Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are caused by problems with insulin production or response and are, as a result, inextricably linked to the endocrine system.
Is diabetes part of the circulatory system?
The link between diabetes and poor circulation – Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your body cannot properly process glucose (sugar). The result is blood glucose levels that are too high. Diabetes puts you at high risk for conditions that affect your circulatory system, including:
- High blood glucose levels cause fatty deposits to form inside blood vessels. Over time, these deposits make your blood vessels narrow and hard, lessening blood flow.
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD) produces fatty deposits that narrow blood vessels, mainly in your legs and feet. One-third of people with diabetes older than 50 have PAD.
Over time, poor blood flow can be detrimental for your hands, legs and feet. Complications associated with poor blood flow include:
- Pain while walking
- Decreased sensation in hands or feet
- Increased risk of developing infections or ulcers of the foot
- Slower healing time for wounds
- Nerve damage ( neuropathy ) that increases the likelihood of amputation
What part of the system does diabetes affect?
Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect your eyes, heart, nerves, feet and kidneys. Understanding how diabetes affects your body is important. It can help you follow your treatment plan and stay as healthy as possible.
What body system does diabetes affect the most?
Long-term effects of diabetes – The most common long-term diabetes-related health problems are:
damage to the large blood vessels of the heart, brain and legs (macrovascular complications) damage to the small blood vessels, causing problems in the eyes, kidneys, feet and nerves (microvascular complications).
Other parts of the body can also be affected by diabetes, including the digestive system, the skin, sexual organs, teeth and gums, and the immune system.
What organ in the body controls diabetes?
Problems with Insulin Production or Use – The most common problem associated with insulin is diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the body either does not secrete enough insulin or when the body no longer uses the insulin it secretes effectively. Diabetes falls into two categories: Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot produce insulin sufficiently to meet its own needs.
- This commonly occurs in children, and while an exact cause has not been found, many consider it to be an autoimmune disease.
- Some symptoms of type 1 diabetes include tiredness, increased urination and thirst, and problems with vision.
- Type 2 diabetes is more commonly associated with adults and lifestyle choices.
People with type 2 diabetes will produce insulin but often not enough for their body’s needs. They may also struggle to use the insulin they produce effectively. Patients may not know they have type 2 diabetes until they have an annual checkup, as symptoms tend to be mild until the disease has become severe.
When the body does not produce enough insulin or use it efficiently, blood sugar levels build in the body. Also, the body’s cells do not receive the energy they need from glucose, so the patient may struggle with fatigue. When the body turns to other tissue, like fat or muscle, for energy, weight loss may occur.
High blood sugars are a common symptom of diabetes, but patients who are treating their diabetes with insulin injections may inject too much insulin on occasion. This causes the body’s cells to take too much glucose from the blood, leading to a low blood sugar episode.
- Low blood sugar can cause confusion, dizziness and fainting.
- Because nerve cells rely entirely on glucose for energy, low blood sugar can also trigger a nervous system response.
- If you suspect that you are struggling with insulin levels and production, your healthcare provider can have your insulin levels checked by an A1c blood test.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you will need medical oversight to manage the condition. Consider asking:
How can I manage blood sugar and insulin levels? What type of monitoring do I need? What lifestyle changes can make blood sugar levels more stable? How can I prevent diabetes from developing if I am at risk but have not developed the disease?
Return to Hormones and Endocrine Function>>>
Does diabetes affect the respiratory system?
Functional changes in the respiratory tract of diabetes patients and possible pathogenic mechanisms – Several abnormalities in indices of respiratory function have been reported in patients with diabetes. The main functional changes in the respiratory tract are summarized in Table 1,
Is diabetes an endocrine disorder?
Summary – Your endocrine system includes eight major glands throughout your body. These glands make hormones, Hormones are chemical messengers. They travel through your bloodstream to tissues or organs. Hormones work slowly and affect body processes from head to toe. These include:
Growth and development Metabolism – digestion, elimination, breathing, blood circulation and maintaining body temperature Sexual function Reproduction Mood
If your hormone levels are too high or too low, you may have a hormone disorder. Hormone diseases also occur if your body does not respond to hormones the way it is supposed to. Stress, infection and changes in your blood’s fluid and electrolyte balance can also influence hormone levels.
