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Is it possible to eat, drink, be merry AND stay healthy this Christmas?

Posted Thursday 18 December 2014 13:14 by in Weight loss by Tim Deakin

weight loss medication

Unless you are a born again scrooge, you can't help but have noticed that 'tis the season to be jolly. And being "jolly", as we all know, usually entails merry-making with the help of scrummy mince pies, tasty turkey dinner with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding to boot.

In fact, according to dieticians, the average person consumes roughly 6,000 calories on Christmas Day - that's three times the average guideline daily allowance for women.

So, should you simply give up and accept that December is a time when you're destined to have an overly large belly that wobbles like a bowl full of jelly? Or can you be merry without taking on the appearance of Santa himself?

Take food out of focus

Our most important piece of advice would be to avoid making food the entire focus of your day. Focus instead on having fun.

Yes, fun can be had at the dinner table as you indulge in some of the finer things in life. But stay at the table too long and you will quickly find yourself picking at food your stomach doesn't really want or need.

Instead, organise an afternoon activity to maximise enjoyment on the big day and take away the temptation to snack continuously. And the same goes for the rest of the festive season, when meals tend to take a more calorific approach.

Need a little help? Here are some fun activitiesto chalk up on your list this December:

- Dancing – From the office Xmas party to a family Christmas Day, get some songs playing and encourage yourself to stay on your feet. Believe it or not but a gentle dance can still burn off a significant number of calories.

- Ice Skating – it’s fun for all the family, extremely festive and extremely healthy (as long as you don’t fall over too much).

- Conversation – while eating meals,make sure you indulge not only in the food but also in having fun with the family. Enjoy Christmas crackers, jokes and funny stories – all of this will slow down your eating, ultimately allowing you to get full quicker, on less food.

- Party Games – it’s a time for celebrating so do it in style by playing as many active games as possible. Musical statues, musical chairs, pretty much any game – the more fun you’re having and the more excited you are, the more likely you are to be burning any excess calories and not eating.

 

Plan out your partying

The Christmas period in general is a time for parties, celebrations and indulgence. Try and be selective about which days you plan on letting yourself go. If you pick specific days, like Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and the work Christmas party and indulge on these days then you can attempt to eat well and stay active in between.

For the big day itself we have a collection of vital tips for maximising healthiness amidst this storm of gluttony:

  1. Eat a good breakfast – you will be less likely to snack before dinner.
  2. While eating your Christmas dinner make sure you eat an average-sized portion and then take a 20-minute break. It usually takes around 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full, so after the break you’ll know whether you need to eat more or not.
  3. Eat plenty of nuts and dried fruit – they’re an excellent source ofironandzincwhich can help in your production of digestive acids, the lack of which is a common cause of indigestion.
  4. Try including pineapple in your dessert. Pineapple is a source of bromelin which is an enzyme which can aid the digestion of protein, namely your Christmas turkey.
  5. Stick to turkey over other birds such as duck and goose. Turkey is a much leaner meat, having much less unhealthy fat.
  6. Also, if like most excellent cooks you use the juices form your meat to make the gravy for your Christmas dinner, make sure you let the gravy stand before serving it. The fat will settle on the top meaning you can skim it off to reduce calories without sacrificing flavour.
  7. Lastly, try steaming vegetables instead of boiling them, this way they will retain more of their health vitamins and nutrients.
It is also important to remember just how much alcohol can contribute to your calorie intake over Christmas. If you cannot imagine your Christmas without it, there are some simple measures to take to lessen the blow. First, swap beer for spritzers for a much smaller calorie intake.

Consider diluting wines and spirits with water and ice and make sure that for every drink you have, have a non-alcoholic juice or glass of water in between.

Last but most certainly not least, as a way of ensuring you don’t over-do it this Christmas to the point of no return, try starting an exercise regime in December. This can involve anything as little as going for a jog a couple days a week, walking more often or a more extreme gym regime.

