Top 10 Googled Questions Answered by UnityPoint Health in 2021

Do you search health-related questions online before scheduling a trip to the doctor? While doing research is good, make sure to check the source before reading too far. At UnityPoint Health, we create educational content, so you can find accurate information from our health experts. Here are some of the top Googled questions and topics we helped answer with articles we worked on in 2021.

1. How Do I Recover from COVID Faster?

Whether you have COVID-19 or flu, many people can recover safely from the comfort of their home. From chicken noodle soup and honey to exercising and over-the-counter meds, here are 9 expert-recommended ways to recover faster if you’re feeling sick. 

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2. What are Low Vitamin D Symptoms?

People who are low on vitamin D may not feel very well. Symptoms include fatigue, bone pain, joint pain, muscle pain, low energy and more frequent illness among other things. One way to feel better — add more vitamin D-rich foods. 

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3. What Does My Mole Color Mean?

White mole, skin-colored mole and red mole were some of the top searches that sent you to our mole article. The truth is, almost everyone has moles. They occur when melanocytes, which gives skin its natural color, grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. The most common types of moles are congenital moles, common moles and atypical moles. When trying to figure out if a mole is cause for concern, make sure you know the ABCDEs of melanoma.

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4. What are the Stages of Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease?

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a viral illness typically causing small, painful sores or ulcers and usually impacts children ages 4 and younger. There are three stages, first a fever, then the mouth sores and finally the skin rash. Our expert has a home remedy you can try to help ease discomfort. He calls it a “magic mouthwash.”

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5. Why Do Viruses Mutate?

Viruses aren’t living things. They need a host to survive – like the cells in your body. Once a virus enters your body, it reproduces and spreads. The more a virus circulates in a population of people, the more it can change. There are several reasons viruses change, but the biggest reason is they’ll do anything to continue surviving and spreading. The best way to combat virus mutations is to keep up with vaccines.

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6. What Does RSV Cough Sound Like?

RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, spread rapidly this year. It’s indicated by a wet and forceful cough that sounds like fluid-filled lungs and often incudes wheezing and labored breathing. The virus is most contagious for three to eight days when symptoms are showing. Most cases of RSV can be treated at home with tips from our expert.

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7. Do Face Masks Cause Bacterial Pneumonia?

Wearing a face mask won’t cause bacterial pneumonia. The way bacterial pneumonia tends to develop is through aspirating – or breathing in – contents into the lungs. So, in terms of wearing a mask, the respiratory droplets you exhale that land on the inside of your mask that you then breath back in will not give you bacterial pneumonia. Check out how our expert debunks four other face mask myths.

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8. Is My Blood Sugar Normal?

We saw the most traffic from searches like A1C 5.8 and hemoglobin 5.8 to our Prediabetes 101 article in 2021. Getting your blood sugar tested regularly is key to staying on top of your health as you age. Our expert breaks down how to read the results you get from the lab to determine if you fall in the prediabetic or diabetic categories.

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9. How to Tell if Shortness of Breath is from Anxiety?

Shortness of breath is a common symptom of anxiety. This is a normal reaction by the body. If you feel shortness of breath while experiencing anxiety, try to identify the cause of the anxiety, get out of the situation and calm down. If things don’t improve, seek urgent medical attention to avoid the possibility of a panic attack.

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10. Can You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine if You Have a Cold?

As with most other vaccines, it’s OK to roll up your sleeve for the COVID-19 vaccine if you’re just mildly ill from a cold, have an ear infection or even mild diarrhea. Normally, a low-grade fever during a vaccine isn’t a problem either. However, if you think there’s any possibility you have COVID-19, you’ll want to be cautious. Simply because you wouldn’t want to put anyone at risk of contracting the virus while you get your vaccine.

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11. [BONUS] How Long do UTIs Last?

Once you’ve received the diagnosis of a urinary tract infection, you’ll most likely need antibiotics. The medication should start clearing up your UTI in just a few days. If you don’t feel better after you’re done taking antibiotics, talk with your doctor. Sometimes the bacteria build a resistance to the antibiotic, which means you’ll need more tests to determine a specific medication to treat your infection. In addition to medication, our doc offers four other ways to prevent or treat a UTI.

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We’re Here for You 

While we hope you’ve found these articles helpful, remember, we’re here for you, in-person, when you need us. Your primary care provider can help answer any questions you have about illness or health conditions. MyUnityPoint is available for patients who have a non-urgent, health-related question, too. And if you find yourself feeling ill unexpectedly, our urgent care and virtual care options can help you get back on your feet faster.