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Asthma attacks can be brought on by sex

"Many people don't realize the energy expenditure of sexual activity is about equivalent to walking up two flights of stairs."

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By Mark Waghorn via SWNS

Asthma attacks can be brought on by SEX, according to new research.

Reaching for an inhaler mid romp is a real passion killer and may destroy a relationship.

And potential triggers include a variety of aids devised to get them in the mood, American scientists warn.

They range from perfumes to scented candles, latex in condoms and strong-smelling flowers.

The problem is putting marriages in trouble and doctors need to discuss the phenemenon with patients.

"We wanted to investigate whether case studies on asthma exacerbations mentioned sexual activity as a possible cause," said lead author Dr. Ariel Leung, a family practitioner based in Phoenix, Arizona.

"Many people don't realize the energy expenditure of sexual activity is about equivalent to walking up two flights of stairs.

"Reported cases are infrequent, possibly because those suffering an asthma flare may not realize the trigger."

The findings are based on a review of scientific papers listed in citation database PubMed.

Leung and colleagues searched using keywords such as "sexual intercourse or honeymoon asthma."

The respiratory condition can be fatal if left untreated. It affects around 4.3 million adults in the UK.

"Another possible cause of under reporting of this condition is the intimate nature of the subject," said co-author Dr. Ali Aminian, of The Allergy Institute, Fresno, California.

"People may not be comfortable discussing with their allergist an asthma flare that was caused by sex.

"But allergists are specialists in the diagnosis, treatment and management of asthma. If anyone would be able to guide a patient in how to avoid an asthma flare in the future, it would be their allergist.

"When sexual activity induced asthma is properly identified and treated, allergists are better able to improve their patient’s quality of life."

It is estimated around 45,000 breathless Brits are rushed to hospital each year after suffering an attack during sex.

"Allergists are saving marriages. Exercise has been long associated as a trigger for asthma," Leung said.

"Exercise induced symptoms have been attributed to 40 to 90 percent of asthmatic patients. However, sexual intercourse is uncommonly associated as exercise."

She identified several case studies of "post-coital attacks" - and more involving more allergic reactions during oral sex.

"The few reported cases allude to under reporting of this condition given the intimate nature of this subject," Leung said.

"Disclosure relies on the patient's comfortability with their provider and the provider's awareness of characterizing sexual activity as exercise.

"When sexually activity induced asthma is properly identified and treated, allergists are placed in a position where they can improve their patients' quality of life."

She added: "Properly investigating all causes of asthma exacerbations, including sexual intercourse, can place allergists in a position of positively improving their patient's lives - including their marriages."

An Asthma UK survey found 68 per cent of sufferers say their sex lives have been directly affected by the condition.

Three in four have been left feeling embarrassed after taking their inhaler on a romantic night out.

Almost half said they would be more sexually confident if they did not have the disease.
Some have reduced the amount of sex they have or stopped having it altogether.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: "People enjoy getting breathless in the bedroom but this is not the sort of breathlessness they should be experiencing."

Dr. Andy Whittamore, of Asthma UK, said it is a common problem - and can get in the way of a healthy love life.

"If you find sex triggers your asthma, this may indicate it is not under control and you should seek help from your GP or asthma nurse," he said.

"You can reduce your risk of an attack and ensure your asthma is well managed by making sure you have a regular review with your GP or nurse, a written asthma action plan and an inhaler check."

Leung presented the study at a meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Louisville, Kentucky.

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