Diabetes affects over half a billion people worldwide, with many people concerned about the impact it can have or is having on their lives, and now new research has revealed the most Googled questions related to the disease.
The study by diabetes website Diabetes Strong analyzed thousands of diabetes-related search terms to see which is Googled the most. Experts also provided their answers.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition. It affects the body by causing a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. According to the latest IDF Diabetes Atlas, approximately 537 million adults are living with diabetes; however, 1 in 2 adults suffer from diabetes but are undiagnosed worldwide. Diabetes can affect people of any age group. There are two types of diabetes, and insulin is at the root of both. If your body does not produce enough or react to it, too much blood sugar will stay in your bloodstream, leading to dangerous health problems such as heart or kidney disease.
Uncontrolled Diabetes may lead to the following complications:
- Kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy)
- Eye disease (diabetic retinopathy)
- Nerve-related problems (diabetic neuropathy)
- Diabetic foot (leading cause of foot amputation)
- Increased risk of heart disease and stroke
- Increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s
What causes diabetes?
Diabetes can be caused by both environmental and genetic factors, although the exact cause is unknown. An inactive lifestyle and being overweight are the two most common causes of type 2 diabetes.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1. This is where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin. Insulin is vital as it helps your body use glucose for energy. This is a lifelong condition, and it is often linked to one’s weight, lack of exercise or a family history of this type of diabetes.
The most prominent symptoms of this type are feeling thirsty a lot of the time, as well as tired, and needing to pee very often.
What is type 1 diabetes?
In this type of diabetes, your blood glucose levels are too high as the pancreas cannot produce the hormone insulin at all; you have to inject it to control blood glucose levels. Your body will continue to break down carbohydrates from the food and drink that enters your body and turn it into glucose, however there is no insulin to allow it into your body’s cells. This in turn causes a build-up of glucose in your bloodstream that causes the high blood sugar levels.
Research is ongoing to determine the cause of type 1 diabetes, as it is not directly related to diet or lifestyle.
How to prevent diabetes
There are no lifestyle changes to make that lower your risk of type 1 diabetes; however, for type 2, healthy eating and exercise can contribute to lowering the risk.
- 1. Take prescribed medicines.
- 2. Manage blood sugar level and bodyweight.
- 3. Avoid fried, processed food and sweet beverages.
- 4. Exercise regularly and sleep well.
- 5. Say no to smoking and alcohol.
- 6. Regular health check-ups.
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Source: Diabetes Strong