Does diabetes affect the digestive system?
What Is Gastroparesis? – Normally, your stomach muscles tighten to move food through your digestive tract. If you have gastroparesis, nerve damage from high blood sugar can cause those muscles to slow down or not work at all. Your stomach doesn’t empty properly, and your food may take a long time to leave your stomach.
What body system does type 2 diabetes affect?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that prevents your body from being able to properly use insulin. It’s the result of increased insulin resistance and your pancreas not making enough insulin to manage your blood sugar (glucose) levels.
Which organ can cause the disease diabetes?
Insulin resistance – Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which muscle, liver, and fat cells do not use insulin well. As a result, your body needs more insulin to help glucose enter cells. At first, the pancreas makes more insulin to keep up with the added demand. Over time, the pancreas can’t make enough insulin, and blood glucose levels rise.
Does diabetes affect the nervous system?
Nerve damage can affect your hands, feet, legs, and arms. High blood sugar can lead to nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. You can prevent it or slow its progress by keeping your blood sugar as close to your target range as possible and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Managing your blood sugar is an essential part of your diabetes care plan. Not only does it help you with day-to-day wellness, it can help prevent serious health problems down the road. Nerve damage is one possible complication from having high blood sugar levels for a long time. High blood sugar damages your nerves, and these nerves may stop sending messages to different parts of your body.
Nerve damage can cause health problems ranging from mild numbness to pain that makes it hard to do normal activities. Half of all people with diabetes have nerve damage. The good news is that you can help prevent or delay it by keeping your blood sugar as close to your target levels as possible.
How does diabetes affect the skeletal system?
Osteoporosis – Type 1 diabetes is commonly connected with low bone density, particularly among patients with a long history of the disease and poor blood sugar control. This may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis—a disorder that causes bones to weaken leaving them susceptible to fractures.
According to the National Institute of Health, more than 53 million people in the U.S. either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass. Unfortunately, the condition often goes unrecognized until a fracture occurs. Through early screening processes, osteoporosis can often be prevented.
Learn the risk factors and talk to your doctor about any concerns. Symptoms of osteoporosis include:
Loss of height Stooped posture Bone fractures
How does diabetes affect the urinary system?
How can I prevent and treat my sexual or bladder problems? – Managing your diabetes can help prevent nerve damage and other diabetes problems that can lead to sexual and bladder problems. With your health care team, you can help prevent and treat your sexual or bladder control problems by
keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels close to your target numbers being physically active keeping a healthy weight quitting smoking if you smoke getting help for any emotional or psychological problems
Sex is a physical activity, so be sure to check your blood glucose level before and after sex, especially if you take insulin, Both high blood glucose levels and low blood glucose levels can cause problems during sex. Counseling may also be helpful when you notice changes in your sexual function or desire.
How is diabetes related to the endocrine system?
Endocrine Connection – Diabetes occurs when the pancreas, a gland behind the stomach, does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or the body cannot use insulin properly. Insulin helps carry sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. Once inside the cells, sugar is converted into energy for immediate use or stored for the future.
- That energy fuels many of our bodily functions.
- The body produces glucose from the foods you eat.
- The liver also releases sugar when you are not eating.
- The pancreas produces the hormone insulin, which allows glucose from the bloodstream to enter the body’s cells where it is used for energy.
- In type 2 diabetes, too little insulin is produced, or the body cannot use insulin properly, or both.
This results in a build-up of glucose in the blood. People with diabetes are at risk of developing serious health problems ( complications ). If your blood glucose level stays too high for too long, complications can include:
Blindness Kidney disease and failure Nerve damage which can result in nerve pain or injury to the feet or other extremities without feeling pain Heart attacks (with or without symptoms) Stroke
There are three blood tests that can be used to check the levels of glucose in your blood and diagnose prediabetes or diabetes:
Fasting Blood Glucose Test (FBG): Blood is drawn in the morning after you go without food overnight or for at least 8 hours. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): This test is also done in the morning after going without food overnight or for at least 8 hours. Blood is drawn before you drink 8 ounces of a sugar solution and 2 hours after. This test is more precise but less convenient than the FBG test. Hemoglobin A1C Test (A1C): This test shows what your average blood glucose levels have been over the past 3 months. You can eat and drink normally before the test.
