Health

Dozens of Midwest teens who reported vaping hospitalized with ‘severe lung injury,’ breathing problems

More than a dozen teens in the Midwest who reported vaping have been hospitalized with lung issues, stumping doctors who are searching for what exactly is sickening them. The Minnesota Department of Health announced Tuesday four cases of young people at Children’s Minnesota with “severe lung injury” possibly tied to vaping. The cases were announced days after Illinois health officials reported six cases and at least 12 were confirmed in Wisconsin, state health officials said. There are more under investigation. “These cases are similar to lung disease cases recently reported in Wisconsin and Illinois, though it is too early to say whether they are connected,” the Minnesota Department of Health said. Patients are reporting similar symptoms – shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and vomiting in some cases – and some have been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Teens across states reported using vaping devices for both nicotine and THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that produces the “high” sensation, prior to their hospitalization. In Minnesota, specifically, doctors at first thought the teens had some sort of respiratory infection – possibly pneumonia – but ruled this out after they failed to improve with treatment. In fact, according to NBC News, many of the teens treated for a respiratory infection got worse, not better. “We are deeply concerned by the severe cases of lung injury associated with vaping that we are currently seeing,” Dr. Emily Chapman, chief medical officer at Children’s Minnesota, said in a news release. “These cases are extremely complex to diagnose, as symptoms can mimic a common infection yet can lead to severe complications and extended hospitalization. Medical attention is essential; respiratory conditions can continue to decline without proper treatment.” In Wisconsin, Dr. David D. Gummin, medical director of the Wisconsin Poison Center, and professor and chief of medical toxicology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, told The New York Times officials “have no leads” to a specific substance that’s causing respiratory issues “other than those that are associated with smoking or vaping,” he said. The negative health effects associated with cigarette and cigar use have long been documented, leading to a decline in both among teens in the U.S. in recent years. In 2018, for example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported roughly 1 in 50 – about 1.8 percent – of middle school students said they smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days, down from 4.3 percent in 2011 and a drastic decrease from 36.4 percent in 1997 when rates “peaked after increasing throughout the first half of the 1990s,” according to the American Lung Association. But the same is not true for e-cigarette use. In 2018, nearly 1 of every 20 middle school students (4.9 percent) reported using electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days. That’s an increase from less than 1 percent in 2011. Last year, the Surgeon General of the United States, Jerome Adams, declared vaping among American teens an “epidemic.” “This is an unprecedented challenge,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in response at the time. The health issues – both short and long term – of e-cigarette use are not well understood, and the U.S. Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) does not require the manufacturers of e-cigarette devices to list all the ingredients in them. “The risk here is that if people are presenting to hospital emergency rooms or urgent cares, they either may not think of vaping as something that is threatening and may not include it in their history,” Chapman told The New York Times. “Or if asked directly, they may not be comfortable sharing that.” A recent study from Yale University and Duke University found the e-cigarette liquid in Juul devices contain chemicals known as acetals. Acetals, according to the researchers, could cause lung irritation. Separately, the FDA announced last week it’s investigating 127 reports of seizures occurring after vaping. “The truth of the matter is, we have so little experience with vaping, relative to the experience we have with cigarettes and cigars. Recall how long it took us to figure out that cigarettes were linked to lung cancer,” Chapman added. “There is so much we don’t know.”

Indeed..  Bottom line, vaping has many health risks; including ones that even the doctors aren’t sure about.  So, if you or anyone you know vapes, please share this article with them.  Clearly, it’s foolish to ASSume that vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes.  And, we know how risky that is.

Can holding in your pee really kill you?

