Google’s Top Health Questions, Answered

Google’s Top Health Questions, Answered

Despite the fact Googling your health symptoms isn't advised, reports show people regularly favour the internet for answers than a visit to their GP. Whether you’re prone to bad breath or confused by endometriosis, we asked Dr Clare Morrison, GP and Medical Expert at Medexpress, for solutions to some of this years most Googled health problems…

1. What Is The Keto Diet?

Topping the list as one of the most trending health-related questions searched on Google, the keto or 'ketogenic' diet is a high fat, very low carbohydrate diet, that is said to help with a range of conditions. These include epilepsy, obesity, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovaries, and many others. It has some similarity to the Atkins diet, but the protein intake is meant to be adequate rather than high. It is designed to switch the body's metabolism to fat and ketone usage, rather than glucose, reducing the level of insulin and blood sugar. It’s more of a short-term quick fix though and not necessarily a long-term, sustainable weight loss plan.

2. Why Does My Breath Smell?

Bad breath or 'halitosis' is a common disorder. Causes include poor oral hygiene, tonsillitis, infected sinuses, strong smelling foods, and smoking.  It's important to ensure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, and do use an inter-dental brush and/or floss as well. Don't forget to brush your tongue too. Bad breath can affect any of us at any time and the only way to combat it properly is to have regular dental check-ups and talk to your dentist if the problem continues to persist over a long period of time.

3. What Exactly Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus or 'endometrium' grows in other places, such as the Fallopian tubes or ovaries. Occasionally it can occur in the colon, rectum, bladder, or outer surface of the uterus. It doesn't always cause symptoms, but it can cause pelvic pain during periods, painful intercourse, and infertility. As it’s notoriously hard to diagnose, it’s important to seek out medical advice immediately if you think you’re at any risk – it’s recommended you write down your symptoms before seeing your GP and keep a diary of any persistent pain.

4. How Long Does The Flu Last & Is It Contagious?

The most severe symptoms, such as fever, headache, sore throat and profound weakness, usually last around five days. This is followed by milder symptoms which may include fatigue, dry cough and some weakness. Full recovery usually takes around one to two weeks. Flu is contagious from one day before symptoms start, until five-seven days after, so stay away from others where possible.

5. When Does Implantation Bleeding Occur?

Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilised egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus, very early in the pregnancy. A little vaginal spotting is seen, and it generally happens 10-14 days after conception, often around the time of the missed period. This is usually nothing to be alarmed by and it’s often one of the early signs that you’ve got some happy news. Simply consult your doctor and go in for a check-up to put your mind at ease.

6. Why Am I Always Tired?

There are many reasons why you might feel tired. The most common reasons that I see people for include anaemia (which may be caused by lack of iron, folate or vitamin B12 for example), poor sleep, stress, chronic fatigue syndrome, viral infections, diabetes, and thyroid disorders, to name but a few. If the fatigue is persistent, and there is no obvious cause, it's best to see your GP, who can arrange blood tests if necessary. These will then indicate anything serious or any conditions that may need to be supplemented – but as a general rule of thumb, excess tiredness is usually nothing to be worried about.

7. What Does Heartburn Feel Like?

Heartburn feels like a burning pain in the centre of the chest, caused by acid in the oesophagus. It is generally worse after eating, or when lying down. It can be aggravated by acidic foods and drinks, including pickles, spicy foods, fizzy drinks, alcohol, and coffee, so try to keep your intake of these to a minimum. Stress and certain medications can also trigger it.

8. What Causes High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is often hereditary, and is more common with age. It can also be caused by obesity, kidney disease, arterial disease, and pregnancy. Lifestyle factors, including high salt diet, smoking, lack of exercise, and stress, may also play a part, but this question does yield a number of answers depending on your individual health choices. From diet to medications, there’s a number of ways you can lower it with help from your GP.

9. Why Do I Get Red Eye/A Bleed In The Eye?

Occasionally a small blood vessel on the surface of the eye ruptures, causing the rather alarming appearance of redness over part of the white of the eye. This isn't usually anything to worry about and it’s incredibly common. Occasionally it can be associated with raised blood pressure, so do get it checked if in doubt, or if you’re getting them regularly. Generally, this condition is harmless and resolves within two weeks. However, if there is pain, discomfort, or loss of vision, then do seek medical attention immediately from both your GP and Optician.


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