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January 15th Is Blue Monday, a Time When Mental Health Concerns Can Hit Hardest

Posted Friday 12 January 2018 13:35 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

Depression is a widespread condition throughout the UK which can affect you both emotionally and physically

This year in the UK, January 15th has acquired the title of ‘Blue Monday’, a title generally awarded to the third Monday in January.

Blue Monday refers to the day of the year when we are supposed to feel at our most down. Several factors are said to contribute to this conclusion, including the cold, dark weather, low finances following Christmas, general post-Christmas blues, failing New Year’s resolutions and generally low motivation.

So at this glum time of year, it’s important to reflect on the impact that conditions such as depression can have on our wellbeing — both physical and emotional. Understanding the condition can help you identify potential symptoms and seek the help and support you need.

What is depression?

Although we’re all set to feel a bit down on Blue Monday, depression is much more than simply feeling unhappy for a few days. The condition involves feeling persistently sad, negative and fatigued for weeks or months at a time.

Depression is a real health concern with real symptoms. It affects around 10% of people at some point in their lives, and research has even shown that around 4% of children in the UK aged 5 to 16 present symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Treatment for depression usually involves a combination of lifestyle changes, therapies and medications such as anti-depressants. These lifestyle changes can involve incorporating factors like exercise or self-care measures into your daily routine. The level of treatment prescribed is generally based on whether the depression is deemed mild, moderate or severe.

Depression can lead to a variety of symptoms, including persistently feeling low, experiencing stress or anxiety, or even feeling suicidal. The impact of depression on your mental health can also have an effect on your body.

Despite being a mental health condition, depression can lead to physical symptoms

The physical symptoms of depression most commonly involve feeling constantly tired, paired with poor sleep health. This can lead to sufferers taking refuge in unhealthy ‘comfort’ foods or poor health habits like smoking, and this lack of energy and physical activity can also lead to weight gain. However, for some people, depression can create a loss of appetite.

What’s more, depression has also been found to lead to aches and pains (often as a result of poor diet and exercise due to low energy) and a lack of a sex drive. In men, depression can lead to sexual health concerns such as erectile dysfunction.

The physical impact of depression can create a vicious cycle

When an individual suffers from depression and starts to experience physical symptoms as a result of the condition, it can create a vicious cycle by adding more fuel to the fire of their negative thoughts and feelings. Putting on weight or falling back on habits like smoking can reduce motivation even further and make those experiencing depression think that their feelings will only get worse rather than better.

Similarly, sexual health symptoms of depression can create increased stress and anxiety around the act of sexual intercourse, increasing the likelihood that conditions like erectile dysfunction will persist or even worsen.

If you think you might be experiencing depression, it’s hugely important to seek help and support in order to get to the root of the problem. Tackling any physical symptoms can also help to reduce the intensity of negative feelings. Effective medication for conditions like erectile dysfunction, excess weight and smoking are all available from Express Pharmacy.

Express Pharmacy can provide discreet advice and medication for a variety of health concerns. If you’re living with a condition we can help you with, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. Call Express Pharmacy on 0208 123 07 03 or use our online Live Chat service.

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Are You Ready for National Obesity Awareness Week 2018

Posted Thursday 04 January 2018 15:52 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

As the new year gets underway, there’s never been a better time to make a sustainable improvement to your diet

This January, from the 8th to the 14th, UK adults are encouraged to tackle obesity head on and improve their overall health for good. That’s because it’s National Obesity Awareness Week 2018.

Whether it’s by cooking healthier meals, avoiding snacking throughout the day, or making the effort to be a little more physically active, this is your chance to get healthy and stay healthy. If your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight and get healthy, this is the perfect opportunity to really get started.

Why is National Obesity Awareness Week so important?

Simply put, obesity awareness is important because obesity and weight problems are a growing problem in the UK. Britain is the most obese country in Europe, and rates have been steadily climbing for several years. In 2014, 62% of UK adults were classed as obese, compared to 53% 20 years earlier.

