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Posts tagged Weight Loss

How does obesity affect Covid-19?

Posted 9 November 2020 in Weight Loss

Do you know your BMI?We are still very much in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, with more restrictions coming into effect across the country to try to stem the spread of the virus.

Many of us are doing what we can to stay safe – reducing social contacts, wearing masks when shopping and working from home, if possible - but what else can we do to minimise our risk?

While most people who develop Covid-19 will be either asymptomatic (no symptoms) or have a mild form of the disease, some will go on to develop serious symptoms and will need hospital treatment.

While there remain many unknowns about coronavirus, we know there are myriad factors that affect an individual’s risk1. These include age, comorbidities (having other illnesses, such as heart disease, some cancers, and respiratory conditions), and being overweight or obese.

Although there is no evidence to suggest that being overweight or obese increases the risk of actually catching the virus, scientists know that having too much body fat increases the risk of developing a more severe type of Covid-192.

In fact, a review of 75 international studies showed that obesity is a significant risk factor for illness and death due to Covid-193: compared to those who are a “normal” weight or even overweight, people who were obese were twice as likely to need hospital treatment.

Once in hospital, obese patients were 75% more likely to have to need intensive care treatment. They were also nearly 50% more likely to die from the virus.

When you consider that almost two-thirds of adults in England are classed as being overweight or obese4 – when measured as Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25 – these are sobering statistics.

It’s important to understand that the risks vary from person to person and it doesn’t mean that if you are obese and test positive for Covid-19 that you will definitely develop a severe form of the illness. But you might decide that now is a good time to start thinking more about your health and your weight.

Why is obesity a significant risk factor?

Public Health England has estimated that if you have a BMI of 35 to 40, it could increase your risk of dying from Covid-19 by 40%. If you have a BMI over 40 that risk increases by 90%5.

When the body stores excess fat, it is stored in the liver and in the skeletal muscle, as well as in the lungs. It means that the additional fat can affect the respiratory system and the body’s immune response to fighting infection. Research6 has shown that obesity could cause what’s called a “hyperactive immune system response” to Covid-19, which makes it far more difficult for the body to fight the virus.

This overactive immune response can lead to a cytokine storm. Cytokines are small proteins that stop viruses from reproducing, but if the body’s immune response goes into overdrive it releases too many of them. It’s not a complication unique to Covid-19, though; it’s common in other respiratory diseases, too.

Other health problems linked to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure, can also lead to complications if you have Covid-19.

It is why the Government launched its campaign7 in the summer to try to encourage us to manage our weight better.

We know it’s not always easy to lose weight – even when we know it’s the right thing to do. While we understand that it’s about eating less and moving more, there are other issues that could impact on our desire to lose a few pounds, including lifestyle and lack of motivation.

And how many of us have started to shed the pounds, only to put it back on (and sometimes more) when we’ve stopped paying attention to what we put in our mouths?

Helping you to lose weight

If you’ve tried to diet, or you have a medical condition, such as type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or hypothyroidism,  or you’re on a medication that makes it difficult to lose weight, you may need medical intervention to help you lose weight.

Buy Saxenda from Webmed from only £75 Find out more If you are clinically obese, with a BMI of at least 28 with co-morbidities or 30 without, you could be suitable for an effective appetite suppressant that has been clinically proven to assist people wanting to lose weight: Saxenda.

Saxenda is the UK’s only licensed appetite suppressant and it is only available on private prescription.

How does it work?

The body produces glucagon-like-peptide (GLP-1) - a hormone that helps to regulate appetite - and Saxenda, which was originally developed as a therapy for diabetics and approved for use in Europe in 2009, works like GLP-1. It acts on brain receptors, which in turn helps to control your appetite, which can help you to reduce how much you eat.

Used in conjunction with a calorie-controlled diet and an exercise plan, Saxenda can help you lose weight and keep it off.

How do I take it?

Saxenda is a pre-filled pen containing 18mg of liraglutide in a 3ml of solution and you simply inject it just under the skin - usually upper arm, thigh, or stomach once a day. The dose gradually increases from just 0.6mg in the first week up to 3mg by week five; this enables your body to gradually get used to the treatment, helping to minimise any side effects that often occurs with weight-loss products.

You can read more about how Saxenda can help you to lose weight sensibly and how you can get an assessment from our doctors to see if it is right for you.


  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/excess-weight-can-increase-risk-of-serious-illness-and-death-from-covid-19 (accessed October 27 2020)
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/if-you-are-at-higher-risk
  4. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/907966/PHE_insight_Excess_weight_and_COVID-19__FINAL.pdf(page 6)
  5. https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m2994?ijkey=d98bd364f7235c526a81ab8db02cf7b1485eb639&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha (accessed October 30 2020)
  6. https://academic.oup.com/endo/article/161/11/bqaa154/5900580?searchresult=1 The Collision of Meta-Inflammation and SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Infection. Endocrinology. September 2020. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1210/endocr/bqaa154
  7. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-obesity-strategy-unveiled-as-country-urged-to-lose-weight-to-beat-coronavirus-covid-19-and-protect-the-nhs

Written by: Jayne Howarth, October 30th 2020.

