From thrush to warts… the 10 symptoms Brits are too embarrassed to talk to their GP about

SYMPTOM searching has become the norm for Brits during the coronavirus pandemic as many people have shied away from visiting their GP.

Covid-19 has meant many of us are more likely to skip seeing our GP and instead we are turning to Google for answers when it comes to the embarrassing questions we'd rather not put to our doctor.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused delays to some treatments, but Brits have been urged to see their GP is they are suffering.

A new study has revealed that many of us asking Dr Google popular questions relating to common health concerns including hair loss, bad breath, sweating, warts, constipation, farting, thrush and incontinence.

Previous studies have shown that going to Google to check your symptoms isn't always a quick fix – as the search engine is wrong 30 per cent of the time.

Health and wellbeing experts at StressNoMore have revealed the top 10 symptoms Brits are too embarrassed to talk about.

Quick fix

Commenting on the findings, which were taken over the last 12 months wih the statistics being averaged out across each month, founder Stephanie Taylor said the sheer amount of people Googling these symptoms is a reminder that there is no need to be embarrassed when it comes to discussing these issues with your GP.

She added: "Most issues have quick fixes and doing something about it can get you back to feeling your best, faster.

“While Googling health concerns is an important step in understanding your health status, Google doesn’t know you as an individual or your medical history.

"If you have a health concern and are unsure what to do, always consult your GP or another health professional. Remember, nothing is too embarrassing to share.”

But what are the top ten symptoms Brits are too embarrassed to speak to their GP about?

1. Thrush

"How to treat thrush" was searched for by over 33,000 in the UK each month over the last year and despite being a harmless condition, many people think it's a taboo topic.

Vaginal thrush is a common yeast infection that affects most women at some point in their lives.

It can be uncomfortable and itchy but is usually relatively easy to treat.

Some women however struggle with thrush systematically and find it difficult to get ride of.

For those perpetual sufferers it can be very difficult and uncomfortable.

What are the symptoms of vaginal thrush?

  • Soreness and itching around the vagina entrance
  • A thick white or thin and watery discharge which is usually odourless
  • Discomfort during sex
  • A burning feeling when passing urine

2. Acne

Brits searched "how to treat acne" an average of 18,000 a month.

Acne is a common skin condition and can cause spots and irritation to the face.

People who suffer with severe acne often have spots on their chest and back.

Acne can make us feel low and can hinder our self esteem.

While there isn't a cure – you can treat it with different products and people with severe acne can also be prescribed treatments by their GP.

Speaking to The Sun, founder of skin brand Carbon Theory, Philip Taylor said most people tend to suffer from acne in their teens.

"People in their 30s and 40s however are increasingly complaining about breakouts and prolonged bouts of acne.

"There can be several causes of acne in adulthood including stress, hormones, lifestyle and environment, and it can impact negatively on confidence and overall well being."

He added that maintaining a skincare regime which keeps the skin "super clean" is key.

3. Warts

The study found that "how to remove warts" was the third most googled health concern and was searched by 15,000 people each month.

Warts are small lumps on the skin.

They can be caused by a viral infection and are usually spread through skin to skin contact or contaminated surfaces.

They are commonly found on feet, hands, knees and fingers.

While they cause no harm to people who have them, many think they are unsightly.

4. Piles

Piles (haemorrhoids) are lumps inside and around your bottom (anus).

They often get better on their own after a few days.

The research revealed that "how to treat piles" was searched for 12,100 times per month.

It's estimated that around one in 20 Brits will experience them at least once in their life.

They're similar to varicose veins seen on legs but in a much more sensitive part of the body.

There are many causes for haemorrhoids including pregnancy and straining during bowel movement.

Long spells of sitting down, constipation, a low-fibre diet and obesity have also all been linked to the painful ailment.

5. Constipation

Constipation is one of those very common but annoying complaints.

It can leave you feeling a bit grey and irritable, and generally disrupts your sense of routine.

"What causes constipation" was searched for 9,900 times each month.

The NHS defines constipation as:

  • not having had at least three poos in the past week
  • struggling to pass poo that is especially large, dry or hard
  • that's often followed by feeling bloated, sick or having tummy ache

6. Night sweats

Many women tend to experience night sweats around the menopause.

The NHS states that certain medications you take can also cause them.

These include some antidepressants, steroids and painkillers.

Low blood sugar levels and the over use of alcohol and drugs can also trigger night sweats.

The study found that 5,400 people a month searched for "what causes night sweats".

7. Farting

We've all been there, you've finished your Sunday roast – filled with vegetables and a little flatulence pops out.

Farting is more common than you might think and the study revealed that 2,900 people a month searched for "how to stop farting".

We pass wind because of the gas in our bodies that builds up throughout the day.

The NHS says the average person lets off around a pint of intestinal gas a day – generally tooted out in between five and 15 times a day.

8. Bad breath

The study also revealed that 2,900 people per month searched for "how to get rid of bad breath".

Bad breath isn’t completely down to bad oral hygiene – your lifestyle habits and food impact it too.

The foods which can improve your breath are ones that contain vitamins and minerals to keep your teeth and gums strong, and abrasive foods.

9. Hair loss

Your hair is the last thing your body looks after and many of us lose hair in the shower or when we brush and comb.

The study revealed that 580 people a month searched for "how much hair loss is normal".

Hair expert Adam Reed, who works with Viviscal said the best way to stop hair loss and breakage is to look after your locks from the inside out.

"One of the most important things is taking a supplement. I’m a
massive fan of supplements and incorporating Omgea-3s, flaxseed and linseed into the diet.

"These are vital for hair health and it’s important to note that the hair is the first thing your body forgets.

"Consistency is also important when taking supplements, so your body is given that continual ‘boost’ that supplements provide."

10. Peeing when coughing

A little bit of urine escaping when you cough is nothing to be ashamed of and can be down to a number of things.

Around 480 people a month searched for this so-called "embarrassing symptom".

Speaking to The Sun, Dr Frankie Jackson Spence, Femfresh's health expert on urinary incontinence said when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.

"Or even when you’re having a good old belly laugh with your friends and a little bit of wee comes out".

Dr Frankie said urinary incontinence effects many women and can be put down to two different reasons.

She added: "Stress incontinence happens when the muscles of the pelvic floor weaken such as in pregnancy, menopause or in obesity, leading to leaking of urine when you exert yourself such as when you laugh, cough or sneeze.

"Urge incontinence is very different, this happens when the muscle of the bladder wall contracts when it’s not supposed to, making it difficult for you to hold urine in so you may feel that when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go now, often resulting in leaking.

"This often happens as a result of neurological conditions; there are also even cases of ‘mixed incontinence’ which has features of both."

There are various actions you can do to help prevent this such as pelvic floor exercises, avoiding caffeine, losing weight and avoiding constipation by eating more fruit & veg, which can add extra pressure on the bladder wall.

Dr Frankie added: "I would always recommend speaking to your own doctor about any symptoms you are having as they may be able to offer you some specialist treatments.

"The statistics show women are embarrassed to talk about this, but chances are your friends are affected by it too.

"Let’s break down the taboos about urinary incontinence and get you the treatment needed to live your normal life without being worried about leaking urine!"

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