Monday, 26 September 2016

Baby Nasal Care

A stuffy nose can make your baby irritable and cry frequently. Nasal blockage makes breathing difficult. Allergies and cold are the common causes of nasal blockages in newborns. It is important to follow proper nasal care in order to allow your baby breathe freely. Here are a few simple steps that can relieve your baby’s nasal congestion –
  • Saline nasal spray

Irrigating your baby’s nostril with a normal saline nasal spray is one of the best ways to clear nasal passages. Lay your baby down, slightly tilt his head back and then spray 2-3 drops of saline spray into each nostril. Do not panic if your baby sneezes, the saline has made its way to the nasal passages. If the saline comes out of the nostrils, wipe it with a clean washcloth or tissue.
  • Bulb syringe

A bulb syringe is also called as a nasal aspirator. Make sure you get one that is advised only for baby’s small nostrils. Lay down your baby, slightly tilt his head back, squeeze the syringe bulb to get rid of all the air in it, gently insert the tip in one of the nostrils, and release the bulb. Take it out and squeeze it to remove the mucus. Repeat the same for other nostril.
  • Steam bath

Give a warm water bath to your baby. Make sure you steam up your bathroom. This helps loosen the excess mucus in the nasal passages. Remember, the water should not be too hot; it can scald your baby’s skin.
  • Use an air humidifier

The heat in our homes during colder months can dry up the baby’s nose. So, keep a cool air humidifier in your baby’s room; this can help provide some relief and avert stuffiness.

At PharmacyOutlet, you can browse through a wide range of baby nasal care drops and decongestants to get rid of excess mucus produced during cold, allergy or flu.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Take Care Of Your Baby’s Skin

Your baby’s skin is quite sensitive, soft and smooth. Do not worry; skin rashes are pretty common in babies. With a few simple steps, you can keep your baby’s skin smooth and healthy. Also, make sure you take your baby to a GP if you notice eczema or sunburn.

Learn how to take care of your baby’s skin.

Bath Time
To stay clean, your baby should get two to three warm water baths a week. Find the right temperature; do not use hot water. Use a baby shampoo and baby soap. After bath, wrap him in a clean hooded towel, pat dry and apply baby lotion to prevent dryness.

Be careful with baby products
Check shampoos, bath gels, soaps and lotions before use. Baby’s skin is sensitive and certain skin products can cause allergy. Ask your doctor about the best quality baby products. It is important to moisturise your baby’s skin regularly, so use a superior quality moisturiser.

Diaper Basics
You need to change your baby’s diaper frequently. Use baby wipes to clean the skin each time. Dab diaper cream and gently pat dry. Wait for a few minutes and apply a new diaper. At the same time, make sure you use fragrance-free diapers. Do not use tight-fitting ones.

Check the weather
Baby’s skin is sensitive and exposure to sun can cause sunburn, especially if he is under 6 months of age. Apply sunscreen of SPF of at least 30 if you want to take your baby outdoors. Or you can dress him with loose-fitting clothes and a hat to protect him from sunlight. Your baby also needs extra protection during winter. Use a humidifier to keep the air moist so that the moisture content is retained.

These simple tips can protect your baby’s skin. It is better to use any kind of babyskin care products after consulting a medical specialist. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Treating Sore Throat

Sore throat is often caused by a virus. It is characterised by the pain, itching and irritation of the throat. Laryngitis and pharyngitis are common infections that can give rise to sore throat. The pain is aggravated on swallowing liquid or foods. Other associated symptoms are dry throat, hoarseness and swelling of adjacent glands.

Generally, with proper home care, sore throat is relieved.
  • Gargle with warm saline water to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain
  • Gargle at least once in every two hours
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dryness of throat
  • Have hot fluids, herbal teas, soups to decrease throat irritation
  • Steam inhalation would help clear swollen air passages and hoarseness
  • Quit smoking and stay away from passive smoking

These tips help relieve sore throat effectively. If they fail to provide any effect, consider taking over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, such as:
  • Painkillers – Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Aspirin
  • Medicated throat lozenges
  • Nasal decongestants in case of stuffy nose

You need to follow certain safety tips before and while using medicines for sore throat. Carefully check the instructions before use. Follow all the directions advised by your doctor. Do not overdose with any OTC medicine, as it increases the risk of adverse events. Special care should be taken in case of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Visit your GP if you experience severe throat pain, shortness of breath, inability to swallow liquid or solids with fever. If your symptoms last for more than two weeks, immediately seek medical help. In serious conditions, you may require antibiotics that destroy bacteria.