We’ve all had that desperate urge to pee but not been in the most convenient place to go. But turns out holding it in is actually quite bad for your health. Now, we aren’t suggesting you just relieve yourself the instant you feel the need to go – occasionally holding it shouldn’t do any damage. It’s when you’re consistently avoiding going to the bathroom when your body tells you to that you could cause yourself problems. You might not feel like it, but your bladder holds up to half a litre of urine. There are tiny receptors on the bladder wall that can detect how much is in there and send a message to your brain when it’s full. Thankfully, your brain also sends a signal back telling your bladder to hold on – otherwise things could get really messy. But if you decide to ignore those signals from your body and hold on for too long it could have some serious consequences. Worst-case scenario, urine could back up into your kidneys and could cause them to fail, which could be fatal. The good news is you are much more likely to lose control of your muscles and wet yourself way before that happens. Click here to see some of the more likely reasons to never hold in your pee…

You’re welcome..      🙂

What is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a trending ingredient in the natural products industry and is the focus of a new area of cannabis research. CBD is one of many cannabinoids or molecules produced uniquely by the cannabis family. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the primary psychoactive element in marijuana), CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t have a strong effect on cognitive brain activity and doesn’t cause the “high” associated with marijuana. Every variety of the cannabis family produces cannabinoids, including hemp. While CBD and THC are the most well-known cannabinoids, there are many different types, and only recently have significant resources been poured into their study. Our brains have specific receptors designed to accept cannabinoids, known as CB1 and CB2. These receptors are responsible for the assimilation of cannabinoid molecules into your system, resulting in the psychoactive and immune responses correlated with cannabis consumption. In the last few years, there have been many advances in cannabis processing and consumption methods. Concentrated products such as oil and rosin (a sap-like product extracted via heat and pressure) have allowed for cleaner ingestion methods, such as vaporization, to become more widespread. These new technologies have brought more consistent, identifiable dosages to patients and enthusiasts alike, while potentially enabling safer methods of consumption. Finally, more accurate and detailed studies of cannabis effects and usage are underway, as prohibition continues to be challenged. According to non-scientific anecdotal evidence, CBD is good for treating discomfort and illness of all kinds. Sufferers of everything from anxiety and aches to epilepsy and cancer are evangelizing for the CBD molecule. But the largely prohibited status of cannabis has prevented many long-term, academically rigorous studies on most cannabinoids in isolation, leaving these anecdotal claims mostly uninvestigated until recently. “There is a great deal of interest in the possible therapeutic effects of CBD, but there is very little evidence of efficacy,” said Dr. J Hampton Atkinson, co-director of the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR) at the University of California, San Diego. CBD may have health benefits, but the lack of research in this area means there just aren’t enough data points to support most of the anecdotal claims. Along that same line, the lack of research also means the potential health risks of consuming CBD are unclear. However, now that cannabis is enjoying a research renaissance by way of legalization efforts, medical science is gaining a much more detailed perspective on this popular and fascinating plant. According to ClinicalTrials.gov, a federal database of accredited clinical trials worldwide, there are about 150 trials in progress that are testing CBD as a treatment for a wide variety of health conditions, including autism, alcoholism, skin conditions and schizophrenia. For their part, the CMCR is conducting rigorous studies of CBD for its potential to treat schizophrenia and autism. Some research suggests that CBD may reduce anxiety and self-deprecating thoughts, and there’s evidence that CBD has antipsychotic effects in people with schizophrenia. But other studies show no significant benefit of CBD over a placebo.

Interesting…  For more, click on the text above.

Kroger recalls steaks, beef over possible E. coli contamination

Meat lovers were notified of another recall affecting rib-eye steaks and ground beef products over possible E. coli contamination. Consumers in the greater Cincinnati area who purchased Kroger bone-in rib-eye steaks, boneless ribeye steaks and in-store produced ground beef are encouraged to check the label before eating the product. All affected meat was produced between April 23 and June 7, but the company is concerned that consumers may have stored affected products in the freezer. Kroger said it has not received any reports of adverse reactions related to the recall. E. coli infections vary from patient to patient, but it often produces severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Some patients may develop a fever, but most symptoms are resolved within five to seven days, although others may be sickened for up to 10. About five to 10 percent of cases result in a potentially life-threatening condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which requires hospitalization for kidney issues. On Friday, Kroger issued a recall of some of its frozen berries over a possible Hepatitis A contamination. The items included Kroger’s Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley (16 oz) and Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley (48 oz). The Private Selection Frozen Blackberries (16 oz) were also subject to the recall.