Nowadays, more than two thirds of men and almost 6 in 10 women are overweight or obese in the UK. Raising awareness of the dangers of weight issues can help us as a society to get to grips with this epidemic and begin to reverse the trend.

A large part of this is understanding the difference between short term weight loss solutions and long term lifestyle changes. Extreme diets may offer weight loss benefits in the short term, but making permanent changes to your lifestyle through diet and physical activity are the only way to ensure the long term health benefits associated with weight loss. Part of this comes from better understanding the food we eat and how the body handles them.

Take a second glance at your food shop this National Obesity Awareness Week

We all know about the negative effects of excessive consumption when it comes to food items like sugars. But when it comes to our weekly food shop most of us aren’t fully aware of the contents of regular food items like cereals and so-called “diet” options. For example, yoghurt is often marketed as a health food, and in cases of natural yoghurt products can be extremely good for you. However, some yoghurt brands, including ones aimed at children and “low-fat” options often contain large amounts of added sugar.

Cereal bars are often marketed as a healthy alternative to chocolates and sweets. And while there may be more nutritional value to these items it is important that you read the ingredients carefully and are not simply drawn in by fancy packaging. Many cereal bars contain corn syrup, sugar cane fibre and fructose among others, transforming your seemingly healthy snack into a particularly unhealthy option.

Examples such as these reflect the importance of obesity awareness, as it’s vital that we understand the ingredients in the foods we’re consuming so we know what to look out for, and what to avoid. That’s why taking part in National Obesity Awareness Week can not only benefit your own health, but increase awareness for others too.

Understanding how to choose the very best items for your shopping basket is a good start to developing a healthier diet. It is important to prepare your own food and drinks where possible to ensure you know precisely what you are ingesting each time you sit down to a meal.

If you are looking to make changes to your lifestyle that you can maintain for longer than 6 weeks, consulting your GP or pharmacist is a great starting point. For those who are struggling to achieve changes in their weight through diet and exercise, Express Pharmacy offers two proven medications, Xenical and Mysimba, which can help individuals to improve their health in conjunction with other lifestyle changes.

Contact the team at Express Pharmacy today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet live chat service.

Related Products: Xenical Mysimba
Related Categories: Acid Reflux

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What Is the Difference Between Xenical and Mysimba?

Posted Thursday 28 December 2017 18:03 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

Obesity levels are on the rise in the UK. One in four UK adults is obese, and obesity also affects one in every five children aged ten to eleven. This is largely due to a significant decrease in physical activity, poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle characterised by long commutes by car and long hours spent working at a desk. And with more UK adults suffering from obesity, it also means more of us are at risk of serious health conditions like coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even certain types of cancer.

So what can be done to shift this dangerous excess weight?

Many people find the solution in tried and tested weight loss medication. Xenical and Mysimba are both effective weight loss treatments available from Express Pharmacy. Xenical has been on the market for some time. The medication uses the active ingredient orlistat to reduce the amount of fat absorbed during digestion.

Mysimba is a innovate treatment which is still relatively new to the market and is designed to reduce hunger cravings and appetite.

Let’s break these two weight loss medications down further to better understand how they work, and which one is right for you.

Xenical

How it works

Xenical helps you lose weight more easily by reducing the amount of fat your body absorbs. The weight loss medication works within your digestive system to block some of the fat in the food you eat from being digested. By using Xenical, up to a third of the fat in the food you eat can avoid digestion.

Xenical attaches itself to the enzymes in your digestive system and blocks them breaking down fat you consume. This undigested fat is then eliminated from your body as it can’t be absorbed. Through this process, Xenical acts as an effective weight loss treatment when taken alongside a healthy, calorie-reduced diet.

How to take it

Xenical comes in the form of a 120mg capsule, which should be taken three times daily with liquid. Xenical should be taken alongside a meal or up to one hour afterwards.

