- Google released its annual list of the most searched health questions of 2018, CNN reported on Friday.
- This year, people were most curious about the keto diet, a weight-loss program that comes with a lengthy list of pros and cons.
- People were also wondering about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, as well as endometriosis.
Despite the fact Googling your health symptoms isn’t always the best idea, people regularly scour the internet for the answers to their most burning health questions. In 2018, most people were searching for answers about the keto diet, ALS, and endometriosis, according to Google’s most searched health questions of 2018.
According to CNN, Google released its annual list of health-related queries based on data collected between January and mid-December of 2018. The list touched on everything from diet to women’s health to the flu.
Here’s a look at the health questions most people were asking in 2018, as well as some insight into the answers.
1. What is the keto diet?
For the second year in a row, people were wondering about the low-carb, high-fat diet that has lead to weight loss for hundreds of people. As INSIDER previously reported, the keto diet triggers ketosis, a process in which the liver converts fat into ketones, which the body uses for energy instead of glucose. This not only allows your body to burn fat but can also help you lose water weight.
In addition to weight loss, the keto diet can improve your skin, help with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and be used as a treatment protocol for diabetes, as INSIDER previously reported. But with pros also comes a list of cons, including short-term weight loss and a string of annoying symptoms summarized as the keto flu.
Read more: 10 signs the keto diet is working for you
While Googling can help you determine if the keto diet is right for you, you should consult with your doctor before trying it.
2. What is ALS disease?
There are a few reasons people were curious about ALS, a disease that affects the nervous system by slowly destroying nerve cells over time.
The first occurred when Stephen Hawking died from the disease in May. The physicist was only expected to live a few years after being diagnosed with ALS at 21 years old, but he lived to be 76.
“I try to lead as normal a life as possible, and not think about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not that many,” Hawking, who long used a wheelchair, reportedly wrote on his website. “I have been lucky that my condition has progressed more slowly than is often the case. But it shows that one need not lose hope.”
Then, in December, the first human trial for ALS treatment began. The trial, according to ALS News Today, is currently enrolling both healthy volunteers and eight ALS patients to test the safety of a new drug, AT-1501.
3. What is endometriosis?
This year, several celebrities spoke openly about their struggles with endometriosis, a disease in which the tissues that normally line the uterus grow on the outside of the organ. Stars including Gabrielle Union, Lena Dunham, and Halsey talked specifically about how the disease has impacted their fertility.
In addition to celebrities raising awareness, a new treatment for endometriosis was approved in July, which likely lead to a spike in search.
4. How long does weed stay in your urine?
As more states legalized marijuana in 2018, questions about the drug were on the rise.
There are a number of ways weed affects the brain and body, and it can vary from person to person. As far as how long the drug remains in your system, Healthline reports that weed stays in your urine one to 30 days after use depending on how much and how often you smoke. For daily users, it can be detected up to three months after use.
5. How long does the flu last?
After 80,000 people died from the flu in 2017, it’s no wonder people had questions about it. And, understandably, people want to know how long it lasts so they know when they can resume a fever-free life.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to put a specific time frame on it as there are a number of factors at play, such as when it was caught, the severity, and the person’s health. In general, Everyday Health reports that the flu can last one to two weeks, with symptoms lingering for an additional week.
6. How long is the flu contagious?
Similarly, people were curious as to how long the flu is contagious. An understandable question if you’re trying to keep others from suffering a similar fate.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is most contagious in the first three to four days after the illness begins. Unfortunately, because symptoms can begin two days after the virus has entered the body, the CDC noted that it’s possible for you to infect someone before you know you have it.
In order to keep you and others free from the virus, the best course of action is to get your flu shot. Because, despite what people say, the flu shot doesn’t cause the flu.
7. When does implantation bleeding occur?
Those who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant are likely the ones wondering when implantation bleeding, or light bleeding, occurs. According to Mayo Clinic, implantation bleeding occurs 10 to 14 days after conception and is often one of the early signs you’re pregnant.
If you notice light bleeding while trying to conceive, don’t fret. Simply consult your doctor and go in for a checkup — you might walk out with good news.
8. Why am I always tired?
The eternal question asked by adults all over the world. Even if you feel like you get enough sleep, you may find yourself yawning in the middle of the day and craving a nap. Unfortunately, there isn’t just one answer to this question.
If you notice you are more tired than usual, it is worth consulting with a doctor. Constantly feeling tired could be a sign of a number of health issues, including vitamin deficiency, poor diet, and more.
9. What does heartburn feel like?
Heartburn occurs when your stomach acid flows back into your esophagus, so you can imagine how unpleasant that must feel. According to Cleveland Clinic, heartburn causes an “uncomfortable burning feeling in your chest that can move up to your neck and throat.” It can also lead to a butter taste in your mouth and throat.
Luckily, treatment for this unpleasant ailment is easy. Antacids can be used to treat the occasional bout of heartburn. If you experience more frequent heartburn, consider cutting acidic and spicy foods out of your diet.
10. What causes high blood pressure?
As with “why am I always tired,” this questions yields a number of answers depending on your overall health and lifestyle choices. Everything from gum disease to a diet heavy in red meat to kidney disease to sleep apnea can result in high blood pressure.
If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, you should meet with your doctor to get to the bottom of the cause. They may suggest a number of ways to lower your blood pressure, from diet to medications.
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