What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism, a term that describes the way our bodies chemically change the foods we eat into growth and energy. After we digest food, glucose (sugar) enters the bloodstream, where it is used by the cells for energy. For glucose to get into the cells, insulin must be present.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. It is responsible for moving glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to provide energy needed for daily life. In people with diabetes, the body produces too little or no insulin or it does not respond properly to the insulin that is produced. As a result, glucose builds up in the blood and may overflow into the urine where it is excreted from the body. Therefore, the cells lose their main source of energy.
More than 25 million Americans have diabetes. Of these, approximately 5 to 10 percent have type 1 diabetes and 90 to 95 percent have type 2 diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin. This form of the disease typically appears in children and young adults, but it can develop at any age.
In type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin but not enough, and the body does not respond properly to the insulin that is produced. This form of the disease is more common in people who are older, overweight, and inactive.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. Fractures from osteoporosis can result in pain and disability. In the United States, more than 40 million people either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.
Risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:
- being thin or having a small frame
- having a family history of the disease
- for women, being postmenopausal, having an early menopause, or not having menstrual periods (amenorrhea)
- using certain medications, such as glucocorticoids
- not getting enough calcium
- not getting enough physical activity
- drinking too much alcohol.
Osteoporosis is a disease that often can be prevented. If undetected, it can progress for many years without symptoms until a fracture occurs.
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