If you are living with diabetes, lifestyle is an important part of your care. It is very important that you eat a good balance of real foods every day and exercise regularly. Managing your diabetes also means taking medicine, if needed, and testing your blood sugar levels each day.
Prediabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Over time, this can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, prediabetes symptoms are hard to spot, so many people have the condition and do not know it.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates that about 79 million American adults over the age of 20 have prediabetes. As the population ages, becomes increasingly overweight and increasingly inactive, the number of adults with prediabetes continues to grow.
Being obese or overweight Not getting enough exercise A family history of type 2 diabetes Being 45 or older African American, Latino/Hispanic or American Indian family background Having had gestational diabetes Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
Preventing prediabetes is done with lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet that is high in vegetables and fruits and low in fat and processed foods. Regular physical activity, averaging 30 minutes five days per week, is also important. Maintaining a healthy weight or losing 5–10% of your weight if you are overweight, can also help.
- In addition to lifestyle changes, a few drugs have been proven to lower the risk of developing diabetes if you have prediabetes.
- These drugs do have side effects, and their benefits wear off when you stop taking the drug, making lifestyle change the best option for tackling this problem.
- Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, can develop at any age but most often occurs in children, teens, and young adults.
In type 1 diabetes, a person’s pancreas produces little or no insulin, so insulin treatment is needed for a lifetime. The causes of type 1 diabetes are not fully known. In most cases, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the part of the pancreas that produces insulin.
- This occurs over a period of time.
- So early on in type 1 diabetes, people may not have any symptoms.
- It is only when enough of the insulin producing cells are affected and insulin levels are low that the blood sugar rises and symptoms of diabetes start to occur.
- Because type 1 is an autoimmune disease, people with other autoimmune, conditions, such as Hashimoto’s disease or primary adrenal insufficiency (also known as Addison’s Disease), are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes.
Overall, cases of type 1 diabetes seem to be increasing. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes can look like other conditions or medical problems. If you (or your child) have these symptoms, talk with your doctor as soon as possible.
Increased thirst Increased urination Constant hunger Weight loss Blurred vision Constantly feeling tired
People with type 1 diabetes must have daily injections of insulin to keep a normal level of glucose in the blood. Blood glucose is kept under the best control with three or more injections per day using long and short acting insulin, or when insulin is delivered throughout the day with an insulin pump.
A healthy diet, exercise, and regular monitoring of blood glucose levels are also important to manage diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, affecting 90–95% of people with diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body is resistant to the action of insulin, meaning it cannot use insulin properly, so it cannot carry sugar into the cells.
Although the body makes some insulin, it is not enough to overcome this resistance. You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, or have a history of diabetes during pregnancy. Other groups more likely to have the disease are people over age 45 and non-Caucasians.
- A simple blood test can tell you if you have diabetes.
- Individuals with this condition have a pancreas that is able to produce insulin, but their bodies are unable to use or process the insulin that is made.
- Over time, the pancreas may stop creating insulin altogether, but type 2 diabetes starts with the inability to process the insulin that is made.
Being older (over 45) and overweight are the greatest risk factors for developing diabetes. Other factors that increase your chances of developing high blood glucose include:
Having a parent or sibling with diabetes Having an African American, Latino/Hispanic, or American Indian family background Having had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds Having high blood pressure (140/90 mm Hg or higher) Having low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol (below 35 mg/dL in men or 45 mg/dL in women) or high levels of triglycerides (above 250 mg/dL) Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) Being physically inactive
People with both type 1 and type 2 have high blood glucose levels, but the reasons for those high levels differ. Differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes include: Age of diagnosis: Type 1 is typically diagnosed in children or young people (but it can be diagnosed in older individuals as well), while type 2 diabetes is generally diagnosed in adults and occasionally children.
