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Erectile Dysfunction


The Science Behind Erectile Dysfunction

Posted Friday 23 November 2018 15:01 by Tim Deakin in Erectile Dysfunction

Despite being one of the most common sexual health concerns for men, many people remain in the dark about what actually causes erectile dysfunction

With the holiday season fast approaching, many men are facing the reality of another festive period with erectile dysfunction. This can put a serious dampener on celebrations, and cause men to lose confidence and feel alone.

Yet, it is important to state that impotence is a widespread problem that can affect many men at some point in their life. One study from the Co-Op Pharmacy found that impotence affects 4.3 million men in the UK, the equivalent of one in five British men. But for such a common condition, many men are still unsure about what is actually at the root of their erectile problems. Understanding the condition is the first step to treating it effectively, which is why we’re here to clarify the science behind erectile dysfunction. Let’s take a look.

What causes erectile dysfunction?

An erection occurs when blood fills the penile chambers. This causes the penis to become enlarged and firm. However, in order to this to happen, a complex series of processes need to take place. An erection requires the release of a chemical called cGMP. This relaxes the blood vessels in the penis and makes it easier for blood to enter the penis and cause an erection.

When orgasm occurs and blood begins to drain from the area, an enzyme called PDE-5 is released to break down the cGMP chemical. However, in some men the PDE-5 enzyme is too active, stopping cGMP from widening the blood vessels before orgasm occurs. This makes it harder for men to reach and sustain a state of erection. This lies at the root of erectile dysfunction.

How does treatment work?

Once you understand the science behind the causes of erectile dysfunction, it becomes easier to understand how effective medication can work to treat the condition. Erectile dysfunction treatments broadly fall under the category of PDE-5 inhibitors. As the name suggests, these treatments inhibit the activity of the PDE-5 enzyme and subdue it, allowing the cGMP chemical to do its job properly. This intervention stops the blood vessels in the penis from contracting and makes it significantly easier to achieve and maintain an erection.

Popular PDE-5 inhibitors include treatments such as Sildenafil, Spedra, Levitra and, of course, Viagra.

Erectile dysfunction and mental health

While the bodily processes behind erectile dysfunction are largely physical, your mental health can play a huge part in increasing your symptoms.

Anxiety and depression can be significant factors in causing erectile dysfunction, and in some cases treating these wider conditions is necessary in order to improve your erectile issues. For most people, erectile dysfunction is the result of a vicious cycle between mental and physical health. Most erectile dysfunction is caused by physical factors, but when it occurs it can significantly increase feelings of performance anxiety, depression and anxiety in general. This can serve to make the condition even worse.

Treating the mental health aspects of erectile dysfunction can consist of something as simple as talking to your partner. Working together to make the bedroom a relaxing, inviting space rather than a pressurised one can be hugely important. Sexual health therapy or couples therapy can also be beneficial.

Certain physical health concerns can also increase your likelihood of suffering from erectile dysfunction, including diabetes. Poor lifestyle choices such as a bad diet, heavy drinking and smoking can also play a part in the condition.

This winter, don’t let erectile dysfunction stop you getting cosy in the bedroom. Explore the range of effective erectile dysfunction medications available from Express Pharmacy. For further guidance and support, get in touch with our team today using our discreet live chat service.


How to Attend to Your Health and Wellbeing During the Dark, Cold Months

Posted Friday 16 November 2018 15:32 by Tim Deakin in Primary Care Givers

A change in the seasons can have a serious impact on both your mental and physical health, so here’s what you can do to combat these factors

We may have experienced an unusually warm summer and autumn this year, but make no mistake: winter is coming. November marks the beginning of the descent into winter, meaning the nights are drawing in at a rapid pace and temperatures are dropping steadily.

There is a lot to love about this time of year, from cosy nights in to woolly winter jumpers. However, for many people winter can pose its own set of unique challenges. Not only are colds and flu symptoms more common at this time of year, but winter can also take its toll on many other aspects of our health – both mental and physical. So here is what you can do to keep your spirits up and your health intact this winter.

