Sugar consumption having a ‘devastating’ effect on kids teeth

A leading dental health charity says the government’s rejection of calls for a ‘sugar tax’ is an opportunity lost in the urgent need to address the UK’s deteriorating dental health.

The British Dental Health Foundation, which had given its support to proposals for a sugar tax made by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, says the impact will be felt particularly among children where sugar-related tooth decay remains their number one reason for hospitalisation in the UK.

Give your children’s teeth a healthy start

Some 26,000 primary school children were admitted to hospital due to tooth decay last year, and child tooth extractions are costing the NHS around £30 million per year, the key cause being tooth decay.

Tooth decay happens when sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque. This forms the acids that attack the teeth and destroy the enamel. After this happens many times, the tooth enamel may break down, forming a hole or ‘cavity’. Tooth decay almost always leads to fillings and often leads to teeth having to be extracted.

Fizzy drinks are a major culprit, so if you value your kid’s teeth leave them on the supermarket shelf.

1 million more people with life threatening conditions within a decade

An ‘explosion’ of one million more people will be living with more than one serious long-term, life-threatening condition by 2025, according to analysis by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The RCGP says this will push the cost of general practice in the NHS up to £1.2bn a year. GP leader Dr Maureen Baker says this highlights a paradoxical situation where treating patients with chronic conditions is most cost-effective in general practice – yet the bulk of NHS money continues to go into hospital care.

Is healthy living the answer?

The share of the NHS budget that general practice receives stands at 8.33% (England – 8.45%), and GPs are pushing for their share to rise to 11 per cent.

All of which makes your community pharmacy look like pretty good value for money. Remember your pharmacist can prepare and dispense prescription and non-prescription medicines. We are also able to give you advice about how to use your medicines and highlight any possible side effects.

We offer advice on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking. We can also help you decide whether you need to see a doctor.

Problems with head lice?

Attending school frequently means children bringing home unwelcome visitors – head lice. Primary school children are particularly prone to infection.

Head lice are passed from head to head through physical contact. They lurk mainly near the scalp for food and warmth and attach their eggs to the shaft of the hair.

Yuck! Thankfully there are plenty of good treatment options.

The lice are whitish to grey-brown in colour, and smaller than the size of a pinhead when first hatched. When fully grown they’re about the size of a sesame seed.

Combing wet, conditioned hair with a lice comb is a reliable detection method even when very few lice are present. Thoroughly wet lice stay still, whereas dry or damp lice move quickly away from disturbance, so evading detection.

Head lice can usually be effectively treated with lotions or sprays designed to kill head lice, or by wet combing using a specially designed head lice comb. Don’t forget that if using a lotion at least two applications will be needed 10-12 days apart, as the lotions don’t always kill louse eggs.

The pharmacy can provide plenty of advice and treatment options to get rid of head lice, so speak to our pharmacist if you need help.


High blood pressure linked to diabetes risk

People with high blood pressure have an almost 60 per cent greater chance of developing diabetes, according to a major global study conducted by The George Institute for Global Health.

In face of earlier conflicting reports, the study reliably shows a connection between pressure and diabetes. It could lead to new approaches for treating and reducing the chances of developing diabetes, which is an increasing burden on health services.

Concerned? Come and visit us for advice.

The study looked at the health records of 4.1 million adults in the UK who were initially free of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and found for every 20mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure there was a 58 per cent higher risk of developing diabetes.

Higher blood pressure was also linked to a higher risk of getting diabetes in men and women of all age groups, regardless of weight.

Our pharmacist can advise on ways of managing your blood pressure. So come and pay us a visit.

Dementia will affect 1 in 3 people in the UK

Unless more is done to tackle dementia, one in three people born in the UK today will develop the disease in their lifetime, warns a recent report from Alzheimer’s Research UK. It suggests 27 per cent of men and 37 per cent of women born in 2015 will develop the condition.

Caring for our loved ones. It may be us one day.

Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK and is caused by brain diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s, which result in the loss of brain cells and impair the brain’s ability to function properly.

Since age is the biggest risk factor for dementia – the condition is most common among those aged 65 and older – rising dementia rates have been attributed to increases in life expectancy.

Previous research by Alzheimer’s Research UK suggests the number of dementia cases could be reduced by a third if onset of the condition could be delayed by five years. But experts claim lack of funding for dementia research is one of the greatest barriers to prevention and treatment for the condition.

Lack of sleep could increase risk of catching a cold

Not getting enough sleep could increase your risk of catching a cold, according to new research that reinforces the importance of getting a proper night’s sleep.

Research published in the journal Sleep says that people who only get six hours or less sleep each night are four times more likely to catch a cold after exposure to the virus than people that get seven or more hours sleep a night.

Sleep well to keep colds at bay

A short period of sleep was more important than any other factor in predicting the likelihood of catching a cold. It didn’t matter how old people were, their stress levels, their race, income or whether they smoked or not.

With the winter ‘cold and flu’ season approaching, you have been warned. Forget the late night movie and go to bed!