Metabolic diseases affect the ability of the cell to perform critical biochemical reactions that involve the processing or transport of proteins (amino acids), carbohydrates (sugars and starches), or lipids (fatty acids).
Metabolic diseases are typically hereditary, yet most persons affected by them may appear healthy for days, months, or even years. The onset of symptoms usually occurs when the body’s metabolism comes under stress—for example, after prolonged fasting or during a febrile illness. For some metabolic disorders, it is possible to obtain prenatal diagnostic screening. Such analysis usually is offered to families who have previously had a child with a metabolic disease or who are in a defined ethnic group.
Diabetes is a condition that impairs the body’s ability to process blood glucose, otherwise known as blood sugar.
Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. If left untreated, diabetes can cause many complications. Acute complications can include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or death. Serious long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, foot ulcers, and damage to the eyes.
Diabetes is due to either the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or the cells of the body not responding properly to the insulin produced.
There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:
Type I diabetes
Type I diabetes Also known as juvenile diabetes, this type occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. People with type I diabetes are insulin-dependent, which means they must take artificial insulin daily to stay alive.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body uses insulin. While the body still makes insulin, unlike in type I, the cells in the body do not respond to it as effectively as they once did. This is the most common type of diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and it has strong links with obesity.
Gestational diabetes This type occurs in women during pregnancy when the body can become less sensitive to insulin. Gestational diabetes does not occur in all women and usually resolves after giving birth.