The complexity of metabolism disorders studied under the microscope
To ensure normal functioning of our body a set complex processes is constantly going having one substances transformed into others. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, water – all of these substances are necessary for each human being. Once in our body in one form, these elements are modified to form completely different substances. But for certain reasons metabolic disorders may occur, leading to various diseases.
A range of disorders and violations may touch a variety of body functioning aspects, such as:
- protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism;
- vitamins metabolism;
- water metabolism;
- calcium, phosphorus and other ions;
- disorders of acid-base balance;
- energy and basic metabolism;
- protein metabolism.
Proteins in the body form a part of the hormones, thereby they regulate many processes. They are also a component of enzymes taking part in digestion. In humans, there are no substantial reserves of protein, even if it is received from external sources, it is consumed by muscles, bones, skin, and even the internal organs.
The most frequent proteins metabolism violations and disorders are:
- a mismatch between the needs of the organism in proteins and their receipt;
- disturbances in protein content in the blood plasma;
- disorders of amino acid metabolism;
- disorders of proteolysis in the gastrointestinal tract;
- violation of the final conversion and excretion of protein.
Human body needs a certain amount of protein on a daily basis. If the body does not receive protein systematically (which, for example, occurs during a prolonged fasting), it gives the ground for severe disease development. Long-term excessive use of mainly protein foods in its turn may contribute to the appearance of digestive disorders (constipation or diarrhea), dysbiosis and aversion to protein foods.
The protein content in blood plasma reflects the ways the body deals with protein breakdown and formation (synthesis). Blood plasma proteins are divided into fractions (groups), each of which performs a specific function. Imbalance between different factions indicates health problems.
Proteins are composed of amino acids. In total there are 22 amino acids, 8 of which enter the body with food. So if there’s a deficiency of essential amino acids, serious illnesses may develop as well.
In case of insufficient production of pepsin enzymes (responsible for protein cleavage in the stomach), a decrease in acidity in the stomach or in case of surgery with partial stomach removal, as well as in case of malabsorption enzymes proteolysis in the gastrointestinal tract is violated, which leads to digestive disorders.
Processed proteins, the final products of protein metabolism, are ammonia and urea. These products are toxic and get naturally excreted from body. However, under certain pathological conditions (cirrhosis, renal insufficiency) the processes of formation of these compounds and their elimination from the body are disrupted, thus the organism is poisoned with the products of its own metabolism.
Carbohydrate metabolism violations
Carbohydrate is one of the most important food components forming the main source of energy, as they are involved in almost all metabolism types: proteins, fats, nucleic acids, and ions metabolism. The most common types of carbohydrate metabolism disorders are: hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is a decrease in blood glucose levels below a certain standard. The cause of hypoglycemia oftentimes lies in digestive problems, in which the infringed splitting and absorption of carbohydrates takes place. Also, hypoglycemia may occur in various liver and kidney diseases, reducing the function of the thyroid gland, adrenal glands and contributing to the introduction of an excess dose of insulin.
Hyperglycemia is the opposite to hypoglycemia disease, where glucose level, on the contrary, rises above normal. Hyperglycemia can develop in the event of diabetes, overeating (especially long-term excessive consumption of sweets), some tumors of the adrenal cortex, pheochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal medulla, secretes hormones), hyperthyroidism (thyroid enlargement, accompanied by increased production of hormones) and liver failure. Blood glucose levels can significantly increase in stress situations, expressed during mental excitement.
Fat metabolism disorders
Fats are a major source of energy for the liver, kidney and striated muscles. They form the basis of cell membranes. Common disorders of fat metabolism are obesity, exhaustion and dyslipoproteinemia.
Obesity is the excessive accumulation of fat in the tissues. Normally the tissue contains 15-20% fat, the female component above – 20-30% of body weight. The causes of obesity may be hormonal changes, excessive caloric intake in combination with decreased physical activity. Against the background of obesity reduces adaptive capabilities of the organism, sharply increases the risk of coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes and hypertension.
Depletion (cachexia) is another non-desired consequence of fat metabolism disorders -a reduction of fat mass below the norm. The depletion can occur due to prolonged fasting, low calorie foods consumption or due to significant hormonal changes (glucocorticoid hormone deficiency, insufficient production of insulin, somatostatin).
Dyslipoproteinemia may also develop – a violation of the Dyslipoproteinemia of the normal ratio between the various fats in the blood plasma. Dyslipoproteinemia is an aspect of such pathologies as atherosclerosis, coronary heart diseases and inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).
Vitamins metabolism disorders
For normal metabolism the body requires a sufficient reception of vitamins A, C, D and B. Each vitamin fullfills its specific role in the body. Many vitamins are involved in protein, fat, carbohydrate metabolism, are part of the enzymes. The shortage in the body of certain vitamins (vitamin deficiency) leads to serious violations of metabolism and can cause specific diseases.
Water metabolism disorders
Water is another essential part of human body. It is an optimal medium for the dissolution and transport of inorganic and organic substances as well as for metabolic reactions.
Dehydration and excessive accumulation of fluids in the body are the non-desired problems that occur with water metabolism violations. The causes of dehydration may be insufficient intake of fluids (in a forced starvation in the desert with a shortage of water) and increased fluid loss (with long-term excessive fluid excretion in the urine in diabetes mellitus). With the exchange of water the exchange of salts is linked, especially sodium chloride ones. If dehydration is accompanied by a reduction in the salt content in the body, it is assigned a hypotonic type. When the salt content is reduced in proportion to the decrease in water content, it is called the iso-osmolar dehydration (isotonic). In the case when the liquid content decreases and the salt content remains the same, dehydration is referred to as hypertonic.
Calcium, phosphorus and other ions metabolism violations
In humans, most of the calcium contained in bones, teeth, and blood serum. The violations may result into:
Hypercalcemia – elevated levels of calcium in the blood serum. Hypercalcemia leads to the formation of stones in the tissues of the kidneys and urinary tract, osteoporosis (reduction in bone density), neuropsychiatric disorders (fatigue, emotional instability) and gastrointestinal disorders (anorexia, nausea, vomiting, constipation).
Hypocalcemia – reducing the amount of calcium in the blood plasma below normal. Manifested the violation of various groups of muscles spasms, decrease blood clotting and bleeding disorders, defects of various structures (hair, teeth, bones).
Phosphorous violations – phosphorus is one of the major mineral components of bone tissue. Increasing the concentration of phosphorus in the blood serum (hyperphosphatemia) is manifested hypotension, heart failure and hypocalcemia. The reduction of phosphorus in the blood plasma below normal (hypophosphatemia) is manifested by muscle weakness, osteoporosis, softening of bones and curvature.
Potassium – the main positively charged anion intracellular fluid. Hyperkalemia (high content of potassium ions in the blood serum) is manifested by muscle weakness, muscle paralysis, slowing of heart rate (bradycardia), heart arrhythmias and may even lead to heart failure.
Hypokalemia (decreased potassium in the blood plasma below normal) can cause muscle weakness, hypotension (blood pressure lowering), the deterioration of the stomach and intestine motility, drowsiness, apathy.
Violations of acid-base balance
The balance between the content of acids and alkalis in the body normally maintained at a stable level. The shift of the balance of the acidic or alkaline side may lead to major changes in the whole body, and even lethal outcomes.
The main manifestations of disorders of acid-base balance – acidosis and alkalosis. Acidosis is a form of violation of the acid-base balance in the body where there is an excess of acid. If the body is dominated by the acid-base balance, then this condition is called alkalosis.
Article by Canadian Pharmacy Team www.canadianhealthcaremalll.com