- Treatment options : For individuals with type 1 diabetes, the only effective treatment is insulin.
- For people with type 2 diabetes, oral medications (pills), insulin, or non-insulin injectables may be used.
- Hypoglycemia : Blood sugar levels can drop to dangerously low levels in people with type I diabetes, but it can also occur in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Certain medications, such as insulin, may increase the risk of hypoglycemia. Preventability: While certain experimental medications may postpone the development of type 1 diabetes, there are no means of preventing type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be prevented with lifestyle changes.
Gestational Diabetes is a temporary form of diabetes that can occur when a woman is pregnant. During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that help the baby develop. These hormones also block the effects of insulin in the woman’s body, increasing her blood sugar levels. Most women who have gestational diabetes have no symptoms.
If a woman has high blood sugar in pregnanct, she will have to follow a special diet for the rest of the pregnancy. In some cases, she may also need to take insulin. High blood sugar in women with gestational diabetes can affect them and their baby. These risks include:
Premature delivery and preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure). The baby grows too large. Very large babies may get stuck in the birth canal and have birth injuries. Large size also increases the chances of needing a cesarean (surgical) delivery. May cause stillbirth. Uncontrolled gestational diabetes also increases the risk of jaundice and breathing problems in the newborn. After birth, the baby may develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), a potentially dangerous condition. While in the womb, the baby’s pancreas produces large amounts of insulin in response to the mother’s high blood sugar, and it continues to do so after delivery. Without the sugar supplied by the mother, excess insulin can cause the baby’s own glucose level to drop too low.
Gestational diabetes affects about 4–8 of every 100 pregnant women in the United States. Any pregnant woman can develop the condition, but some women are at greater risk than others. Among women with the below risk factors, as many as 14 in 100 develop gestational diabetes. Known risk factors include:
Age (older than 25 years; the risk is even greater after age 35) Race (occurs more often in African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asian Americans) Overweight and obesity Personal history of gestational diabetes or prediabetes Having delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds Family history of type 2 diabetes (in parents or siblings)
Monogenic Diabetes (MODY) is the least common form of diabetes. It is developed as a result of single gene mutations. Monogenic diabetes appears in several forms and most often affects young people.
Do I need to be checked for prediabetes? If I have prediabetes, should I be checked for type 2 diabetes? How often? Should I take medicine to treat my prediabetes? What are the benefits and risks of prediabetes medicines? How can I lose weight if I need to? What can I (or my child) do to keep blood glucose level on target? What should I (or my child) eat? Which medicines do I (or my child) need? What type of exercise is best for me (or my child)? How often should I (or my child) check blood glucose levels? Should I (or my child) see a diabetes educator? Should I (or my child) see an endocrinologist? Should I have my blood glucose level tested? What are the results of my testing and what do they mean? What can I do to bring my glucose levels back to normal? What can I do to prevent gestational diabetes? I have gestational diabetes. How often should I check my blood glucose level? How often should I check my blood glucose after my baby is born? Can gestational diabetes lead to other health problems?
Endocrine Library >>
Is diabetes endocrine or metabolic?
Diabetes mellitus – Diabetes mellitus, otherwise known as diabetes, is the most common endocrine/metabolic disorder. It affects 6.5% of the U.S. population. It is more common as we age and is more prevalent in African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.
Although the disease is potentially devastating, it is now well established that comprehensive treatment makes a difference in the health of diabetics in the short-term and the long term. It prevents or delays complications that can lead to blindness, kidney failure or amputations, as well as the nonspecific complications such as heart attack or stroke that often occur in people with diabetes.
Endocrinologists’ goal is to prevent complications or, failing that, to recognize complications early when they can be treated effectively. This includes controlling blood sugar, blood cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as detecting early damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves.
What belong to the circulatory system?
The system that contains the heart and the blood vessels and moves blood throughout the body. This system helps tissues get enough oxygen and nutrients, and it helps them get rid of waste products.