Discreet Next Day Delivery
Free Consultation
Free Prescription
ED Treatment from £8.99
  • Call
  • 0208 123 0703

Make Movember Matter: Why Men Need to Open Up About Their Health

Posted Monday 11 November 2019 09:38 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

Men’s health continues to be a significant issue around the world. Globally, men die an average of six years younger than women, for largely preventable reasons.[1]

Men are more likely to smoke, eat too much salt, eat too much red meat, not eat enough fruit and vegetables and drink to dangerous levels. What’s more, men are twice as likely to develop liver disease. 67% of men are overweight or obese, and 20% of men die before the age of 65.[2]

Because of this, initiatives like Movember have become increasingly important to men’s health.

The importance of Movember

Over the years, Movember has become an increasingly popular movement intent on improving the health and wellbeing of men. Movember addresses key male health concerns, including:

- Prostate cancer

- Testicular cancer

- Mental health

- Suicide prevention[3]

The movement encourages men to talk, ask for help, listen to others, act and check in, in light of statistics like this: 75% of suicides in the United Kingdom are men. Every minute around the world, a man dies by suicide.[4]

Research shows that men remain reluctant to share their health concerns

A clear problem in helping to tackle these issues is that men are significantly less likely to address their health concerns than women. In fact, men are around a quarter as likely as women to see a doctor over a one-year period, half as likely over a two-year period, and three times less likely over 5 years.[5]

Almost six out of 10 men (59%) say there are factors which stop them visiting the doctor, with 31% saying they only go to the doctor if they are extremely sick. A further 10% say they are scared of visiting their GP in case they learn that something is wrong with them.[6]

Health concerns among men are more common than you might think

It’s more important than ever that men feel able to discuss their health openly and without judgement, as there are still many conditions impacting the health of thousands of men every year.

Between 2014 and 2016, there were 2,364 new cases of testicular cancer in the UK, and 64 deaths as a result of the condition.[7] What’s more, in the UK more than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, which equates to 129 men every day. 11,500 men die every year as a direct result of prostate cancer. This is equal to one man every 45 minutes.[8]

And it isn’t just life-threatening conditions like cancer that impact men’s health. Conditions like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are more common than many people realise, yet a significant number of men suffering from these conditions feel too embarrassed to address them with a doctor. Premature ejaculation occurs in anywhere between 4 and 39% of men.[9]

Find safe, effective and discreet medication here at Express Pharmacy

Men should never feel too embarrassed to seek the medical help they need, be it for their physical or mental wellbeing. However, safe and effective medication for a range of men’s health concerns is available at Express Pharmacy. These include erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and hair loss.

Speak to one of our pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet online Live Chat service.

[1] Movember UK. Men’s Health. 2019

[2] Men’s Health Forum. Statistics: The key data on men’s health. 2014

[3] Movember UK. What We Stand For. 2019

[4] Movember UK. Mental Health. 2019

[5] Mahalik, JR. Dagirmanjian, FRB. Working Men’s Constructions of Visiting the Doctor. American Journal of Men’s Health. 2018

[6] Landro, L. Why Men Won’t Go to the Doctor, and How to Change That. The Wall Street Journal. 2019

[7] Cancer Research UK. Testicular cancer statistics. 2017

[8] Prostate Cancer UK. About prostate cancer. 2019

[9] McMahon, CG. Premature ejaculation. Indian Journal of Urology. 2007

Leave a Comment

TIMELINE: What Happens When You Quit Smoking?

Posted Wednesday 06 November 2019 11:01 by in Smoking Cessation by Tim Deakin

Despite a significant drop in the number of smokers since the implementation of the 2007 ban, there are still more than 9 million active smokers in Britain. This equates to around 15% of all UK adults.[1]

A large number of these people are individuals who have smoked for years and are finding it hard to kick the habit, rather than new smokers. As such, smoking among 18 to 24-year-olds has fallen faster than in older age groups.[2]

Finding the motivation to quit can be difficult for existing smokers, which is why it’s important to know exactly how and when your health will improve once you make the decision to quit. We’re going to take a look at the impact stopping smoking can have over time, from 20 minutes to 20 years.

