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What Are the Symptoms of Cystitis?

Posted Monday 11 May 2020 12:00 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

Cystitis is the term used when referring to inflammation of the bladder. Inflammation of the bladder is usually caused by a bladder infection, also known as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

While mild forms of cystitis will treat themselves within a few days, some people find the symptoms too painful to leave. This is particularly the case amongst those who frequently suffer from cystitis episodes.

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about the symptoms of cystitis, helping you to make an informed decision on whether you have cystitis.

Symptoms of Cystitis

The most common symptoms of cystitis are as follows:

  • The constant feeling of needing to urinate
  • A burning or stinging feeling when you urinate
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Dark/cloudy or strong-smelling urine
  • Mild fever symptoms (low-grade fever, exhaustion, aches)

If adults have a high temperature - of 38°C or above - then the problem is more likely to be a kidney infection.

While cystitis is far more difficult to spot amongst children, the above symptoms and a loss of appetite may indicate that a trip to the doctors is needed.

What Causes These Symptoms?

Cystitis is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection, but other causes can relate to bladder irritation or underlying health issues.

The majority of bacterial infections occur when bacteria from your bowel gets into your bladder by passing through the urethra. This can happen when:

  • You wipe from back to front after going to the toilet
  • You have sex
  • You use a contraceptive diaphragm

When Should I See A Doctor?

It’s advised to see a doctor when you are experiencing unbearable symptoms or symptoms similar to a kidney infection. This includes a fever, nausea, vomiting and back or side pain.

It is also advised to see a doctor if you notice blood in your urine.

Treatments For Cystitis

Mild cystitis symptoms near enough always clear up after a few days, without the need for any treatment. There are, however, antibiotics available for those who can’t deal with the symptoms or have severe symptoms. You can purchase cystitis treatment right here at Express Pharmacy and have the antibiotics delivered discreetly right to your doorstep.

Want more information? Check out our guide on the best antibiotics for UTIs!

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World Asthma Day: What Is Asthma?

Posted Tuesday 05 May 2020 12:12 by in Express Pharmacy by Harman Bhamra

Around 5.4 million people in the UK are currently being treated for asthma. It is a condition which doesn’t discriminate, affecting people of all ages.

In light of - what would have been - World Asthma Day, we have put together this helpful guide to uncover the basics about asthma.

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a lung condition that affects your airways. It is typically known for causing occasional breathing difficulties.

As mentioned earlier, asthma affects people of all ages. Most sufferers develop the condition during childhood, but there have also been many asthma cases that haven’t developed until adulthood.

What Are The Symptoms of Asthma - How Does It Feel?

There are four main symptoms of asthma:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • Having a tight chest

These symptoms tend to get worse - and can even cause an asthma attack - when the sufferer is exposed to certain triggers. These triggers usually depend on the type of asthma someone has.

What Types of Asthma Are There?

Luckily, all types of asthma are usually treated the same, meaning you don’t need to categorise yourself if you’re unsure. These types, however, may help you to know what type of triggers to stay away from.

Allergic/Atopic Asthma: Allergic asthma can be triggered by a whole range of allergens including dust, pollen and pets. It is extremely common for those with allergic asthma to also have other ‘allergies’ such as hay fever and eczema. There are also high chances of an allergic asthma sufferer having some sort of food allergy, too.

Those with allergic asthma have to be very careful around - or avoid - the allergens which trigger them.

Seasonal Asthma: Seasonal asthma is the one type of asthma which allows sufferers to go symptom-free for a good chunk of the year. As the name suggests, those with seasonal asthma tend to only suffer during a certain season. Most commonly, this is during hay fever season.

Exercise-Induced Asthma: Many people with asthma soon discover that exercise makes their symptoms worse. While most people who exercise will get out of breath and recover quickly, those with exercise-induced asthma will be putting themselves in danger if they were to carry on as normal.

Severe Asthma: Severe asthma affects 4% of people with asthma. It is diagnosed by the onset of severe symptoms such as frequent asthma attacks, but it can also be diagnosed when current treatment is proving to be ineffective.

Those with severe asthma require specialist treatment, usually from the help of an asthma clinic.

Late-Onset Asthma: Late-onset asthma - also known as adult-onset asthma - is the type of asthma which doesn’t develop until adulthood. This is usually triggered by smoking, obesity, female hormones, or even your job.

