NR283 Pathophysiology RUA: Pathophysiological Processes Paper

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Pathophysiological Processes Paper

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by decreased insulin secretion and insulin resistance, which raises blood glucose levels. This condition primarily affects adults, although its prevalence is increasing among younger populations. The condition has been linked to higher rates of mortality and morbidity, making it a serious global public health concern. When a person has T2DM, their body develops resistance to the hormone insulin which is produced by the pancreas and assists cells absorb glucose. (Bellary et al., 2021). As a result, glucose accumulates in the bloodstream, leading to hyperglycemia. Over time, the pancreas may also fail to produce enough insulin, exacerbating the condition. T2DM is often associated with obesity, as excess adipose tissue can contribute to insulin resistance. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is predicted that by 2040, the prevalence of adult diabetes worldwide will have increased to 10.4% from 8.5% in 2014. Approximately 90% of diabetes cases are T2DM which is more common in low- and middle-income countries (WHO, 2023). T2DM is also a risk factor for heart diseases, chronic kidney disease, neuropathy, retinopathy, and lower limb amputation.

Etiology and Risk Factors

The etiology and risk factors of T2DM are complex and multifactorial. Some of the common causes and risk factors are; first is obesity, especially with excess weight around the waist, which increases insulin resistance and inflammation. Secondly, advancing age, increases the risk of developing T2DM due to decreased muscle mass, reduced physical activity, and impaired insulin secretion. Additionally, gender differences exist, with men often having a higher prevalence, but the gap narrows with age. Thirdly, individuals who have a family history of T2DM are more likely to have the disease (Asiimwe et al., 2020). Fourthly, some ethic groups, such as African Americans have higher rates of T2DM than others. Fifthly, exposure to air pollution, pesticides, or endocrine-disrupting chemicals may affect glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Lastly, lifestyle behaviors, such as physical inactivity, poor diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress.

Pathophysiological Processes

At the cellular level, T2DM unfolds through insulin resistance, where cells fail to respond efficiently to insulin’s glucose-regulating signals. This resistance prompts compensatory mechanisms in the body, leading to increased insulin production by pancreatic beta cells (Galicia-Garcia et al., 2020). Over time, this heightened demand exhausts pancreatic function, resulting in inadequate insulin secretion. Chronic hyperglycemia ensues, causing


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