Diary of a yo-yo dieter - Is Saxenda a miracle cure?

Posted 25 September 2020 in Weight Loss

A woman standing on scales, happy with her weight lossRemember me? 

Let's recap a bit...

Like so many people I reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic badly (was there any other way?) by eating and drinking myself into a 21lb weight gain from March 2020. I've been a Coach for WW ( formerly Weight Watchers) so I know a bit about losing weight and keeping it off. I know my default reaction to any signs of stress is to reach for the good stuff like Sauvignon Blanc, gin cocktails and shed loads of calorie filled sugary rubbish but I thought I was over it.

WRONG. I reverted to type and did everything I had been advising myself and everyone else in my WW workshop against for the past umpteen years. Who can blame me, it's a global pandemic and poor me needs to find comfort...

I just could not get out of my self pity to get a grip and manage myself out of the vicious cycle I had created.

I switched on the TV and watched Joe Wicks for inspiration because exercise is the answer. It will help my mental health and will cure my eating addiction. It didn't work so I turned over to YouTube and found some lively dance class which nearly killed me. I even joined an online Gym ( you know where this one is going to go).

Nothing worked as well as I wanted it to so I needed to find the answer which was not in my toolbox. I found Saxenda (an appetite suppressant) which I ordered online and when it arrived I hoped that all my worries and ghastly eating habits were about to end.

I read the instructions carefully and stored the simple to use pens in the fridge which were to be used to inject a little dose of magic into myself everyday to cure me.

Buy Saxenda from Webmed from only £75 Find out more The first week was a breeze as I mastered the technique and gradually could feel my mighty appetite actually reducing! Am I thin yet I kept asking myself-nope not yet! so inject again and maybe tomorrow.

Week 2 saw my portion sizes reduce by half and I had little desire to snack in between meals so I was hopeful.

Ok so heading to week 3 and it was time to step on the scales..

I had lost weight! Hurrah at last my body was behaving and doing what I knew it was capable of all along. I just needed a little help to get me kick started, see some progress and then I would add in the healthy habits I know are needed to continue the journey.

So, while all along you knew that there is no miracle cure for weight loss, what we do need for success is to use all the tools we can get and Saxenda is exactly that! Alongside a healthy eating and exercise programme you can achieve your goals. 

I’m glad to report that I’ve lost 30lbs and feeling better than I’ve done for a long time 😊

Good luck on your journey and remember to be successful you need to use all of the tools available to you and Saxenda is the best tool in your toolbox!


Diary of a yo-yo dieter - Week 2

Posted 22 July 2020 in Weight Loss

Does Saxenda reduce your appetite?

A food dilemma - caught between healthy options and junk foodIt's been a good start to the weight loss journey using Saxenda. Lost a couple of pounds and managed to reduce my appetite from gargantuan to semi reasonable at meal times.

There is just one little thing which is more of a challenge... I eat when I'm not hungry. All the usual things which will be familiar to some. Here's just a few:

  • It's 11am & I need something with my coffee.
  • I've had a really busy afternoon & I need something to make me feel better.
  • I'm driving home & it will be ages until dinner.
  • I was 'good' at dinner time so I can have something now.
  • Can you add to my list?

Get the picture? This has to be a discussion with my brain to tell it food is not a therapy and I need to manage the emotions which cause me to turn to food for comfort. No appetite suppressant can do this for me but I can do it.

Does the jab help with cravings?

Here's the question my brain has to answer 'Are you really hungry or is it something else?'

I also have a cunning plan to help me to overcome the habits which led me to become overweight in the first place. One step at a time and all that. Replacements. These emotions don't go away overnight so in these moments of madness I need to have a replacement which does not amount to 500-1000 calories.

OK so emotional eating plan in place. Check.

How do I use the pen?

What about Saxenda I hear you ask. It's a doddle and really explicit directions in written form and in video format help enormously. A little daily jab in the soft tissue area and it's all done and you really don't feel a thing.

Buy Saxenda from Webmed from only £75 Find out more I didn't feel too much of a difference through this first week but as of yesterday I increased my dose as per the instructions and I can feel a change in my appetite for the better. Who knew I could eat a normal portion and leave a little?

Parting thoughts are that food really isn't a therapy and if you're having some challenging emotions you need to learn to deal with them and until you do- find some lower calorie replacements!