Preparing your body for the winter weather

Winter tiredness is a very real challenge that many people face at this time of year, when daylight hours are low and the cold temperature offers little motivation to step outside. However, making the most of the natural daylight and fresh air available is imperative when keeping your health up this winter.

Healthy eating and exercise are the two most important factors for staving off illness. The NHS advises a regular consumption of fruit, vegetables, milk and yoghurt – especially those that are rich in calcium, vitamins A and B12 and protein. These will help to boost your immune system. Introduce plenty of winter vegetables into your diet, including parsnips, swede, carrots and turnips. You should also make the effort to eat a hearty breakfast, consuming plenty of fibre and starchy food like cereal to set you up for the day.

Engaging in moderate regular exercise during the winter will help you feel more energised at this time of year. If you struggle to make the time for fitness, try breaking up 30-60 minutes of exercise into 10-minute chunks, featuring an effective warm up and cool down period.

Preparing your mind for the winter weather

It’s common to feel sadder in general during the winter. A large part of this has to do with the sharp decline in the amount of sunlight we get, disrupting our sleep patterns and reducing the amount of serotonin released in the brain. For a small minority however, these gloomy feelings could have a biological cause.

This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), when the changing seasons bring on a bout of low mood or even clinical depression. Dr Cosmo Hallstrom from the Royal College of Psychiatrists explains that SAD could be related to the hormone melatonin and “the natural phenomenon of hibernation.” In short, winter makes some of us want to curl up and disappear until it’s over.

However, it’s vital that we ignore this urge to hibernate. Many of the best ways to treat your mental health this winter are also the ways to treat your physical health, as a healthy diet and plenty of regular exercise can be fantastic mood boosters. Hallstrom also echoes the advice of the NHS, stating that using a lightbox can be an effective coping mechanism, mimicking sunlight and boosting your mood if used for 30 minutes to one hour a day.

Many health concerns become more common during the winter, so it’s important to stay on top of your wellbeing. Express Pharmacy offers convenient, safe and effective medication for a wide range of conditions, so if you can’t make it to your GP this winter, we can deliver treatments straight to your door.

Find medication for treatments such as acid reflux, erectile dysfunction, weight loss, quitting smoking and more on our website. You can also get in touch by calling 0208 123 07 03 or using our discreet online live chat service.


Why Are More and More Young Men Worrying About Erectile Dysfunction?

Posted Tuesday 06 November 2018 11:30 by Tim Deakin in Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that seems to be affecting an increasing number of men in their 20s and 30s are experiencing. But is there more to the statistics than meets the eye?

Erectile dysfunction has been officially recognised as a male health issue since the 1990s. Since then, reports and diagnoses of the issue have continued to grow. The condition refers to the inability to develop or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse and activity. It can the result of an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, prostate cancer or even depression.

For most people, ED is thought to be an affliction which primarily affects older men. Figures show that around 50% of men over 40 experience ED, while around 70% of men over 70 experience the condition. What’s more, men between the ages of 50 and 59 are three times as likely to experience ED compared to men aged between 18 and 29.

But it seems that more and more men from younger age groups are concerned about ED, with performance anxiety becoming an increasing issue.

All in the mind?

A recent study of 2,000 UK men found that 50% of those in their 30s reported difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection. However, neuroscientist in sexual behaviour Nicole Prause says there is little scientific or statistical evidence to suggest that ED numbers are on the rise. Prause comments:

“When you look representatively, there has not been an increase in erectile dysfunction. I see stats all the time reading: ‘It’s increased 1000% in young men’. But there’s no paper that says that.”

Dr Douglas Savage of the Centre for Men’s Health comments, “I have been treating patients for 30 years, and there’s no doubt that we’re seeing more young men today than we used to. Often, these are men who appear to be super-healthy: they’re slim, they exercise, they’re young, and you think: ‘Why on earth have these people got sexual difficulties.’”