What impact does smoking have on your body?

Smoking has a huge impact on your health. In fact, it is the most common preventable cause of death and disease in the UK, where nearly 80,000 people die every year due to smoking-related causes.[3]

On average, smoking reduces your life expectancy by 10 years, and after the age of 40 every year you continue to smoke cuts your life expectancy by a further three months. Smoking impacts the health of many parts of your body, including your lungs, heart, brain, arteries and senses.

Some of the issues associated with smoking include:

- Cardiovascular disease

- Stroke

- Respiratory disease

- Blood clots

- Fertility issues

- Cancer, including cancer of the bladder, blood, cervix, colon, kidney, larynx, liver, lung, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach, tongue, throat and trachea, among others.[4]

Why do we smoke?

There’s a reason why people find it so hard to quit smoking. Inhaling cigarette smoke regularly makes alterations to your brain. This means that, once you quit, your brain has to relearn a way of doing things without relying on regular nicotine hits.

Nicotine alters the balance of two chemicals in the brain: dopamine and noradrenaline. When the levels of these chemicals change, so too do your mood and concentration levels, which smokers often find to be a positive experience.[5]

A nicotine rush produces these pleasurable feelings instantly, and the more you smoke the more your brain becomes used to these nicotine ‘hits’. This creates a vicious cycle, as you then have to smoke more to get the same effect.

What happens when you quit?

The effects of quitting smoking start to appear in as little as 20 minutes after smoking your last cigarette. By the time you have stopped smoking for a few weeks or months, you’ll notice significant benefits to your health and wellbeing. Meanwhile, successfully quitting for years can dramatically reduce your risk of serious health concerns.[6]

After 20 minutes: Your pulse rate returns to normal. Blood pressure begins to drop and circulation starts to improve.

After 8 hours: Nicotine levels and carbon monoxide levels in the blood drop by more than half. Oxygen levels also return to normal.[7]

After 48 hours: Carbon monoxide is eliminated entirely from the body, and your lungs start to clear out mucus. Other debris is also cleared from the lungs. Nicotine has left the body. Your sense of smell and taste will improve.

After 72 hours: Breathing becomes easier and bronchial tubes begin to relax. Energy levels increase. You may also experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms including moodiness, irritability, headaches and cravings. This is the period where most people feel the greatest urge to smoke again.[8]

After 1-3 months: Circulation continues to improve over the first few months after quitting. In as little as a month, your lung function starts to improve and you may notice less coughing and shortness of breath. You might also experience a renewed ability for cardiovascular activities like running and jumping.

After 9 months: By this point, the lungs have healed significantly. Cilia – hair-like structures within the lungs – have recovered and will help push mucus out of the lungs to fight infections.

After 1 year: Your risk of coronary heart disease has dropped to about half of that of a person who is still smoking. This will continue to drop past the one-year point.

After 5 years: The body has healed enough for arteries and blood vessels to widen again. Smoking causes the arteries and blood vessels to narrow, increasing your likelihood of blood clots.[9] Because of this, five years of not smoking can significantly reduce your risk of stroke. Over the next 10 years, this risk will drop even lower.

After 10 years: Your risk of developing lung cancer has dropped to that of a non-smoker.[10] Your chances of developing mouth, throat or pancreatic cancer have also been significantly reduced.

After 15 years: Your risk of a heart attack is now at the same level as that of a person who has never smoked. Similarly, the risk of developing pancreatic cancer is also the same as that of a non-smoker.

After 20 years: After successfully quitting for two decades, your risk of death from smoking-related causes like lung disease and cancer will have dropped to the same rate as a person who has never smoked in their life.