For more information regarding the different types of Asthma, check out this guide from Asthma UK.

How Long Does Asthma Last?

Unfortunately, asthma is a long-term condition for most people. There is, however, a chance that you can grow out of it if diagnosed as a child. Everyone is different.

How Do Doctors Test For Asthma?

When you go to your GP, they will ask basic questions about your symptoms and any known allergies. From here, they may wish to take further tests. These tests aren’t usually carried out on young children - instead, young children will receive an inhaler until they’re at a suitable age for testing.

In the UK, the three main tests for asthma are:

FeNO Test: All that you need to do is breathe into a machine which can measure the level of nitric oxide in your breath. Traces of nitric oxide tend to suggest that your lungs are inflamed.

Peak Flow Test: A peak flow test involves blowing into a device which will measure how fast you can breath out. This can be repeated as much as need be to look for any patterns.

Spirometry Test: Similarly to the peak flow test, a spirometry test involves blowing into a machine which measures how fast you can breath out. In addition to this, a spirometry test will also measure how much air your lungs can hold.

Treatments For Asthma

Sadly, there is currently no cure for asthma, but there are plenty of effective treatments which help to relieve symptoms:

Inhalers: Inhalers are the most common form of treatment amongst asthma sufferers. They contain a special medicine (which you inhale).

Reliever inhalers - blue inhalers - are the most common type. Reliever inhalers are used to treat symptoms as and when they occur. If you find that you’re relying on your reliever inhaler more than three times a week, then you may have to move on to a preventer inhaler.

Preventer inhalers are used every day to prevent any asthma-related symptoms. They contain a special steroid medicine which helps to reduce the inflammation of your lungs/airways.

If the above two types of inhalers are not effective, then you might receive a combination inhaler which combines the medicines from both.

Tablets: Tablets can also be taken if an inhaler isn’t effective enough. The most common forms are LTRAs, Theophylline and steroid tablets. Your GP will help to decide which tablet is most suited for your symptoms.

Injections: Injections are a more modern form of treatment for those with severe asthma. They are given every few weeks to control severe symptoms.

Get More Information

If you wish to know more about asthma and the effects it has, then check out these incredible resources:

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How Do Period Delay Tablets Work?

Posted Friday 01 May 2020 11:00 by in Period Delay Treatment by Harman Bhamra

Periods can be a right nuisance at times - they constantly need seeing to and can cause a whole range of uncomfortable symptoms like back pain, mood swings and stomach cramps.

While women all over the globe grow accustomed to dealing with a period every month, there are likely to be times when coming ‘on’ just isn’t an option. From weddings to festivals, camping to holidays, there are many reasons as to why someone may wish to delay the arrival of their period. And that is perfectly normal.

This guide will uncover everything you need to know about how period delay tablets work.

How To Delay Your Period

The easiest - and safest - way to delay your period is through the use of period delay tablets. These are ideal for women who are not on the contraceptive pill and therefore not currently in control of their menstrual cycle.

Check out our guide on how to delay your period for more information.

How Do Period Delay Tablets Work?

Period delay tablets are very clever in what they do, but it’s perfectly normal to have concerns about how they actually work. To put it simply, period delay tablets contain synthetic hormones which mimic progesterone (one of the main hormone’s that controls menstrual activity).

On a normal menstrual cycle, progesterone levels will start to fall. When they go below a certain point, the uterus starts to shed, causing a period. Through taking period delay tablets, ‘progesterone’ levels are kept high, signalling to the uterus that it doesn’t need to shed. Essentially, your body is being tricked into thinking it’s pregnant.

Once you’ve finished taking your course of period day tablets, your progesterone levels will begin to stabilize, going back to how they would normally act. This means that, a few days after you stop taking the tablets, your progesterone levels will drop and your period will begin.

Are Period Delay Tablets Safe?

Norethisterone is by far the most popular period delay tablet on the market. It is trusted by doctors and health professionals worldwide due to being both safe and effective.

Like many other types of medication, period delay tablets should be avoided if you are pregnant, have liver or kidney problems, or form blood clots easily. Speak to your doctor if you have any underlying health conditions.

How Quickly Does Norethisterone Take To Work?

It is advised to begin taking Norethisterone three days before you are expected to start your period. You will then need to take one tablet three times a day for the duration of your course. You will only start bleeding once you have finished the course.

