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How Do I Know if I Have Erectile Dysfunction?

Posted Tuesday 21 January 2020 10:48 by in Erectile Dysfunction by Harman Bhamra

man looking out of window

It is perfectly normal for men to struggle with arousal at some point in their lives, but if the problem becomes frequent, it can cause strain on a relationship.

Studies have found that up to 52% of men experience symptoms of erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, making it a pervasive problem across the globe. But how do you know if you actually have erectile dysfunction, and how is it treated?

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is diagnosed when a male near enough always has difficulty achieving and/or maintaining an erection. It typically occurs when the blood flow is restricted to the penis.

There are many causes of erectile dysfunction; from stress and tiredness to anxiety and over-drinking. Medical problems can also cause erectile dysfunction, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.

What Are The Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?

There are three main erectile dysfunction symptoms to look out for. If any of the below are frequently occurring when in the bedroom, you may be dealing with erectile dysfunction and could benefit from treatment.

1. Being Unable To Get An Erection

The main tell-tale sign of erectile dysfunction is being unable to get an erection when in the bedroom. Although this is perfectly normal from time to time and can be caused by other factors, frequent trouble may suggest an ED problem.

2. Being Unable To Maintain An Erection

There’s a common misconception that erectile dysfunction only means that you can’t get it ‘up’. However, in some instances, erectile dysfunction leaves some men unable to maintain an erection for as long as desired instead.

This symptom is not to be confused with premature ejaculation (although the two problems can overlap). When a man has erectile dysfunction and struggles to maintain an erection, it is unlikely that he will ejaculate.

3. Low Desire To Have Sex

Another symptom of erectile dysfunction is a reduced desire to have sex. Many men find that, if they are struggling with one of the above problems, they have a low sexual desire. However, the above problems aren’t always the cause; some men naturally have low sex drives, meaning getting aroused becomes quite the challenge.

Who is likely to be at risk from erectile dysfunction?

As mentioned previously, over 50% of men will experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. Although it can affect anyone, people who fall into any of the following categories are at a higher risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction:

  • Frequent alcohol drinkers
  • Men aged over 40
  • Those with depression, stress or anxiety
  • Overweight men
  • Those with a medical condition (eg: high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease)

With the above categories being fairly broad, it’s clear to see just how many men may have erectile dysfunction.

How do you treat erectile dysfunction?

Luckily, due to being such a global problem, there are many erectile dysfunction treatments available. The most popular treatments include:

Lifestyle Changes

You may have noticed that some of the people at risk of having erectile dysfunction can alleviate the issue with a few lifestyle changes. Reducing alcohol intake, maintaining a good exercise routine, eating healthily and stopping smoking are all lifestyle changes that can reduce the chances of erectile dysfunction occurring.

Therapy

If mental health problems are affecting your sexual performance, seeking help through therapy is a viable option. A therapist will be able to unravel any underlying concerns which might be triggering the mental health problem, and over time, your sexual performance will benefit as a result.

Prescribed Erectile Dysfunction Tablets

Erectile dysfunction tablets are one of the most popular, and quickest, solutions for erectile dysfunction. An oral erectile dysfunction tablet is taken roughly one hour before sex, and once in the system, can last for up to four hours!

The two most popular erectile dysfunction tablets go by the name of Sildenafil and Viagra. Both treatments are extremely similar and effectively enable more blood to flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. Sildenafil tablets and Viagra tablets are both available at Express Pharmacy and can be delivered to you in as little as one working day. It’s never been so easy to discreetly buy Viagra online.

If you have erectile dysfunction and would like to seek help, do not hesitate to contact our pharmaceutical experts on 0208 123 0703. Alternatively, browse our erectile dysfunction treatments today.

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What Causes Premature Ejaculation?

Posted Friday 17 January 2020 08:42 by in Premature Ejaculation by Harman Bhamra

Timing is everything in relationships, particularly in the bedroom. But with so many sexual health problems interfering with thousands of lives, many couples are struggling to stay satisfied.