Until next week, take good care x

Some helpful links :-

  1. NHS weight loss plan https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/start-the-nhs-weight-loss-plan/

  2. Saxenda food diary [Adobe PDF,  2MB]

Diary of a yo-yo dieter

Posted 14 July 2020 in Weight Loss

A set of scales being stood on, with HELP! shown on the LCD displayI'm fed up being fat. To be fair, I’m not always fat; I’ve spent my life trying different fad diets and meal plans, with different levels of success. However, since lock down started back in March 2020, I’ve become the heaviest I’ve ever been and it's getting me down now. It's all very understandable; stress with the virus, the speedy adaptation to home working and the never-ending stream of communication from every source and none of it very reassuring.

I said I would gain skills not weight in lock down but that plan didn't happen.

Buy Saxenda from Webmed from only £75 Find out more It's mid July now and I've gained 21lbs. Nothing fits me and I have done the thing I said I would never do and I bought bigger clothes. This only makes me feel more comfortable but it certainly does not make me look any better.

The trouble is I'm a WW Coach- a Weight Watchers Coach... Furloughed due to Covid-19 and not practising any of the key elements of this plan which includes tracking food, moving more and creating the right mindset for weight loss. Spectacular fail after maintaining a steady weight for a long number of years. That's a global pandemic for you!

I tried hard to put some rescue remedy into practise and I joined an online Gym after much persuasion from the owner. Sounded great and I did some of the workouts in my living room with all the furniture moved out of the way. Brilliant! Lost 6lbs in my first week then did my back in moving the furniture back when I was finished one day...

Back to square one eating and drinking my way out of my own misery. I know this is not a solution and will only pave a downwards spiral into more misery and weight gain so I had to do SOMETHING but what?

SaxendaI looked online and found something which might just be the answer-Saxenda. A little helping hand to get me on track to a better way of managing given I already know how to lose weight.

It's day one and I injected myself for the first time this morning-didn't feel a thing which is no surprise as I injected into my stomach area.

So here's to a record of my successful journey where I would like to lose weight, feel better and get some control back because I know I can do it.

Check in next week and I'll let you know how I get on x

Where can I find Saxenda?

Saxenda is usually only prescribed privately as the manufacturer does not intend for it to be promoted within the NHS. (1)

It is now available to purchase from Webmed Pharmacy following a simple online assessment by our Doctors - click here to see your options to buy Saxenda and find out if it's suitable for you.


  1. NICE. Obese, overweight with risk factors: liraglutide (Saxenda) – Estimated impact for the NHS [cited 24 March 2019]. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/es14/chapter/Estimated-impact-for-the-NHS

Saxenda: the newest recruit into the battle against obesity

Posted 27 December 2019 in Weight Loss

Feet on weighing scales. Source: medicalimages.comObesity is a growing problem in the UK. A quarter of UK adults are obese, and this proportion could rise further with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and readily available cheap, unhealthy food. With many of us moving less due to sitting at desks at work, getting around by car and spending more time on the sofa instead of up and about, we burn fewer calories. Combined with a higher calorific intake thanks to the generally lower cost and greater accessibility of unbalanced ready meals and fast food compared with fresh produce, this equates to weight gain. (1)

Buy Saxenda from Webmed from only £75 FInd out more Most of us know that on a basic level, the key to losing weight is simply eating less and moving more, so that on a daily basis, calories taken in amount to less than calories burnt. But in reality, many factors can stand in the way of this change in lifestyle, including time constraints and lack of motivation. In addition, several medical conditions such as type II diabetes mellitus, pre-diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism, as well as certain medications, can make weight loss harder to achieve. That’s why medical intervention may sometimes be needed. (1)

Until recently, there was only one medication – orlistat – licensed to treat obesity in this country. Orlistat stops around a third of the fat in your diet being absorbed, helping to prevent weight gain. However, unpleasant side effects directly related to this mode of action include oily, loose stools, flatulence, urgency to pass stools more frequently than is normal for you, and an oily rectal discharge. (1)

What is Saxenda and how does it work?

The newest addition to the obesity treatment market is Saxenda, a brand of the medication liraglutide. Liraglutide was originally developed as an anti-diabetic drug and is licensed for this purpose under the name Victoza, at a different strength to Saxenda. Saxenda is available as a pre-filled pen for subcutaneous (under the skin) injection containing 18mg of liraglutide in 3ml of solution. (2)

Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, meaning it acts at the receptor for GLP-1, an appetite-regulating substance naturally produced in the body. The way in which liraglutide interacts with the receptor is currently unclear. (2)

Saxenda is different from weight management products that you may have taken in the past. Saxenda makes you feel full and less hungry, which can help you eat less and reduce your body weight.  It can help you to not only lose weight, but keep it off as well.

Use the Saxenda pen at home or on the go

You can inject your dose in your stomach area (abdomen), upper leg (thigh), or upper arm. However, we would recommend the stomach area as you're less likely to feel it and you have a bigger area to vary where you inject.

Saxenda - self-injectable pen can be used in the upper arm, abdomen or thigh

Who can use Saxenda?

