Under a body’s optimum physiological condition, plasma glucose concentrations get maintained within a relatively narrow range despite there being significant fluctuations on demand as well as supply via tightly dynamic or regulated interactions between tissue sensitivities to the body’s insulin level and the secretions of insulin. When a person has diabetes mellitus these key mechanisms end up breaking down with the consequence that the two principle pathological problems in diabetes mellitus are impaired secretions of insulin due to a dysfunction of the β-cells in the pancreas (Poretsky, 2009). There is also impaired insulin activity through the resistance of insulin. It is worth noting that this type of diabetes comes with a greater genetic association compared with type 1.
A poorly functioning pancreas will be unable to produce the insulin that is required by the body. In order to make up for the lack of the compound in the body, the human body utilizes other hormones to turn fat into energy. This process of converting fat into energy leads to the production of toxic acids that are referred to as ketones. Breath that comes with a sweet scent may be indicative of relatively high Ketones levels which are one of the serious complications that come with diabetes (LeRoith, Taylor & Olefsky, 2004).
With the onset of this kind of diabetes, the liver as well as muscle cells that take up blood sugar to use it for energy production start losing their levels of sensitivity to the insulin hormone. This is a condition that referred to as insulin resistance. The pancreas which is the body that contains the insulin-producing beta cells responds to the insulin resistance of the body flooding it with even more hormones. Although the levels of insulin may rise to a degree, even the increased amounts are not enough to prevent blood sugar from getting exteremely high (Chandalia & Das, 2012). The excess amount of blood sugar when it comes to diabetes may wreak havoc on the body’s blood vessels and lead to numerous complications. The disease may also damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, as well as other parts of the body.
The cardiovascular system may also be directly affected by type 2 diabetes. High levels of blood sugar or increased blood fat levels commonly witnessed amongst diabetes patients may contribute to plaques or fatty deposits on the blood vessels’ inner walls leading to feelings of inflammation. This may lead to decreased flow in blood as well as atherosclerosis or hardening of the blood vessels. High blood sugar levels also leads to glycation whereby the sugars attach themselves to proteins making them turn sticky (Chandalia & Das, 2012). This however mostly takes place on proteins that are found in the blood vessels.
As the disease grows more severe, the insulin-producing cells may shut down and halt the production of the hormone completely. Some people that are affected by the disease require insulin however most of them do not need it. The patient may however be required to inject insulin to assist in replacing or supplementing his own natural hormone production and assist the body to overcome the resistance to insulin.
- Chandalia, H. B., Das, A. K., & Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India. (2012).
- RSSDI textbook of diabetes mellitus. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers.
- LeRoith, D., Taylor, S. I., & Olefsky, J. M. (2004). Diabetes mellitus: A fundamental and clinical text. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- Poretsky, L. (2009). Principles of diabetes mellitus. New York: Springer.