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How You Can Help This Movember

Posted Wednesday 01 November 2017 16:53 by Tim Deakin in Emergency Contraception

By now, almost everyone is aware of the autumn health campaign known as Movember. In fact, it’s hard to miss the thousands of hastily grown moustaches that pop up over the course of the month throughout the course of November.

But Movember is much more than facial hair and a modest cause to raise awareness. This year’s campaign is more ambitious than ever before in its aim to address men’s health. November offers an opportunity to learn more about the Movember Foundation and their fight to increase the life expectancy of men around the world.

Why Movember?

Too many men are affected by ill health. On average men live 6 years less than women. Testicular cancer rates have doubled in the in the last 5 years, and prostate cancer rates are set to double over the next 15 years.

It is not just cancer that is taking the men in our lives beyond their prime, however. Staggering three-quarters of all suicides are carried out by men. Movember helps raise money to improve services and advocates for more open and honest discussions about men’s health issues, including a focus on mental health.

Men’s health matters and with the help and support of the community, you can help Movember reach its aim — to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by the year 2030.

Here is how you can help the cause this November!

Grow a mo

Whether you opt for a lavish handle bar, a modest goatee, or a work of art all your own, facial hair is a ribbon for the cause and is a great way to get people talking about men’s health. This is your chance to get creative, let the sponsor with the highest donation choose the style or colour of your new furry friend for added hilarity and a boost to donations! Whatever you do make sure you direct people to the Movember web page to donate.

Take the Move challenge

With the festive season around the corner and the cold months settling in, there is no better time to get physically active. Make a bid to move more during November and your new fitness regime can help raise money for men’s health with the help of sponsors. Take the Move Challenge means you can carry out any activity you like: organise a race with friends, learn salsa or don a costume and head to the gym to set a new personal record. Get thinking and get moving!

Organise an event

For those females who can’t grow a mo or for those who would prefer to exercise out of the limelight, fear not. You can organise an event of your choice to rake in the pounds instead. Set up a ping pong tournament, try a game of Dungeons and Dragons or plan a good old fashioned dinner party.

Organise well and you and your friends can enjoy a great night whilst making a valuable contribution to the Movember Foundation. If you want to organise a large event, it is always worth asking local venues to sponsor it, and ask local brands to provide prizes or party supplies. Just remember to create your event on the Movember site so you can keep track of RSVPs. AND don’t forget to thank your sponsors.

Distinguished Gentleman’s ride

Are you a keen motorcyclist? Then maybe you should consider joining the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to join the hoards of suave bikers atop vintage motorbikes. With over 500 cities taking part, there is sure to be a ride near you!

The Movember campaign makes it incredibly easy to raise money for this worthy cause. You choose an event. You set the date. Simply sign up online and direct your long line of sponsors to the Movember webpage where they can donate freely so you don’t have to pester them for payments. For those daring souls out there, we urge you to try all three main events at once! We let you off if you don’t know how to ride a motorcycle.

Taking men’s health seriously

One of the most common problems faced by men identified during Movember is the reluctance of many gentlemen to discuss their health problems. Statistically, men are much less likely to discuss their concerns – whether it’s a case of erectile dysfunction, acid reflux or something more sinister such as a lump on their testicles or a severe bout of depression.

If you are a man and want to reach out discreetly to discuss your health concerns, why not use our discreet Live Chat service available through the website? We’re always happy to help and can provide important advice and guidance in complete confidence.

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It’s World Vegan Day! But Is It Really Good for Your Health to Cut Out All Meat and Dairy?

Posted Wednesday 01 November 2017 11:22 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

Despite a surge in popularity, vegans still only make up less than one per cent of the UK population. So what are the benefits of a vegan diet, and should you jump on the bandwagon?

World Vegan Day has taken place at the beginning of every November since 1994, and has continued to grow in both publicity and popularity. The awareness day aims to highlight the health and lifestyle benefits of a vegan diet, which takes vegetarianism one step further by cutting out any produce that comes from an animal, including things like dairy.

But what exactly are these benefits of a vegan diet, and could going vegan actually increase your overall health? In honour of World Vegan Day, we’ve done some digging and found out exactly how going vegan could be good for you.

