New research reveals surge in searches for diarrhea reflecting increased interest in gastrointestinal health, aligns with holiday peaks and more.
AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, November 6, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — As we enter the first week of November, a recent study signals the beginning of an annual trend – a rise in online searches about diarrhea.
New research compiled by the global online resource for IBS sufferers FODMAP Everyday® shows a surge of 40.56% in search activity related to diarrhea from 2018 to 2023. This pattern, reflecting the public’s increased interest in gastrointestinal health, aligns with seasonal fluctuations, holiday peaks, and the continued impact of the global pandemic.
The study uses a detailed dataset of weekly search volume on Google Trends for the terms “irritable bowel syndrome,” “diarrhea,” and “IBS,” spanning from 2018 – 2023. This data informs the analysis of synchronized peaks, categorization of seasonal shifts, and quantification of the lag effect in user search behavior.
During this half-decade study, five central trends materialized:
Holiday Peaks: With the arrival of December and early January, search volumes often significantly increase – around 20%-30% more than non-holiday months, specifically in December–across 2018, 2019, and 2020. The increased search volumes can be attributed to increased stress, irregular eating patterns, or other holiday season-associated factors affecting an individual’s health. Consumers may seek online resources to understand and manage their symptoms better during this period.
Seasonal Fluctuations: Each year presents a predictable pattern, with search volumes decreasing by 10%-20% during the summer months (June to August) compared to the rest of the year.
Anomalies in 2020: A significant deviation from standard search patterns was observed in early 2020, with health-related search volumes escalating 200%-300% above normal trends. This increase was most significant in March. A plausible explanation could be the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly raised health-related concerns and increased health-related information-seeking activity.
Summer Drop Conversely, summer months have consistently witnessed a significant decrease in search volume. This trend remains steadfast across multiple years, marking June, July, and August with the lowest points. The reduction in health-related online searches might be attributed to increased outdoor activity, resulting in fewer health concerns and, consequently, decreased health-related information-seeking behavior.
Recovery Post-2020: After the 2020 anomaly, search volumes began to realign with traditional patterns, with 2021 and 2022 exhibiting customary seasonal fluctuations.
Yearly Consistency: Excluding the 2020 irregularity, search patterns displayed a consistent yearly cycle, with an annual increase in search volumes of approximately 5% compared to the previous year.
Public Interest and Health Concerns
Global influences such as the gradual easing of travel restrictions, the impact of COVID-19, and emerging medications like Ozempic contribute to the patterns observed. With travelers’ concerns about health risks, specifically traveler’s diarrhea, heightening, the study underscores the importance of remaining informed about potential health risks.
In preparation for the holiday season, public emphasis on staying vigilant and proactive about health matters is more necessary than ever. The increase in diarrhea-related search volumes reflects wider public awareness, underscoring the need to stay informed and take preventative measures to maintain an optimal quality of life.
For more information on gut health related topics, please visit FODMAP Everyday®.
About FODMAP Everyday:
FODMAP Everyday® is a global low FODMAP diet and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) resource. We adhere to the evidence-based science put forth by both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly, whose researchers developed the low FODMAP diet.