• Call
  • 0208 123 0703

Wellbeing


How Obesity Can Weigh on Your Mind

Posted Friday 28 December 2018 09:46 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

obesity and mental health

We’re often warned about the physical impact of obesity, but what about the emotional toll it can take?

Obesity continues to be a huge issue for UK healthcare. In fact, 62% of adults in the UK are overweight or obese.[1] This is a serious concern, as obesity be a factor in many serious health concerns like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

However, the consequences of living with obesity can also be emotional as well as physical. We’re here to explore the ways obesity and mental wellbeing can interact.

Is obesity a mental health issue?

It’s important to establish that there is no direct causal link between mental health and obesity. The reason this is important to state is that there is often a stigma attached to overweight people that they are ‘slower’ or less intelligent than thinner people. This caricature holds no basis in truth.

Instead, we’re going to explore how mental health and obesity can impact each other in ways shown by research and statistics. Can mental health conditions make obesity more likely, and can being obese increase your chances of experiencing mental health concerns?

Eating disorders

Mental health can impact our weight at both ends of the spectrum, as evidenced by conditions like anorexia. Over the last four decades, the number of eating disorders has escalated hugely both in the UK and worldwide. In fact, it is estimated that there are over 1.6 million people struggling with an eating disorder in the UK.[2]

On the surface, eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia represent the opposite problem to obesity; causing sufferers to become extremely underweight rather than overweight. However, they do highlight a key connection between dietary habits and mental health.

This connection also presents itself in habits like binge eating, which is often a key cause of obesity. Binge eating compels people to consume huge quantities of food in a short period of time. Unlike other conditions like bulimia, sufferers rarely purge themselves afterwards. However, feelings of shame, guilt and even depression are common.

Obesity as a symptom: a vicious cycle

hamburger and chipsAlthough we cannot assume that just because someone is obese that they must be living with mental health concerns, obesity can be a symptom of psychological factors. For example, stress is one of the most common mental health concerns in the UK. According to the Mental Health Foundation’s 2018 report, 74% of people reported feeling so stressed in the last year that they were unable to cope. What’s more, 46% reported that they ate too much or ate unhealthily due to stress.[3]

Conditions like anxiety, stress and depression can lead to the use of food as a comfort or coping mechanism. They can also have a detrimental effect on motivation when it comes to activities like exercise and cooking healthy meals. As such, your likelihood of becoming obese rises with the appearance of these conditions. This can then create a vicious cycle, as being obese can reduce your motivation even further and make you feel more anxious or depressed.

If you’re struggling to lose weight, start the new year off right with safe and effective weight loss medication from Express Pharmacy. Both Xenical and Mysimba can help support you on your weight loss journey and meet your goals in a healthy way. And for further support, contact our team today. Call us on 0208 123 07 03 or use our online Live Chat service.


Your Guide to Weight Loss

Posted Monday 10 December 2018 16:52 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

weight loss guide

26% of all adults are obese, but losing weight doesn’t have to be a losing battle

Discussions around weight are often contentious, as the media pushes a narrative that being anything other than slim is a bad thing. This is not true, and being larger is not an inherently negative trait. However, being significantly overweight or obese is a significant health issue. Obesity has been proven to trigger a variety of serious long-term health problems – and particularly weight gain that is accounted for by visceral fat around the body’s internal organs.

Your weight is your domain, and it is up to you to find the weight at which you feel most comfortable and healthy. If you want to lose weight in order to lead a happier and healthier life, we’re here to help. Here is everything you need to know about obesity, including how to tackle it effectively.

What causes obesity?

Obesity is not something that can be determined based on appearance alone. The condition is defined by the impact that excess body fat has on an individual’s overall health. In the UK, rates of obesity have risen by almost 400% in the last 25 years.

Obesity is most often the result of gradual weight gain. There are several factors thought to contribute to rising rates of obesity, including the growing accessibly to fast foods and our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. We also tend to eat diets with high sugar levels, high levels of saturated fats and a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables. Binge eating is another key cause of the condition.

Although obesity can run in families, there is no evidence of a hereditary link. Instead, this is most likely due to parents passing down similar lifestyles and food choices to younger generations.

What effect does obesity have?

