Welcome to the Rowlands Pharmacy Blog

November contents...

                              

Health: Under The Influence               Health: Indigestion Relief

                                                    

Health: Mouth Ulcer Pain                    Health: Winter Make-Up

 

 


Under The Influence

 

This is the time of year where socialising becomes a big part of our lives, the lead up to the festive season sees the party invitations flooding in but do you understand the importance of moderation with alcohol?

 

Alcohol has a big impact on us and it is vital for people to understand the consequences it brings. Most people believe alcohol is a stimulant whereas in fact it is a depressant. This explains why drinking too much can lead to poor judgement and an inclination for violent behaviour.

 

Low risk drinking guidelines are the same for men and women.  The UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) advise to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.

 

What 14 units looks like…

  • 6 pints of 4% beer
  • 6 glasses of 13% wine
  • 14 glasses of 40% spirits

If you regularly drink 14 units per week, its best to spread your drinking over 3 or more days.  If you wish to cut down on the amount you drink, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days a week.

 

All alcohol consumption carries some risk.  The risk of developing a range of health problems increases the more you drink on a regular basis. 

 

Cutting down on alcohol doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your social life.  Try these top tips when you're next out*.

 

1. Beware of rounds

Drinking in rounds may be a British tradition, but they can be expensive, dangerous if it means keeping pace with the fastest drinker in your group and a nightmare if you’re trying to cut down on alcohol. Stay in control (and save cash) by opting for smaller rounds with only a couple of friends within your group or by giving rounds a miss.

 

2. Eat up

After-the-pub grub is another drinking tradition, but why wait until the night’s nearly over to load up on fast food? A healthy meal before you go out, and snacks between drinks can help to slow down the absorption of alcohol and so helps you stay in control. With less alcohol inside you, that greasy pizza or kebab will look a lot less appetising at chucking out time too. 

 

3. Track your drinking on the go

If you’re out and about use the Drinkaware smartphone app to track the alcohol you’re drinking. It will help you stay within the low risk unit guidelines and stay on top of your night out. 

 

4. Small is better

Make the guidelines go further by having bottles of beer or halves instead of pints and choosing a smaller glass for your wine. Buying spritzers or shandies will also help keep that unit count down.

 

5. Space out alcohol

Sipping a soft drink between alcoholic drinks slows down the rate of your drinking and means you’ll drink less over the course of the evening. If you’re clubbing, take a bottle of water with you on the dancefloor. Down the pub (or even at home)? Then go for a non-alcoholic mocktail, a soft drink, or glass of water.

 

For more information visit www.drinkaware.co.uk

 


Don’t let misconception

 stop you from treating your indigestion

 

Indigestion is a pain or discomfort in the stomach usually associated with eating.  It is a common problem that affects many people, but in most cases it's mild and only occurs occasionally.

 

The main symptom of indigestion is pain, people often experience the associated feeling of burning behind the breastbone but this may occur on its own.  These symptoms usually come on soon after eating or drinking, although there can sometimes be a delay between eating a meal and experiencing indigestion.

 

If you have indigestion, you may also have symptoms such as*:

 

  • feeling uncomfortably full or heavy
  • belching or flatulence (passing wind)
  • bringing food or fluid back up from your stomach (reflux)
  • bloating
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • vomiting

Indigestion is caused by excess stomach acid which irritates the stomach lining. The stomach acid breaks down the lining, leading to irritation and inflammation, which can be painful. 

 

Fortunately most people are able to treat indigestion with simple changes to their diet and lifestyle, or with a number of different medications, such as antacids.  Antacids are medicines that neutralise the acid in the stomach to relieve indigestion.  They are available as a liquid or chewable tablets.  It's best to take antacids with food or soon after eating as this is when indigestion is most likely to occur, plus the effect of the medicine may last longer if taken with food.

 

Our pharmacist can recommend medicines that will ease the burning feeling or pain that can come with indigestion. 

 

The NHS recommend the following to help control your indigestion.