There is a lot of taboo around sexual health problems; people are often misinformed about different concerns and their effects. This is particularly the case when it comes to premature ejaculation. But what causes premature ejaculation, and how can you treat it?

What is premature ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation affects between 30% to 40% of men at some point in their life, so it’s more common than you may think.

Ejaculation problems are one of the most common sexual concerns for men, and there are three main types:

  • Premature ejaculation
  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Retrograde ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is the most common, affecting as many as one in five men. It occurs when a man ejaculates too quickly (usually after less than two minutes) during sexual intercourse.

Studies have found that the average time taken for men to ejaculate is around five and a half minutes. Of course, it is up to each couple to determine whether they are happy with how long sexual intercourse lasts, and there is no definition of how long the duration should be. But if men are finding that around half of their attempts at sexual intercourse result in premature ejaculation, it could be a cause for concern.

Premature Ejaculation Causes

Various premature ejaculation causes can lead to ongoing problems. Some of the most common causes of premature ejaculation include:

Other Health Problems

Premature ejaculation can be caused by other health issues, with the most common being problems with the thyroid or prostate. However, it’s also worth noting that premature ejaculation can cause these problems, so be sure to monitor which came first.

Mental Health

Mental health issues tend to be a huge contributor to sexual performance problems. This is particularly the case with depression; low levels of serotonin can lower your ejaculation stamina, leading to premature ejaculation.

Premature ejaculation can also be caused by stress or relationship problems, as your mind will be too busy focusing on other things.

Anxiety Over Sexual Performance

Men who have anxiety over their sexual performance, especially in the early days of a new relationship, often find that they develop ejaculation issues. This may be an issue which naturally goes as confidence builds, but some may find that the anxiety still remains.

Conditioning

It is possible for early sexual experiences to play a big part in sexual performance later in life. For example, if a teenager conditions himself to ejaculate quickly in order to avoid being caught masturbating, this can become a habit that is difficult to break later in life.

Sexual Trauma

Traumatic sexual experiences can range from being caught masturbating by a family member to being sexually abused, and this can make performing sexually later in life very difficult.

Upbringing and Beliefs about Sex

Men who have had a strict upbringing and were taught certain things surrounding sex may still have those beliefs in adulthood, impacting their ability to perform during sexual intercourse.

Biological Reasons

Biological problems, such as having an unusually sensitive penis, can lead to premature ejaculation.

Treatments for premature ejaculation

While many men find that they struggle with premature ejaculation at some point in their life, the good news is that there are several options for treating the issue. Treatment for premature ejaculation can range from behavioural techniques and exercise to therapy and medication.

Behavioural Techniques

Behavioural techniques can benefit a lot of men when it comes to controlling ejaculation. The ‘stop and start’ method involves you or your partner stimulating the penis until you are close to orgasm, then stopping for around 30 seconds or until the feeling passes. Begin the arousal again and then repeat the process three or four times before actually ejaculating, to train your body to last longer.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to premature ejaculation; pelvic floor exercises can help to strengthen the muscles in this area. These muscles are strengthened by locating the muscles used to stop your urine flow midstream and then holding them tight for three seconds before releasing them. Repeat this process ten times, three times a day.

Therapy

Therapy is also beneficial for some men who have negative emotions or thoughts surrounding sex. Therapy can be a useful treatment alongside medical or behavioural methods to deal with certain mental health issues which may be causing the problem.

Medication

Some men also find that certain medications can help them, including:

Priligy Tablets: Priligy tablets are a prescription medication containing dapoxetine which increases serotonin levels in the body, resulting in a significant impact on a man’s ability to reach ejaculation. The serotonin levels send nerve signal transmissions, providing men with more control over when they ejaculate.

EMLA Cream: EMLA is a local anaesthetic cream which uses Lidocaine and Prilocaine to numb the skin, preventing discomfort and reducing sensitivity. It’s a common ‘off-label’ solution to premature ejaculation problems as it can increase a man’s ability to last longer during sex by as much as six times. You can buy EMLA cream over the counter or online, and it is applied 30 minutes prior to intercourse.

