What were the top "trending" health topics of 2012? Google compiled a list of the health issues that were most popular among users throughout the year.
According to Google, trending queries are searches that had the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 as compared to 2011. That differs from
With many soldiers returning from overseas, the anxiety disorder post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, was a topic that interested many. Several studies about the disorder were published in 2012, including new research that returning veterans with the disorder have difficulties getting a job following service.
In July 2012, the Institute of Medicine also released recommendations that said all soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan should get screened for PTSD every year.
9. Celiac disease
Celiac disease has been a hot topic in 2012, notably when Miley Cyrus announced her weight loss was due to her gluten-free diet because she's allergic to the wheat protein. Many wondered if being gluten-free was an effective way to diet.
However, having the disease -- which damages the lining of the small intestine when a person eats gluten found in wheat, barley, rye or some oats, preventing the intestine from absorbing necessary nutrients -- does not ensure weight loss. In fact, weight gain is seen by doctors as a positive from a gluten-free diet because many sufferers are unable to absorb essential compounds from food.
A July 2012 Mayo Clinic study that aimed to examine rising rates in celiac disease found most people with the disease might not be aware they have it, and many who eat gluten-free diets have never been diagnosed with celiac disease.
Heartburn is a perennial problem for many, especially around the holidays when people know they are going to be eating a lot. Studies this year suggested zinc salts may be able to help alleviate symptoms, and some heartburn drugs may lead to hip fractures in women.
A miscarriage can be caused by drug an alcohol abuse, obesity, problems with the mother's reproductive organs, hormone problems and infection, according to the National Institutes of Health.A tragic story about an Irish woman who allegedly died because she was denied an abortion while she was miscarrying, leading to blood-poisoning, topped the headlines late in 2012.
Credit: David Salafia/Flickr
6. Urinary tract infection
Do cranberries or cranberry juices help with UTIs? Studies supposedly confirming for and against cranberries' benefits came out in 2012, so the topic is still up for debate.
UTIs and other common infections have also been spotlighted by health officials in 2012 who fear a growing number of antibiotic-resistant cases of the ailments.
This common ailment is a potential side effect from some foodborne illness, the subject of many U.S. recalls this past year, including a massive peanut butter recall because of salmonella risk.
Also gastroenteritis, or stomach flu, is the second most common illness in the United States.
4. Diaper rash
The diaper rash is an ever-trending issue for parents, and Google saw this especially in 2012.
The condition is caused by an infection from the fungus Candida, and is very common in babies between 4 and 15 months old. The best treatment for a diaper rash is to keep the diaper area clean and dry, according to the National Institutes of Health.
3. Sexually transmitted disease
From the news that sexually transmitted disease rates are rising among the elderly to studies that showed that getting an HPV vaccine won't make girls more promiscuous, STDs (also known as STIs) are among this year's top health trends.
STDs were also spotlighted by measures in Los Angeles that passed in 2012 that mandated condom use in pornography films.
2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease
With the holidays coming up, the threat of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) looms with certain foods we put on our plates. Research in 2012 also suggested that GERD rates have risen dramatically over the past decade.
If you're experiencing reflux or heartburn (Google's No. 8 trend) and decide to see a doctor, you might want to skip the upper endoscopy medical tests. A study out December 2012 shows that unless you are having acute, serious symptoms like bleeding, you might not need the procedure.
Google's number one health trend might be surprising, but it shouldn't be shocking: Almost half the U.S. population have experienced one of the symptoms of hemorrhoids including rectal pain, itching, bleeding, and prolapse (when hemorrhoids come out through the anal cavity) by the age of 50, according to Harvard Medical School.