We’ve all done it. You’re feeling a little bit poorly, and rather than go to your doctor, you head to good old Google. Is there no greater health expert?
This can lead to some bizarre questions being searched for, and some equally bizarre answers. Fortunately, we’re here to look through some of the top searches on Google.
So sit back and relax as we take a look at some of your biggest health questions of the past year. Don’t worry, you’re probably okay.
Why do I feel so tired?
There are a lot of reasons why you might be feeling tired, which can range from serious to minor illnesses.
One possible cause of tiredness is celiac disease, a type of food intolerance when your body eats gluten. Only 1 percent of people have this condition, however; many often attribute the symptoms of this disease to “gluten sensitivity”, which is questionable.
Another possible cause of tiredness is iron deficiency. In serious cases, this can lead to anemia, which can cause heart palpitations and shortness of breath alongside tiredness. You can boost your iron levels by eating dark-green leafy vegetables like watercress, as well as nuts, brown rice, eggs, and other foods.
Some people suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, which is also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). It’s not quite clear what causes ME yet, but it’s best to talk to your doctor if you think you have some of the symptoms listed here. Note, chronic fatigue syndrome, which is an illness, is different from chronic fatigue, which is a sympton of other issues. Depression, too, can be a major cause for tiredness.
Tiredness can also be an indicator of diabetes. This is when your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. Again, if you think you have some of the symptoms, speak to your doctor to discuss having a blood test to check for diabetes.
Why do I keep burping?
One of the more slightly odd questions that was asked was people wondering why they were burping so much. There’s no one explanation for this, but there are some possibilities.
Perhaps the most common cause of burping (or belching) is indigestion. This is when acid in your stomach irritates your stomach lining. This can result in an increased amount of burping, and can also cause heartburn.
In rare circumstances, prolonged indigestion and burping can be a sign of stomach cancer. If you’ve had heartburn for three weeks or more, talk to your doctor.
Why is my period late?
If your period is late or has stopped, it might be a sign that you are pregnant. Even if you have been using contraception, there is a chance you could be pregnant. If your period hasn’t arrived after a few days, it might be time to take a pregnancy test.
There are other causes, however. Stress can cause your menstrual cycle to become longer or shorter, and it can also make your periods more painful. Take time to relax and exercise to avoid stress, but if it’s getting a bit much then you might want to consider some form of talking therapy.
Sudden weight loss can also be the cause of a late period, as can being overweight or obese. In both cases, you should seek medical advice if you think one might be the cause.
Some types of contraceptive pill can also cause you to miss your period. Once you stop taking them, your periods will return. Missed periods can also occur as you approach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55.
Why is my hair falling out?
Hair loss can be caused by a number of things. Perhaps the most common is male-pattern baldness, a genetic condition that can result in a receding hairline and thinning hair.
Infections like lichen planus or lupus can also be the cause of hair loss, and treating those problems could stop the process. Alopecia areata can also result in hair loss.
There are possible treatments for losing your hair, outlined by the NHS here. The experience can be emotionally distressing, so consider reaching out to the charity Alopecia UK or similar if you’re looking for support.
What does it mean when your palm itches?
Itches are normally the sign of a condition effecting the skin. They can result from things like dry skin, eczema, or contact dermatitis – inflammation caused by coming into contact with an irritant.
Itchy palms can be the result of something more serious in rare cases though. Known as pompholyx (dyshidrotic eczema), this is a type of eczema that can cause blisters to develop on your palms or fingers and the soles of your feet.
It begins as itching and burning on your hands, but can develop into small itchy blisters that can seep fluid. It usually clears up on its own in weeks, but if it persists then you should consider talking to your doctor, who might recommend using a moisturizer or steroid cream.
When does morning sickness start?
Morning sickness usually occurs within the first 12 weeks of being pregnant, and clears up after 16 to 20 weeks.
The name is a bit of a misnomer, as it can affect you at any time of day. Not all women are sick as a result of it; some merely have a feeling of nausea, which is completely normal.
To alleviate some of the symptoms, it’s recommended that you get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids (sip little and often rather than large gulps), and eat small frequent meals high in carbohydrates and low in fat, such as bread or pasta.
If you are unable to keep food or drink down for 24 hours, have dark urine, feel dizzy, or have a high temperature, talk to your doctor or midwife immediately.
What should I do if I have chest pain?
Chest pain can be a symptom of a number of things, including angina, where blood to the heart is restricted. This can be triggered by physical activity or emotional stress, and will normally get better if you rest for a few minutes.
Other causes of common chest pain include acid reflux, a strained muscle, or anxiety. If the pain is persistent, you should seek medical advice.
If you have sudden severe chest pain, coupled with a pressing or heavy feeling that lasts longer than 15 minutes, call for an ambulance immediately. This can be a sign of a heart attack.
What should I do if I have anxiety?
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) affects up to 5 percent of people. Causes can include over-activity in areas of the brain involved in emotions, an imbalance of chemicals in your brain, or drug or alcohol misuse.
Many people feel anxious at various times who don’t develop GAD. Exercising, stopping smoking, and drinking less alcohol and caffeine can reduce your anxiety.
However, if you find that it is affecting your day-to-day life, you should visit your doctor to talk through some possible treatment options.
Why do I keep getting headaches?
According to the NHS, headaches are one of the most common health complaints, with more than 10 million people in the UK reporting regular headaches.
Most are not serious, and include tension headaches, which can result from things like stress, poor posture, and dehydration.
Some people also suffer from migraines, which can cause further symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Over-the-counter medication can help with these, but if they are especially intense you might want to talk to your doctor about getting stronger medication.
On rare occasions, headaches can be a sign of a stroke, meningitis, or a brain tumor. These headaches are usually a severe, blinding pain that do not go away. Seek immediate medical advice if this is the case.
Why does my eye keep twitching?
If your eyelid is flickering or twitching occasionally, don’t worry. This is common and usually occurs when you’re tired.
However, if you find you are excessively blinking or involuntarily closing one or both eyes, this can be a disorder known as blepharospasm.
These can last for a few seconds to a few minutes, and their cause is unknown. Treatments are available, such as injecting Botox, which relaxes your muscles. Again, talk to your doctor if you are displaying some of these latter symptoms.