Regain control of your sexual performance

Premature ejaculation is a common problem for men, and if it’s occurring sporadically, it’s nothing to worry about. However, if you’re finding that you regularly ejaculate sooner than you would like, it’s worth trying out a handful of the treatments mentioned in this guide. Get in touch with our experts on 0208 123 0703 or browse our treatment range for more information.

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How to Avoid Altitude Sickness When Skiing This Winter

Posted Thursday 16 January 2020 14:19 by in Altitude Sickness by Tim Deakin

Hitting the slopes is a winter staple for many of us, but it’s important not to let altitude sickness put a halt to your winter fun

In order to combat the January blues, increasing numbers of us have started putting time aside to enjoy a winter break in the post-Christmas slump. And one of the most popular winter breaks is, of course, the skiing holiday.

But like any sporting holiday, skiing comes with its own array of health factors to consider. Chief among them is altitude sickness.

This is debilitating and potentially serious condition which impacts many of us who visit mountainous regions. In fact, up to half of people who ascend heights of more than 2,500m will likely develop acute mountain sickness, with the risk increasing at higher altitudes and at faster rates of ascent.[1]

So what exactly is altitude sickness, and what can you do to avoid it? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is altitude sickness?

Put simply, altitude sickness is your body’s reaction to climbing to high altitudes it’s not used to.

Altitude sickness is actually a term that refers to a range of conditions, all of which can impact individuals as a result of ascending rapidly to high altitudes. These conditions are acute mountain sickness (AMD, the most common form of altitude sickness), high altitude cerebral oedema (HACE) and high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE).[2]

What causes altitude sickness?

As we climb higher, the air gets thinner and atmospheric pressure decreases. As a result, the body needs to work harder to inhale normal levels of oxygen.

The higher and faster you climb, the more likely you are to develop altitude sickness.

Between 9 and 25% of individuals ascending to 2,000-3,000m develop AMS compared to 35 to 50% of those ascending to 3,500-4,500m.[3] Meanwhile, HACE and HAPE occur far less frequently than AMS, affecting around 1-2% of individuals who ascend altitudes between 4,000 and 5,000m.[4]

Who is most impacted by altitude sickness?

Anybody who travels at high altitude can be impacted by some degree of altitude sickness. There is no one type of person who will be impacted, and no one is automatically immune to it.

However, certain groups are at an increased risk, including people who:

Have a history of altitude sickness

Overexert themselves during a climb

Drink alcohol before an ascent

Ascend rapidly

Have a pre-existing medical condition which affects breathing[5]

How to prevent altitude sickness

Ease yourself into your activities

One of the best pieces of advice for anyone hoping to avoid altitude sickness is to simply take your time while you’re climbing.

Those with a predisposition to high altitude sickness who ascend to altitudes higher than 2,500m should aim not to spend the night at an altitude any more than 300 to 350m higher than the previous night.[6]

Stay hydrated

The symptoms of dehydration are similar to those of altitude sickness – namely dizziness, nausea and headaches. Because of this, being dehydrated as you ascend can worsen your condition. Drinking plenty of fluid during your altitude exposure can help to alleviate any symptoms.[7]

Research your resort

If you’re concerned about how your body will react to higher altitudes, do a little research around different resorts before committing to one destination. Satellite resorts tend to be positioned in lower altitude bases and offer a more gradual ascent.

Choose the right medication

As with any medical condition, there are many supposed miracle cures for altitude advertised, but it’s important to view these with a healthy dose of suspicion and only choose medications which have been proven to contain medical benefits.

Acetazolamide is the only medication which is known to both prevent and treat altitude sickness effectively and safely.[8]

Safe and effective altitude sickness medication like Acetazolamide is available right here at Express Pharmacy. Get in touch with one of our expert pharmacists today to find out more. Simply call us on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet online Live Chat service.