Saxenda is licensed to treat obesity in people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or higher, or those with a BMI of 27kg/m2 to 30kg/m2 who have one or more of a number of weight-linked health conditions including type II diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidaemia (raised fat or cholesterol levels in the blood), high blood pressure and obstructive sleep apnoea. It should be used in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise. (2)

Children and young people under the age of 18 should not use Saxenda, as it is not yet known how the drug affects this age group. Furthermore, Saxenda should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women due to unknown effects on the foetus or baby. (3)

What is the dose for Saxenda?

When starting Saxenda, the initial dose is 0.6mg daily, injected into the abdomen, front of the thigh or upper arm, but not into a vein or muscle. The dose is increased at least on a weekly basis by a further 0.6mg until the daily dose is 3mg, the maximum recommended daily dose. The reason for this gradual increase in dose is that gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation are very common, especially at the beginning of treatment, so lower doses to start improve tolerability and make it more likely that the patient will continue treatment. If Saxenda is still intolerable two weeks after stepping up to the next dose, treatment should be stopped. (2)

How long before Saxenda starts to work?

Patients using Saxenda can expect to have lost at least 5% of their starting weight once they have been on 3mg daily for twelve weeks, given they have also been consuming fewer calories and increasing exercise. If this hasn’t been achieved, treatment with Saxenda should no longer be continued. (2)

What results have been seen with Saxenda?

Medical studies with more than 3,000 people taking Saxenda were conducted to understand the benefits and risks of Saxenda. The results from the study showed significant weight loss.

Along with a low-calorie meal plan and increased physical activity, some people lost nearly 2.5 times more weight with Saxenda versus placebo (17.3 lb vs 7 lb). Study participants had an average starting weight of 234 lb and an average BMI of 38. (3)

In a different 1-year study, most people who stayed on Saxenda kept the weight off. (3)

Can I use Saxenda alongside other medication?

If you take a type of medication for diabetes known as a sulfonylurea (such as gliclazide or glimepiride), the dose may need to be adjusted while you use Saxenda to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). (4)

If you use Victoza for diabetes you should not use Saxenda at the same time. This is because they both contain liraglutide, so using them together will lead to overdose.

Patients taking warfarin or other anticoagulants may need to have more frequent tests to monitor how long it takes their blood to clot. (4)

Where can I find Saxenda?

Saxenda is usually only prescribed privately as the manufacturer does not intend for it to be promoted within the NHS. (5)

It is now available to purchase from Webmed Pharmacy following a simple online assessment by our Doctors - click here to see your options to buy Saxenda and find out if it's suitable for you.


  1. NHS. Obesity – Overview [cited 24 March 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity/
  2. NICE. Obese, overweight with risk factors: liraglutide (Saxenda) – Product overview [cited 24 March 2019]. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/es14/chapter/Product-overview
  3. Novo Nordisk. Saxenda [cited March 2019] https://www.saxenda.com/learn-about-saxenda/what-results-have-been-seen-with-saxenda.html
  4. emc. Saxenda 6 mg/mL solution for injection in pre-filled pen [cited 24 March 2019]. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/2313/pil
  5. NICE. Obese, overweight with risk factors: liraglutide (Saxenda) – Estimated impact for the NHS [cited 24 March 2019]. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/es14/chapter/Estimated-impact-for-the-NHS

Gabby Gallaher MPharm

Medically reviewed by
Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons) MRPharmS
27 December 2019

The best delivery service in the UK.

Posted 22 November 2019 in Allergies, Erectile Dysfunction, Hair Loss, Men's Health, Sexual Health, Weight Loss, Womens health

All of our treatments and tests are guaranteed next working day delivery in a 1 hour time slot by dpd to all mainland UK*.

DPD update

Predict & Follow my parcel

dpd are our preferred carrier with their industry-leading predict and follow my parcel service. With this service you will receive a message via your chosen method, SMS or email at approximately 8am, on the day of delivery giving you your one hour delivery window. It also allows you in real time map to track the progress of your parcel all the way down to a 15 minute window so you don’t have to wait in all day.

In-flight options

If you are not going to be home, you will be offered other options:

On the day you place your order you will receive a confirmation message by your chosen method, giving you the option to divert your parcel to the nearest dpd Pickup Shop. This could be close to home, or work or on your journey and many of the stores have extended opening times.

Divert to a Pickup Shop is also available at checkout. All deliveries must be signed for unless you ask for it to be left in a safe place (includes posting through your letterbox) where you will be asked to accept a disclaimer.

All of this excellent service is included within your price. No hidden extras at the checkout.

Webmed use dpd as our preferred courier to deliver to all mainland UK*.
*Excluding the Scottish Highlands and islands where we use Royal Mail Special Delivery.

Discrete packaging

At Webmed one of our most popular FAQ’s is what sort of packaging will it come in?

We understand the need for discreet packaging and there is no mention of what’s inside or where its from. Here is a picture of a typical dpd Expresspak bag used.