Manypeople make getting fit an intangible and unreachable New Year’s resolution but starting off with even the smallest routine in December sets you in good stead for keeping it up or even upping your game in January.

Suffering from more serious weight issues and are worried that things are only getting worse this Winter? Why not consult your pharmacist today on the best weight control and weight loss options.

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Propecia’s Patent Expiry: What Does it Mean for Men Suffering from Hair Loss?

Posted Sunday 07 December 2014 09:20 by in Hair Loss by Tim Deakin

propecia patent expiry

October saw the expiration of the patent on Propecia, a hair loss treatment commonly used by men suffering from male pattern baldness. But what does this mean for pharmacies and, more importantly, those who require this form of medication.

You may be familiar with Propecia already. In the same way that the brand Viagra became synonymous with treating erectile dysfunction through the early part of the 21st century, so Propecia has become the name most commonly associated with treating male pattern baldness.

As of the 11th October 2014, however, Propecia’s patent on this medication expired and an opportunity opened up for rival pharmaceutical firms to promote a different name – that of the active ingredient finasteride 1mg.

Finasteride, also known as ‘generic Propecia’ is now readily available in UK pharmacies alongside the familiar face of Propecia. And as with generic sildenafil – the active ingredient in Viagra – generic finasteride is noticeably cheaper than its more famous alternative.

As Head Pharmacist, Daman Bhamra, says:

“The expiry of Propecia’s patent can be good news to many men suffering distress as a result of male pattern hair loss. As is usually the case when a drug patent expires, the price of Generic Propecia will likely fall over the coming months as more UK pharmaceutical companies start producing Finasteride medications.”

MrBhamra continues,

“But as we have seen with Viagra, the expiration of a patent does not mean an end to brand loyalty. Even though a number different pharmaceutical companies can produce drugs that are medically the same, it is not uncommon for patients to continue to use a branded medication at a higher price point simply because their trust in that product has been built over the months or years.”

 

What is Finasteride 1mghair loss treatments

Finasteride tablets should be taken daily as a hair loss treatment. The drug can promote the regrowth of thinning hair.

Finasteride is used to counteract the effects of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which acts on genetically susceptible hair follicles found in the front, top and crown of the scalp. In practice, DHT shortens the growth phase of the hair cycle and causes hair to become increasingly fine until eventually it disappears.

Put simply, finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. It is currently produced in tablet form to be ingested orally.

Currently, two other pharmaceutical companies have released finasteride medications since the expiration of the patent – Trent and Actavis. As Daman Bhamra suggests it is often a case personal choice, which product a patient chooses to use, and at Express Pharmacy we are able to deliver both hair loss treatments direct to a patient’s door.

What should I expect to pay for Finasteride?

The cost of both branded Propecia and Generic Finasteride may decrease over the coming months. This will largely be due to the number of drug companies who choose to produce the medication and the flexibility of the market.

Currently, finasteride is selling roughly 10% cheaper than branded Propecia, but when Viagra came off patent in 2013 the price continued to drop steadily for some months as an increasing number of companies came into the market. Today, sildenafil can cost as little as a sixth of the price of branded Viagra.

 

Are Propecia alternatives safe?

Yes. If you continue to source your Finasteride 1mg medication through a reputable and registered pharmacy, the quality of the drug is assured regardless of the manufacturer.

It is, however, important to avoid ordering hair loss medication from a questionable source. As with any medication made or distributed without the correct precautions, buying illegal drugs opens up the possibility of questionable ingredients, contamination or incorrect usage guidelines.

Always look for the GPhC logo when ordering Propecia or any other medication.

 

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Online Pharmacies: What you had to say

Posted Monday 01 December 2014 14:56 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

online pharmacy

At Express Pharmacy we stake our reputation on providing outstanding customer service and delivering the prescription medication our customers need with greater efficiency and value for money. It is for that reason we have been voted among the top 10 online pharmacies in the UK.

But we're not content with resting on our laurels, so we recently canvassed our customers to find out more about what it is our customers truly expect from us, to help us ensure that our service continues to meet the high standards we set.

