A national report showed that celiac is the most Googled disease in six states, making it the second most commonly Googled disease in the country (along with diabetes).
TermLife2Go conducted a study to determine these highly Googled diseases by state. They used Google Trends and looked at each state over the past year to compile every disease according to search popularity.
The states most frequently Googling celiac are Idaho, Montana, Utah, Kansas, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, as if it were a poison. It affects as many as one in 100 people, although most have not been diagnosed. When someone with celiac consumes gluten, the immune system reacts by destroying the part of the small intestine that absorbs vital nutrients. This malabsorption can lead to serious illness. Click here to learn more about celiac disease.
Diabetes tied with celiac for second most frequently googled disease. Interestingly, there is some overlap between the two.
Recent research shows that having celiac disease puts someone at a higher risk for developing type 1 diabetes. While study results vary, they do show that the prevalence of type 1 diabetes in those who have celiac is 1.6 to 16.4 percent
According to Diabetes Self-Management, if you have diabetes and are wondering whether you have celiac, you should get tested. “Besides the more ‘traditional’ symptoms, you may notice unpredictable or unexplainable swings in your blood glucose; hypoglycemia a couple hours after a meal; hypoglycemia that is hard to treat; and lack of improvement in your HbA1c level. Of course, these diabetes symptoms can be due to other causes, but, they could be linked to celiac.”
Managing type 1 diabetes while adhering to a gluten-free diet can be challenging. It is important to keep a close watch on how diet impacts the health of children who have both type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Dietary counseling is considered essential to ensure patients are eating properly and staying healthy.
The only effective treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong gluten-free diet. Waiting to start a gluten-free diet may have consequences. It increases the risk of osteoporosis, stomach problems, iron deficiency anemia, infertility and other autoimmune disorders.
It’s best to speak with a health professional for diet tips, but some general guidelines include: eating plenty of fresh, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs and lean meat; replace gluten containing foods with gluten-free starches such as rice, corn and quinoa; and carefully checking food labels for gluten in products you might not think of as containing gluten.
For those who are curious, HPV infection is the most commonly Googled disease in the United States. Heart disease is one of the least Googled, though it is the deadliest disease in the country.