The fastest and all-knowing "expert" Google in the past year 2023 "saved" users from angina, high cholesterol and low blood pressure, as well as from bloating of the stomach. These were the questions that users most often requested from the search engine. The company shared the most trending search queries that were health-related. We have collected the 10 most popular questions, as well as the answers to them.
- How long is a strep infection contagious?
Strep infections are known to have risen dramatically in early 2023, which has prompted people to learn as much as possible about them. Although most commonly caused by viruses, sore throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils that is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, patients who are treated for strep sore throat with antibiotics become less contagious within 24 to 48 hours. A person with untreated disease can infect others for 2 to 3 weeks. Fever, pain on swallowing, red and swollen tonsils and swollen lymph nodes are the most common symptoms of sore throat.
- How contagious is pharyngitis?
Experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC say: an infected person can infect others through airborne droplets when talking, coughing or sneezing. You can also pick up the bacteria through direct contact by touching sores on the skin caused by the bacteria.
A person exposed to group A streptococcal bacteria can get pharyngitis for 2 to 5 days. Strep sore throat is more common in children: according to the CDC, 3 out of 10 children with sore throats have pharyngitis, compared to about 1 out of 10 adults.
- How to lower cholesterol?
A growing body of research concludes that a plant-based, vegetarian or vegan diet lowers cholesterol. According to one new study, adults who followed a plant-based diet for a year had a 10% reduction in "bad" cholesterol and a 7% reduction in total cholesterol compared to those who consumed animal foods.
By limiting saturated and trans fats, cholesterol levels can be significantly reduced or controlled. Saturated fats are found mainly in red meat and fatty dairy products, while trans fats are found in margarine, store-bought sweets, candy and baked goods.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as oily fish and flax seeds, are good for the cardiovascular system. And soluble fiber, which is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, is effective in reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
Regular exercise, avoidance of smoking and excessive alcohol consumption and weight control can improve cholesterol levels.
- What helps with abdominal bloating?
There are several common causes of abdominal bloating, including constipation, overeating, improper food combinations, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance and taking certain medications.
To get rid of abdominal bloating at home, experts recommend giving up chewing gum and carbonated drinks, as well as moderate consumption of foods that can release gas - cabbage, legumes, dried fruits, dairy products. Fiber supplements and bran can also worsen symptoms.
Of the medications, doctors recommend taking simethicone. If you have pronounced abdominal pain, constant heartburn and vomiting, blood in the stool, you need to see a doctor.
- What causes low blood pressure?
Blood pressure less than 90/60 mmHg is considered low blood pressure and is called hypotension. Experts cite prolonged bed rest, taking certain medications (diuretics, beta-blockers and antidepressants), poor diet, depression, Parkinson's disease and pregnancy as the main causes of low blood pressure.
Chronic hypotension causes dizziness, weakness, fainting, frequent headaches, palpitations. The most popular methods to normalize low blood pressure at home - drink coffee or sweetened black tea, black chocolate is also effective.
- What causes warts?
The human papillomavirus HPV, which includes more than 150 species, is the most common cause of warts and other growths on the skin and mucosa. The virus is often spread through open skin-to-skin contact or through a towel or washcloth. Warts can appear not only on the hands, but also on the face, genitals, legs and feet.
- Why do I feel nauseous?
Doctors cite pregnancy and stomach flu as the most common causes of nausea. GI disorders, including gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease, also cause chronic nausea. Medications, radiation therapy or chemotherapy are most often accompanied by nausea. The so-called "morning sickness" in pregnant women occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy in 50-90% of cases.
- What causes pre-eclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a condition that causes cramps and high blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy or after delivery. Between 10% and 15% of deaths worldwide due to pregnancy or childbirth are caused by complications of pre-eclampsia.
The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but according to experts, women pregnant with twins and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease or autoimmune diseases are at risk.
- How to stop snoring?
Mayo Clinic experts are confident: snoring can be cured by taking a comprehensive approach to lifestyle changes. Treating nasal congestion, controlling weight, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, and not sleeping on your back can significantly help in the fight against snoring.
Wearing a nasal strip or special devices while sleeping can also be effective. Snoring can also indicate a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea: a condition in which breathing stops during sleep.
- How long does food poisoning last?
Food poisoning lasts from 1 to 10 days, depending on the infection. E. coli or Salmonella most commonly causes poisoning, which is characterized by diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and fever. In case of severe dehydration, constant vomiting and bloody diarrhea, you should see a doctor immediately and receive hospital treatment.