Diabetes: A Multi-System Destroyer
Pathophysiology of Affected Systems
June 26, 2012
Diabetes mellitus is an increasingly common disease in which the beta cells of the pancreas are unable to produce the adequate amount of insulin. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and type 2 (Porth 2012). Uncontrolled diabetes can unleash a cascade of events that can adversely affect different organs eventually leading to death.
Diabetes: A Multi-System Killer
During this semester we studied the case of a woman with multiple and progressively complicated medical problems caused by her underlying disease process, diabetes mellitus. We were able to see how her uncontrolled diabetes affected many of her systems like the renal, nervous, cardiovascular, integumentary, respiratory, digestive, and musculoskeletal systems.
Renal System Our patient initially came to us with edema of both lower extremities. Albert explains the pathophysiology of the edema stating that total blood volume is associated with an increase on renal levels of sodium and water excretion. This nephropathy can be caused by glomerular hypertension produced by capillary vasodilation. This causes the activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) which leads to the production of angiotensin II which is a vasoconstrictor that increases the synthesis of aldosterone causing the fluid and sodium to be reabsorbed back in the kidney in normal individuals (2010). Our patient presented with azotemia which is an indicator of renal failure, and consists of accumulation of waste like urea, uric acid and creatinine in the blood. This waste accumulation causes a disturbance in the fluid and electrolyte balance making it difficult to maintain a balance since these waste products are not