Dr Google: The most Googled symptoms in the UK revealed

someone on laptop

We’ve all been there. You’ve got a sore throat, a weird stomach pain or something a bit more awkward that you don’t want to talk to a Doctor about. Either you ignore it and hope it goes away, or you take to Google to try and find some answers, often to be met with some scary search results. In the workplace you may want to speak to a qualified first aider to if you are suffering from an illness, or ensure you have qualified first aiders in place though a first aid at work course.

But which symptoms is the UK Googling the most, which cities are Googling some symptoms more than others and which city in the UK is the worst for relying on Dr Google? CE Safety analysed the number of times people across the UK search for some of the most common symptoms to reveal the answers.

Diarrhoea is the most Googled symptom in the UK

SymptomsTotal Avg. Monthly Searches
Sore throat30810
Knee pain13490
Chest pain13440
Heart palpitations12740
Swollen ankle9400
Bloodshot eye9060
Neck pain7350
Stomach ache4990
Pelvic pain4870
Dry eyes4700
Itchy eye4510
Shortness of breath4510
Foot pain4150
Stress relief1900
Back ache1700
Numbness in hands1440
cities and town most reliant on dr google

Brits are searching for Diarrhoea more than any other symptom with a whopping 78,540 searches a month. Although it is an extremely common symptom and can be caused by a multitude of things such as noroviruses and bacteria from eating something dodgy, if you’re not getting better, get off Google and speak to a Doctor. Or, to avoid the worry of eating contaminated food, enrol in a food hygiene certificate level 2 course.

The second most searched for symptom is a sore throat with 30,810 searches a month, unsurprising after the pandemic and in third place is insomnia with 27,170 searches a month with searches peaking at 4am every night as people scroll TikTok, Twitter and eventually Google to try and send themselves off to sleep. 

Knee pain ranks fourth with 13,490 monthly searches and slightly more worryingly, chest pain fifth with 13,440 average monthly search volumes. Chest pain can be the sign of something more serious, so if in doubt go to the Doctor. 

A headache is another symptom that is Googled often with 12,780 searches a month. This large number could be due to the plethora of reasons you could have a headache, from dehydration to problems with your eyes.

Geordies revealed as the biggest hypochondriacs in the UK relying on Dr Google more than anywhere else 

Turns out the Geordies turn to Dr. Google when worrying about their symptoms more than anyone else in the UK city with just over 2,609 searches per every 100,000 people per month. It seems that Google is where residents of Newcastle go to first to get the answers when they’re suffering with symptoms such as insomnia and knee pain. 

Leeds and Manchester follow just behind with 2,353 and 2,341 average searches respectively, followed by Brighton with 1,942 searches per 100,000 and Glasgow with 1,929. 

Out of the major UK towns and cities, Cardiff uses Google the least to self-diagnose, either choosing to ignore their symptoms or heading to a real Doctor. 

The UK overall is using Google to get help with symptoms 246,420 every month, the reasons for this could vary from it being quite difficult to access GP appointments due to shortages of GPs and funding problems. However, it’s very possible that this huge number of searches is because people are more comfortable heading to the web for help rather than speaking to somebody.

The symptom each city relies on Google for the most revealed

the most commonly googled symptoms in the uk

The UK capital London, in addition to Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Cardiff and Belfast (and most of the country) are looking for the most advice around Diarrhoea. For future reference, if you have this symptom, keep hydrated and the symptoms should pass in a couple of days and if not, call the Doctor. 

Sore throats are the most commonly Googled symptom in Sheffield and Glasgow, perhaps lingering COVID symptoms coming into play. People in Birmingham and Edinburgh are more concerned with their lack of sleep than anything else. 

The North heads to Google the most for each symptom, with Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle the cities with the highest searches per symptom

SymptomCity in the UK with highest
average number of searches
No. of searches
per 100,000 people 
Back AcheLeeds20
Bloodshot EyesNewcastle109
Chest PainNewcastle260
Dry EyesNewcastle57
Foot PainNewcastle47
Heart PalpitationsNewcastle135
Itchy EyesNewcastle57
Knee PainNewcastle166
Neck PainNewcastle73
Numbness in HandNewcastle21
Pelvic PainManchester53
Shortness of BreathNewcastle47
Sore ThroatNewcastle307
Stomach AcheManchester53
Stress ReliefNewcastle21
Swollen AnkleNewcastle88

Leeds is looking for advice on insomnia the most, the northern city struggling to sleep through the night. Newcastle is searching for help with sore throats and chest pains more than any other city and Manchester is searching for cough and headache symptoms the most. 

All in all, the UK is heading to Google for help with a huge number of aches and pains, but just remember: if in doubt, put the laptop down and call the Doctor.