This Week in Health: Sexual headaches can be “explosive”

Sex headaches
Sexual headaches affect roughly 1 to 2 percent of American adults, however experts speculate there are more who simply don’t report it.
CREDIT: Thinkstock

Sexual headaches: an under-discussed health issue

Location: U.S.

Results: If getting frisky brings on a headache, you’re not alone. Headaches associated with sexual activity represent a longstanding health issue. (Records go back to the time of Hippocrates.) Even so, many are reluctant to speak openly about it. For the 1 to 2 percent of people who do report it, the episodes can be frighteningly painful. It can occur at different points during sexual activity, but they most commonly happen during orgasm. Experts say orgasmic headaches can be explosive and throbbing.

Significance: “They are obviously very scary because of the severity and the rapid onset of the headache,” said Dr. José Biller, chair of the Department of Neurology with the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Even so, he says they are usually harmless. But he asserts that sex headaches should still be investigated by a doctor. While typically benign, some can be brought on by a serious underlying condition including stroke, aneurism or tumor. Biller advises anyone who experiences a sex headache to seek medical treatment to rule out any dangerous complications. In general, men are three to four times more likely to experience sexual headaches than women.

Extreme drinking behind one in 10 deaths among working-age adults

Location of study: U.S.

Results: Excessive drinking is being linked to 10 percent of deaths among adults aged 20 to 64. According to a new CDC report, it accounted for roughly 88,000 annual deaths from 2006 to 2010. Almost 70 percent of these occurred in working-age adults. Experts say that health effects from prolonged heavy drinking were behind most of the fatalities. This includes breast cancer, liver disease and heart disease. Alcohol-related deaths were also linked to heavy drinking during short periods of time. (Think alcohol poisoning, violence and car crashes.)

Significance: The CDC says that extreme drinking is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. In the report, one rep said that the public health impact excessive drinking has had is “shocking.” By the organization’s definition, excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, underage drinking, and alcohol use by pregnant women.

Fruits and veggies don’t impact weight loss

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: Over 1,200 people

Results: Some of us load up on fruits and vegetables in an effort to shed unwanted pounds. Others eat them in moderation, believing that they actually encourage weight gain. Now new research suggests that when it comes to weight loss, fruits and veggies do not play a vital role. According to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, eating fruits and vegetables without making any other lifestyle changes appears to be an ineffective weight loss approach. Conversely, the idea that eating additional fruits and vegetables can make people pack on pounds is also unfounded.

Significance: “Some people don’t understand that while some fruit and starchy vegetables do contain a large number of calories, our bodies are really pretty good at compensating,” said Dr. Kathryn Kaiser, instructor in the UAB School of Public Health. For those looking to lose some pounds, other important lifestyle modifications need to be made. This includes cutting calories and increasing physical activity. For best results, Kaiser suggests consulting with a doctor or nutritionist to create a feasible plan that individuals can adopt and maintain.

Being tired makes us more likely to lie, cheat

Location of study: U.S.

Results: Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, there may be certain times of day that make people more likely to lie or cheat. According to a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington and Georgetown University, feeling tired increases the odds of behaving unethically. After examining the results of two different studies, investigators reported that night owls are more likely to lie or cheat in the morning. Conversely, morning people (also known as larks) are more likely to be dishonest in the evening hours.

Significance: Researchers say that energy and alertness are directly linked to our circadian rhythms. If required to make decisions at a time of day when energy is low, people may feel more inclined to cheat. From a business point of view, researchers speculate that managers who ask employees to make ethics-testing decisions during a low-energy period may inadvertently encourage unethical behavior.

Content provided by ZipTrials, a trusted source for the most up-to-date medical news and trending health stories.


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