Find the results of our survey below.

What is the biggest obstacle facing you when collecting a prescription

Unsurprisingly the most common problem for individuals with busy lives and little opportunity to collect prescriptions during the working day is a lack of time to collect medication. The second most common response collected from our survey was "embarrassment" with a sizeable 23.5% stating that this was the primary obstacle when obtaining medication.

online pharmacy

 

What is the most important aspect of ordering from an online pharmacy?

We also asked participants what they felt was important to them when ordering from an online pharmacy. In keeping with the answers provided in relation to obstacles facing those trying to access prescription medication, the majority of people felt that discretion (42.35%) and speed (25.88) were the features of an online service they valued most.

online pharmacies

How did we do

Delivery

According to our research, a third of all deliveries arrived with patients the very next day. This is regardless of whether the patient requested next day special delivery or standard postal service. And a similarly impressive 72% of all deliveries reached their destination within two days of the order being placed.

In total, we are happy to report that 97% of medications delivered, were received by patients in no more than 5 working days.

Service

At Express Pharmacy we pride ourselves on our impeccable service levels. We asked our customers to find out what they thought.

- 99% of respondents said they would order from Express Pharmacy again

- 78% of those surveyed were "completely satisfied" with the service they received

- 19% of customers claimed to be "very satisfied' with the remaining 3% describing themselves as "satisfied"

- 88% of respondents believed that Express Pharmacy's online system was "superior" or "equal" to that of a traditional bricks and mortar pharmacy

- 100% of customers said they would recommend Express Pharmacy to a friend or family member

 

Industry questions

We were also interested to see if our customers felt that brand and approval from a relevant governing body were important to them when ordering prescription medication. The results showed that less than half of respondents (45%) knew to look for an online pharmacy's GPhC registration but that 53% did feel that purchasing from a well known brand was an important consideration.

 

Does brand to you when buying a prescription medication?

online pharmacy

Would you know to look for the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) logo when ordering a prescription?

Q3

 

We would like to thank all respondents for the time taken to fill out our short questionnaire. If you didn't partake in this survey but would like to give your view in future surveys, look out for sign up details in our monthly newsletter.

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A Walk A Day Keeps Heart Disease At Bay

Posted Saturday 22 November 2014 22:50 by in Weight loss by Tim Deakin

weight loss medication

A recent survey of 5000 adults in Edinburgh, carried out by the city council, found that only 32% met the target of at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate exercise a week. This comes at the same time as the World Health Organisation’s worrying announcement that the fourth biggest global killer is inactivity.

Should you find yourself worried that you too don’t meet this target, never fear. You don’t have to run marathons to get the recommended amount of exercise and be fit. Regular walks can do just the trick and it’s important that you take them.

Studies show that active individuals can cut their blood pressure in half and even reduce their risk of heart disease by 40%. Not to mention reduce the risk of recurrent breast cancer by 50% and the likelihood of contracting colon cancer by more than 60%.

The benefits of regular moderate exercise span further than physical health. Walking and other such forms of gentle exercise can have long-term advances for an individual’s mental health too, with research showing that this eases depression as effectively as undergoing behavioural therapy or using Prozac. Periodic activity has also been proven to decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

So how can I get more active, I hear you ask. Well, It’s actually easier than you think.

1. Track your walking – and visualise it!

First of all, use a pedometer or walking app to track how much you’re already walking in your day-to-day life. It might be more than you think, but no matter what it adds up to having this measurement will help you understand how easy it is to get those extra few steps in each day.

Use your pedometer or walking app to set yourself targets – add a few steps a day gradually to achieve long-term progress.

2. Get off the bus and hop out of the car

Walk instead of getting on public transport or driving, wherever you can. Whether that’s swapping the bus, train or car for walking altogether or getting off a few stops early to walk an extra mile – or perhaps park the car that bit further away than you usually would. The same goes for swapping the lift for the stairs. Whatever ways you can add an extra stroll into your daily routine, do!