Preventing Sore Throat

Sore throat often recur; there are certain steps you can follow to prevent infection. Wash your hands thoroughly, use hand sanitizer, do not share utensils and drinking glasses with others, quit smoking, use a humidifier in your house to prevent dryness and more importantly, stay away allergens such as pollen, dust and mould.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Common Foot Issues

Your every step starts with your feet and keeping them active is essential, just like you do for your heart, joint and overall health. Our feet are exposed to various external influences, getting susceptible to various issues. Let us discuss about common foot issues and their treatment.

Bunions are a kind of lumps that are grown at the base of the big toe. A bunion sticks, causes pain and soreness, leading to discomfort while walking. The condition is aggravated if you wear tight-fitting shoes. It is important that you switch to well-fitted, roomy shoes with arch support. Insoles would be of great help. Medicated bunion-pads help relieve inflammation and pressure.

Corns and Calluses
The thickened areas of the soles that become painful are corns and calluses. The causes include excessive pressure and friction on the skin, ill-fitted or tight shoes. Proper footwear with insoles can help prevent this foot issue. Corn pads should be helpful.

Foot Pain
Foot pain, heel pain, or plantar fasciitis is a pain that is experienced under the heel due to inflammation of connective tissues of the sole. Wearing tight shoes with improper arch support can cause plantar fasciitis. Obesity is also one of the causes. Cushioned heel supports, proper rest, stretching exercises and painkillers should help. In severe cases, one may need steroid injection directly into the heel.

Athlete’s Foot
It is a fungal infection of the foot skin. It is contagious and can spread to the toenails. Itching, burning and stinging of soles with blisters are the characteristic symptoms of athlete’s foot. Over-the-counter topical antifungals help subside the infection.

Swollen Feet
If you stand or sit for longer periods, you experience swelling in the feet. Foot swelling is one of the symptoms of cardiac disease as well. It can also be caused by deep vein thrombosis or varicose veins. It is essential that you talk to a doctor if you experience abrupt foot swelling.

It affects the big toe. It is a lump like swelling caused by uric acid deposition in the joint. Anti-inflammatory medicines help reduce the pain and swelling.

If you are diabetic and have any foot issue, immediately see your GP. A podiatrist (chiropodist) can help provide proper foot care.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Treating Joint And Muscle Pain

Joint and muscle pain is a very common symptom experienced by people, especially elders. Constant wear and tear of joints can lead to pain in older people. In the UK, many people live with chronic joint and muscle pain. Joint pain can involve more than one joint. Multiple joint pains can be an indication of some underlying condition. Similarly, muscle pain can involves more than one group of muscles.

Inflammation is the root cause of many joint and muscle pain. The body, after an injury or inflammation, releases prostaglandins that are known to cause pain and discomfort. However, there could be other reasons associated with pain.

Common causes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Tendinitis, bursitis and gout 
  • Spasms
  • Trauma or mechanical injury

Treating Joint and Muscle Pain

Home Care
With a few simple home care techniques, you can alleviate your joint and muscle pain. Wrap a brace around the painful joint and avoid physical activities that cause pain. Cold application relieves pain and inflammation. Warm application applications help in reducing the stiffness of the joint. If home care does not work, you need to check with a GP for painkillers.

There are many over-the-counter and prescription medicines to treat joint and muscle pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin or Naproxen can provide instant relief. In case of mild joint and muscle pain, Acetaminophen is found to be effective. Severe cases require proper pain management that is possible only by consulting a GP. Other medicines that may help relieve pain are muscle relaxants, opioids and antidepressants, which are prescription medications.

Physical Therapy

After the pain is reduced, you can work with a qualified physical trainer to strengthen your muscles and stabilize your joint. Physical therapy includes heat and cold therapy, ultrasound, electric nerve stimulation and manipulation. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce joint and muscle pain.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Health Benefits of Cycling

Cycling is one of the most beneficial exercises that can help protect you from chronic diseases. It is a kind of low-impact workout for all age groups. It easily fits into your daily routine. For instance, you can ride a bicycle to the park, shops, school or work.

