Skip to main content
Sign In
 

Metabolic Disease


Appropriate metabolic regulation is essential for good health and well-being. The body is challenged on a daily basis with environmental and behavioral stresses that require adjustments in the type and quantity of fuels that oxidized for energy. When this ability to respond to metabolic stress becomes impaired, it can lead to a number of diseases and disorders that are generally referred to as metabolic disease. Metabolic diseases affect a large proportion of the US population and have a substantial impact on the mortality rate and quality of life for afflicted individuals. For this reason, many researchers are pursuing a better understanding of the underlying factors that lead to the development of metabolic diseases, the consequences of metabolic dysregulation, and the therapeutic strategies that can effectively counter the causes and consequences of this dysregulation.

Overview

Over the past several decades, the incidence of overweight and obesity has grown dramatically, with the incidence of those with severe obesity showing the greatest increase. Obesity is associated with a number of co-morbidities that have been linked to metabolic disease, including insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. In addition, obesity increases the risk of certain types of cancer, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis. Given the broad range of obesity-related complications, a great effort has ensued to understand the basics of body weight regulation and the therapeutic strategies that can be used to reduced weight and maintain the weight-reduced state.

Researchers in Endocrinology currently conducting obesity related research:

Bergman, Bessesen, Cornier, Eckel, Goalstone, Hernandez, Hill, MacLean, Melanson, Pereira, C Wang, H Wang, Wierman, Wyatt

Recent Publications-Coming Soon!

Related Links

The Obesity Society
The International Association for the Study of Obesity
National Center for Health Statistics
The Endocrine Society

Overview

Insulin resistance is a condition where tissues in the body do not respond adequately to insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. While insulin is best known for its ability to regulate blood sugar levels, it also has important functions in energy metabolism. ‘Insulin resistance,’ as a clinical phenomenon, is normal in certain periods of the lifespan, such as pregnancy, puberty, and in periods of starvation. However, it is commonly linked with obesity, and it usually precedes the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Normally, insulin has profound effects on the regulation of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. When insulin action becomes impaired, it can have serious effects on whole body metabolism. Because of its broad metabolic consequences, insulin resistance is often the defining marker for a compilation of disorders that are referred to as metabolic disease. As such, many researchers have focused their effort on identifying the molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance, understanding tissue specific and whole body metabolic consequences of insulin resistance, and developing therapeutic strategies that can improve insulin sensitivity.

Researchers in Endocrinology currently conducting insulin resistance related research:

Bergman, Draznin, Eckel, Goalstone, Hernandez, Kosmiski, MacLean, Pereira, Perreault, Reusch, C Wang, H Wang

Recent Publications Coming Soon!

Related Links

The Obesity Society
The International Association for the Study of Obesity
The American Diabetes Association
International Diabetes Federation
The Endocrine Society

Overview

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-secreting β-cells of the pancreas. It is diagnosed in children and young adults. Over 20 million people in the United State have diabetes, and 5 to 10% of all diagnosed cases of are Type 1. The disease is usually fatal unless some form of regular insulin therapy is implemented, and even then, afflicted individuals are at risk for a number of complications, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and neurological disorders. Because Type 1 Diabetes and its complications can be managed with rigorous therapy that keeps blood glucose levels in control, a significant amount of research is dedicated to understanding the biology of the pancrease, preventing the development of this disease, and finding more effective therapies for afflicted individuals.

Researchers in Endocrinology currently conducting Type 1 diabetes related research:

Eisenbarth, McDermott, Pugazhenthi

Recent Publications Coming Soon!

Type 2 diabetes is progressive disease of poor glycemic control. It involves a complex metabolic context in which peripheral tissues are resistant to the actions of insulin, and the pancreas gradually loses the ability to secrete enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Over 20 million people in the United State have diabetes, and 90 to 95% of all diagnosed cases of are type 2. A large number of individuals that have type 2 diabetes have not been diagnosed. Afflicted individuals are at risk for a number of complications, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and neurological disorders. Because type 2 diabetes and its complications can be managed with diet, lifestyle, and pharmacotherapy, a significant amount of research is dedicated to understanding the molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance, pancreatic disfunction, preventing the development and progression of this disease, and finding more effective therapies for afflicted individuals.

Researchers in Endocrinology currently conducting Type 2 Diabetes related research:

Draznin, Eckel, McDermott, Pereira, Perreault, Pugazhenthi, Reusch, C Wang, H Wang, Watson

Recent Publications Coming Soon!

Related Links

The American Diabetes Association
International Diabetes Federation
CDC National Diabetes Fact Sheet
The Endocrine Society

Overview

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a complex problem that is rising rapidly and parallels the overweight/obesity epidemic. It is now understood to affect the long-term health of both the pregnant woman and her unborn child.  As understanding of GDM has increased, so has a growing recognition that it is a perpetuating factor in the rising prevalence of glucose intolerance in children and the development of type 2 diabetes in mothers. By definition, GDM is a disease diagnosed in women who first exhibit glucose intolerance during pregnancy. Therapy designed to control maternal blood glucose levels and other excess nutrients is implemented to reduce complications in the developing fetus and in the newborn infant. However, women with GDM have up to a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 -10 years of their pregnancy. Moreover, animal and large population studies have shown that the offspring of mothers with GDM are at risk for childhood overweight, impaired glucose intolerance, and impaired intellectual development. These clinical problems have been linked to a diabetic intrauterine environment that may provide excess glucose, fat, and other nutrients.. Because of the adverse effects of GDM on both mother and child, efforts have intensified to try and understand the intrauterine metabolic regulation of these excess nutrients. These efforts include how maternal nutrients are regulated in-utero and gain access to the fetus and how poor glucose control or excess fat intake in the mother can impact long-term health outcomes for the child.

Researchers in Endocrinology currently conducting gestational diabetes related research:

Barbour, Hernandez

Recent Publications Coming Soon!

Related Links

The American Diabetes Association
International Diabetes Federation
CDC National Diabetes Fact Sheet
The Endocrine Society

Overview

In the last decade, great advances have been made to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke, resulting in an estimated 160,000 lives saved in 2005 (when compared to 1999) and a projection of 240,000 lives saved in 2008. Even with these great strides, heart disease and stroke remain the no. 1 and 3 causes of death in the United States. A number of other heart disease complications are on the rise. The causes of coronary heart disease are complex, but many of them can be linked to the dysregulation of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. As such, cardiovascular disease is an important component of the Metabolic Syndrome, or insulin resistance syndrome, and is closely linked to many other mechanisms of metabolic disease. Continued efforts are dedicated to understanding these molecular mechanisms that underlie relationships between coronary heart disease and metabolic disease, and to identify effective therapies for afflicted individuals.

Researchers in Endocrinology currently conducting cardiovascular disease related research:

Eckel, Goalstone, Hernandez, Schauer, C Wang, Watson

Recent Publications Coming Soon!

Related Links

American Heart Association
American Stroke Association
The Endocrine Society