MED 2056, PTW
Pathophysiology of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes Mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases. The body is unable to produce or absorb sufficient amounts of insulin. This causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood. The pancreas normally produces insulin which regulates the level of glucose in the blood as 1)well as how it's used. "Glucose is vital to your health because it's an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It's also your brain's main source of fuel" (mayoclinic.org/ 2014).
The endocrine pancreas is filled with the islets of Langerhan. These islets, or regions of the pancreas, are "clusters of cells, which each 'islet' containing 3,000 to 4,000 cells. Scientists estimate there are 1 million islets in a healthy, adult pancreas"(DiabetesResearchInstitute.org 2014). They are beta cells (endocrine or hormone-producing) cells and are named after the discoverer, German pathologist Langerhans in 1869. Normally, when glucose is ingested, these beta cells produce insulin. "Glucose goes into the bloodstream and to various organs. In the liver, the liver cell has a little insulin receptor. The insulin binds with it and the cell increases the glucose transporter so glucose is then taken up by the cell" (youtube.com/watchPathophysiology
of DiabetesMellitus). If a person does not have enough insulin, glucose cannot enter body cells, and this results in blood glucose levels rising. Symptoms of hyperglycemia can then occur, and diabetes mellitus may develop.
"The way that insulin fails determines how a diabetic is classified" ( medicalnewstoday.com/
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Possible Causes of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
There are many possible causes of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. They include environmental and genetic. Both Type 1 and Type 2 are chronic conditions.
"In Type 1 Diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin" (umm.edu 2014). University of Maryland Medical Center) Scientists are still working on the exact cause of type 1. When there's no insulin, glucose cannot get into the cells. Sugar then builds up in your bloodstream which can result in life-threatening complications. In Type 1, beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed. Once the beta cells are gone, there is no insulin produced. Why does this happen?
One environmental explanation may be that it is due to an auto-immune response that progresses pretty quickly. There may be exposure to a virus. Dr. Andrew Wolf, of YouTube's Pathology of Diabetes states that the immune system creates antibodies to the virus' proteins and thus the virus is destroyed. However, the immune system, goes on to also destroy the beta cells in the pancreas. Other environmental factors could include cold weather because Type 1 develops more often in winter than summer and is more common in places with cold...