DPD packaging

DPD are the 'delivery company of choice' for the biggest and best-known retailers and are the UK's number one next-day specialist.

Today in the UK, DPD delivers over 200 million parcels a year, employs over 12,000 people  and operates more than 7,000 vehicles from 65 locations.


Saturday and Sunday deliveries

At checkout we offer the option for Saturday or Sunday delivery to all mainland UK (except the Scottish Highlands and islands) by dpd for just a small cost of only £2.00.

For the Scottish Highlands, Northern Island, Scilly Isles and the Isle of Man we use Royal Mail Special Delivery offering a Saturday delivery for £4.00.

DPD Innovations

dpd have led the way with innovative technology including the “Your dpd App”, now used by more than 3.5million people.

dpd’s new £150m hub

Work is well underway on a new state-of-the-art hub in Hinkley, Leicestershire which is equivalent to 22 football pitches. Making it the largest parcel hub in Europe.

dpd Opens electric vehicle hub in central London

October 2018 saw the opening of dpd’s first all-electric vehicle depot in Westminster which will be delivering up to 2,000 parcels. They are using a fleet of 10 Nissan eNV200 all-electric vans for the last mile delivery which have a capability of making 120 drops per day. They plan to have 550 electric vehicles by 2021.

Webmed Pharmacy uses dpd as we want to offer our customers the best delivery service in the UK.

Is your lifestyle affecting your diabetes risk?

Posted 10 August 2016 in Men's Health, Weight Loss

diabetes wordyThere has been a lot in the news recently about the increasing incidence of Type II Diabetes. So, what’s it all about?

Diabetes is a lifelong condition which is caused by a person’s body either producing less of, or becoming resistant to, the hormone insulin. This causes the blood sugar level to become dangerously high, leading to various ailments of the eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels to name a few.

The high levels of sugar in your blood make you tired all the time, thirstier than usual and also causes you to go to the toilet more frequently, especially at night.

The symptoms of this type of diabetes are usually quite mild and so aren’t typically obvious, meaning some may be living life with diabetes for years before it is actually diagnosed.

Type II diabetes has now reached epidemic levels in many places and this is thought to be mainly due to changes in lifestyle but is also partly due to improved diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

It's far more common than type I diabetes and it is estimated that more than 1 in 16 people in the UK has diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed), with this figure rising rapidly, and 90% of these cases being type II. (1)

There are some things which make a person more likely to develop type II diabetes, such as;

  • Your age
    Most cases are seen in those over the age of 40, but there are now an increasing number of teenagers being diagnosed with the disease.
  • Your ethnicity
    Being of Asian or African decent puts you at higher risk.
  • Your genes
    If you have a close member of your family diagnosed (mother, father, brother or sister) than again you are at a higher risk. There is also an increased incidence in males.
  • Your weight
    Being overweight or obese makes your change of having diabetes much more likely.
    Click here to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) to see if your weight puts you at risk. (2)

The majority of these things, we unfortunately cannot change. However, we are able to reduce our weight. It’s been said by the NHS that reducing your body weight by even just 5% could reduce your risk of getting diabetes by more than 50%. (3) This can be achieved by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

We have all heard it before and now you’re going to hear it again. The best way to avoid type II diabetes is to;

  • Eat better! Eating a healthy, balanced diet, not forgetting the fruit and veg.
  • Bin the cigarettes! (if you smoke)
  • Drink alcohol in moderation! You don’t need to ditch it all together.
  • Get on the move! Take plenty of regular exercise, ideally 30 minutes a day.

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it’s not the end of the world. There are many treatment options available to keep your blood sugar under control and, when managed well, should have no side effects or complications.

Having said that, prevention is most definitely better than cure!

To further your understanding, take a look at this great list of myths and frequently asked questions on type II diabetes here. (4)

  1. Choices N.: Department of Health. Type 2 diabetes; 2016 Jul 28 [cited 2016 Apr 20]. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Diabetes-type2/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  2. Diet throughout life; 2014 Nov 10 [cited 2016 Apr 20].
    Available from: https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/tools-calculators/bmi-calculator
  3. Choices N.: Department of Health. Type 2 diabetes - causes; 2016 Jul 12 [cited 2016 April 20].
    Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Diabetes-type2/Pages/Causes.aspx
  4. Myths, questions frequently asked. Myths and frequently asked questions - diabetes UK [cited 2016 Apr 20].
    Available from: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/What-is-diabetes/Myths-and-FAQs/

Medically reviewed by: Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 10/08/16

Is Sugar the New Enemy?

Posted 2 June 2016 in Weight Loss

Nutritional or dietary advice changes like the weather and we are never sure if today’s meat is tomorrows poison!

Sugar is the enemy

Remember the days when it was "Go to work on an egg", then it was no more than 3 eggs a week and now the advice we’re given is eat as many eggs as you like as although they have cholesterol, its apparently "good" cholesterol.