Obesity can affect you both physically and emotionally. Psychologically, the condition can significantly impact your self-esteem and confidence levels, while also increasing your risk of mental health concerns like depression. Lack of exercise and poor diet are common traits in both depression and obesity.

Physically, obesity can have a significant impact on the body over time, putting pressure on the organs, disrupting hormones and inhibiting the systems of the body. Some of the conditions which become more likely in the face of obesity include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, coronary heart disease, pregnancy problems and even certain kinds of cancer. Obesity can also result in increased aches and pains, breathlessness, difficulty sleeping, chest pain, fatigue and excess sweating.

The benefits of weight loss

When you are obese, losing weight can have a hugely positive effect on your health, wellbeing and daily life in general. Losing weight forces you to make lifestyle changes that can benefit your outlook over time; for example, you may find that you enjoy certain kinds of exercise, or take pleasure in creating healthy, home-cooked meals.

Losing weight eases your breathing, improves your sleep quality, decreases your blood pressure, improves your immune system and can increase your confidence and body image. It also lowers your risk of serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer.

How do you lose weight safely?

We’re all aware of some of the fad diets circulating the world of weight loss. Many of these make outlandish promises about helping you lose large amounts of weight incredibly quickly. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to suggest that these kinds of diets are effective, and in many cases they can actually put your health in danger.

Losing weight can be a long process, but it is all about making healthy lifestyle changes. Beginning and building on a programme of healthy eating and regular fitness can help you battle your obesity effectively. There is also medication available which can help you do this safely. Prescription weight loss medications like Xenical and Mysimba are proven to aid weight loss in an effective and healthy way. Taken correctly and supported by improvements to lifestyle they can help you to achieve continued, progressive weight loss.

Start the new year off right by establishing your weight loss resolutions now. Find safe and effective weight loss treatment right here at Express Pharmacy. Call us on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet live chat service.


The Simple and Safe Way to Delay Your Period

Posted Thursday 28 June 2018 09:32 by Tim Deakin in Period Delay Treatment

Period delay is a term used to describe the process of delaying your period from occurring at its usual time by using safe and effective medication. For many women, this is an attractive option when it comes to occasions like weddings, holidays and even sporting events that may otherwise fall in line with their period.

Understandably, many women are curious about the nature of period delay medication and want to know more before committing to it. Here, we’re going to tell you some of the important aspects of period delay, including how to delay period onset in the first place.

When Can You Delay Your Period?

There are no set rules for when it is appropriate to delay a period; it really depends on the personal discretion and situation of each individual woman. A period should not be delayed for a long period of time, but delaying it in the short term is perfectly common and is safe when done under the direction of a trained pharmacist. Your period can be delayed for up to two weeks using effective medication.

Some of the most common reasons why you may choose to delay your period include:

  • Going on holiday
  • Your wedding or the wedding of a friend or family member
  • Another family event
  • Your honeymoon
  • A weekend away
  • An upcoming festival
  • Going on a long haul flight
  • A sporting event, such as a marathon
  • Swimming (whether on holiday or for sport)
  • When working a particularly busy week

However, there may be other events that call for period delay. Whatever your reasons, there are effective ways to do it safely.

What Are The Benefits Of The Period Delay Pill?

Of course, the most obvious benefit to using medication to delay your period is that you obtain an increased level of control over when and where your period occurs. However, there are also several other key benefits to the period delay pill, which include:

  • Decreasing premenstrual symptoms such as mood swings and cramps, meaning you can enjoy an important event without worry.
  • Reducing painful periods, as these can be extremely debilitating – especially when trying to make the most of a holiday or partake in a sporting event.
  • Helping to treat the discomfort and pain associated with endometriosis.
  • Reducing heavy bleeding during or between periods. For women who often experience heavy flow as part of their period, this can be a concern when a big event is on the horizon.

For women in the advanced stages of breast cancer, period delay treatments have also been found to help significantly increase comfort levels.

How To Delay Your Period

period delay medicationNorethisterone to delay period

Norethisterone is a progestogen-type hormone which alters the balance of the female hormones oestrogen and progestogen. By providing this additional hormone dosage, the balance is shifted and the period is delayed until these extra hormones are removed from the body – i.e. when you stop taking the period delay medication. Your period will start within 2-4 days of stopping the treatments.