 

Opinion/Analysis: CBD oil is the new rage among millennials. But, as a doctor, here’s what I worry about

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is the new rage among millennials and is gaining popularity with all generations, especially in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. In dozens of states, health food stores, pharmacies, and even supermarkets are carrying CBD products. CVS just announced this week that it will be carrying CBD creams, sprays and lotions in eight states. Marijuana contains both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, and these compounds have different effects on our body and mind. The well-known “high” from smoking or eating marijuana comes from THC. This is because THC is metabolized when it is exposed to heat and consumed by the body. CBD works differently. Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants and can be eaten, inhaled and even applied to the skin. Unlike THC, it is not psychoactive, meaning that CBD does not alter a person’s state of mind. However, CBD does produce significant changes in the body, and emerging research suggests that it has some medical benefits. The body and mind contain two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. THC attaches to the CB1 receptors in the brain which effect coordination and movement, pain, mood, appetite and other functions. CBD was originally thought to attach to the CB2 receptors throughout the body, but evidence is suggesting that it doesn’t attach at all. Instead, it directs the body to use more of its own intrinsic cannabinoids. Although the evidence is clear that CBD has FDA-proven benefits for treating epileptic seizure disorders and can now be prescribed by a physician, the research is still sparse regarding many other touted health claims. One of the most common uses CBD is being sought for is as an anti-inflammation treatment. Small studies conducted on mice and rats did in fact show significant reduction in systemic inflammation. This gives hope to treating chronic inflammation and pain, especially arthritis and injuries. Other conditions caused by inflammation that are being looked at for CBD treatment are acne, type 1 diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. There is additional evidence suggesting CBD may have anti-cancer properties, although the studies on this are finite. We are a long way from adding CBD to cancer regimens, but with nearly 2 million people in the United States being diagnosed with cancer every year, it is essential to continue researching any and all methods of treating this group of devastating diseases. Additionally, small studies have also suggested that CBD can help with anxiety, PTSD, depression and addiction. With all of these potential benefits, what could be wrong with using it? The problem is, we don’t know yet. Many small-scale studies show that adults tend to tolerate a wide range of doses with the most common side effects being fatigue and diarrhea. But there is still no data on long-term safety and no studies involving children. One of the biggest concerns I have regarding CBD and many other holistic remedies is that there are some disease processes that require science-driven treatment. I urge everyone to follow their medical doctors’ recommendations regarding treatment of ailments. Although CBD may be a promising supplement, it will not be the sole treatment for many conditions. In fact, CBD may interfere with and even hinder the effects of proven treatments, so it should only be used as a supplement to treatment under a doctor’s supervision. Let’s remember that when cigarettes first emerged on the market people used them to treat lung conditions and encouraged smoking. And we can’t forget the crisis that the once-promised long-acting, “less-addicting” opioids produced. Although the limited and short-term data on CBD oil is promising, I reserve caution until the long-term data proves it is more than a fad.

Fair enough..  Our thanks to Dr. Nicole Saphier, MD, for that common sense analysis.  Dr. Saphier is a practicing physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, active in health care legislation, and a medical contributor and frequent guest anchor for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network speaking on various medical and health policy issues. Follow her on Twitter @NBSaphierMD and Instagram @nicolesaphier_md    🙂

Early birds have more sex, make more money and sleep better than night owls, study finds