It’s cycle-to-work-day and it’s important to know the health benefits associated with cycling.
To stay fit and healthy, you need to perform physical activities. Regular workout can help prevent several diseases such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, psychological issues, arthritis and even cancer. Cycling is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of aforementioned medical conditions.

Cycling and Fitness
You need not require performing rigorous exercises to stay fit. A low-impact exercise like cycling is enough to achieve an overall improvement in your health. It is:
  • A perfect cardiovascular workout
  • Easy to perform
  • Good for increasing endurance and strength
  • Time efficient
  • A fun way of exercising

Health Benefits
Cycling is a type of aerobic exercise. This means your blood circulation is improved, your heart, lungs and blood vessels get a perfect workout. You will perspire and breathe deeper, which enhance your overall fitness level. Following are the health benefits of cycling –
  • Enhances cardiovascular health
  • Improves muscle strengthen, flexibility and joint mobility
  • Decreases stress and anxiety
  • Strengthens bones
  • Weight loss
  • Prevents and manages diseases like diabetes, high blood cholesterol, etc.

Cycling increases blood circulation throughout the system, allowing abundant blood to flow to the important organs of the body. At the same time, enough amounts of oxygen and nutrients are supplied to the organ for optimal functioning. It gives a proper work out to your heart and blood vessels, thereby decreasing the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Cycling is an easiest way to exercise. It saves your money, helps the environment and keeps you rejuvenated throughout the day. It is better than other high-impact exercises. The best way to increase your cardiovascular health is to ride a bicycle for approximately 150 minutes every week.
Make sure you follow cycling safety tips – such as –
  • Before you overtake, look behind and slow down
  • Obey traffic rules and road signs
  • Do not use headphones when you ride
  • Do not use a cellphone while cycling
  • Do not ride on pavements
  • Watch out for parked cars and dogs

For more advice on cycling and its benefits, consult your GP or a physical trainer.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Causes And Treatment Of Back Pain

Back pain is a common issue that affects many people. Everybody experiences back pain at some point of time. It can be caused by bad posture while walking, standing, sitting, bending and lifting weight inappropriately. It can also be caused by underlying medical condition. Most of the back pains usually subside within a few weeks or months; however, some people experience chronic pain.

Causes of back pain
Back pain, also known as backache or lumbago, can be experienced in any part of the spine i.e. from the neck to the hips. Following issues can cause backache –
  • Mechanical injury or fall
  • Prolapsed disc – slipped disc causing compression of nerves
  • Sciatica – compression of sciatic nerve due to disc herniation
  • Whiplash – sudden impact on the neck injury
  • Muscle spasm – due to improper posture
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis – chronic condition caused by rheumatic disorder

The risk factors associated with back pain are obesity, pregnancy, smoking and bad effects of certain medicines such as corticosteroids. Some of the people with back pain do not have an obvious cause. Physicians often describe this as a non-specific backache.

Treatment of back pain
Acute backache is easily manageable. All you need to do is perform physical activities and remain active. Over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen or Paracetamol are effective in reducing the pain. Hot or cold fomentation can provide great relief from acute back pain.

If your back pain persists even after OTC painkillers, you need to see your GP, who can assess your condition and recommended appropriate treatments, which include –
  • A course of strong painkillers
  • Lumbar or back exercises to strengthen back muscles
  • Physiotherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Counselling
  • Support and advice

In advanced cases of prolapsed disc, spinal surgery or decompression surgery is advised.