How to quit successfully

Quitting means something different to everyone. For some people, smoking alternatives like vaping offer the best chance of success. In fact, more than three and a half million people in the UK currently use vapes.[11]

For others, nicotine patches help to reduce cravings and improve their chance of quitting, while some people look to support groups and programmes to help keep their willpower in check.

Even simple lifestyle changes can make a significant difference when it comes to stopping smoking. Factors like regular exercise, keeping your hands busy, drink and diet changes, making non-smoking friends and maintaining realistic expectations can all help to improve your chances of quitting.[12]

For many people, safe and effective smoking cessation medication is the most effective way to quit smoking for good. Research shows that drug treatment like Champix can improve the success of quitting several fold.[13]

Effective smoking cessation medication like Champix is available here at Express Pharmacy. Get in touch with one of our pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or using our online Live Chat service.

[1] Cancer Research UK. Tobacco statistics. 2018

[2] Public Health England. Turning the tide on tobacco: Smoking in England hits a new low. 2018

[3] Bobak, A. PhD. Effects of smoking. Bupa UK. 2018

[4] Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. Smoking and Tobacco Use: Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking. 2017

[5] NHS UK. Why is smoking addictive? 2018

[6] NHS UK. 10 health benefits of stopping smoking. 2018

[7] NHS UK. Quitting is the best thing you’ll ever do. 2017

[8] Cancer Research UK. Smokers underestimate nicotine cravings. 2008

[9] Heart.org. Understand Your Risk for Excessive Blood Clotting. 2019

[10] NHS UK. Quitting is the best thing you’ll ever do. 2017

[11] Stubley, P. Vaping ‘linked to 200 health problems in the UK including pneumonia’. The Independent. 2019

[12] NHS UK. 10 self-help tips to stop smoking. 2018

[13] Heydari, G. FallahTafti, S. Quit smoking with Champix: Parallel, randomised clinical trial of efficacy for the first time in Iran. European Respiratory Journal. 2012

Leave a Comment

Is Vaping a Safe Alternative to Smoking?

Posted Thursday 24 October 2019 12:27 by in Smoking Cessation by Johanna Galyen

October, in the UK, is also known as Stoptober. A nationwide campaign to help stamp out smoking once and for all. Although it has been 12 years since the “ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces and workplaces took effect throughout the UK,” says the Centre for Public Impact, smoking is still prevalent. One of the many ways to stop smoking that is suggested is switching to vaping. But is this safe?

Vaping: A Basic Understanding

Cigarettes rely upon the burning cigarette’s smoke to carry nicotine into the lungs. Unfortunately, this smoke also carries carbon monoxide, tar, and many other harmful chemicals. Vaping uses a liquid vapor to carry the nicotine. This vapor is often made out of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, not out of water, as some might think.

In the UK, the amount of nicotine is more highly controlled than in other countries. The milligram levels are restricted to 20 milligrams, which have been reduced from 24. The companies cannot market their products in commercials, and only those ages 18 and over can purchase the products.

The Independent reported an “estimated 3.6 million people in the UK use vapes, according to a survey earlier this year.”

Is Vaping Safe?

This is a tough answer. Vaping is safer than smoking — just as not handling poisonous snakes is safer than playing with them. Some would say that it is 95% safer than smoking. Vaping does not carry the dangerous chemicals that are associated with cancer. But is it 100% safe as compared to never vaping or smoking? No. Stopping smoking and vaping all together is always better than choosing between the two.

Here are some statistics that were reported as of October 1, 2019, in the United States from the Centers for Disease Control.

  • As of October 8, 2019, 1,299 lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported to CDC from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory.
  • Twenty-six deaths have been confirmed in 21 states.
  • All patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.

Experts are cautioning doctors in the UK that e-cigarette deaths and illnesses are not just an American problem. There are “200 adverse reactions listed in the UK Yellow Card reports include major health problems such as cardiac arrest, epilepsy and spontaneous abortion, they also include coughs, sneezing and headaches” says The Independent. While there are stronger regulations in the UK, it is only a matter of time until people there start improperly using e-cigarettes and mixing in other ingredients like THC. This may be a world-wide issue unless strongly confronted.

