A recent study has shown that metabolic disease prevalence among adults in the United States of America, aged 18 years and above has risen to more than 30%. This is frightening data that calls for a closer look at what metabolic disease means.
A closer study shows that non-communicable diseases like metabolic disease or metabolic syndrome have become a major concern for international health organizations like WHO.
Definition of Metabolic Disease
Metabolic disease or metabolic syndrome Is a health condition that happens because some chemicals that help in converting food to energy in cells don’t function properly. The result is that body cells dont get enough energy, because food eaten by the individual is not efficiently absorbed by the cells for energy.
This results in a packet of conditions that occur together heightening the risks of diabetes type2, stroke, and heart disease. These conditions include high blood sugar, high cholesterol, excess fat around the waist and abdomen, etc.
Facts About Metabolic Disease
In the USA metabolic syndrome is common among adults 18 years to 65 years, and up to ⅓ of adults have it.
Also, around 1 in 4 adults in the UK has metabolic syndrome
Types of Metabolic Disease
Firstly, Metabolic disease or syndrome is either inherited or noninherited
Inherited metabolic disorders refer to those genetic conditions which result in metabolic diseases in individuals. In such individuals, a defective gene results in enzyme deficiency. This results in limited or excess production of certain enzymes in the individual’s body.
However, Noninherited metabolic diseases generally occur largely as a result of the individual’s lifestyle which increases body fat and organ malfunction.
The Common Metabolic Diseases
Diabetes is a health condition that makes it impossible for the body to efficiently regulate blood glucose levels with insulin. In diabetic patients, cells don’t receive enough glucose from the blood making them malfunction.
Type 1 Diabetes: this is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the insulin-producing cells (beta cells) of the pancreas. This makes it impossible for the pancreas to produce enough insulin that the body needs.
This can continue unnoticed for months or years because the body still gets enough daily insulin. But, it gets to a point when the pancreas can no longer make insulin and the body’s blood sugar level rises to a dangerously high level.
So, insulin must be supplemented with a daily dose of insulin injection.
Type 1 diabetes affects both males and females and usually first occurs before the age of 35 years, usually 10 to 16 years. Researchers believe that 5% to 10% of diabetic patients have type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a common type of diabetes that constitutes up to 90% of diabetic conditions worldwide. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to use insulin efficiently. The cells gradually become less responsive to insulin.
Secondly, Gaucher’s disease is also a type of metabolic disease in which the individual lacks an enzyme called glucocerebrosidase. The absence of glucocerebrosidase (emzyme), makes it impossible for the body to break down glucosylceramide (fat) into sugar or simple fats to be used for energy in the body.
This causes a build-up of fat inside the cells of the brain, lungs, bone marrow, and liver. Thereby causing these organs to malfunction.
Hemochromatosis is a dangerous metabolic disease that happens because extra iron builds up in the body to dangerous levels. Alhough the body needs iron to stay healthy, build muscle and heart cells, and make red blood cells, too much iron is harmful to the body.
Without treatment, this can cause iron overload which can damage the liver, heart, pancreas, endocrine glands, and joints.
This is a rare genetic condition that affects around 1 in 10,000 to 15,000 newborns in the USA. Phenylketonuria condition makes it impossible for the body to break down amino acids.
If it is not treated PKU can lead to brain damage. Furthermore, It can lead to complications like permanent intellectual disabilities, seizures, and pregnancy loss in women, musty body odor, skin rashes like eczema.
Symptoms of Metabolic Disease
Symptoms of metabolic disease can be different and can affect many parts of the body.
Common symptoms include:
- excess weight loss or weight gain
- stomach pain
- reduced appetite
- developmental challenges in babies and infants