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4 Safety Reminders for Returning to Work After a Holiday

Posted Monday 07 August 2017 13:14 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

We all want our holiday to last forever, but when the time does come for you to return to work here’s how to do it safely.

Nobody likes going back to work after a holiday, but it’s important that when we do return to work, we do so with 100% focus. Not only will this improve our productivity, it can also help keep us safe and healthy once we’re back in the workplace. So what do you need to do to keep yourself safe once you get back to work?

Tackle your distraction

One of the hardest things about returning from a holiday is focussing your mind on work again. It’s all too easy to daydream about the fantastic holiday you’ve just had, but this can put you more at risk of safety hazards and dangers to your health.

This is particularly true of manual professions, where keeping yourself safe requires you to pay constant attention to your surroundings. Even simple tasks like lifting boxes can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention to the way you’re arranging your body — for example, you should always bend you knees when lifting heavy items to take pressure off your back.

Re-establish your routine

When you’re on holiday, all routine tends to go out the window. You can sleep as much as you like, eat delicious food every day and probably drink a little more than you should. But once you’re back at work, it’s important to re-establish your old routine so that your body and your mind can return to ‘work mode’.

Health and wellbeing demands a consistent and conscientious routine. This means that returning to work and domestic life requires you to re-establish your usual sequence of events. This is true of your eating habits, your sleeping pattern and your behaviours at work itself. Being on holiday might have left you used to going to bed late, but making sure you get enough sleep and eating regular, balanced meals is a key health factor once you get back.

Consider the specific hazards of your workplace

Having a break from the workplace can make you forgetful when it comes to the specific hazards your work environment poses. Even simple things like a leaky kettle or sharp desk corner are factors that you’ll have to remind yourself to consider in your daily habits.

For office workers, think about the health concerns associated with too much sitting, which can have a negative impact on your spine and posture and has even been shown to increase your likelihood of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Remember to take regular breaks from your desk, even just a stroll to the bathroom or to get a drink.

For manual workers, there can be a host of potential hazards present depending on your specific environment. In fields such as building or engineering it’s particularly important to remind yourself of the threats to your safety and health which surround you every day.

Address any health concerns

Even though it’s not an excuse, an upcoming holiday can sometimes prevent people from addressing any minor health concerns for fear it’ll result in having to delay or even cancel their trip abroad. Now that you’re back in the swing of things, it’s time to consider any nagging health queries you might have and get the answers you need.

Take a few minutes to get in touch with a GP or contact our own online pharmacy team using the Live Chat tool. Not only will this help you to get on the road to recovery, but it’ll also give you back your peace of mind and allow you to give 100% when you return to work.

The Truth Behind Healthcare’s Old Wives’ Tales

Posted Monday 14 August 2017 11:42 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

Everyone has heard those health ‘facts’ that are actually old wives’ tales. But how do you know which stories are false and which bits of medical trivia should actually be heeded. Let’s take a closer look.

Ensuring that your knowledge of healthcare is up-to-date and accurate is an important part of staying healthy. Yet many of us still succumb to the misinformation spread by rumours, fear-mongering and old wives’ tales. Despite being seen as funny, charming and harmless, some of the advice given by these tales can actually be harmful.

“Cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis.”

According to research by Arthritis Research UK, there is no evidence to back up this classic claim.

That’s because when you crack your knuckles, the sound you hear isn’t actually your bones cracking, but rather tiny cavities of gas collapsing with a “pop”.

“We only use 10% of our brains.”

This is a myth perpetuated by fictional stories like Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Lucy starring Scarlet Johansson, which explore the question of “what would we be capable of if we used 100% of our brains?” Well, the answer is about as much as we are now.

Every part of the brain has a specific role – even if it has nothing to do with intelligence or memory function. Brain scans have shown that no part of the brain actually goes completely unused as is often portrayed in fiction.

“Chewing gum stays in your system for 7 years.”

