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Doctors warn that using Facebook can cause asthma attacks

Sunday, November 21, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Facebook, asthma, health news

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(NaturalNews) The social networking site Facebook is causing a new wave of physical and mental health problems, say researchers from Italy. According to their analysis, scientists say that Facebook has become "a new source of psychological stress" that is capable of inducing asthma attacks, particularly in those with preexisting asthmatic conditions.

Published in the British medical journal Lancet, the study cites the case of an 18-year-old man who experienced severe asthmatic symptoms due to using Facebook. After discovering that his ex-girlfriend had removed him from her "friends" list and moved on from the relationship, the man began having breathing problems, followed by an asthma attack. And every time he logged on and tried to pry his way back into her life, the symptoms returned.

"The [experience] seemed to induce dyspnea, which happened repeatedly on the patient accessing [his ex-girlfriend's] profile," said doctors about the experience. Dyspnea, a condition in which a person experiences difficulty in breathing, can be aggravated by various life occurrences. But in the man from the study, his "peak expiratory flow" of air dropped by as much as 20 percent after using Facebook, which suggests that using the site can be hazardous to health.

Doctors say the best way to avoid Facebook-induced asthma attacks is to simply stop using the site. In fact, with the help of his psychologist, the man in the study was able to successfully stop logging in -- and his asthma attacks then stopped as well.

The nature of Facebook encourages users to essentially broadcast every detail of their entire lives to their friends, family members, coworkers, neighbors, and even complete strangers. But the widespread negative effects of this massive new social experiment are only just beginning to be realized.

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