If the problem isn’t physical, recent reports do suggest that the psychological factors behind performance failure are on the rise, leading to more young men experiencing performance anxiety.

Psychotherapist at the Apex Complex, Raymond Francis, believes today’s easily-accessible internet culture may be partly to blame: “If you look at the rise of easily accessible pornography, people have an expectation that men are going to be great performers.”

Francis continues: “I see an increasing number of men under the age of 35 developing performance anxiety. Shortly before the man finds himself in bed with his partner, the anxiety builds. The more he imposes a demand on himself, and the more that demand is not met, the more disturbed he becomes. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Dated perceptions of masculinity within the male population may also be at fault, suggests Paul Nelson, who founded an online support group for ED sufferers called Frank Talk: “We are raised in a culture where men do not talk authentically about sex.”

Nelson says that for men, ED can feel like a “total humiliation. There’s a profound feeling of being less than anyone else.

“Men are supposed to always want sex and be ready to go. When you don’t live up to that code, you’re excluded from the men’s club.”

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for ED sufferers?

When ED occurs as the result of emotional pressure and anxiety, open communication is key to overcoming the condition. Whether it’s with a partner, a friend, online communities or through seeking out psychotherapy, acknowledging issues and seeking support is a key step to a full recovery. Seeking treatment for underlying mental health concerns like anxiety and depression can also lead to an improved performance.

Of course, effective erectile dysfunction medication can also provide the assurance needed to enjoy sexual intercourse again. Leading treatments such as Viagra, Spedra and generic sildenafil are all proven to significantly reduce symptoms of ED. These treatments and more are available from Express Pharmacy.

For more information and support regarding erectile dysfunction treatment, contact the team at Express Pharmacy today. You can call us on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet online Live Chat.


What More Can We Do for Mental Health?

Posted Wednesday 18 April 2018 10:41 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

Research shows that there is still a long way to go when it comes to mental health awareness and support...

A recent survey by ADP UK has found that UK employers are showing a lack of interest in their employees’ mental wellbeing despite the fact that many employees are suffering from significant mental health concerns.

The study, which assessed 1,300 workers, revealed that almost a third of British workers (31%) feel that their employer has little to no interest in their mental health. Despite this, a fifth (20%) of employees feel stressed out on a daily basis, and a third (33%) are even considering seeking new employment because the pressure is so bad.

Managing Director of ADP UK, Jeff Phipps, says:

“A certain level of stress is natural, even healthy, in the workplace, but it’s important that it doesn’t get out of hand. Employees who endure consistently high levels of stress are in danger of suffering from anxiety and even burnout. This can lead to more serious mental health issues.”

It seems mental health is worst among younger employees, as 22% of workers under 35 say they experience stress every day. 42% say it’s so bad they are considering a different job.

In a separate survey exploring mental health, one in six UK adults said they had experienced some kind of neurotic health problem in the last seven days, with anxiety and depression being the most common disorders. What’s more, a recent Psychiatric Morbidity Survey reveals that there are around 3 million people in the UK living with anxiety, and a further 3 million living with depression.

Not only are these concerns common, they are also serious. A study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) compared the effects of depression to those of physical conditions like arthritis, asthma, angina and diabetes. They concluded that the effect of depression on a person’s ability to function was up to 50% more serious than those of all four physical conditions combined.

What more can we do?

Understanding mental health conditions is the first step to dealing with them effectively. ADP UK suggest that employers take the time to research the symptoms and signs of conditions like anxiety and depression in order to put the necessary initiatives in place. Jeff Phipps states that this can be both a moral course of action and a smart business investment.

“Stress and mental health issues are one of the main causes of employee absence and staff turnover, which means supporting employees isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also a worthwhile investment […]

“Employee assistance programmes and occupational health services are also imperative in creating a safe location where employees can go in confidence If they’re facing an issue.”