 

Do

  • cut down on tea, coffee, cola or alcohol
  • prop your head and shoulders up in bed – this can stop stomach acid coming up while you sleep
  • lose weight if you're overweight

Don't

  • eat 3 to 4 hours before going to bed
  • have rich, spicy or fatty foods
  • take ibuprofen or aspirin – this can make indigestion worse
  • smoke

We advise:

  • Avoid large meals, it is better to eat little and often.
  • Avoid lying down immediately after you have eaten.
  • Chew your food properly and do not rush your meal.
  • Avoid spicy and greasy foods as they can worsen indigestion.
  • Some indigestion remedies can stop other medicines from working. Ask in the pharmacy if your tablets are safe with an indigestion remedy.
  • Some tablets can cause indigestion, e.g. aspirin and ibuprofen. This can be reduced by taking the tablets with or after food.
  • Anyone whose indigestion passes into their shoulder and down the arm should see their doctor as soon as possible.
  • Smoking and being overweight can worsen indigestion.

Speak to your GP if you find you need to take antacids regularly.  If your indigestion has lasted longer than 2 weeks or you have sudden stomach pains, ask our pharmacist for advice.

 

*NHS Inform

 


Be done with the pain of mouth ulcers!

 

Mouth ulcers can be very painful and appear anywhere inside the mouth, on the tongue, gums or on the inside of the cheeks. They are usually caused by a physical accident e.g. biting the inside of the cheek, incorrect fitting dentures or maybe due to a poor diet or stress. Mouth ulcers are painful sores, which can make it uncomfortable to eat, drink or brush your teeth.

 

It’s not always clear what causes mouth ulcers that keep returning, but triggers are thought to include*:

  • stress and anxiety
  • hormonal changes – some women develop mouth ulcers during their monthly period
  • eating certain foods – such as chocolate, spicy foods, coffee, peanuts, almonds, strawberries, cheese, tomatoes and wheat flour
  • toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulphate
  • stopping smoking – when you first stop smoking, you may develop mouth ulcers

We advise:

  • Avoid spicy, acidic or salty foods as these can make the pain worse.
  • Avoid hot drinks as these can make symptoms worse.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Try and relax, reduce your stress levels and take regular exercise.
  • Ensure good dental health hygiene. Use a good quality toothbrush and take care not to damage your teeth or gums.
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent infection.
  • Visit your dentist every 6 months and more regularly if your ulcers are due to dental problems.

If you have a mouth ulcer for longer than 10 days, see our pharmacist for more advice.

 

*NHS

 


Keep your make-up in place regardless of the weather!

 

Keeping your make-up in check over the winter months can sometimes be a battle with the icy cold weather seeming to work against you.  Using these simple recommendations you can keep your make-up in place regardless if you need to encounter the cold weather. 

 

Moisturise to help you beautify, whilst this is more of a skin care tip, it’s actually helpful to think of this as the first step in your makeup routine. Using moisturiser before makeup will help you achieve a fresh healthy complexion this winter, a heavy foundation can accentuate dry skin maybe try using a tinted moisturiser instead.

 

Braving the winter elements can cause dry, reddened, irritated skin that comes from enduring the icy cold and wind. Preventative measures can be taken in the form of covering sensitive skin with a cotton scarf when heading outdoors. Try to camouflage redness with a green-tinted powder followed by a concealer that matches your skin tone.

 

To help wake up your complexion don’t forget to blush. Sweep a soft, peachy-hued (for fair skin) or warm, terra-cotta-toned (for darker skin) blush onto the apples of your cheeks, it’ll make a washed-out face come to life in no time.

 

Blustery winds, rain and sleet can cause your makeup to have a meltdown. You certainly need to fight off those smudges and smears, try to use waterproof mascara in winter months. Applying eyeliner and shadow on the upper lids only as well can also help your makeup to stay in place.

 

Icy cold and wind can cause mayhem on even the thickest of skins, but your lips definitely bear the brunt. During winter this delicate area is prone to dehydration and chapping, keep lip balm at the ready to avoid this. If your lips are in good shape you can opt for moisturising lipstick, however be aware that matte or long-wearing lipstick formulas can be drying.

 


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