Many people rely on Google.com for the answers to all their questions. According to cnn.com the experts at Google were asked the most popular health-related searches of the past year, 2015. Google came up with the top nine questions.
“Is bronchitis contagious?”
Acute bronchitis is a chest cold occurring when the bronchial tubes get irritated and inflamed, producing mucus that makes you cough. It may or may not be the result of a bacterial infection.
“For the most part, bacterial bronchitis and airway inflammation are not contagious per se,” David L. Katz., MD, director of Yale University Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Conn. and founder of True Health Initiative. “Often, however, the precipitant for a bout of bronchitis is a viral infection of the upper airway-frequently called a cold-and these, of course, are contagious.”
“Is pneumonia contagious?”
“The answer here is a qualified ‘yes’,” Dr. Katz says, explaining that in most cases of pneumonia-an infection that causes the lung’s air sacs to fill with fluid-are bacterial. If in contact with someone suffering from bacterial pneumonia, it is possible to be transmitted to you. There are also strains of pneumonia that are viral rather than bacterial, and those are even more contagious. Pneumonia stops being contagious after coughing stops.
“How much water should I drink?”
“The easiest formula is to take your weight and divide it in half,” Keri Gans, RDN, a New York City-based nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet, stated. “The number you get is the amount of water, in ounces, you should consume each day.”
For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should be drinking about 70 ounces (or nine cups) of water a day. However, you should take into consideration your temperature, if you’re exercising, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, in which cases you should be drinking more water.
“Another important thing to remember is that water isn’t the only way to meet your hydration needs,” Gans says. “Vegetables, fruit, and unsweetened beverages also count.”
“How many calories should I eat?”
“Calorie needs are based on age, height, weight, activity level, health status, and if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding,” Megan Roosevelt, RD, founder and CEO of Healthy Grocery Girl. “For the most accurate calorie intake calculations, you should meet with a registered dietician.”
“What is lupus?”
Lupus, short for systemic lupus erythematosus, is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.5 million Americans. Depending on the severity, the disease can impact the skin, kidneys, joints, heart, nervous system, and blood cells. Lupus is notoriously difficult to diagnose and is often confused with rheumatoid arthritis which is a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in fingers, wrists, feet and ankles. They are often confused due to the symptoms varying widely from patient to patient and can include headaches, fatigue, joint pain, fever and rashes (such as a sunburn-like “butterfly rash” that spreads across the face).
“How far along am I?”
Physicians today have more accurate methods for determining how far along a pregnancy is compared to the past which was based on how large a woman’s abdomen was.
“The primary instrument we use now is an ultrasound to look at a fetus development,” Dr. Klein said. “In the first six weeks of pregnancy, you can also get a human chronic gonadotropin (HCG) blood test that measures the level of pregnancy hormone in your blood.”
“When do you ovulate?”
In women of reproductive age, ovulation takes place when an egg is released from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes, where it can then be fertilized by sperm.
“If you have a period once a month, you’re ovulating once a month,” Dr. Klien said. “And the time of ovulation is usually in the middle of that cycle, approximately two weeks after the day of your last period.”
“What is gluten?”
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye.
“A diet without gluten “can be very healthy, or it can be junk food,” Dee Sandquist, RD, a Fairfield, Ohio-based nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said.
“How long does the flu last?”
“This varies to some extent with the strain each year, and obviously goes on longer if complications develop,” Dr. Katz said. “But the typical course of the flu is seven to ten days.”
You can prevent the virus from getting worse by drinking plenty of fluids, washing hands frequently and eating vitamin D-fortified foods like orange juice and yogurt.