Looking to delay your period? You can buy norethisterone online right here at Express Pharmacy.

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Blocked Nose Caused by Hay Fever? Here’s How to Treat It

Posted Thursday 30 April 2020 10:20 by in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief by Harman Bhamra

Are you suffering from a blocked nose caused by hay fever? You are not alone. Millions of people in the UK suffer from hay fever every year. In this blog, we will show you how to treat a blocked nose at home. But before we do that, let's talk about what hay fever actually is.

What Is Hay Fever?

Also known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever is an irritation or inflammation of the nose. The symptoms of hay fever may include a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itchiness in the throat or roof of the mouth, itchy nose and skin, watery eyes, postnasal drip, and nasal congestion. These symptoms may linger if hay fever is left untreated.

What Causes Hay Fever?

Hay fever is usually caused by allergens like pollen, mould, fungi, perfume, cigarette smoke, dust mites, and pet dander. These allergens are harmless but sometimes, the body’s immune system overreacts to these substances when they enter the body. As a result, your body produces histamines and other chemicals which are the culprit of the hay fever symptoms we’ve discussed above.

How Long Is Hay Fever Season?

Hay fever season in the UK usually begins in the early spring and summer months. Below are some of the allergens commonly present during this period:

  • May and July – grass pollen
  • February and September – tree pollen
  • June and September – weed pollen

Take note that hay fever can be perennial (all year) too. This kind of hay fever is usually caused by indoor allergens like dust, mould, and pet fur.

Treating Your Blocked Nose Caused by Hay Fever

A stuffy nose is caused by inflamed blood vessels (caused by flu, colds, infection, or allergy) in your sinuses. A blocked nose can be a right nuisance, especially when all you want to do is enjoy some fresh air. Luckily, there are some easy ways to fix it. Read below:

1. Take a hot shower

Steam from a hot shower reduces the inflammation in your nose. It also helps thin out the mucus. So, the next time you find yourself bogged down by a blocked nose, consider hopping into the bathroom and enjoy a warm shower.

You can also get the same results by breathing in steam from a pot of hot water. How to do it? Simply put a towel over your head and place your head over the hot water. Let steam build-up for some time and then take deep breaths.

2. Use a humidifier in your room

Breathing in moist air can help soothe your swollen blood vessels and irritated sinuses. Humidifiers can also help to thin out mucus. Humidifiers work by converting water into moisture that slowly fills the air around you. It's a must-have, especially during hay fever season.

3. Use a warm compress

It’s very easy to make a warm compress. Simply soak a clean towel in a bowl of warm water. Squeeze out the excess water and then fold it. Place the warm compress over your nose or forehead. A warm compress can provide relief from a blocked nose by opening your nasal passages. It can also help provide some comfort and reduce the inflammation in your nostrils.

4. Buy a saline nasal spray

A saline spray is just a saltwater solution. You spray it into your nostrils to increase moisture and to thin out the mucus that’s been blocking your nasal passages. Saline sprays also help decrease the inflammation in your sinuses.

Some saline sprays are medicated. For example, this mometasone nasal spray is a saline spray infused with corticosteroids (mometasone) that work by reducing the inflammation and swelling in your nose. Corticosteroids can also help relieve other symptoms caused by hay fever such as sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.

5. Take allergy medicines

Another way to relieve your blocked nose is by taking allergy medicines, usually antihistamines. These drugs work by countering the effect of histamines which are produced by your body when you have hay fever. Histamines cause most of the symptoms of hay fever including a stuffy nose. Antihistamines can help reduce the swelling in your sinuses and relieve your nasal congestion.

Keep in mind that some antihistamines can make you feel drowsy. Don’t take them when you need to be active (like working or driving).

6. Drink liquids

Staying hydrated can help unblock your nose. Liquids (i.e. water, juice, or sports drinks) thin out the mucus in your nasal passages, making it easier to breathe clearly. This relieves pressure on your sinuses. Thus, reducing the irritation and inflammation.

If your blocked nose comes with a sore throat, try warm tea or soup to help soothe your irritated throat too.

Final Thoughts

Remember that hay fever symptoms will not go away as long as you are still exposed to the allergen that’s causing it. All you can do is manage your symptoms.