While it is true that chewing gum contains a synthetic resin that cannot be broken down by the digestive tract, it still gets moved along with the contents of your stomach and passed through just like everything else you eat. You’ll be rid of your chewing gum in a matter of days.

“Open cuts heal faster.”

Many people believe that open air helps wounds dry up and therefore heal faster, but research has found that the opposite is true.

Moist, closed conditions help cells surrounding the wound grow at a faster rate, encouraging the wound to heal cleanly. In contrast, dry air often leads to scabs which make it harder for new cells to grow.

Covering up a wound also reduces your risk of infection or suffering further injury.

“Muscle turns to fat when you don’t exercise.”

Muscle and fat are not interchangeable. They are two different kinds of tissue and cannot transform into each other.

This piece of misinformation gets spread because a lack of exercise causes you to store more fatty deposits and develop less muscle tissue. Without exercise, muscle mass deteriorates as a normal part of tissue turnover.

“Sugar causes hyperactivity in children.”

Despite numerous studies being carried out, there remains no evidence to suggest that sugary foods and drinks have a significant impact on children’s behaviour.

The confusion may stem from the fact that certain E numbers and additives have been found to cause hyperactivity in children, and these are found in many sugar-heavy food items.

It’s important to point out, however, that this is no excuse for overindulging in sugar. Significant spikes in blood sugar do impact on the body’s normal function in a number of ways and can place extra strain on organs of the body. Peaks and troughs in sugar intake will also impact on energy levels.

“Tip your head back to stop a nose bleed.”

Leaning back might stop the blood from dripping from your nose, but it also means more blood travels down the back of the throat where it could cause stomach irritation.

The best way to deal with a nose bleed is to pinch the soft area beneath the bridge and lean forwards whilst breathing through your mouth.

“Waking sleepwalkers can give them a heart attack.”

Although it’s true that you probably shouldn’t wake a sleepwalker abruptly and should instead gently guide them back to bed, this is merely to avoid disorientation and embarrassment. There is no evidence to suggest that waking someone up whilst their sleepwalking can do them any significant psychological damage.

For a clearer picture on healthcare, don’t hesitate to contact Express Pharmacy. You can use our discreet Live Chat tool or call us on 0208 123 0703.

July 28th Is World Hepatitis Day

Posted Monday 24 July 2017 09:48 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

This year, World Hepatitis Day falls on July 28th. This is your chance to raise awareness for a disease that still impacts roughly 1 in 50 people in Europe, and we’re here to help you learn more about the five main strands of hepatitis.

So first of all, what is hepatitis?

Simply put, hepatitis refers to an inflammation of the liver usually caused by viral infection or liver damage. Although some cases can be mild, others can be chronic and cause serious further issues like liver scarring, loss of liver function and liver cancer.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis?

In cases of short term hepatitis, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all. If symptoms do occur, they might include muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, high temperature, lethargy, loss of appetite, stomach pain, itchiness, abnormally dark urine, abnormally pale faeces and a yellowing of the skin and eyes known as jaundice.

There may also be no obvious symptoms in cases of long term hepatitis until the liver itself stops working properly. Because of this, the condition is often only picked up through blood tests.

What are the different kinds of hepatitis?

Hepatitis A

The hepatitis A virus is spread through contaminated food and drink. This food and drink contains particles of excrement from an infected person, meaning your risk of acquiring the hepatitis A virus is much more common in countries with poor sanitation.

In most cases, the virus passes naturally within a few months. Aside from relieving symptoms like nausea, itching and pain, there is no specific treatment. However, travellers are encouraged to get vaccinated if planning a trip to areas where the virus is most common, like the Far East.

Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B virus is spread through blood-to-blood contact, where one set of blood belongs to an infected person. Because of this, it’s usually spread from pregnant women to their babies, from child-to-child contact, from unprotected sex and from sharing needles to inject drugs.

Most people who suffer from hepatitis B manage to fight off the virus and fully recover within two or three months, but those infected as children are much more likely to develop chronic hepatitis B. This is a long-term infection which can lead to liver scarring and even liver cancer. Antiviral medication is often prescribed to treat it. There are also vaccinations available in the UK.

Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus is the most common type of viral hepatitis in the UK. Like hepatitis B, it’s most commonly spread through blood-to-blood contact with an infected individual – in most cases through sharing needles to inject drugs.

Many people remain unaware that they are infected with hepatitis C as they are likely to experience no obvious symptoms. However, only one in four cases make a full recovery, with the rest having to deal with the virus for potentially tens of years.

Hepatitis C can be treated with antiviral medication, but there is currently no vaccination available.

Hepatitis D

The hepatitis D virus needs the hepatitis B virus in order to survive in the body, so it only affects current hepatitis B sufferers. When suffered alongside hepatitis B, it can increase your chances of suffering serious symptoms like liver scarring and liver cancer.

Although there is no vaccine for the virus, the hepatitis B vaccine can help protect you from it.

Hepatitis E

Cases of the hepatitis E virus have risen in recent years, making it now the most common cause of short term hepatitis in the UK. Although it’s most often a mild and short-term infection which doesn’t require treatment, it can be more serious in people with already weakened immune systems.

It’s thought that the virus is spread mainly through consuming certain raw or undercooked meats, like pork, offal, wild boar, shellfish and venison. Practising good food hygiene can significantly lower your risk of acquiring the virus, especially in parts of the world with poorer sanitation.

In need of fast, effective and discreet treatment for your health condition? Why not explore our range of prescription medications today.

The Rise of Virtual Diagnoses

Posted Friday 19 May 2017 11:35 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

The number of people choosing to treat their health concerns through online research is on the rise. Even doctors are jumping on board, so does this signal a new age of digitalized GP appointments?

In the 21st century, there is one medical know-it-all who has seen more patients than any other. In fact, it is more than likely that you’ve checked your symptoms with him/her yourself. We are talking, of course, about Dr Google. A quick bit of research online and most of us interpret our maladies with help from one of the world’s largest search engines and choose to self-diagnose ourselves after a quick education session online.

A phenomenon of the 21st century, this kind of medical intervention is on the rise – and depending on who you speak to, it can be both a blessing and a curse that so much information is at our fingertips. But the healthcare system itself is also changing – taking on some of the best aspects of the digital age. Take Express Pharmacy as an example: we now offer prescription medications direct to your door in a safe, swift and discreet fashion.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s now on offer to patients.

How getting a diagnosis has changed

When you think about a consultation with a GP, the traditional image conjured up is of a hot and busy waiting room, a doctor’s office, stethoscopes and dreaded waiting times. There’s a reason for this. On average, over 90% of GP appointments involve a patient, a General Practitioner and a family member, but it seems these figures are changing, according to new reports.

In-person appointments are taking on a digital edge, with GPs nowadays referring to tech tablets to retrieve information and instantly contacting specialists in other areas of healthcare related to patient concerns.

GPs are also being given access to a hub of patient data prior to appointments in order to have the relevant information about the individual on hand. This data can include anything from blood pressure, glucose levels and diet to level of activeness and social engagement. This allows GP appointments to be a true exchange of information, with professionals being able to make informed decisions on treatment which reflects the patient overall, rather than the information they’ve shared during a ten-minute consultation.

In America, there are already FDA-approved smartphone apps being used by GPs to help increase the accuracy of physical patient examinations. It seems appointments are slowly but surely being revolutionised by technology.

But the revolution doesn’t stop at physical appointments. It seems more and more of us are opting for online solutions to our health-related problems, engaging in virtual consultations, using online resources and ordering relevant medication through online sources.

Virtual doctor consultations give the opportunity for a 24/7 appointments service. Like the takeover of online shopping, it could soon be the case that online GP appointments are a common and convenient alternative to making the trip to the doctor’s office.

Of course, in some cases a physical examination is necessary for a condition to be accurately diagnosed, and there are concerns that a rise in online diagnoses could lead to a less personalised healthcare system. In order to understand the rise of virtual GP appointments fully, we need to ask ourselves in what way it could be beneficial to healthcare overall.

