Pathophysiology of Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus is considered one of the most rampant endocrine disorders that manifests itself through various metabolic disorders. It is defined as a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia and results from defective insulin production, secretion, and utilization (Nettina, 2006). This disease condition is said to be classified into two types: Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. The pathophysiology of this disorder is highly technical though all of them just end up into one thing, and that is a high blood sugar.

A normal fasting blood sugar level for a person is 80-120mg/dL. A person is said to have diabetes once the results received for three consecutive trials of different occasions are all above the normal value. In Diabetes Mellitus, hyperglycemia is produced from the absolute or relative lack of insulin produced by the beta cell of Langerhans. According to Smeltzer et al. (2008), insulin serves as the carriers of the glucose inside the cells of the body where it is needed for the ATP or energy production.

In diabetes, since the amount of insulin in the body is either totally absent (Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus) or minimally regulated (Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus), the patient must be carefully analyzed for any systemic reactions. The Type 1 diabetes, also known as the Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) or Juvenile Diabetes, is where the pancreas experiences difficulty in synthesizing the appropriate amount of insulin hormone that the body needs.

It was believed that this is a result of an autoimmune disease wherein the body’s own immune defense produces substances that attack the beta cells of pancreas which lead to its decreased or null production of insulin. However, the Type 2 diabetes, also known as the Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) or Adult Onset Diabetes, occurs when the body cells start to become resistant to the insulin produced by the body. Even though an equal amount of insulin is present, yet it is inefficient due to the body cells’ resistance to it.

In such case, the glucose is still not utilized and remains in the bloodstream. The three classical symptoms that are associated with this metabolic disorder are polydipsia, polyuria, and polyphagia (Smeltzer et al. , 2008). These occur due to the high amount of sugar level in the bloodstream, which attracts water, thus the patient experiences polyuria (increased urination). From such occurrence, the concentrated osmolality that the blood has caused the body to activate the thirst mechanism makes the patient experience polydipsia (increased thirst).

Polyphagia (increased appetite), on the other hand, is experienced as the cells cannot utilize the glucose of the body which serves as its food and source of energy, thus leading to cell starvation manifested as polyphagia. The other symptoms that a patient may also experience are excessive fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and body irritation. The best way to prevent the systemic problems that this disease might cause is to make sure that a nurse carefully assesses the patient holistically.

The nurse must make it sure that every system must be checked and given enough attention because systemic involvement of other systems or organs only means that the diabetes has developed complications. Complications are developed through a consistent ineffective regulation and maintenance of the high blood sugar that the patient experiences. There is no deemed cure for this disorder, it is just a matter of controlling the disease by altering the diet, drinking the proper medications, and acquiring proper exercise for the body.

These are the ways that can be done to avoid the complication of diabetes and to keep the patient’s blood sugar in a stable level. References Nettina, S. M. (2006) Manual of Nursing Practice, 8th Edn, Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Smeltzer, S. C. , Bare, G. B, Hinkle, J. L. and Cheever, K. H. (2008) Textbook of Medical- Surgical Nursing, 11th Edn, Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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