But prevention is better than cure. Lifestyle changes like the following can help you prevent hay fever:

  • Not going outside when the pollen count is high
  • Keeping your doors and windows shut
  • Keeping pets outside the house
  • Cleaning your house
  • Not smoking inside
  • Planting a low-allergen garden
  • Damping dust regularly using a wet cloth to prevent it from collecting

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8 Ways to Cope With Anxiety

Posted Friday 24 April 2020 12:00 by in Express Pharmacy by Harman Bhamra

Anxiety is normal. It is your body’s response to stress. It’s often characterized by a feeling of fear or apprehension about future events - for example - one may feel anxious before giving a speech, moving to a new place or going to a job interview.

Although a normal feeling, there are times in life when your anxiety may feel like too much to handle. If your anxiety lasts longer than six months, doesn’t seem to have a trigger or affects your daily life, then you could be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Compared to ordinary anxiety which comes and goes, anxiety disorders are usually intense, debilitating, and extreme.

Who Can Anxiety Disorders Affect?

Anxiety disorders can affect anyone, regardless of age. Below are the most common disorders associated with anxiety:

  • Phobia – irrational fear of an activity, object, or situation
  • Panic disorder – recurring, unexpected panic attacks. A person who experiences sudden panic attacks may also develop a phobia (i.e. agoraphobia)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder – commonly known as PTSD, this type of anxiety is usually caused by a traumatic event
  • Separation anxiety disorder – the fear of being far or separated from loved ones
  • Social anxiety disorder – extreme fear of being judged by other people

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Anxiety symptoms vary from one person to another. But in general, people experience:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Increased heart rate
  • Inability to focus
  • Restlessness

How to Cope with Anxiety

Can I overcome my anxiety? Of course, yes! There are many ways to cope with anxiety. Read on to discover some of these ways.

1. Exercise regularly

We can’t stress enough the importance of exercise to your overall well being. Moving your body can ease your anxiety and boost your self-confidence. Aim for light, 30-minute workout sessions at least 5 times a week. It doesn’t have to be in a gym. You can always workout at home using the online tutorials.

2. Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol intake

Alcohol is considered to be a "downer" while caffeine is an "upper". Food and drinks containing these substances can kick your anxiety into overdrive. So, try to limit or avoid them. It’s not just coffee and soda. These substances are also present in chocolates, teas, weight loss pills, and even headache meds.

3. Practice deep breaths

Through taking deep breaths, you can help your mind and body to relax. This is why mindful practises like meditation and yoga are so effective! Here’s how to do it right:

Step 1: Lie down on a flat surface

Step 2: Put one hand on your chest and another hand on your belly

Step 3: Breathe in slowly (make sure you can feel your belly rising)

Step 4: Hold your breath for a second

Step 5: Breathe out slowly

Step 6: Repeat

4. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the many ways to cope with anxiety. But it’s not just how long you sleep - it’s also about how good your sleep is. Doctors recommend at least 8 hours of sleep per night. If you find it hard to fall asleep, try these tips:

  • Create a routine and stick to it
  • Make sure your bedroom is free from clutter and your bed is comfortable
  • Avoid staring at phones or computer screens at least one hour before you go to bed (try reading a book instead!)
  • Keep your room temperature cool

5. Tame your thoughts

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” – Invictus by William Ernest Henley

You are the boss. You can control how you react towards anxiety. When negative thoughts nag you, take control and turn them into positive ones. Don’t run away from your fears. Instead, face them head-on! The more you tame your thoughts, the easier it is for you to fight off anxiety.

6. Allow yourself to have 'worrying time'

According to experts, one way to cope with anxiety is to schedule your worry time. Set aside a specific time - let’s say 30 minutes a day - to confront your fears and anything that makes you anxious. Do this at the same time every day. No what-ifs. Focus on what’s bothering you and deal with it as much as you can.

7. Identify your triggers

Look for patterns in your anxiety attacks. Identify times, places, or events where you feel anxious. Write these down. Once you know what triggers your anxiety, you can work on ways to confront these triggers so you’ll be better prepared next time they come round.

8. Speak to your doctor or therapist

If anxiety is dampening your quality of life, then a doctor will be able to get you on the road to recovery. Whether they refer you to a therapist or prescribe you medication, there are many routes to take to win back a life without anxiety.

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