Making Stoptober a Landmark in Your Life

Instead of switching from cigarettes to vaping pen, try stopping smoking all together. For the first time in years or even decades, be free of the need to smoke something. Champix is a prescription-based medication that alleviates cravings without reliance on Nicotine.

Studies have found that those taking Champix (varenicline) were the most successful in quitting smoking than those trying other tobacco dependence methods such as the patch or gum.

Knowing the difference between confusing scientific studies and real pharmacological benefits is important for your health. In some situations, you may need additional support, treatment, and medication. Discover medications for smoking cessation like Champix here at Express Pharmacy. We can help you gain access to effective treatment swiftly and discreetly.

Contact us today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our online Live Chat service.

Leave a Comment

From Myths to Medicine: How Our Understanding of Smoking Has Changed Throughout History

Posted Monday 21 October 2019 08:43 by in Smoking Cessation by Tim Deakin

smoking myths

In the UK, 16.5% of men and 13% of women still smoke.[1] This may sound like a lot – and it is – but this is still a significant drop on the number of smokers documented 10 years ago. In fact, both cigarette smoking prevalence and the average number of cigarettes smoked by smokers per day have been decreasing since the 1970s.[2]

This is largely due to the increase in the scientific information available regarding tobacco. But our understanding of its risks hasn’t always been so strong.

Smoking has been the subject of much misinformation

People have smoked tobacco and other substances since ancient times. All over the Americas and across Indigenous peoples, tobacco was used in rituals and as a pastime as early as 5000 BC.[3]

By the 1700s, smoking had become a widespread habit throughout the western world. In the early- to mid-20th century, the popularity of smoking grew even more as misinformation about cigarettes became widespread, thanks in large to the boom in advertising. In the mid- and late-20th century however, particularly after World War II, people began to understand that there were serious health repercussions involved in smoking tobacco.[4]

Some of the wildest myths about smoking that people believed in the past include that it could relieve headaches and that it could ward off diseases. Some past health experts even believed tobacco could be used as an anaesthetic!

Today, there is no hiding from the damage smoking can cause

Today, most of us know that smoking is bad for us. Tobacco is the largest preventable cause of death in the world.[5] Around three in 20, or 15%, of cancer cases in the UK are caused by tobacco.[6] This makes smoking the largest cause of cancer in the UK.

Smoking causes at least 15 different types of cancer: lung, larynx, oesophagus, oral cavity, nasopharynx, bladder, pharynx, kidney, pancreas, stomach, liver, cervix, bowel, ovarian cancers and leukaemia.[7] It can also be a causal factor in early onset menopause, impotence, poor olfactory function and lower life expectancy.[8]

These kind of statistics and findings have clarified our understanding of the dangers of smoking. As such, our attitudes towards the habit are changing. The NHS reports that there has been a general decline in positive attitudes towards smoking, particularly among young people.[9] Since the 2007 smoking ban, attitudes and behaviours have changed even more dramatically.

Quitting for good requires perseverance and support

There are several lifestyle changes you can make to improve your chances of succeeding in your attempt to quit. These include:

  • Being realistic but positive in your expectations
  • Doing regular exercise
  • Making non-smoking friends
  • Finding ways to keep your hands busy
  • Identifying what triggers your cravings
  • Making changes to your diet and drink habits[10]

Some people benefit from quitting as part of a group, or seeking support via apps or family members. Others use safe and effective medication to improve their chances of success.

Are you trying to give up smoking for good this Stoptober? You’ll find safe and effective smoking cessation medication like Champix right here at Express Pharmacy. Get in touch with our experts today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet Live Chat system.