[1] Murdoch, D. PhD. Altitude Sickness. British Medical Journal. 2010

[2] Travel Health Pro. Altitude Sickness. 2019

[3] Honigman, B. MD. et al. Acute Mountain Sickness in a General Tourist Population at Moderate Altitudes. Annals of Internal Medicine. 1993

[4] Barry, PW. Pollard. AJ. Altitude illness. British Medical Journal. 2003

[5] Gallagher, SA. MD. Hackett, P. MD. Patient education: High altitude illness (including mountain sickness) (Beyond the Basics). American Academy of Emergency Medicine. 2019

[6] Schommer, K. PhD. et al. Basic Medical Advice for Travelers to High Altitudes. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. 2011

[7] Harvard Health Publishing. Altitude Sickness: What is it? Harvard Medical School. 2018

[8] APEX. Altitude Sickness. 2019

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Obesity Awareness Week: What Causes Weight Gain and Obesity?

Posted Monday 13 January 2020 08:40 by in Weight loss by Harman Bhamra

Obesity is one of the most common health problems in the world and has been connected with numerous concerns, from high blood sugar to high blood pressure. Collectively, these related conditions are known as metabolic syndrome, and people with metabolic syndrome are more likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Much research has been carried out over the last few decades into the causes of obesity and the different ways that it can be prevented and treated. In light of obesity awareness week, we are taking a look at what causes weight gain and obesity, and how you can overcome it.

What is the definition of obesity?

The definition of obesity refers to someone who is very overweight. Obesity is a common global problem, with one in four adults in the UK alone affected.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most widely used method to check if someone is overweight; it’s a measure of whether you’re at a healthy weight for your height. A BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered a healthy weight, while 25 to 29.9 means you’re overweight.

If you have a BMI of between 30 and 39.9, you will be classed as obese. And, if you score over 40, you are considered to be severely obese. However, while BMI is useful in indicating whether you’re at a healthy weight, it’s important to note that it doesn’t take into account other factors such as muscle percentage.

With this in mind, a better measure of excess fat is waist size – men who are obese generally have a waist size of 40 inches or more, while obese women have a waist of 35 inches or more.

What causes weight gain?

Many people believe that those who are overweight simply don’t have the willpower to get healthy, but that isn’t true in the majority of cases. In fact, what causes obesity can vary from genetics right through to medical problems.

The following pointers are the main causes of weight gain, which can lead to obesity:

Genetics

Genetics play a huge role in obesity and children of obese parents are much more likely to become obese themselves. That’s not to say that obesity is completely predetermined and out of your control, as diet and exercise can still influence your individual weight. But genetic components do affect how susceptible you are to gaining, and holding on to, weight.

Medication

Pharmaceutical drugs like antidepressants and diabetes medication cite weight gain as one of the side effects. These medications don’t impact your willpower, but they do affect the functioning of your brain, which reduces your metabolic rate and increases your appetite.

Food Addiction

Fatty foods stimulate reward centres in the brain, leading to an addictive sensation. In fact, these foods have been compared to drugs like cocaine, alcohol and nicotine in terms of how addictive they are.

Addiction is complex and difficult for many people to overcome, as it alters the chemistry of the brain, making it hard to stop. People who are addicted to food lose control of their eating habits and become more likely to gain weight as a result.

Sugar

The impact sugar has on our health is not new news. One of the ways it harms us is by changing the hormones and biochemistry in our bodies, altering insulin resistance and increasing the chance of gaining weight.

Misinformation

A lack of understanding about health and nutrition is largely to blame for the levels of obesity around the world. From inaccurate information online to magazines and newspapers; many sources quickly become misinterpreted or taken out of context. Food companies also play a role in this, as do diet brands.

What is the best way to lose weight?

The best way to lose weight is by combining a few different lifestyle changes. Firstly, assess your diet and take note of the types of food you are eating; could you switch to healthier alternatives? Make sure you eat three meals a day too - many people believe that skipping breakfast will be beneficial to weight loss, but the opposite is true, and it means you miss out on the necessary nutrients to kickstart your day.

Getting more active is also key to successful weight loss; start walking more when possible or join a fitness class at your local gym.

To give your weight loss journey an extra boost, you can even take effective weight loss pills. Xenical weight loss pills aim to reduce the amount of fat absorbed during digestion. They are an effective weight loss treatment when used alongside a balanced diet and exercise regime, improving your cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and reducing levels of insulin.

