HEALTH & WELLNESS

Emerging Across The US — Nitazenes, A Powerful Class Of Street Drugs
HEALTH & WELLNESS, IMPACT, TOP FOUR

Emerging Across The US — Nitazenes, A Powerful Class Of Street Drugs

Nitazenes are a powerful class of street drugs emerging across the US. Two deaths in Boulder County, Colorado, in 2023 are the latest in the U.S. to be blamed on the powerful class of synthetic opioids called nitazenes. Most health systems cannot detect nitazenes, so the exact number of overdoses is unknown, but they’re implicated in more than 200 deaths in Europe and North America since 2019, including . One of the two Boulder County deaths is linked to a new formulation called N-Desethyl etonitazene, which was identified by a national laboratory, and is thought to be the first related death. The Conversation interviewed Dr. Christopher Holstege, professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and director of the Blue Ridge Poison Center, wh...
The Impact Of Lack Of Access To Health Care For Gay Black Men And HIV
HEALTH & WELLNESS

The Impact Of Lack Of Access To Health Care For Gay Black Men And HIV

Lack of access to health care is partly to blame for skyrocketing HIV rates among gay Black men. Over the past 20 years, people living with HIV in the United States have seen a drastic improvement in their overall quality of life. But the medical achievements that have made those lives better and created longer life expectancies have not benefited all communities. In fact, some communities still have higher rates of new cases of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This is especially true for Black gay and bisexual men. Black queer men are six times more likely to die as a result of HIV-related complications when compared with queer men of different races. In addition, in the most recent available data, Black queer men made up 26% of all new cases of HIV in 2019 despite making up less than 3...
What Food Choices Will Help You Get More Restful Sleep
HEALTH & WELLNESS, SELF, TOP FOUR, VIDEO REELS

What Food Choices Will Help You Get More Restful Sleep

What’s the best diet for healthy sleep? A nutritional epidemiologist explains what food choices will help you get more restful z’s. You probably already know that how you eat before bed affects your sleep. Maybe you’ve found yourself still lying awake at 2 a.m. after enjoying a cup of coffee with dessert. But did you know that your eating choices throughout the day may also affect your sleep at night? In fact, more and more evidence shows that overall dietary patterns can affect sleep quality and contribute to insomnia. I am a nutritional epidemiologist, and I’m trained to look at diets at the population level and how they affect health. In the U.S., a large percentage of the population suffers from poor sleep quality and sleep disorders like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea, a conditi...
Adolescent Girls Have Been Pushed Toward Diet Pills That May Do More Harm Than Good
HEALTH & WELLNESS, SOCIETY, TOP FOUR

Adolescent Girls Have Been Pushed Toward Diet Pills That May Do More Harm Than Good

‘It’s not surprising’: Nearly 1 in 10 teenagers have turned to pills for weight loss, research shows. Nearly 1 in 10 adolescent girls have used non-prescription pills to lose weight, according to new research. The report, an analysis of English-language research, noted that teenage girls in North America were the most likely group to have used these so-called weight loss aids, and pointed out that these tendencies — and the mindset driving them — raise the risks for eating disorders and overall harm to physical and mental health. Diet pills and supplements were the most commonly used non-prescription weight loss aid, followed by laxatives and then diuretics. The report—  published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open — found that 6.1 percent of teens in the United State...
Exploring Cardio And Weights First: A Kinesiologist’s Perspective
HEALTH & WELLNESS, LIFESTYLE, TOP FOUR

Exploring Cardio And Weights First: A Kinesiologist’s Perspective

Cardio or weights first? A kinesiologist explains how to optimize the order of your exercise routine. When you enter the gym, which way should you head first? Toward the treadmills and spin studio to get your sweat on with a cardio session? Or toward the free weights and strength-training machines to do some resistance training? The American College of Sports Medicine suggests doing both types of exercise to take advantage of their unique benefits for improving health and daily functioning and reducing chronic disease risk. But what is the optimal sequence to get the best results? The answer to this question is … it depends. I’m an exercise physiologist. Recently in my lab we have been studying the effects of combinations of aerobic and resistance training on improving health-related fitne...
Psychedelics: A Tool For Healing Our Racial Traumas
HEALTH & WELLNESS