The benefits of a vegan diet include:

Weight loss

One look at any of the material on World Vegan Day will tell you that a major benefit of a vegan diet is weight loss among those who previously considered to be obese or overweight. Weight loss can come as a direct result of veganism and vegetarianism because on average, these diets tend to be lower in total fat, particularly saturated fat. Animal products are actually the main source of saturated fat in our diets, so veganism really lowers these rates.

Of course, medication can also help boost the success of a healthy weight loss regime.

Increased physical fitness levels

Similarly, an increase in physical fitness is also one of the benefits of a vegan diet, as many athletes follow the lifestyle in order to boost their performance. Plant-based diets, on the whole, have been shown to provide more energy and accelerate recovery – although, care does have to be taken in finding suitable protein sources on a vegan diet.

Fewer migraines

Nobody likes migraines, but many of us assume that they’re an unavoidable part of life. In many cases, however, migraine triggers can be related to food consumption. Studies have shown that low fat, plant-based diets can be beneficial to sufferers, as migraines are often directly linked to foods such as chocolate, cheese and alcohol.

If you are suffering from migraines, consulting your pharmacist could be a helpful first port of call. To find out more about some of the prescription medications available for chronic migraines, take a look at our treatments.

Stress reduction

As ambassadors of World Vegan Day will tell you, some of the benefits of a vegan diet are emotional as well as physical. Studies have found that veganism can actually help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, as healthy plant-based ingredients are often mood-boosting and provide energy. Stress can have both mental and physical implications on your health, so a change of diet could be the best decision you’ll make this World Vegan Day.

Better skin

A study on the population of Kitavan Islanders in Papua New Guinea found that not a single one of them suffered from acne, and the findings deemed this to be due to their diet which was (you guessed it) full of plant-based, unprocessed foods.

Foods with a high glycaemic load, and groups like dairy products, have been shown to trigger acne in some cases, so one of the benefits of a vegan diet could potentially be a clear, glowing complexion.

Of course, you don’t need to switch to strict veganism to see health benefits through your diet. Simple dietary changes can make all the differences to your overall health. But before you make any significant changes to the food you consume, it is always worth consulting a healthcare professional to ensure that changes will not have an adverse effect. While veganism is thought to be a healthy way of life, this requires a close attention to finding balance and variety in the food one ingests.

Express Pharmacy can provide you with NHS approved healthcare guidance from the comfort of your own home. Simply give us a call on 0208 123 0703 or use our discreet Live Chat service.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Flu Jab

Posted Friday 20 October 2017 09:36 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

Flu season is fast approaching, so it’s important you have all the information you need about protecting yourself and others

Influenza, more commonly known as “the flu” is a nasty virus that is renowned for striking down thousands of people in the UK each year across. It is particularly potent in the autumn and winter months, which is why you are likely to hear a lot about the most vulnerable members of society going for a “flu jab” over the coming weeks.

However, there is often debate at this time of year about the effectiveness and safety of flu vaccinations. In this post, we will cover some of the most commonly asked questions about the flu jab, including who needs it most and who can get it for free this autumn.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

We’ve all probably experienced flu-like symptoms at some point. This is because problems such as a high temperature, hot and cold sweats, coughs and a runny nose can all be found in similar diseases such as the common cold.

It is important to note, however, that the flu does differ from a cold, and can be much more dangerous to your health. The symptoms usually include a high temperature, tiredness, weakness, achiness, general pains and a dry, chesty cough.

You might also suffer from headaches or even migraines.

Who is most at risk of the flu?

Certain people can find themselves more at risk of catching the flu than others, and these individuals are more likely to suffer longer and more extreme symptoms too.

Those who should be particularly aware of the flu include people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, individuals with respiratory conditions like asthma, people with a weakened immune system such as those with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy, and people with long-term medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease or kidney disease.

Who can get the flu jab for free?

The NHS offers free flu vaccinations to a number of different groups. These include any adult over the age of 65 or an individual who will be turning 65 on or before March 31st 2018. Pregnant women can also receive the vaccine for free, as can children aged between six months and two years old who are considered to be at risk of the flu.