Preventing back pain is easy. Try to avoid applying too much pressure on your back. Regular exercise, walking and swimming are an excellent way to prevent backache. Physical activities like pilates or yoga can enhance muscle strength and flexibility.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Stress Relief Techniques

Stressed out? Just relax! Stress is common and everybody goes through some kind of stress due to various reasons. Sometimes, acute stress is good; it keeps you alert when any situation arises. 
However, prolonged stress can take a toll on your life. It can increase the risk of physical as well as psychological issues. Here are few effective stress relief techniques that can be beneficial for you –

·         Mediation – Meditation is one of the best ways to relieve stress. It may change the brain’s neural pathways and help you manage stress effectively

·         Deep breathing – Sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Slowly inhale the air through your nose, feel the breath and exhale slowly; it reduces your stress dramatically

·         Focus on your senses – Focus on your behaviour and senses when you feel anxious

·         Socialise – Talk to your family members and friends, share your experiences and be socially active

·         Decompression – Place a heat wrap around your neck and shoulder for at least 10 minutes, or you can simply massage the head to relieve the tension

·         Laugh – Laughter therapy is one of the best ways to lighten up your mood; it lowers cortisol (stress hormone), and produce endorphins that refreshes your mood

·         Listen to soothing music – Soft and soothing music can lower your blood pressure, anxiety and stress

·         Exercise – Walking, swimming, yoga and other physical activities ease depression, anxiety and stress by producing feel-good chemicals in the body

These techniques are quite useful in managing your stress effectively. If you fail to experience improvement even after following the aforementioned steps, consult a psychologist or counsellor, who can help you deal with stress with other therapies.

In advanced cases, people may require oral medicines that can help them cope with stress. Make sure you consult a doctor before using any stress relief medications.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Key Facts On Diabetes

Diabetes, medically referred as diabetes mellitus, is characterised by the elevation of blood sugar level. It describes a group of metabolic disorders in which a person has hyperglycaemia, either due to inadequate insulin production or due to insulin resistance. People with diabetes usually experience frequent thirst (polydipsia), frequent urination (polyuria) and frequent hungry (polyphagia).

Here are few key facts about diabetes –
  • Diabetes is a chronic condition that is characterised by the high blood glucose
  • Type 1 diabetes (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) – The body does not produce insulin to control blood glucose
  • Type 2 diabetes (Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) – The body produces small amount of insulin that fails to manage blood glucose
  • Gestational diabetes – High blood sugar during pregnancy
  • People with type 2 diabetes initially have pre-diabetes
  • Pre-diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are high, but not enough to confirm the diagnosis
  • Studies have reported the circulatory system is affected even if a person is in pre-diabetic stage
  • If diabetes is not under control, you are susceptible to medical complications such as heart disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, gangrene, impotency and weight loss

Complications of diabetes
If left untreated, uncontrolled diabetes can increase the risk of following health complications –
  • Heart – Ischemia Heart Disease (IHD), high blood pressure, heart attack
  • Nervous System – Neuropathy (nerve damage) can lead to tingling and loss of sensation, stroke
  • Kidneys – Nephropathy can cause severe kidney disease
  • Eyes – Retinopathy, cataract, glaucoma, dry eye, etc.
  • Foot – Diabetic foot, gangrene
  • Erectile Dysfunction – Impotency
  • Skin – Increased risk of skin diseases and skin infections
  • Psychological – Depression and anxiety
  • Delayed wound healing

Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections in association with strict diet and exercise. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is treated with oral hypoglycaemia agents (OHA), exercise and special diet. Some type 2 diabetics may even require insulin to control their blood sugar.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes. However, it is treatable with effective medications and/or insulin. To know more about diabetes, read the book Understanding Diabetes, which is available at PharmacyOutlet.

Treatment And Prevention Of Bad Breath

Bad breath, medically known as Halitosis, is a very sensitive topic of health and wellness. It is estimated that halitosis affects nearly 50 percent of the population in the UK. It affects not only the sufferer but also all the people who are around them. Bad breath is very embarrassing and annoying. 
If you are one of them, do not worry. You can easily treat and prevent halitosis merely by identifying and correcting the underlying cause.

The most effective way to treat halitosis is improving your oral or dental hygiene. You should brush your teeth and gums, floss between your teeth and clean your tongue on a daily basis.

Cleansing your teeth
Experts recommended that you should brush your teeth at least two times a day with fluoride toothpaste. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles for gentle cleansing. Ask your dentist how to brush properly to get rid of plaques. Do not brush your teeth 30 minutes before or after having acidic juices or fruits. Floss your teeth to remove any trapped food particle. Use a soft tongue scraper while brushing. In addition, you should rinse your mouth with a quality antimicrobial mouthwash.