If you’re energetic and confident, enjoy cooking and believe in love at first sight, new research shows you’re probably an early bird. A look into our sleeping habits revealed some interesting differences between those who stay up late and those who rise early, from our personality traits, hobbies, and even our sex lives. The survey of 2,000 Americans, split evenly between self-identified early birds and night owls, found that early birds have more sex per week, on average than their late-night counterparts. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Sleepopolis in advance of World Sleep Day on March 15, the survey gave insight into our personalities and relationships by examining our sleeping style. Night owls were found to be shy and sarcastic, more likely to use Instagram and to believe in ghosts and cryptids. They were also more likely to be single, whereas early birds were more likely to be married and have children living in the house. To find love, early birds are also more likely to have tried online dating. Early birds were found to earn more money and were more likely to work in an office — though surprisingly, they were also more likely to report always being late for work. Additionally, early birds were 10 percent more likely to identify as happy, while night owls identified more strongly as loyal. There was also found to be a difference in gender: Men were more likely to be early birds, while women identified more heavily as night owls. Those who consider themselves early birds were found to have more active hobbies; they were more likely to enjoy walking and hiking, playing sports and exercising in a gym. Hobbies for night owls were more laid-back, however, and included reading and sleeping. (Regardless of what they were into, respondents reported spending just less than three hours a hobby in the average day.) There wasn’t a major difference in the amount of sleep people received — an average of six hours a night for night owls versus seven hours for early birds — but the survey did find some interesting differences in how we sleep. Early birds were more likely to be light sleepers and always feel well-rested in the morning. They were also more likely to identify as clean and organized, and it shows — early birds were more likely to make their bed in the morning than night owls. They were also more likely to dream, and to always remember their dreams upon waking. Night owls, on the other hand, were more likely to have trouble falling asleep, and then perhaps unsurprisingly, were less likely to report high-quality sleep. “More important than being a night owl or an early bird is making sure to have a consistent sleep schedule and get enough rest,” said Logan Block, the director of content at Sleepopolis. “With World Sleep Day approaching, it’s a nice time to reflect on our sleeping habits.” On the subject of sleep, early birds were also more likely to talk, snore and move around in their sleep, and were also more likely to prefer sleeping with music on or window open. On the other hand, night owls were more likely to prefer having a fan on, and enjoyed sleeping with a pet or a significant other in the bed with them.

Fascinating!  For more, click on the text above, and see if their analysis applies/is accurate for you.     🙂

Survey: Americans Spend Nearly Half Their Waking Hours Looking At Screens

For all the studies that tell us how important it is to limit screen time, does it sometimes feel that no matter where we are or what we do, there’s a screen in front of us one way or another? Perhaps it’s no surprise then that Americans spend nearly half of their waking hours looking at screens, according to a survey of 2,000 adults. More specifically, the survey found that 42% of the time Americans are awake, their eyes are fixated on a television, smartphone, computer, tablet, or other device. Supposing the average American slept eight hours a night (not even close to the case for most adults), the researchers calculated that people spend about six hours and 43 minutes a day staring at a screen. Over a typical lifespan, that’s 7,956 days. And the problem is only getting worse. Of those surveyed, 79% said their screen time has increased over the past five years, with four in ten admitting it’s grown “a lot.” Three in four participants believe they simply spend too much time in front of screens. In fact, 53% take breaks from the computer — by checking their phone. Another 27% admits to watching TV and looking at their phone at the same time. “We live in a digitally-connected world and these survey results show how digital devices have completely transformed our lives, no matter our age,” said Dr. Michele Andrews, an optometrist with contact lens manufacturer CooperVision, the company that commissioned the survey. “Digital eye fatigue is faced by millions of Americans every day because of this non-stop screen time.” Researchers found that the respondents were generally able to last about four hours before dealing with eye discomfort and requiring a break, but the average person still takes three breaks a day for relief. Of course, many people don’t have a choice, with three-quarters of respondents required to use a computer at the office. Yet despite the growing problem, only half of those surveyed felt that society as a whole has become more digitized and screen-focused over the past five years. The survey also found, likely to no one’s surprise, that millennials were most attached to their digital devices. Age plays a substantial role in the amount of time people spend on digital devices, with millennials being more screen-oriented than other generations. A whopping 92% of the 18 to 35 age group checks their phone immediately after waking up, compared to just 51% of those over 55. About three in five millennials also admit feeling “anxious and irritated” if they can’t check their phone, while only one in five baby boomers feel the same way. Meanwhile, as a whole, 73% say that all the screen time they log makes them feel lethargic, and 64% feel happier after getting a significant break from a screen. The survey was conducted by market research firm OnePoll.

A sign of the times…