Mysimba

How it works

Unlike Xenical, Mysimba works in your brain rather than in your digestive system. This helps to speed along weight loss which is often inhibited by extreme hunger, stress eating and trouble managing portion sizes. Mysimba can help adults over 18 with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 lose 5 per cent of the total body weight in 16 weeks.

Mysimba contains two active ingredients: naltroxene and bulpropion. Although these medicines have been used before, Mysimba marks the first time they have been combined, creating a unique and effective weight loss medication. This combination works by acting on parts of the brain which control food intake and energy balance, helping to reduce cravings and appetite by controlling the pleasure associated with eating food.

Mysimba can also help lower levels of LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol.

How to take it

Like Xenical, Mysimba should be taken alongside a healthy, calorie-reduced diet, and should only be used by individuals over the age of 18 suffering with obesity.

The regular dosage of Mysimba differs over the first few weeks. For week one, take one tablet daily in the morning. In the second week, take two tablets daily, one in the morning and one in the evening. In the third week, take two tablets in the morning and one in the evening. In the fourth week, take two tablets in the morning and two again at night.

Looking for effective weight loss medication? Contact the team at Express Pharmacy on 0208 123 07 03 to discuss your requirements and learn more about the treatment that may be right for you.

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Here’s Why You Should Take Care Just How Much You Drink This Christmas

Posted Friday 22 December 2017 09:30 by Tim Deakin in Erectile Dysfunction

Indulging in a few festive tipples is understandable, but excessive alcohol consumption at Christmas can have severe consequences

Many of us like a few drinks at Christmas time, but it’s hard to deny the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Understanding more about the possible consequences of drinking is the first step in keeping your consumption balanced and under control. This will help you have a happier and healthier festive season.

The negative effects of drinking at Christmas

Excessive drinking at any time of year puts you at risk of both short term and long-term health conditions, some of which can be extremely serious. These include heart disease, liver disease, stroke, brain damage, nervous system damage and certain kinds of cancer such as mouth, throat and breast.

And since we tend to drink more at Christmas than at any other time of year, it’s important to consider the negative effects of drinking at Christmas, which can really put a dampener on your festive season.

Migraines

Multiple studies have shown excessive alcohol consumption to be one of the most common migraine triggers. Beverages such as red wine can put you at greater risk of suffering intense throbbing pain in the front or side your head. There is a wide range of effective migraine relief medications available from Express Pharmacy to help get you through the Christmas period.

Weight gain

On average, UK adults gain an extra 1.3 pounds during the holiday season, as we tend to see December as a time of indulgence. Alcohol is a major contributor to winter weight gain, putting you more at risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. More and more people are turning to weight loss medications like Xenical and Mysimba to help them shed excess pounds quickly and safely.

Erectile Dysfunction

One of the negative effects of drinking at Christmas for men is an increased risk of erectile dysfunction. This is often a result of a poorer diet, increased drinking habits, lack of physical activity and sometimes even Christmas-related stress. With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that sales of impotence medications like Sildenafil and Viagra double in the run-up to Christmas.

Guidelines for drinking at Christmas

Staying health conscious in your drinking habits over the festive period is, of course, partly about knowing how much to drink at Christmas, and knowing the up-to-date unit limits for men and women (14 units a week.) However, it isn’t just about knowing how much to drink at Christmas. There are other factors to consider.

Do your research

In order to encourage yourself to drink responsibly this December, brush up on the negative effects of drinking at Christmas. Hearing statistics such as alcohol being a causal factor in over 60 medical conditions will help you understand the importance of moderation.

Take days off

Even though it’s Christmas, you should still abstain from drinking on most days. Give yourself a rule to follow that you will spend more days of the week not consuming alcohol than you do actively drinking.

Drink plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water between alcoholic drinks helps your body clear out alcohol. In fact, it’s estimated that your body needs four-parts water for every one-part alcohol.