The flu vaccine is also offered to people with certain pre-existing health conditions such as:

  • Asthma or another chronic respiratory disease
  • Chronic heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic liver disease (e.g. Hepatitis) or kidney disease
  • Chronic neurological conditions, including
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Motor Neurone Disease
    • Parkinson’s Disease

Those with a BMI of 40 or above and can be considered seriously overweight may also be offered the flu jab.

When is the best time to get the flu jab?

Although many people don’t start thinking about the flu jab until winter, the optimum time to receive the jab is actually autumn. Specifically, you should aim to get your flu vaccination between the beginning of October and early November.

Where can you get your flu jab?

You can receive your NHS flu jab at your local GP surgery, or at any local pharmacy offering the service. If you’re pregnant, you can also receive the jab from your midwifery service if they include it as part of their treatment.

Individuals who are considered at risk of the flu can also receive the vaccine from certain community pharmacies. If you receive your jab at a pharmacy, you don’t have to inform your GP.

Does the flu jab have to be an injection?

Generally, the flu vaccination is given as an injection. However, children aged between two and three, children in reception class and children in school years on, two, three and four can obtain the vaccine as a routine annual nasal spray. This is also offered to children aged between two and seventeen who are at particular risk of flu.

Does the flu jab have any side effects?

The flu vaccination has an excellent safety record, and yet there are concerns among some people that it’s actually safer and healthier not to bother with the jab.

Despite common misconceptions, the flu jab cannot cause flu. A small percentage of recipients may experience some mild side effects, such as redness and swelling around the injection area, headache, fever, nausea and muscle aches. A very small number of people do actually experience an allergic reaction to the jab, as is the case with any vaccination. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include difficulty breathing, weakness, hives and swelling.

If you’ve ever experienced an allergic reaction to the flu shot, you should refrain from getting the vaccination again.

What else can you do to avoid the flu?

As a virus, flu is spread through the passing on of germs, so simple hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of the condition. Washing your hands thoroughly, avoiding touching things like handrails in public places and covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing are simple but effective ways to reduce the spread of the condition.

However, the flu vaccination is by far the most effective way to stop yourself catching the virus.

For information, advice and treatment for your health concerns, contact Express Pharmacy

You can call our team on 0208 123 0703 or email us at help@expresspharmacy.co.uk. You can even contact us via our Live Chat tool for quick and discreet advice and assistance.

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What Are the Benefits of Virtual Doctors for Elderly Patients?

Posted Tuesday 17 October 2017 11:27 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

New research suggests that virtual treatment could make all the difference when it comes to healthcare for elderly patients

The use of online pharmacies and virtual doctors has risen dramatically over recent years, with more and more people choosing to solve their medical concerns online rather than by visiting the GP’s office. But new research from the US has shown that the benefits of virtual doctors could be even greater than previously thought, particularly for providing virtual treatment for elderly patients.

What are the benefits of virtual doctors?

The University of Rochester in New York conducted a study, which discovered that virtual treatment for elderly patients can provide healthcare just as effectively as a real-life doctor.

The study analysed various versions of virtual healthcare, including an American program that uses video appointments to connect professionals with patients. This particular study focuses primarily on those living with Parkinson’s disease and connected neurologists to 195 Parkinson’s patients across the US.

The results of the study found that the care provided by virtual doctors proved to be just as effective as in-person visits to the doctor’s office, whilst saving patients on average 169 minutes and nearly 100 miles of travel distance per visit.

When considering virtual treatment for elderly patients, Parkinson’s is a good example of a condition that can be treatment remotely. However, virtual treatment has also been shown to be beneficial in treating other conditions like diabetes, pregnancy and sickness.

Lead author and professor of the study Ray Dorsey explained the benefits the experiment highlighted, saying: “Virtual house calls for chronic diseases like Parkinson’s are not only as effective as in-person care but broader adoption of this technology has the potential to expand access to patient centred care.

“We now have the ability to reach anyone, anywhere.”

Virtual treatment for elderly patients can make all the difference to those living with conditions like Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s can be a hugely debilitating disease for those living with it, and can lead to severe physical limitations. Sufferers often experience tremors in the limbs, difficulty moving, muscle tightness and a loss of balance. You’re unlikely to be able to drive with Parkinson’s and even walking for long distances can become difficult. All of these factors made the condition a good source for the university’s study into the benefits of virtual doctors.