Then there’s the new superfoods; nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. It’s a list that’s constantly gaining additions, with a few of those being beetroot juice, blueberries, walnuts, edamame beans, pomegranates, coconut oil, oily fish and avocados.

For years we’ve been told that for good health we should eat a low fat diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. The general consensus was that low fat foods were better than full fat foods. Now we’re being told that the diet industry that produces a lot of these low fat foods supplement them with sugar to improve the flavour lost by reducing the fat content. We all thought that to lose weight we had only to count the calories and that fat was higher in calories than sugar and therefore to be avoided at all costs.

Now the nutritionists are saying that fat doesn’t make you fat but sugar does and is responsible for the increasing obesity crisis in the UK.

This debate has been going on for a long time and while there is really no good sugar that you can eat, fat can be good or bad for you, depending of what kind you choose.


Sugar comes in many guises on food labels, including:

corn sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose glucose syrup, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, isoglucose, levulose, maltose, molasses, sucrose, invert sugar
Table 1. (1)

The government recommends that free or added sugars shouldn't make up more than 5% of the energy (calories) you get from food and drink each day. That's a maximum of 30g of added sugar a day for adults, which is roughly seven sugar cubes. (2)

Added sugars are found in foods such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and some fizzy drinks and juice drinks – these are the sugary foods we should cut down on. For example, a 500ml bottle of cola contains the equivalent of 17 cubes of sugar!

If you want to lose weight, you need to find a diet plan that avoids refined sugars and uses only healthy fats. These are monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil instead of saturated fats like butter and dairy products. There is good evidence to show that there is a link between saturated fat and raised cholesterol levels.

Bad fats increase cholesterol and your risk of certain diseases, while good fats protect your heart and support overall health. In fact, good fats - such as omega-3 fats - are essential to physical and emotional health.

Therefore, a healthy diet shouldn’t cut out the fat but replace bad fats with the good ones that promote health and well-being.

Eating foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat can improve blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. These fats may also benefit insulin levels and control blood sugar, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2 diabetes. These good fats are found in fish, nuts, seeds, and cold-pressed vegetable oils. (3)

Trans fats raise your LDL or "bad" cholesterol and lower your HDL "good" cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Any amount of trans fats is unhealthy. They are found in commercially baked goods such as biscuits, cakes, and pastry. Any product with "partially hydrogenated oil" in the ingredients contains trans fats.

When trying to lose weight, eating a balanced diet and being more active will help you lose weight steadily and gradually which is better for keeping weight off long term.

The traditional Mediterranean diet naturally includes most of the key diet changes that will help to lose weight and keep your heart healthy. This means that your meals should contain carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread and pasta and plenty of fruit and vegetables. (4)

Protein should be obtained by having more fish in your diet and less meat as well as including beans and pulses. You should also cut down on the foods that provide a lot of saturated fat in your diet such as dairy products and butter.

The healthiest diet is to cut out processed foods that are high in sugar and salt and cook from scratch as often as possible.



  1. Dolson L. Verywell. How to spot hidden sugar in foods; 2016 Mar 6 [cited 2016 May 27].  Available from: https://www.verywell.com/sugars-many-disguises-2242526
  2. Choices N. Department of Health. How does sugar in our diet affect our health?; 2016 May 24 [cited 2016 May 27].  Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/sugars.aspx
  3. Helpguide. Good fats, bad fats, and the power of Omega-3s [cited 2016 May 27]. Available from: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/choosing-healthy-fats.htm
  4. Choices N. Department of Health. What is a Mediterranean diet?; 2016 Mar 17 [cited 2016 May 27].  Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/what-is-a-Mediterranean-diet.aspx
  5. Medically reviewed by: Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 02/06/16

Are you buying fake medicines online?

Posted 17 March 2016 in Erectile Dysfunction, Men's Health, Sexual Health, Weight Loss

We have all become familiar with the great convenience and ease of buying goods online but what about when it comes to medicines?

Buying medicines online, in the comfort of your own home, without having to take time off work or interrupt your busy schedule to visit your GP is a service we would all like to access. It becomes even more attractive if the nature of your treatment is for sensitive or intimate conditions.

How do you know if you are buying genuine medicines from a reputable registered seller?

ED to the left and STI's to the right

It is illegal to buy any prescription only medicine unless a doctor has written a prescription specifically for you.

More importantly, if a website or indeed any supplier is willing to sell you a prescription only medicine without a prescription then these unscrupulous dealers do not have any concerns about the dire consequences of supplying you fake, potentially harmful medicines.

Fake medicines range from being useless to highly dangerous as they often contain the wrong amount of active ingredient or a completely different ingredient to the one advertised. Some fake medicines have even been found to contain highly toxic substances such as rat poison, lead paint, floor wax and printer ink. The medicines may be made in dirty factories with no quality control and so the person taking the counterfeit medicine may find they are putting their health, even their life, at risk. These fake medicines may look identical to the genuine article and are often packaged to a high standard, making it very difficult to tell the difference.