[1] Office of National Statistics. Adult smoking habits in the UK. 2018

[2] Office of National Statistics. Opinions and Lifestyle Survey. 2013

[3] Gately, I. Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization. 2007

[4] Cancer Council. A brief history of smoking. 2010

[5] World Lung Foundation. The Tobacco Atlas. 2018

[6] Brown, KF., et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Island, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer. 2016

[7] Cancer Research UK. Tobacco Statistics. 2018

[8] Action on Smoking and Health. Facts at a glance — key smoking statistics. 2018

[9] NHS Digital. Statistics on Smoking, England. 2019

[10] NHS UK. 10 self-help tips to stop smoking. 2018

Leave a Comment

How Diet Impacts Cystitis

Posted Friday 11 October 2019 20:56 by in Women's Medication by Tim Deakin

Every year, an estimated four million UK women suffer from cystitis, one of the most common urinary tract infections (UTI). One third of these women are younger than 24 years old.[1]

But what exactly is cystitis, and is there any relation to the food you eat and the severity of your symptoms?

What is cystitis?

Many women will have experienced a UTI like cystitis at some point in their lives. Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder, usually caused by an infection. It can last several days and can result in significant discomfort.[2]

Symptoms of cystitis may include:

  • Pain when urinating
  • A frequent, urgent need to go to the toilet
  • Dark, cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lower stomach pain
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Confusion[3]

How does diet impact cystitis?

No research specifically links certain foods to causing or remedying a UTI. However, some people with cystitis find that certain foods are drinks can act as triggers for symptoms. Most common among these are coffee, soda, alcohol, tomatoes, hot and spicy foods, other caffeinated beverages, chocolate, fruit juices and MSG.[4]

Likewise, some people find that certain foods and drinks help to alleviate symptoms, but again these can differ from person to person. Most importantly, you should aim to eat in moderation and enjoy a balanced diet. Eating a range of healthy food from all different food groups is important for your overall health, including your bladder health.

Drinking plenty of water is key when suffering with a urinary tract infection. This helps to replace the fluids lost by the frequent toilet trips brought on by the infection. It can also help speed up the process of flushing out the infection.[5]

Common misconceptions about cystitis

One of the most commonly shared remedies for cystitis is cranberry juice, but research from Yale University suggests that this is an urban myth. The belief is that a compound in cranberries called proanthocyanin is able to inhibit the growth of the infection, but the study found that cranberries had little to no impact on the condition.[6]

It may just be that drinking lots of cranberry juice is only as beneficial as drinking plenty of any fluid.

Alleviating a UTI

As well as monitoring your diet, there are simple measures you can put in place in order to help prevent cystitis from occurring. These include:

  • Having a shower rather than a bath
  • Not using perfumed cleaning products
  • Staying well hydrated
  • Going to the toilet as soon as you feel the need
  • Wearing cotton rather than synthetic underwear[7]

However, curing an existing case of cystitis usually requires a course of antibiotics. Studies have shown cystitis medication like Trimethoprim to be 94% effective in alleviating a UTI within a week.[8]

Safe and effective cystitis medication like Trimethoprim is available right here at Express Pharmacy. Speak to one of our experts today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet Live Chat service.

[1] Cox, D. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about urinary tract infections. The Guardian. 2017

[2] NHS UK. Cystitis. 2018

[3] Bupa UK. Cystitis. 2018

[4] National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Can what I eat or drink relieve or prevent IC? 2017

[5] Urology Care Foundation. Effect of Diet on Interstitial Cystitis. 2016

[6] Juthani-Mehta, M. MD. et al. Effect of Cranberry Capsules on Bacteriuria Plus Pyuria Among Old Women in Nursing Homes. JAMA. 2016

[7] NHS UK. Cystitis. 2018

[8] Osterberg, E. Efficacy of single-dose versus seven-day trimethoprim treatment of cystitis in women: a randomized double-blind study. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1990

Tags: Trimethoprim Cystitis Women's Health

Leave a Comment