Watch your urine

If your urine is a dark amber colour or smells strongly, this is a clear sign that your body is dehydrated and needs more water, less alcohol.

Drink slowly

Drinking slowly gives your body, and particularly your liver, more time to metabolise and flush toxins from your body.

Never drink on an empty stomach

Drinking without eating floods your body with alcohol, forcing your liver to work particularly hard. Carbohydrates and fats are the best food groups for absorbing alcohol effectively, helping you line you stomach and avoid a hangover. By allowing food to absorb alcohol, there remains less alcohol for your body to absorb.

For more information on having a happy and healthy festive season, contact the team at Express Pharmacy. You can use our discreet live chat service or call us on 0208 123 07 03.

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Why Is Your Acid Reflux Worse in Winter?

Posted Wednesday 20 December 2017 10:03 by Tim Deakin in Acid Reflux

Acid reflux symptoms often worsen in winter, but why? And what is the best treatment for acid reflux?

Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common health concern in the UK. In fact, 60 per cent of the adult population will experience acid reflux at some point within a 12-month period, and around a quarter will experience weekly symptoms.

Acid reflux can be diagnosed as when acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus, resulting in heartburn, an unpleasant sour taste and possibly nausea. A lot of people who do suffer from acid reflux often find that their symptoms worsen during the winter months.

So why is your acid reflux worse in the winter? And what can be done to lessen your symptoms?

Why is your acid reflux worse in winter?

Understanding more about acid reflux as a condition is the best way to understand why it tends to worsen over the winter months. By gaining a clearer understanding of the causes of winter acid reflex, you are one step closer to finding the best treatment for acid reflex and heartburn.

Early to bed, late to rise

Gravity has a part to play in the symptoms of acid reflux, as the stomach acid is more likely to leak into the oesophagus when you are not standing or sitting upright. So in winter, when we tend to be less physically active and spend more time in bed or slouching on the sofa, symptoms can worsen. Sleeping with a pillow propping up your upper back can help reduce acid reflux.

Comfort food

As well as being less active in winter, UK adults also tend to follow a less healthy diet too. Taking comfort from the cold with hot, fatty-rich foods is common in winter, but for acid reflux sufferers they can find their symptoms worsen as a result. This is because certain food groups such as fatty foods, spicy foods, chocolate and coffee, can aggravate acid reflux symptoms — and these are often the foods we see as comforting.

Christmas cheer

In the run up to Christmas, we are more likely to gorge on unhealthy food and alcoholic drinks than at any other time of year. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with a few festive tipples, excessive alcohol intake can result in a significant increase in acid reflux symptoms during December. Alcohol is one of the main contributing factors in acid reflux, as it is itself acidic.

What is the best treatment for acid reflux?

There are several different options when it comes to finding the best treatment for acid reflux. Sometimes, it is a case of implementing certain lifestyle changes into your routine which helps to reduce symptoms of the conditions. These work particularly well in terms of preventing acid reflux, but in terms of finding the best treatment for acid reflux, it may be that effective medication is required.

How to prevent acid reflux

Lifestyle changes to prevent or improve acid reflux can include simply enjoying certain things in moderation, like alcohol and fatty foods. Don’t consume substances which trigger your acid reflux in excess.

Increasing your level of physical activity can also reduce your chances of suffering acid reflux symptoms, especially if you are currently overweight and are using exercise to reduce your excess weight. You can also raise one end of your bed by 10 to 20cm to prevent stomach acid from travelling towards your throat.

How to treat acid reflux

Acid reflux medication is an effective and efficient form of GERD treatment. There are several treatments available from Express Pharmacy, including Omeprazole and Lansoprazole — both of which are established and tested medications for treating acid reflux symptoms. So don’t suffer this winter, find the right treatment for your condition today.

For help, information and treatment for any healthcare concerns you have this winter, contact Express Pharmacy. Call us on 0208 123 0703 or use our discreet Live Chat service today.

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