Pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus
I would like the patient to know that he is right in suspecting that his condition had led to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the patient should be aware that metabolic syndrome encompasses several health conditions including; obesity, high serum triglycerides, high blood pressure, low amounts of high-density lipoproteins, and elevated levels of plasma glucose (Blaha & Tota-Maharaj, 2012). It is stipulated that metabolic syndrome increases one’s risk of developing health conditions such as heart failure, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
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Thus, the patient is right in suspecting that his condition has led to his current health condition, but does not know the exact cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Besides, it will be prudent for this patient to know that the risk of developing the above health conditions increases with advancement in age (Byrne & Wild, 2011). Regarding type 2 diabetes mellitus, there is insulin production within the body. However, type 2 diabetes mellitus occurs when either the body cannot utilize insulin well enough or when the pancreas cannot make or produce enough insulin to regulate the glucose or sugar levels within the body. The link between these two situations is also influenced by age.
There is a reduction in the efficiency of body organs as people advance in age. Reduced efficiency comes about as a result of the organs wearing out and the failure of the cells to fully utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas. In fact, with increased age, islet cells wear out leading to reduced production of insulin. Therefore, this explains the reason behind the high prevalence of diabetes among the aged population.
Development of type 2 diabetes mellitus over time
There are lots of multifaceted aspects connected to the development of this disease condition. Numerous risk factors must be present for this health condition to proliferate. One of the factors that underpin the development of type2 diabetes encompasses genetic aspects. Genetic exposure plays a key role in the development of this health condition (Porth & Matfin, 2009). A person whose lineage is associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus is at a greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes mellitus than a person whose lineage is not associated with diabetes. Also, other factors such as sedentary lifestyles and obesity play a major role in enhancing the development of diabetes.
Pathological and blood vessel changes occurring during the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus
Whenever inadequate insulin is produced within the body, glucose or sugar accumulates within the blood. Continued accumulation of this sugar in the blood prevents other cells of the body from functioning well. This underpins the development of other high-level glucose-related health problems within the body. First, there is damage to the body’s organs and cells. These high levels of plasma glucose cause damage to the nerves and small blood vessels such as capillaries and arteries.
Blood vessels are at risk of hardening and preventing blood flow, thereby, leading to multiple organ failure and death (Porth & Matfin, 2009). Important organs such as the kidney and the heart are predisposed to failure as a result of kidney stones and stroke or atherosclerosis respectively.
The complexity associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus aggravates with advancement in age. Body organs such as the pancreas and liver wear out, and their efficiency reduces as people advance in age. This interferes with insulin production and utilization of it within the body. Because the efficiency of the pancreas is reduced, low levels of insulin are produced. Also, the cells involved in the utilization of insulin reduce their efficiency further leading to the accumulation of glucose within the blood.
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Likewise, cholesterol levels are not properly regulated within the blood. This condition underpins the damage to capillaries in the kidney and eyes because the high level of glucose leads to the accumulation of sugar molecules in the exterior sections of the red blood cells. This aggravates damage to soft blood vessels such as capillaries in the eye region and kidney area.
As the patient grows old, several changes occur to the blood vessels within their bodies. Failure of glucose or sugar to be regulated as required leads to the red blood cells being damaged. High levels of glucose within the blood vessels encourage the deposition of sugar molecules within the exterior surfaces of the red blood cells. This underpins the formation of crystalline crusts through a process known as glycation resulting in coarse red blood. As these course red blood cells circulate throughout the circulatory system, blood vessels such as the arteries and capillaries are damaged. The damage done is rectified by the cholesterol gotten from the liver (DeFronzo, 2004).
This situation leads to the formation of the arterial plague. Arterial plaque formation increases with advancement in age and spreads to capillary dense areas such as the kidney and the eye region. This forms the foundation for further damage to the cells within the body. This process continues as patients advance in age leading to high blood sugar levels that encourage the development of diabetes. Eventually, other diabetic-related complications set in leading to the deterioration of the patient’s condition. At advanced stages, diabetes leads to kidney failure, stroke, erectile dysfunction, and even total blindness.
Blaha, M. J., & Tota-Maharaj, R. (2012). Metabolic syndrome: From risk factors to management. Torino: SEEd.
Byrne, C. D., & Wild, S. H. (2011). The metabolic syndrome. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.
DeFronzo, R. A. (2004). International textbook of diabetes mellitus. Chichester: J. Wiley.
Porth, C. & Matfin, G. (2009). Pathophysiology: Concepts of altered health states. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.