Psychedelics: A Tool For Healing Our Racial Traumas

The potential of psychedelics to heal our racial traumas. Clinical psychologist and professor Monnica Williams is on a mission to bring psychedelics to therapists’ offices to help people heal from their racial traumas. To do this, she’s jumping over some big hurdles.   Judging from the colourful signs advertising mushrooms that we are seeing on our streets and the presence of psychedelics in pop culture, we are in the middle of a psychedelic renaissance. For example, in the TV program Transplant, a Syrian Canadian doctor experiencing trauma is treated by his psychiatrist with psilocybin therapy. On a more official front, this month, the Canadian Senate recommended the federal government fast-track a research program into how psychedelics can help veterans suffering from Post Trau...
A New Study Finds Online Stores Are Still Selling Flavored E-Cigarettes, Even To Kids — Despite California’s Ban In 2022
HEALTH & WELLNESS, TOP FOUR, VIDEO REELS

A New Study Finds Online Stores Are Still Selling Flavored E-Cigarettes, Even To Kids — Despite California’s Ban In 2022

California banned sales of flavored e-cigarettes in 2022 − but a new study finds online stores are still selling them, even to kids. Californians – including minors – are still able to buy flavored electronic cigarettes online, even after the state’s much-publicized ban went into effect. That’s the key finding of my team’s new study, published in JAMA Network Open. On Dec. 21, 2022, California enacted Senate Bill 793, which prohibited the sale of most flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to people of all ages. Hookahs, premium cigars and loose-leaf tobacco were exempted from the legislation. The ban was motivated, in large part, by a desire to reduce to reduce consumption of tobacco among young people – who are particularly attracted to the flavors in e-cigarettes, such as ma...
The Strange And Unusual Effects Of Alcohol On Your Poo
HEALTH & WELLNESS, TOP FOUR

The Strange And Unusual Effects Of Alcohol On Your Poo

Why does alcohol make my poo go weird? As we enter the festive season it’s a good time to think about what all those celebratory alcoholic drinks can do to your gut. Alcohol can interfere with the time it takes for food to go through your gut (also known as the “transit time”). In particular, it can affect the muscles of the stomach and the small bowel (also known as the small intestine). So, how and why does alcohol make your poos goes weird? Here’s what you need to know. Diarrhoea and the ‘transit time’ Alcohol’s effect on stomach transit time depends on the alcohol concentration. In general, alcoholic beverages such as whisky and vodka with high alcohol concentrations (above 15%) slow down the movement of food in the stomach. Beverages with comparatively low alcohol concentrations (su...
Racism And Increased Disease Risk In Black Populations
HEALTH & WELLNESS

Racism And Increased Disease Risk In Black Populations

Racism produces subtle brain changes that lead to increased disease risk in Black populations. The U.S. is in the midst of a racial reckoning. The COVID-19 pandemic, which took a particularly heavy toll on Black communities, turned a harsh spotlight on long-standing health disparities that the public could no longer overlook. Although the health disparities for Black communities have been well known to researchers for decades, the pandemic put real names and faces to these numbers. Compared with white people, Black people are at much greater risk for developing a range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and dementia. For example, Black people are twice as likely as white people to develop Alzheimer’s disease. A vast and growing body of research shows that racism contri...
The Holidays Can Be A Time To Reflect And Find Meaning In Loss For Those Suffering With Prolonged Grief
HEALTH & WELLNESS, SELF, TOP FOUR, VIDEO REELS

The Holidays Can Be A Time To Reflect And Find Meaning In Loss For Those Suffering With Prolonged Grief

For many who are suffering with prolonged grief, the holidays can be a time to reflect and find meaning in loss. The holiday season is meant to be filled with joy, connection and celebration of rituals. Many people, however, are starkly reminded of their grief this time of year and of whom – or what – they have lost. The added stress of the holiday season doesn’t help. Studies show that the holidays negatively affect many people’s mental health. While COVID-19-related stressors may have lessened, the grief from change and loss that so many endured during the pandemic persists. This can cause difficult emotions to resurface when they are least expected. I am a licensed therapist and trauma-sensitive yoga instructor. For the last 12 years, I’ve helped clients and families manage grief, depr...