You should start taking Norethisterone tablets three days before you expect the start of your next period. Take one dose three times a day until you are ready for your period to return. You can delay your period using Norethisterone for up to two weeks.

Norethisterone side effects

Like all medications, Norethisterone may cause some mild side effects. The most common of these (thought to affect between 1 in 100 women and 1 in 1000 women) include:

  • Change in period patterns – e.g. irregular spotting, breakthrough bleeding or periods stopping altogether
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

Less common side effects include:

  • Breast soreness
  • Bloating
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Fluid retention, which may worsen pre-existing migraines
  • Jaundice
  • Epilepsy

In very rare cases it is possible for users to have an allergic reaction to Norethisterone – a reaction that may even be life-threatening. Early symptoms of an allergic reaction may include wheezing and breathing difficulties, faintness, itchy skin or a rash, and swelling of the face, tongue, feet or hands.

If you believe that you may be allergic to Norethisterone, always consult a medical professional before taking the medication. More information about the potential side effects of Norethisterone may be found in the patient information leaflet that accompanies the pack.

Norethisterone effectiveness

Norethisterone is an extremely effective form of period delay treatment. When taken correctly, this medication will delay the onset of a period within 48 hours. It is possible to experience some light bleeding whilst on the medication but most women experience no bleeding at all.

Norethisterone alternatives: taking the pill back to back

While Norethisterone is a convenient and effective period-delay treatment, some women prefer to take their combined contraceptive pill back-to-back in order to delay a period. It is important to state that not all contraceptive pills can be used in this way and you should always consult your GP or healthcare provider before running medication back to back in this way.

Unless advised otherwise by your doctor, you should avoid taking more than two packs of the contraceptive pills without taking a break, as this may lead to side effects that include unexpected vaginal bleeding, stomach pains and bloating.

Effective period delay medication like Norethisterone is available safely and speedily through Express Pharmacy. If you have any queries about period delay, don’t hesitate to contact our team by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet Live Chat service.

Related Products: Norethisterone
Related Categories: Period Delay

5 Benefits of Exercise, Other Than Weight Loss

Posted Sunday 17 June 2018 20:45 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

There are plenty of reasons why we should be moving more

It’s no secret that exercise is a positive thing. We all know that working up a sweat is good for us, and that we should probably do more of it. From mobility to hormone release, keeping our bodies moving can have significant benefits, both physically and mentally.

Regular exercise can improve our blood flow, strengthen muscles and lead to healthier heart and lung function. And yet, the main motivator for exercise continues to be weight loss. As summer gets underway, many of us become motivated to try and achieve our ‘summer bodies’ and lose a few excess pounds.

But exercise must be seen as more than just a quick fix for our body goals if we’re ever going to reap the true rewards of its health benefits. A body that is aesthetically pleasing and easy on the eye is merely an indicator of the more important underlying health benefits.

Here are five incentives to get up and get moving outside of achieving your weight loss goals.

Exercise reduces your risk of serious conditions like cancer

The most important benefit of exercise is that it can improve your health in the long term. Regular exercise is a key component in reducing your risk of developing serious conditions later in life, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

In fact, figures from the NHS reveal that regular exercise can decrease your risk of developing colon cancer by up to 50%. What’s more, it is also thought to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by a fifth (20%). UK Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines also state that physical activity can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 40%.

Exercise improves your sex drive

It’s not just your physical health that benefits from regular exercise – your mental health can see results, too. One example of this can be seen through the sex drive, which is boosted as you exercise more regularly.

Exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones which can increase your wellbeing and self-esteem, thus improving your libido. It can also improve your blood flow, even to the most sensitive parts of your body.

In fact, one study by the University of Texas found that exercise increases sex drive in pre-menopausal women, and can even help women whose drives have been lowered by antidepressants.

Exercise reduces stress

Another way that exercise can improve your mental health is by tackling stress. There are approximately 3 million people in the UK with an anxiety disorder, and around 40% of disability worldwide is due to anxiety or depression.

Although not an outright cure, exercise can help. Again, the release of endorphins are significant here. According to an online study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than one in ten (14%) people use exercise as a way to cope with stress.