Conclusion

Obesity is a global epidemic that poses a significant concern for the health of millions of people. Your weight loss journey will require a lot of determination, but by combining weight loss pills, meal planning and exercise, you’ll begin to notice significant differences to your body image. You’ll even benefit from reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other diseases.

Get in touch with our experts on 0208 123 0703 for more information regarding effective weight loss.

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Why Go Dry for January?

Posted Friday 10 January 2020 12:10 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

Many of us choose to welcome the new year by abstaining from booze, but how beneficial is Dry January?

It’s the start of a brand new year, which means many of us have probably spent the last few weeks eating and drinking more than usual. To counteract this overindulgence, we often promise ourselves that we’re going to look after our health in January. And for many, this means Dry January.

Committing to Dry January means abstaining from alcohol for the first month of year, in an attempt to improve your health.

Alcohol consumption is an ongoing issue in the UK, with significant numbers of people regularly drinking to excess. In fact, 21% of UK adults drink more than 14 units per week, leading to over 337,800 hospital admissions per year. What’s worse, the UK also experiences more than 5,800 alcohol-specific deaths per year.[1]

But can Dry January help counteract the health concerns associated with alcohol? These are just some of the benefits involved.

The benefits of Dry January

Sleep better

Improving your sleep can help to significantly improve your overall health, as sleep impacts everything from mood and mental wellbeing to weight and cardiovascular health. In fact, research has shown that men with severe sleep apnoea are 58% more likely to develop congestive heart failure.[2]

Yet while we all know sleep is important, drinking too much can negatively impact your sleep quality significantly. For one thing, excessive drinking is widely associated with fatigue and persistent sluggishness. Indeed, alcohol accounts for at least 10% of all cases of chronic insomnia.[3]

As such, cutting down on drink in January can improve your sleep. Research from Alcohol Change UK reveals that 71% of people experienced better quality sleep when they cut out alcohol for a month, while 67% said they had more energy.[4]

Weight loss

Weight management is by far one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and taking part in Dry January can help you achieve your goals.

Alcohol has a much higher calorie content than most people realise, containing seven calories per gram. This beats out both protein and carbohydrate (four calories per gram) and is only slightly less than fat (nine calories per gram).[5]

Abstaining from alcohol not only lowers your calorie intake, but can also give you the energy you need to move more and eat healthier. It’s no surprise that over half of Dry January participants (58%) report weight loss as a result of their efforts.[6]

Attitude adjustment

Although Dry January only lasts for a month, completing the challenge can lead to long-term changes in your relationship with alcohol. One study looked at the effects of Dry January on 857 participants, and found that 64% continued to drink less alcohol even six months after Dry January had finished.[7]

Committing to better health in 2020 doesn’t have to mean a choice between cutting out alcohol altogether or continuing with business as usual. Even cutting back a bit on your alcohol intake, rather than abstaining completely, can benefit your health in numerous ways. Consuming less alcohol is associated with better mood, higher concentration, clearer skin, higher energy levels, weight loss, better quality sleep and improved health all-round.[8]

Make 2020 the year your health flourishes with weight loss medication and so much more at Express Pharmacy. Speak to one of our expert pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet Live Chat service.

[1] NHS UK. Statistics on Alcohol, England 2019. 2019

[2] National Sleep Foundation. How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Heart. 2018

[3] Harvard Health Publishing. Alcohol and fatigue: sedative effects of drinking can also initiate other physical responses in the body. 2017

[4] Alcohol Change UK. Dry January. 2019

[5] Tayie, FA. Beck, GL. Alcoholic beverage consumption contributes to caloric and moisture intakes and body weight status. Nutrition. 2016

[6] Alcohol Change UK. Dry January. 2019

[7] De Visser, RO. et al. Voluntary temporary abstinence from alcohol during “Dry January” and subsequent alcohol use. Health Psychology. 2016

[8] Drinkaware. Reasons for cutting down on alcohol. 2019

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