Cleansing your dentures
People who wear dentures showed be very careful. They should remove their dentures before going to sleep. Clean the dentures thoroughly prior to putting them. Never cleanse your dentures with a toothpaste, instead use a denture cream. More importantly, use a separate toothbrush to clean them.

Effective tips for fresh breath
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat healthy and a well-balanced diet
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Cut down on caffeinated drinks
  • Drink loads of water to prevent dryness
  • Chew sugar-free minty gum after eating

More importantly, you should visit your dentist regularly for dental checkup. Regular dental check-up helps get rid of plaque and tartar (calculus) from your teeth, especially in regions that are hard to reach by brushing. Maintain dental hygiene and get rid of bad breath.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Common Ailments You Easily Catch In Autumn

Autumn is approaching and the weather gets awesome. The climate changes constantly in autumn. Changeability in the temperatures during daytime and night can cause few medical issues. It is important to take care of your health this autumn to avert certain diseases.

Here are the common ailments that you may easily get in autumn –
·         Sore Throat
In autumn, your immune system is often impaired, so you easily get a cold. Changeability in temperature with strong wind can allow the virus to reproduce. A little negligent in taking care of your health can reduce your resistance, making you prone to throat infection or sore throat. Along with sore throat, you may experience fever, swollen tonsils, headache and nausea.

·         Allergies
People easily catch allergies in autumn, just as in spring. With increased risk of allergies, you may be vulnerable to allergic asthma in autumn. During autumn, the trees and grasses secrete pollen, which is the triggering factor of allergies. Allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, postnasal discharge, fever and cough. If you are allergic to pollen, avoid going outdoors or use a protective mask. You can ask your GP for more preventive measures.

·         Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers may affect you at any time of the year. However, during autumn, your immune system is not strong enough to combat the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers. Your digestive function is affected greatly, increasing the risk of gastric or duodenal ulcers. The symptoms of peptic ulcers are nausea, vomiting, anorexia and abdominal pain.

·         Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis, or pink eyes, is another common ailment that can occur in autumn. Your immune system is impaired and your resistance is declined during autumn, making your susceptible to viral infection. The body loses its ability to combat the virus or infection, so the virus easily attacks you. The symptoms of conjunctivitis are red or pink eyes, eye pain with swelling.

·         Heart Ailments

The chances of a cardiac arrest increase during autumn, particularly in people with history of heart disease. That’s because the weather changes suddenly and the body struggles to adapt the change in climate, which eventually overloads the cardiovascular system. If you have pre-existing cardiac illness, take utmost care during autumn.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Importance Of Health and Nutrition Supplements

In the United Kingdom, majority of the adults take one or more food supplements. The popularity of health and nutrition supplements is rising gradually and progressively. Health and nutrition supplements, also known as dietary supplements, include essential vitamins, minerals, botanical herbs, amino acids, enzymes and other ingredients. They come in various forms such as conventional pills, capsules, powders, oral solutions and energy bars.

Some of the most popular dietary supplements include vitamins like D and E, minerals like iron and calcium, probiotics, fish oils and herbs like Echinacea or gingko. It is found that dietary supplements are beneficial for people who do not eat nutritious food. This can help them meet their daily requirements of essential vitamins and minerals.

Some health and nutritional supplements play a great role in maintaining optimal health. For instance, vitamin D and calcium supplements are helpful in keeping your bones and teeth strong. To prevent birth defects in babies, pregnant women can use supplements containing folic acid.
To use a dietary supplement safely –
  • ·         Inform your doctor about the supplement(s) beforehand
  • ·         Do not take more than prescribed dose than recommended
  • ·         Read all the instructions carefully about the supplement
  • ·         Tell your doctor about the supplement you are using before undergoing any medical procedure or surgery
  • ·         Check with your doctor if you experience any unwanted symptoms after taking a supplement

Some of the supplements need extensive study to determine their value. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not determine the efficacy of dietary supplements prior to marketing. Many supplements are loaded with ingredients that can have powerful effect on your body. So, always be alert and seek medical advice before using any health and nutrition supplement.

At Pharmacy Outlet, you can come across a wide range of dietary supplements useful in meeting your daily requirement of essential nutrients.