Currently, Parkinson’s affects over 10 million people worldwide, and that number is expected to double in parts of the world where the population is ageing – such as the UK and US – by 2030. As the condition almost exclusively affects older adults, most patients live in more suburban areas, often with limited access to healthcare professionals. This, combined with the nature of the illness can make actually getting to an appointment difficult for older adults.

This leaves huge potential for virtual treatment for elderly patients to improve the care that those living with Parkinson’s and other conditions are receiving, as online healthcare allows those with limited mobility to access the care they need.

“We can shop, bank, make travel reservations, take classes, and buy groceries via the internet from the comfort of our own homes,” says Dorsey, “but too many patients still cannot access healthcare.”

It’s not just elderly patients who can reap the benefits of virtual doctors

The benefits of virtual doctors and other digital healthcare solutions, such as online pharmacies, stretch far beyond Parkinson’s patients and the elderly. Web-based treatments can benefit anybody who lives in a remote location or who is suffering with a health concern that they are too embarrassed to visit a GP about.

In need of fast, safe and discreet prescription medication direct to your door? Discover how Express Pharmacy can help you today.

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Go Sober for October: Why It’s Good to Become a Soberhero

Posted Wednesday 04 October 2017 09:36 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

Raising money for charity is always a worthwhile endeavour. But facing a challenge that also happens to boost your own health is what real soberheroes are made of.

The clever folk at Macmillan aren’t half bad at coming up with fundraising campaigns and new ways to raise awareness about cancer. And this year they’ve sparked interest by challenging the good people of the UK to become a Soberhero for the entire 31 days of Stoptober.

As the official Go Sober for October web page states:

“By signing up to the challenge you’re doing something amazing for people with cancer . . . so thank you for taking part in Go Sober, raising a glass (of water) and standing proudly beside people facing cancer.”

With 450 deaths each day from cancer, the important work done by Macmillan and other cancer charities has a crucial role to play supporting the thousands of people fighting the disease in all its forms across the country.

But going sober for October can be good for you, too

If you like a social drink from time to time, giving up alcohol for 31 days may also help you achieve some surprising results. Not only will you save money, you could also enjoy some genuine improvements to your health and wellbeing.

Changes you should see within 31 days

In the short term, you may notice improvements to your energy levels and quality of sleep. Although alcohol may make it seem easier to fall asleep at night, the impact of alcohol on the brain can actually prevent you from experiencing the important REM-sleep phase, which will leave you feeling lethargic in the morning.

Alcohol can also impact on your breathing during sleep, which is why giving up alcohol can often reduce an individual’s likelihood of snoring.

Giving up alcohol can also very quickly lead to an improvement in your skin because without the diuretic qualities of alcohol you will not urinate as regularly and risk the problem of dehydration. For those who suffer from acid reflux, giving up alcohol can also see significant improvements.

One of the most popular reasons for giving up alcohol is weight management. As has been well documented, alcoholic drinks are very calorific and can lead to significant weight gain over time. Not only does alcohol contribute to subcutaneous fat (which lies just under the skin), it also contributes towards visceral fat – the dangerous fat which develops around the body’s vital organs and impacts on their effectiveness.

Giving up alcohol for the full 31 days of October may see you lose several pounds and inches off the waistline when combined with a healthy, balanced diet.

Long term soberheroes

The odd social drink is not deemed to be a serious threat to our health and for millions of people in the UK who adhere to public guidelines, consuming just a few units a week will not prevent you from enjoying a long and healthy life. However, if you regularly consume large quantities of alcohol and find yourself slipping back into old ways after the month of October, here are just a few reasons to reassess your relationship with alcohol.

Alcohol consumption has been linked to at least 7 types of cancer. Reducing alcohol consumption has been proven to lower an individual’s risk of getting cancer.

Alcohol is not a friend to your liver. Heavy drinking (more than 14 units a week) is one of the key contributing factors to liver disease. Reining in alcohol consumption can significantly improve liver function over time.

So there you have it: put a halt to your alcohol consumption throughout October and you could be helping both cancer sufferers and yourself at the very same time.

Looking for advice and guidance on alcohol consumption, weight loss, treating acid reflux or any of the other issues raised in this article, why not try our handy Live Chat tool now.

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