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Can sex trigger an asthma attack? Plus, most Americans struggle to get good sleep, and more health news

According to a study by the American Dental Association, 52% of dentists believe that many of their patients are high during their checkups. Personal and medical marijuana use has increased all over the US in recent years. This is because recreational marijuana is now legal in 19 states, while medical marijuana is legal in 27. Showing up to your dentist appointment high on weed is not a good idea as 56% of dentists will limit treatment for high patients. Weed can increase heart rate and cause "respiratory side effects” which “increases the risk of using local anesthetic for pain control”. Previous research has found that marijuana users are more likely to have significantly more cavities than those who don’t use it. Smoking marijuana has also been associated with gum disease and dry mouth, which can lead to other oral health issues. The ADA is asking dentists and patients to have discussions about weed so dentists can keep their patients in the best possible health.

Take the mindful way to lower blood pressure

Mindfulness is a centuries-old practice that's become trendy in recent years -- and a new study now says it can help your heart health.

Training in mindfulness can help people better manage their high blood pressure by helping them stick to healthy lifestyle changes, a new clinical trial reports.

An eight-week customized mindfulness program helped people lower their systolic blood pressure by nearly 6 points during a six-month follow-up period, researchers found.

That was significantly better than the 1.4-point reduction that occurred in people undergoing usual blood pressure care, researchers said during a presentation Sunday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting, in Chicago.

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Half of dentists say patients are coming to appointments while high

More and more nervous patients are showing up stoned for dental appointments, often forcing dentists to postpone treatment until the patient sobers up, new survey data shows.

As more states are legalizing marijuana, more than half of dentists (52%) report seeing patients high on weed or other drugs, a new survey from the American Dental Association (ADA) found.

"In my practice, I’m seeing more patients who are openly disclosing marijuana use," said ADA spokeswoman Dr. Tricia Quartey.

Many use marijuana to relax before an appointment, but being high can limit the care dentists can give and result in procedures being postponed, Quartey added.

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Can sex trigger an asthma attack?

Much like intense exercise, vigorous sex can trigger an asthma attack in folks with the chronic lung disease, according to new research.

"There is a lack of current literature available on the prevalence of sexual intercourse presenting as exercise-induced asthma," said study author Dr. Ariel Leung, chief internal medicine resident at Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, Calif.

This could be because sex isn't always the easiest topic to broach with your doctor.

"When sexual intercourse-induced asthma is properly identified and treated, allergists are placed in a position where they can improve their patients' quality of life and even their marriages," Leung said.

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Your smartphone is a haven for allergens

That smartphone in your hand could be triggering your allergies, a new study by an 18-year-old high school student suggests.

A science fair project by Hana Ruran, of Hopkinton, Mass., found that cellphones are often loaded with cat and dog allergens, bacteria and fungi.

“I have my phone always with me. It's always in my hand. I never put it down for anything,” said study author Hana Ruran, a senior at Hopkinton High School. “And I have a lot of allergies. I just got interested in doing something that affects me.”

The bottom line: It’s a good idea to wipe down the surface of your phone, especially if you have allergies.

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Most Americans struggle to get good sleep

Nearly half of American adults are not getting the sleep they need, a new study shows.

That sleep debt is being compounded for many by what researchers call social jet lag, which is the difference between a person’s preferred sleep/wake times and those that society expects.

“This is a well-done study examining a very large and representative sample,” Dr. Bhanu Prakash Kolla, a sleep medicine specialist in the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., told CNN.

In the study, researchers from universities in the United States and China used data collected between 2017 and March 2020 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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Sixteen illnesses, one death reported from Listeria in deli meat, cheese

Public health officials are investigating an outbreak of Listeria that has infected people in at least six states, hospitalizing 13, killing one, and causing the loss of a pregnancy.

The outbreak strain is connected to deli meat and cheese, including those sold at NetCost Markets in New York, though that is not the only source, according to an alert from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Investigators suspect a contaminated food introduced the bacteria to delicatessens in several states.

Eleven of the 16 cases reported so far have occurred in people of Eastern European background or those who speak Russian, health officials said. Investigators are trying to understand why.

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Got the 'winter blues'? Exercise can help

A good workout can boost mood, making it an ideal routine as the days get shorter and darker.

If you're one of the millions affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and you feel tired, unmotivated, down on life and crave carbs and sweets, staying active can help. An expert from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston offers some tips for maintaining an exercise routine.

“With seasonal affective disorder, it is desirable to continue to exercise or maybe even increase your exercise,” said Dr. James McDeavitt, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation. “Relatively sustained aerobic exercise effects mood positively, but you don’t just have to run or do aerobics — you can do things like yoga, tai chi or meditation, which help with symptoms of depression.”

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