3. Weekend walks

Making walking part of your weekend doesn’t have to be a drag. Keep it interesting by going out to the countryside and taking a long stroll (if you’ve got a dog you can take along to keep you going then all the better!). Explore new places and make it enjoyable by stopping off and treating yourself to a bite to eat in new places you stumble across as you wander.

4. Psychogeography – good for your body and brain

Psychogeography encourages a better understanding of the areas around us. By walking through urban cities – particularly areas of town you haven’t explored much before – we can develop a better grasp of our geographical environment. Not only does this keep our bodies active, but our minds active too as we come across things we haven’t seen before and eventually get to know where we live better, piecing together our surroundings.

Need more advice on staying healthy, combating cardiovascular issues or simply achieving weight loss goals? Call Express Pharmacy today 0208 123 0703.

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Birth Control in Brief

Posted Friday 21 November 2014 14:14 by in Women's Medication by Tim Deakin

contraceptive pill

As over-the-counter birth control becomes the hot topic of the US presidential race, we take a look at the law over the pond and closer to home.

Amongthe many issues facing both Republican and Democrat candidates ahead of the US elections, over-the-counter birth control has become one of the hottest topics in Washington. Estimates suggest that 70% of US citizens are now in favour of making birth control more easily accessible. Here in the UK, emergency contraception is currently available without a prescription but regular medication is not. Here's a brief snapshot of the history and law on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

A history of the pill

The contraceptive pill is considered by many to be one of the greatest scientific inventions of the 20th century. This tiny little tablet has had a rather huge impact on the lives of women across the globe. It was created by American biologist Dr Gregory Pincus in the 1950s and works by suppressing ovulation.

Pincus’ first version, tested on Haitian and Puerto Rican women, contained both synthetic oestrogen and progesterone. These mimic the body’s natural hormones to prevent the production of eggs. The combined contraceptive pill was the first contraceptive option for women that was discreet, effective and convenient. It was revolutionary in spurring women’s independence, both sexually and across wider society.

period delay medication

The swinging 60s: With this in mind it’s no surprise then that it was introduced on the NHS in the 60s, a time of liberation and free love. However, it was initially only available to married women; it didn’t become available for all women in the UK until seven years later.

Controversy in the US: In America, the roll-out of the pill was far more fraught. The contraceptive pill wasapproved by the FDA in 1960, but four years later it remained illegal in eight states. Despite this, there were still 6.5 million women on the pill in the US by 1965.

However, in 1969, after Barbara Seaman released ‘The Doctor’s Case Against the Pill’, which brought to light the many side effects of the pill – such as weight gain, loss of libido, blood clots, depression and stroke, popularity radically declined. By 1979 sales in the US dropped by 24%.

New and improved: As more research exposed the risks behind the pill, the original product was taken off the market by the FDA in 1988. A new version became available, with reduced risk – most notably, a decreased risk of ovarian cancer as well a number of other health benefits. From then on the pill was also prescribed to treat acne.

Further developments have been made since then, including a new pill in the US that eliminates menstrual periods as it is taken 365 days a year and progesterone only pill. Alongside this, there are a number of other prescriptions available for managing a woman's menstrual cycle, including period delay medication.

Over-the-counter vs prescribed: Today more than 3.5 million women in the UK use some form of contraceptive pill and each of them receive it via the prescription of a doctor. Women can’t yet receive the pill from over-the-counter chemists.

The same is the case in America but that could soon change. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended the sale of the pill without prescription in 2012 and it’s been picked up by politicians on both sides of the coin.

For many, behind the counter equals behind the times. The reasoning behind this is that by making it more widely and more easily available, its use will increase and unwanted pregnancy will decrease. For those women unable to attend doctor’s appointments to request a prescription, for reasons from discretion to religion or insurance, a move to over-the-counter availability could be as revolutionary as the pill first was itself. Watch this space as the presidential race unfolds.

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