Mental health can have physical consequences

Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can be difficult to spot because, often, the effects cannot be seen. However, both depression and anxiety can lead to physical symptoms.

Mental health disorders like depression often result in sufferers feeling constantly tired, as sleep quality can become poor. This may lead sufferers to take comfort in unhealthy habits like overeating, smoking and a lack of physical exercise. Sometimes anxiety and depression also lead to low sex drive and, in men, conditions like erectile dysfunction become more common. This can lead to a vicious cycle in which the mental symptoms worsen due to growing concern over physical symptoms.

For healthcare information, treatment and support about a range of health conditions, including smoking, weight gain and erectile dysfunction, contact Express Pharmacy today. Call our team on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet Live Chat service.


January 15th Is Blue Monday, a Time When Mental Health Concerns Can Hit Hardest

Posted Friday 12 January 2018 13:35 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

Depression is a widespread condition throughout the UK which can affect you both emotionally and physically

This year in the UK, January 15th has acquired the title of ‘Blue Monday’, a title generally awarded to the third Monday in January.

Blue Monday refers to the day of the year when we are supposed to feel at our most down. Several factors are said to contribute to this conclusion, including the cold, dark weather, low finances following Christmas, general post-Christmas blues, failing New Year’s resolutions and generally low motivation.

So at this glum time of year, it’s important to reflect on the impact that conditions such as depression can have on our wellbeing — both physical and emotional. Understanding the condition can help you identify potential symptoms and seek the help and support you need.

What is depression?

Although we’re all set to feel a bit down on Blue Monday, depression is much more than simply feeling unhappy for a few days. The condition involves feeling persistently sad, negative and fatigued for weeks or months at a time.

Depression is a real health concern with real symptoms. It affects around 10% of people at some point in their lives, and research has even shown that around 4% of children in the UK aged 5 to 16 present symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Treatment for depression usually involves a combination of lifestyle changes, therapies and medications such as anti-depressants. These lifestyle changes can involve incorporating factors like exercise or self-care measures into your daily routine. The level of treatment prescribed is generally based on whether the depression is deemed mild, moderate or severe.

Depression can lead to a variety of symptoms, including persistently feeling low, experiencing stress or anxiety, or even feeling suicidal. The impact of depression on your mental health can also have an effect on your body.

Despite being a mental health condition, depression can lead to physical symptoms

The physical symptoms of depression most commonly involve feeling constantly tired, paired with poor sleep health. This can lead to sufferers taking refuge in unhealthy ‘comfort’ foods or poor health habits like smoking, and this lack of energy and physical activity can also lead to weight gain. However, for some people, depression can create a loss of appetite.

What’s more, depression has also been found to lead to aches and pains (often as a result of poor diet and exercise due to low energy) and a lack of a sex drive. In men, depression can lead to sexual health concerns such as erectile dysfunction.

The physical impact of depression can create a vicious cycle

When an individual suffers from depression and starts to experience physical symptoms as a result of the condition, it can create a vicious cycle by adding more fuel to the fire of their negative thoughts and feelings. Putting on weight or falling back on habits like smoking can reduce motivation even further and make those experiencing depression think that their feelings will only get worse rather than better.

Similarly, sexual health symptoms of depression can create increased stress and anxiety around the act of sexual intercourse, increasing the likelihood that conditions like erectile dysfunction will persist or even worsen.

If you think you might be experiencing depression, it’s hugely important to seek help and support in order to get to the root of the problem. Tackling any physical symptoms can also help to reduce the intensity of negative feelings. Effective medication for conditions like erectile dysfunction, excess weight and smoking are all available from Express Pharmacy.

Express Pharmacy can provide discreet advice and medication for a variety of health concerns. If you’re living with a condition we can help you with, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. Call Express Pharmacy on 0208 123 07 03 or use our online Live Chat service.