So how could digitized appointments be a good thing?

On average, a twenty minute or less GP appointment takes more than two and a half weeks to schedule in, and 35% of patients are left waiting for more than fifteen minutes after their designated appointment time. Virtual appointments could help free up a General Practitioner’s busy schedule, as more than a fifth of appointments are for conditions which are easily self-treated.

The option for patients to input their data for GPs to see gives them more accurate diagnoses and more control over the treatment they receive. By having their illness diagnosed online, a patient can then choose which medication route they want to go down whilst still receiving professional information and advice.

Ultimately, an online diagnosis could be a much easier option for patients. It instantly cuts out both travelling and waiting times and allows patients to treat conditions discreetly. This is particularly important for male patients, as men are twice as likely as women to put off seeing a GP until their symptoms become more severe.

Looking to take advantage of our own online pharmacy for your next prescription. Find out more about how it works.

Knowing When to Visit the Doctor Could Be Crucial to Easing the Burden on the NHS

Posted Thursday 16 March 2017 09:57 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

The government recently admitted that the NHS will need £1bn in order to cover the cost of personal injury claims. Money it can ill afford.

According to a recent report, the NHS will need an estimated £1bn bailout to cover the cost of personal injury compensation claims. With such a hefty bill adding to the already overstretched healthcare budget, what can we do to prevent the health service from reaching breaking point?

Knowing when you need the help of a doctor and knowing when to simply rest and take over the counter medication may sound simple, but it could actually save billions of pounds a year. As GP surgeries become busier and busier it is advised that people take ownership of their own illness rather than making a routine trip to the doctor. Importantly, this advice should not deter those with serious conditions that require immediate treatment.

Here are some of the health complaints that a GP should not encounter from day to day:

Leave your cold at home

Research at the end of 2016 found that there had been over five million visits to GP offices for blocked noses, forty thousand for dandruff and twenty thousand for travel sickness.

While blocked noses can be uncomfortable and travel sickness can be a nasty affliction, it is important to be aware that a doctor will only prescribe medication that is readily available over the counter in your local pharmacist. A simple trip to your nearest community pharmacy or a check online with us should be the first port of call when you are suffering from a problem that does not warrant a GP appointment.

For conditions such as altitude sickness, acid reflux, erectile dysfunction, period pains or hair loss, pharmacists are well equipped to treat you and put your mind at ease.

Minor symptoms and illnesses are responsible for 57 million GP visits in the UK, as well as nearly four million A&E admissions every year. Sprains made up 38% of these A&E admissions last year, while 17% of them were for flu like symptoms, and 13% were for insect bites. All this put together costs the NHS around £2 billion – twice as much as their personal injury claim debt!

Learn the art of self-care

One in five GP appointments are reported to be for minor, self-treatable symptoms. Therefore, encouraging patients to practice self-care could save doctors more than an hour every day. That’s a lot of free time that could be used to work through a waiting room full of serious conditions.

Self-care is exactly what it says on the tin – an individual taking the time to look after both their physical and mental health. Lifestyle diseases, i.e. conditions that are attributable to the way we live, make up 75% of diseases in the UK. This shows that making a few small changes to our daily routines could help us avoid GP visits altogether.

When it comes to physical health, drinking more water, eating three healthy meals a day and doing even a small amount of exercise can make a huge difference. Cutting out bad habits like smoking or excess alcohol consumption also helps. Similarly, therapeutic activities and breathing exercises can help your mental health by lowering stress and anxiety.

Turn to Express Pharmacy for help

Our three-step online treatment programme allows you to select a treatment, undergo a free consultation and purchase your required medicine without any hassle and with complete discretion – all from the comfort of your own home.

Express Pharmacy provides NHS approved medical help, treatment and advice without the need to use up doctor time.

If you are experiencing an illness or a problem that is a significant issue to you but not one that warrants visiting your GP, don’t hesitate to try our discreet live chat today and find out what we can do for you.