The  World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 1 per cent of medicines available in the developed world are likely to be counterfeit. This figure rises to 10 per cent globally, but in some areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America counterfeit goods can form up to 30 per cent of the market.

This does not mean that all websites which sell medicines are doing so illegally or without a prescription but it’s very important to be sure that the website that YOU are using is selling genuine medicines from a UK regulated and registered pharmacy.

How can you check that the website you want to use to obtain medicines is a legitimate online pharmacy?

All websites selling prescription medication in England should be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who are a government appointed independent regulator of health and social care.

CQC Regulated LogoAll fully approved and regulated websites should have a clickable link that will take you to the CQC register to show that they are compliant.

All medicines must be supplied from a pharmacy that is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). 

If you are thinking of obtaining medicines from an online pharmacy, we would advise you to check if the website is legitimately registered by looking for the General Pharmaceutical Council, GPhC, voluntary logo and the mandatory EU common logo

We would then recommend that you click on each logo which should take you through to that particular pharmacy’s entry on the GPhC register and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) register.

All websites operating in the UK, but outside of England, must be registered with the CQC equivalent body in each country: Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, and Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (Northern Ireland).

The common logo for legally operating online pharmacies/retailers in the EU Member States was introduced by Directive 2011/62/EU (the Falsified Medicines Directive) as one of the measures to fight against falsified medicines.

Therefore, since 1st of July 2015, all online pharmacies or retailers legally operating in the EU have to display the following logo:-

EU Registered Pharmacy

How does the logo work?

The logo links to the website of the national competent authority listing all legally operating online pharmacies/retailers. National websites are listed with the European Medicines Agency. By simply clicking on the logo a purchaser of the medicines online will be sent to the entry of the pharmacy on that national list, thus completing the verification process.

The logo can be trusted only if a purchaser, after clicking, is redirected to the entry of that pharmacy on the list of legally operating on-line pharmacies and retailers registered in that Member State on the national authority web-page

Also, all pharmacies in Great Britain, including those providing internet services, must be registered with the GPhC and meet their standards for registered pharmacies.

GPhC Registered Pharmacy logo
The GPhC operates a voluntary internet pharmacy logo scheme to provide reassurance to patients and the public that they are purchasing medicines online from registered pharmacies who have to meet GPhC standards.

Therefore, anybody buying medicines from an online pharmacy can check if the pharmacy is legitimately registered by clicking on the logo or going directly to the GPhC website and searching their online register.

The EU common logo is a legal requirement across Europe that applies to all retailers of medicines whilst the GPhC voluntary logo is applicable only to UK registered pharmacies.

What other checks can be made?

You should be able to easily find the name and address of the pharmacy operating the website, as an online supplier who conceals its physical address is a warning sign that their products could be dangerous. The WHO estimates that 50 per cent of medicines available from such websites are counterfeit.

You should avoid websites which offer to supply prescription only medicines without a prescription as registered pharmacies are required to check that a medicine is suitable for a patient before selling it. Therefore, if you are not asked to provide information about your health before making a purchase then you would be wise to go elsewhere.

When you order any medication from our UK registered and regulated pharmacy you can be assured that you are doing so safely, legally and discreetly.

WebMed Pharmacy Ltd, a fully approved and Regulated UK Pharmacy (https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/registers/pharmacy/registrationnumber/9011118), only supplies medicines from a MHRA accredited wholesaler. You can confidently order from us, knowing that you can complete an online medical questionnaire in the comfort of your own home and if suitable can be prescribed by our GMC regulated doctor.

WebMed Pharmacy specialises in treatments where patients may feel embarrassed or awkward talking to their GP or simply find it difficult to get an appointment or don’t want to take time off work. We provide a confidential, discreet next working day delivery, of your chosen medicine, within a 1 hour time slot to the vast majority of postcodes in the UK or New Click & Collect from a store near you, with a choice of 2,500+ stores nationwide.

Quick easy links to our most popular pages with the confidence of knowing we are a fully approved and regulated pharmacy, only supplying UK sourced medication:

Erectile dysfunction | Sildenafil | Tadalafil

Gonorrhoea treatment | Chlamydia treatment

Hair Loss treatment | Finasteride

STI Tests | HIV Test Kits

Medically reviewed by: Super intendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 17/03/16. Updated and reviewed 02/05/17.

The Bittersweet Truth About the Implications of Diabetes

Posted 18 November 2015 in Weight Loss

Diabetes symptoms bodyThe World Health Organisation, WHO, is so concerned about the worldwide chronic health condition, diabetes that they have decided to focus on the problem for the Organisation’s World Health day on 7th April 2016.

