Posted by: yourhealthradio | January 5, 2012

Heart Attacks from Sex & Snake Bites

House Calls from the Carrboro Citizen 01.05.12

Dear HOUSE Calls, I read that there is an increased risk of heart attack with sex. People have sex more often when they are in a new relationship, so does this lead to an increased risk of heart attack?
This is a really interesting question, and thanks for raising the issue of sexual health. This is really important, and sometimes difficult to bring up. We read the report from the Journal of the American Medical Association too. Any increase in physical activity from what you are used to (jogging, gardening, sex, etc.) can increase the risk of heart attack. If you think of sex as exercise, the first few times you have sex after a period of abstinence may present an increased risk of heart attack. But as you “get back into shape,” your risk declines to average. Also remember that while the risk is real, it is small. According to this study, 10,000 people would have to have sex weekly for one year for one or two additional cases of sudden cardiac death. Also, there are a variety of things you can do to reduce your risk, such as quitting smoking; making sure your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure are under control; and taking aspirin. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. Addressing sexual health is so important to your overall health; we hope you’ll consider talking about this with your doctor. One problem we have is effectively addressing sexual health in patients after a heart attack. Failure to talk about this can lead to fear and depression.
Dear HOUSE Calls, I do a lot of gardening and I hate wearing long, heavy jeans and boots, but I’m worried about snakes in the garden. What happens if I get bitten by a small snake? Do I need to kill the snake, or just be concerned with getting to the hospital?
First of all, wear the boots and pants. Snakes are important for our ecosystem and our gardens. Venomous snakes are rare in the Piedmont. Snakes are much more afraid of us than we are of them, so if you notice a snake, calmly step away. If you get bit, try to stay away from the snake and don’t try to catch it, because it’s likely to bite you again. Maybe snap a picture with your cell phone or have somebody else try to do so. But most importantly, get away. Make whatever observations you can about the snake’s pattern and head shape. Do not elevate the effected limb. Do not try to cut on the puncture sites and/or suck out the venom. Do not apply a tourniquet. Do get to the emergency room. In most cases, driving or being driven is fine. We hope you succeed at avoiding the snakes.

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