Exercise helps you sleep

Physical activity is a great way to make you feel more alert for the day ahead, but it can also help you feel more ready to rest when bedtime comes. Exercise is considered a natural way to treat conditions like insomnia, as figures suggest that those who exercise regularly experience better quality sleep at night.

In fact, a poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that exercisers sleep better than non-exercisers, and vigorous exercisers report the best quality sleep. Also, 44% of non-exercisers were found to be at moderate risk of sleep apnoea, compared to 19% of vigorous exercisers.

Exercise can help prevent back pain

More sick days are taken due to back pain than for any other health concern, costing the NHS roughly £500 million every year. But while vigorous exercise isn’t recommended without a GP’s advice if you’re already suffering from back pain, it can act as an effective preventative measure.

Even simple activities like swimming or walking can strengthen muscles and provide extra support to your spine, while popular pastimes like yoga can improve your mobility and flexibility.

There are plenty of benefits to exercise besides weight loss. Yet there are instances where individuals need additional support to achieve a healthy weight and support their long-term wellbeing goals. For safe and effective weight loss medication, contact the Express Pharmacy team on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet Live Chat service.


Ready to Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution. Read This!

Posted Monday 29 January 2018 16:35 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

Don’t be a six-week dropout: how to stick to the new leaf you turned over in January

It’s the end of January, which means many of us have spent the past couple of weeks struggling to keep the promises we made to ourselves in the tail end of 2017. New Year’s resolutions have become something of a rite of passage in the UK.

Of course, New Year’s resolutions sound like a fantastic idea on the 31st of December. But by the final days of January, many of us find ourselves ready to throw in the towel and cast aside the goals we set with good intentions.

So why is it that so many of us can’t seem to keep our New Year promises for more than six weeks, and how can we make more of a success of our resolutions?

The answer lies in long-term, lifestyle changes.

What are the most popular New Year’s resolutions?

Statistically speaking, the top ten New Year’s resolutions are:

- Exercise more (38%)

- Lose weight (33%)

- Eat more healthily (32%)

- Take a more active approach to health (15%)

- Learn new skill or hobby (15%)

- Spend more time on personal wellbeing (12%)

- Spend more time with family and friends (12%)

- Drink less alcohol (12%)

- Stop smoking (9%)

- Other (1%)

As you can see, the most popular New Year’s resolutions are, by far, those which focus on improving our health and wellbeing, with exercising, losing weight and eating healthier dominating our New Year promises. Other health factors like drinking less and quitting smoking are also shared by around one in ten UK adults.

How many of us make resolutions, and how many of us actually stick to them?

Over a third of us in the UK make a New Year’s resolution at the start of January. Sadly however, not many of us manage to see them through.

NHS figures suggest that only one in ten New Year’s resolutions are completed successfully, whilst Bupa states that 43% of resolutions last less than a month, 66% last one month or less, and 80% don’t make it to the end of March.

This leaves us questioning why it is that two thirds of us can’t seem to follow through with our health goals for more than six weeks.

How do you make sure you persevere with your resolution?

It’s often the case that people who strive to be healthier in the coming year are responding directly to their own overindulgence and potential weight gain over the festive period. Why does this matter? Because it suggests that they are looking for a ‘quick fix’ to reverse the effects of Christmas, rather than a genuine lifestyle change.

It takes an average of 66 days — over two months — to fully learn a new behaviour, meaning many people who strive to hit the gym more frequently or consume healthier meals give up before their body and mind have fully adjusted to the change.

A New Year’s resolution, particularly one relating to your health, should be seen as a long-term change in your behaviour which you can implement into your daily life. Professor Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, suggests only making one resolution and breaking it up into a series of smaller steps you can achieve over time.

There’s nothing wrong with safe medical support

There is no cheating when it comes to long-term health improvements. Whether you want to give up a bad habit or simply lose weight and improve your fitness, NHS-approved medication can help you reach your goal.

Champix is a tried and tested medicine that can help increase your chances of stopping smoking for good. You can also look to weight loss treatments like Xenical and the innovative Mysimba if you’re trying to get healthier in 2018. All of these treatments (and more) are available from Express Pharmacy.

For reliable, NHS approved support contact the team at Express Pharmacy. We can help make 2018 the year you make those long-term changes for the better. Simply call 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet live chat service.

Related Categories: Stop Smoking