World Health Day will be used to highlight the disease in order to promote strategies to help prevent diabetes and ensure optimal management for people living with one of the various forms of the condition. About 350 million people in the world have diabetes and as this chronic disease becomes more common the importance of learning how to prevent, detect, treat and manage it becomes more crucial.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body has raised blood sugar - hyperglycamia, which can lead to serious damage, especially to the nerves and blood vessels. This is caused when either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar, which gives us the energy we need to live. If the sugar is unable to get into the cells to be burned as energy, it can build up to harmful levels in the blood.

There are two main forms of the disease.

Type 1 diabetes is characterised by the lack of insulin production and requires daily insulin injections for survival. The cause is not known and is not preventable at the moment.

Type 2 diabetes results from the body not producing enough insulin or the body is resistant to any insulin produced. This form of diabetes comprises 90% of people with diabetes around the world and is largely due to excess body weight and lack of physical activity. Until recently, this type of diabetes was only seen in adults but now it’s found in children. In fact, in some parts of the world, type 2 diabetes has become the main type of diabetes in children and adolescents. This is thought to be due to the global rise of childhood obesity and physical inactivity.

Ultimately, high blood sugars can have devastating effects on every major organ in the body, leading to heart attacks, strokes, impotence, blindness, kidney failure and infections that can lead to amputations.

Other less common types

Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia with blood glucose values above normal but below those of diagnostic diabetes, when a woman is pregnant. These women are at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery as well as being at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.

Impaired glucose intolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG)

These are intermediate conditions in the transition between normality and diabetes but the progression is not inevitable and can be prevented by following a healthy diet and increasing physical activity.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Urinating more frequently, especially at night
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very tired
  • Cuts or wounds that don’t heal properly or heal slowly
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight loss (more common with type 1 diabetes)
  • Itching around the penis or vagina or frequent bouts of thrush
  • Intense hunger which may lead to weight gain
  • Irritability due to lack of energy
  • Gum disease/infection
  • Sexual  dysfunction
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet

Type 1 diabetes symptoms usually present suddenly and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and stomach pains.

It’s possible to have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all with type 2 diabetes. In fact, about half of all people with type 2 diabetes are unaware of their condition and are therefore undiagnosed. Also, the condition known as prediabetes, that often leads to type 2 diabetes, produces no symptoms. Usually, type 2 diabetes and its symptoms develop very slowly.

Diabetes Diagnosis

Excess glucose in the urine can be detected by a simple urine test.  This can be followed up by a blood test that measures blood glucose levels and can confirm a diagnosis of diabetes.

Therefore, if you have any of the symptoms described above you should visit your GP as soon as possible. It’s very important that diabetes is diagnosed as early as possible because it will get progressively worse if left untreated leading to serious health conditions.

If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes you will need insulin injections for the rest of your life. If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes you may be able to control your symptoms by following a healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis and careful monitoring of your blood glucose levels. However, you may eventually require medication in the form of tablets or insulin as type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition.

In the UK there are 3.9 million people living with diabetes, either diagnosed or undiagnosed, which is a staggering more than one in 16 people. This figure is constantly increasing and it’s estimated that by 2025 five million people in the UK alone will have diabetes. Furthermore, many more people are estimated to have blood sugar levels above the normal range but not high enough to be diagnosed as having diabetes. The health implications of this prediction and the cost to the NHS is frightening.

Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with a healthy body weight. Those with a lot of belly fat or abdominal obesity are especially at risk. That is why it’s recommended for males  to have a waist measurement of less than 94cm(37 inches) and females to measure less than 80cm(31.5 inches). Diabetes experts are asking world leaders at the G20 leaders summit in Turkey this weekend to use sugar taxes to fight obesity, arguing that it would save lives and slash health care budgets . A new report published in the journal Diabetic Medicine has projected that the NHS’s annual spending on diabetes in the UK will increase from £9.8 billion to £16.9 billion over the next 25 years, a rise that means the NHS would be spending 17% of its entire budget on the condition.

Many things can be done to reduce the impact of diabetes through embracing personal  responsibility by adopting a healthy lifestyle. This means achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight by being physically active for at least 30 minutes every day and walking has been advocated in the press recently as the best way to keep fit. Also, by eating a healthy diet that includes between 3 and 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily and reducing our intake of sugar and saturated fats. Avoiding the use of tobacco is essential as smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Being overweight, physically inactive and eating the wrong foods all contribute to our risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Drinking just one can of (non-diet) soda per day can raise our risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22%, researchers from Imperial College London reported in the journal Diabetologia. The scientists believe that the impact of sugary soft drinks on diabetes risk may be a direct one, rather than simply an influence on body weight.

There are many diseases which we have no power over but diabetes is not one of them. Properly treated and managed, the impact of diabetes can be minimised. Even people with type 1 diabetes can live long and healthy lives if they keep their blood sugar well controlled.

Medically reviewed by: Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 18/11/15

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