Google was spawned back in 1997 and for the past 19 years, punters have absolutely been using it to convince themselves that they are far sicker than they actually are.

Punch in “sore pain in back of eye?” and you’ll be convinced you’re going blind.

Type “funny rash on elbow,” and you’re the latest recipient of a viral, irreversible autoimmune disease. 

You’d assume a search of “white stuff in underpants” would throw out info on discharge or, uhm, semen – but instead, there’s a fair chance you’ll convince yourself you’re 100% gonna die.

The 6 Most-Googled Health Q’s Of 2016 Prove You Should Just Go To A Dr

TIME has compiled the top online health-related searches of everyday men and women in ‘Murica, pulled from publisher of you’ve-probably-got-sars content, WebMD.

(While the most frequently searched health queries are always cold and flu symptoms, high blood pressure and diabetes, the following list are ailments and treatments that have seen the biggest spike in popularity this year. Trendy health things, we shall call them.)

6. Cupping – searches up 136%

It’s no coincidence that searches on ‘cupping’ went nuts after literal fish Michael Phelps debuted a highly cupped-body in the pool at this year’s Olympic Games.

The 6 Most-Googled Health Q’s Of 2016 Prove You Should Just Go To A Dr

The man’s a machine, and his wordless endorsement of the ancient Chinese practice resulted in two solid months of quick fire queries.

5. Opioid abuse – searches up 228%

We got some badasses over here.

The 6 Most-Googled Health Q’s Of 2016 Prove You Should Just Go To A Dr

Searches for opioids went craaaaaAAAaAAzy after reports of Prince‘s supposed opioid overdose did the rounds. RIP.

4. Food recalls – searches up 263%

US hummus brand Sabra (owned by the same company as ‘Straya‘s Obela) voluntarily recalled some of its creamily delicious products for possible listeria contamination this year. This, along with recalls by Nature Valley and Nestle, ensured search traffic skyrocketed.

You can read about current food recalls in Aus here, if you’re paranoid. 

3. Rising cost of EpiPens – searched up 1,677%

Anaphylaxis-sufferers the world over were typing this shiet in like their life depending on it in 2016, which is fair enough, ’cause their life literally does. 

Folks were gagging for information about EpiPens after drug conglomerate Mylan did a Shkreli and hiked up the cost of the medication by 500%, bringing the pens to a staggering $600US. 

2. Heartburn drugs and dementia – searches up 56,480%

A study finding that oldies who regularly took certain heartburn drugs were 44% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia is behind this insane spike in searches.

The 6 Most-Googled Health Q’s Of 2016 Prove You Should Just Go To A Dr

literally this

1. Zika – searches up 433,558%


Again, the Rio Olympics can be somewhat to blame for this hefty rise in Zika-related traffic.

Zika originated in Brazil, when poor little babies started being born with microcephaly (abnormally small heads) after their mums were infected with Zika during pregnancy. 

Who knows what the next year will bring – hopefully less disease. 

Source: Time.

Photo: Bruce Almighty.