Is Diabetes A Metabolic Disorder?

Insulin is required to transport sugar from the blood in to the cells. This sugar undergoes various metabolic process in order to provide us energy as well as to store excess energy. This process of transferring glucose in producing and storing energy is said to be a metabolic process and any disorder altering this process is a metabolic disorder.

Is Diabetes A Metabolic Disorder?

Diabetes is the condition in which the level of sugar in the blood plasma is consistently at a higher level. This may be due to the fact that the sugar in the blood is not used by the cells due to an abnormality in the insulin functioning. On the basis of insulin availability, diabetes can be divided in to insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. In the former type, the insulin secretion forms the beta cells of islet of Langerhans located in the pancreas have reduces the secretion of insulin or secretion is completely stopped, while in the latter type, insulin is available in the blood, but the cells are unable to recognize it. The treatment strategy adopted for both these conditions is different, but may overlap at times.

Is Diabetes A Metabolic Disorder?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder as various metabolic reactions are altered in the condition of diabetes. The pathogenesis of diabetes is generally defined by the alteration of four main reactions or pathways in the body. These are hexosamine pathway flux, polyol pathway flux, activation of protein kinase C and formation of advanced glycation end products.

Hexosamine Pathway flux in high glucose condition may lead to kidney disease. It may increase the inflammatory aspect of diabetes. In diabetes, there is an increased formation of advanced glycation end products that may lead to conditions such as retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, ageing and cardiomyopathy. Diabetes leads to the complications of diabetes through the polyol pathway. This pathway increases the formation of sorbitol, which increases the osmotic pressure inside the cells leading to tissue damage.

As diabetes alters the normal physiological and metabolic processes of the body, it can be said as a metabolic disorder.

Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors

Following are the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome:

Abdominal Obesity. According to some researchers, abdominal obesity is the primary reason for the metabolic syndrome. It indicates that the other factors require diagnosing a person for metabolic syndrome originates from abdominal obesity. Abdominal obesity is defined by either the waist circumference or hip-waist ratio. High amount of adipose tissue in this area leads to various complications associated with abdominal obesity.

Insulin Resistance. Insulin is an important hormone, secreted by the pancreas, and helps in transporting the carbohydrate in to the cells. When the sugar leaves the blood and enters in the cells, the sugar level of the blood gets managed. However, the cells of the body develop a resistance against the action of insulin and the condition of the insulin increases leading to hyperinsulinemia. Some researchers have also concluded that this may be the primary reason for metabolic syndrome. Hyperinsulinemia may also increase the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome.

Impaired Glucose Tolerance And Impaired Fasting Glucose. These are the important conditions associated with the metabolic syndrome. At the initial stage of diagnosis, these conditions do not come under the ambit of diabetes and cannot said to be normal either, thus, are put in the category of prediabetic. These conditions can be managed with the help of changes in lifestyle and diet habits. Unmanaged prediabetic condition may have high risk of developing diabetes which may require medications and serious complication may be experienced by the patients suffering from diabetes.

Blood Pressure. Hypertension is the condition associated with metabolic syndrome. Hypertension is defined as the pressure above 140/90 mmHg. It can be managed by exercise and healthy lifestyle but may require medications. Unmanaged hypertension may lead to life-threatening complications such as cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and vessel rupture.


Diabetes is a metabolic disorder as this condition is characterized by alteration of various metabolic processes inside the body. Four process i.e. hexosamine pathway flux, polyol pathway flux, activation of protein kinase C and formation of advanced glycation end products, are altered in diabetes.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 22, 2019

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