Essay Diabetes : A Large Group Of Metabolic Diseases

Essay Diabetes : A Large Group Of Metabolic Diseases

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Diabetes refers to a very large group of metabolic diseases referring to issues with either the production of insulin or the action of insulin. Diabetes primarily, but not always, targets the pancreas. The pancreas secretes insulin which is necessary for sugar regulation throughout the body. The symptoms of diabetes typically remain mild long after an individual picks up the disease. Symptoms include urinating often, excessive thirst, excessive hunger, extreme fatigue, altered vision or tingling pain in hands or feet (1). Diabetes typically isn’t diagnosed by the presence of these symptoms. Tests for diabetes usually includes loading an individual with a measured amount of sugar and measuring blood sugar concentrations at set time intervals afterwards. If the blood sugar exceed a predetermined amount, that individual tests positive for diabetes (2).
There are two main types of diabetes named type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is by far the less common type accounting for only 5-10% of overall cases. Type 1 diabetes is the autoimmune disease in which the body targets beta cells within the pancreas leading to a complete shutdown of insulin production (2). The cause of type 1 is still unknown although there is believed to be genetic predispositions and environmental factors that increase likelihood of the disease. Type 2 diabetes refers to a vast range of possible diseases including insulin resistance to insulin production deficiency. Type 2 is usually onset once an individual becomes an adult. Again, causes are still unknown but risk factors have been identified. Risk factors include obesity, smoking, unhealthy diet, and lack of physical activity (1).
Insulin is a hormone which communicates throughout the body high le...


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...type 1 diabetic rats thrive without insulin (10). In another study two group of rats had their beta cells destroyed. Wild type rats developed fatal diabetic ketoacidosis. However, rats in the other group who displaced the genotype double negative for glucagon receptors remained clinically normal (10).
Several treatments were proposed to addressing excess glucagon. The oldest method is simply injecting insulin which naturally acts to inhibit glucagon production (10). Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is another possible treatment. GLP-1 acts to activate GLP-1 dependent receptors of islet somatostatin secretion. Somatostatin activates somatostatin receptor-2 in alpha cells which leads to the inhibition of the production of glucagon. Related to that treatment α-Glucosidase inhibitors are a class of agent which cause a significant increase in active GLP-1 levels.

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