organs and organ systems due to the body’s ability to produce insulin. Almost every organ is affected. When taking a proactive approach to the treatment and management of diabetes, a person can live an almost normal life.ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, July 18). New CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from Institue of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2016, November). Retrieved from and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus. American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care Jan 2014, 37 (Supplement 1) S81-S90; DOI: 10.2337/dc14-S081Dresden, D. (2017, May 17). Effects of diabetes on the body and organs. Medical News Today. Retrieved from A. & Cherney, K. (2017, June 28). The Effects of Diabetes on Your Body. Retrieved from C., McMillan, B., & Bunker, C. (2017). Biology Life Science (11th ed.). Independence, KY: Cengage Learning.