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Google Reveals the Top 10 Health Searches of 2023 – and Experts Answer Them

Questions related to strep throat, cholesterol and bloating topped list of popular online medical queries By Melissa Rudy . Fox News

Published December 29, 2023 5:00am EST

The popular search engine has released its annual “Year in Search,” breaking down the most searched topics in news, entertainment and health.

Highlighted are the top 10 health-related questions of 2023 with expert responses:

1. ‘How long is strep contagious’

According to data presented by the CDC, cases of strep throat have spiked, increasing by 30% in February 2023 compared to 2017.

The length of contagion from strep throat depends on how long the individual has been on antibiotics. A person will likely be contagious one to two days after taking their medication.

2. ‘How contagious is strep throat?’

Strep throat is very contagious. The infection can spread easily by talking, coughing or sneezing and by sharing drinks or food with an infected person.

3. ‘How can I lower cholesterol?’

In the U.S., nearly two out of every five adults have high cholesterol, elevating the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Dr. Brett Osborn spoke with Fox News Digital to speak about how a person’s lifestyle choices can severely affect cholesterol levels and his recommendations for reducing them.

"I recommend a regimen consisting of anti-inflammatory fats such as olive oil, flax seed oil, avocado and nuts, leafy vegetables and beans, and protein from chicken, turkey, fish and eggs (limit of four whole eggs daily)," Osborn said.

He also recommends strength training three days a week and completing cardio related exercises at least two days a week.

4. ‘What helps with bloating?’

Bloating is associated with gastrointestinal issues.

Foods rich in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) can be difficult to digest. Foods that contribute to bloating include beans, lentils, wheat and certain fruits and vegetables.

The way people eat can also lead to bloating such as eating too fast and indulging in large meals.  Addressing the problem requires a thorough plan and may include changes in diet, daily probiotics, relieving stress and medical treatments for underlying conditions.

5. ‘What causes low blood pressure?’

According to the Mayo Clinic, a person with low blood pressure has a reading of lower than 90 millimeters of mercury for the top number pr 60 mm Hg for the bottom number.

Dr. Osborn said low blood pressure can contribute to symptoms such as dizziness and an increased risk of falls.

"Outside of a primary cardiac issue, the most common reasons for low blood pressure are dehydration coupled with overmedication," Osborn said.

Staying hydrated and consuming beverages with electrolytes can help prevent low blood pressure.

6. ‘What causes warts?’

Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are transmitted through contact, usually on broken or damaged skin.

It can take weeks or months to appear on a person’s skin after encountering someone with warts.

7. ‘Why do I feel nauseous?’

Nausea occurs when the central nervous system, gastrointestinal system and vestibular apparatus in the inner ear send mixed signals.

Common causes of nausea include alcohol consumption, pregnancy, motion sickness or gastrointestinal distress.

Other factors can contribute to nausea including eating, environmental changes or underlying health conditions.

8. ‘What causes preeclampsia?’

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that includes symptoms of high blood pressure and elevated protein in urine as well as swelling of the face and hands.

Shortness of breath, reduced blood platelets, severe headaches, increased liver enzymes, vision disturbances, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain can also occur.

Preeclampsia can occur when blood flow to the placenta is impaired, causing an increase in blood pressure.

9. ‘How do I stop snoring?’

According to Johns Hopkins, nearly half of adults snore occasionally and a quarter of suffer from snoring on a regular basis.

Snoring can be a sign of a serious health condition such as obstructive sleep apnea if accompanied by troubled breathing patterns.

Common actions to avoid snoring not related to underlying health issues include sleeping on your side, elevating your head, avoiding alcohol before bed, maintaining a healthy weight and investing in a humidifier.

10. ‘How long does food poisoning last?’

According to the CDC, food poisoning is caused by consuming foods ridden with bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli.

Symptoms may include diarrhea, stomach pain or cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever and can last for a few hours or in more severe cases up to several days.

The full version of this article was originally published by Fox News digital on December 29, 2023 and was authored by Melissa Rudy.