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OK, so Minnesotans are cranky – wanna make something of it?

October 9, 2018

Minnesota Nice? Maybe not so much, anymore. We’re showing signs of getting cranky.

A Google report on the most searched-for medical symptom in each state finds Minnesotans looking for info about irritability. And if that news rubs you the wrong way, well, tough.

In light of the national big picture, our results aren’t all that surprising. The No. 1 search nationwide was for information on stress, and irritability is a frequent byproduct of that.

Our Upper Midwest neighbors (with the exception of Wisconsin) appear to share our tension. Searches on stress were No. 1 in Iowa, while South Dakotans looked for details on headaches (it’s easy to see a link to stress there), and folks in North Dakota looked up irritable bowel syndrome, a condition closely linked to stress.

As for our friends in Wisconsin, they were concerned with the color of their bowel movements.

The report, put together by Google Trends and posted on medicarehealthplans.com, counted searches over the past year without drawing any conclusions about the reasons behind them. As a result, the findings “don’t mean these are the symptoms most people have in each state,” the report said. Rather, the numbers are simply an indication of curiosity.

In other words, the Cheeseheads might not be worried about their poop; they actually might be proud of it and were simply confirming the results.

The report also came with a disclaimer that Google is not intended to be used to diagnose medical conditions. “There’s no substitute for seeing a doctor,” it warns.

Nor does the report provide any insight into who was conducting the searches: people with the symptoms or those who were concerned about the symptoms in loved ones.

That gives us a nice out. By searching for enlightenment about irritability, we weren’t implying that we’re not nice. It’s everyone else who’s getting cantankerous.

Stress was the top search topic in 10 states.

Joining Minnesota in its interest in irritability were Montana and West Virginia. Sleep problems led the list in New York, North Carolina and Colorado. Congestion, stuffy noses and sniffles were of paramount interest in half a dozen states, including Michigan and Vermont. But it’s not just a northern concern, with Florida and Texas also making this list.

There was a sprinkling of expected topics: Flu symptoms topped the list in Oklahoma, Alaskans wanted information about snoring and Kentucky residents had back pain on their minds (or spines, as the case may be).

And then there were a few outliers, including some that seem quirky — California (sweaty palms), Tennessee (pregnancy cravings) and Ohio (paleness) — and a couple that draw a TMI cringe: Indiana (circumcision problems) and Nebraska (signs of low testosterone).

Jeff Strickler • 612-673-7392

@stribstrick

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