Pillbox Chemists

CategoriesNews,  Uncategorized

Pillbox Chemists Group Shines Bright with Four Prestigious Awards

In the world of healthcare and pharmacy, Pillbox Chemists Group has emerged as a beacon of excellence and innovation. Recently, the group and its dedicated team members have achieved outstanding recognition, securing four prestigious awards that highlight their commitment to patient care and pharmacy excellence.

1. Aspiring Pharmacy Leader of the Year: Davinder Virdee

Davinder Virdee, a prominent member of the Pillbox Chemists Group hailing from Colnbrook, Berkshire, has been crowned the “Aspiring Pharmacy Leader of the Year.” This accolade is a testament to Davinder’s unwavering dedication and visionary leadership in the field of pharmacy. His commitment to patient care and innovative thinking have set a benchmark for aspiring leaders in the industry.

2. Pharmacy Assistant of the Year: Anne Edwards

Anne Edwards, a vital member of the Pillbox Chemists team based in Swindon, has been recognized as the “Pharmacy Assistant of the Year.” Anne’s tireless efforts, attention to detail, and passion for excellence have not only contributed to the success of her team but have also made a profound impact on the lives of those she serves. Her exceptional qualities serve as an inspiration to all pharmacy assistants.

3. Public Health Pharmacist of the Year: Ayan Awale

Ayan Awale, representing Spiralstone Pharmacy in Southampton, has clinched the title of “Public Health Pharmacist of the Year.” Ayan’s dedication to improving public health and his innovative approach to pharmacy practice have earned him this esteemed recognition. His work stands as a shining example of the positive impact a pharmacist can make on the overall health of a community.

4. Celebrating Pillbox Chemists Group’s Collective Achievement

These four awards collectively celebrate the Pillbox Chemists Group’s commitment to excellence in the field of pharmacy and healthcare. It underscores the organization’s focus on patient-centric care, innovative solutions, and the nurturing of exceptional talent within its team.

Pillbox Chemists Group’s success is a testament to its unwavering dedication to the well-being of their patients and the communities they serve. The group’s commitment to excellence, combined with the exceptional qualities of Davinder Virdee, Anne Edwards, and Ayan Awale, has resulted in these well-deserved accolades.

In conclusion, the Pillbox Chemists Group continues to set new standards in the pharmacy industry. These four awards are not just a recognition of individual achievements but also a testament to the group’s commitment to delivering outstanding healthcare services and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in pharmacy practice. As they continue to lead by example, Pillbox Chemists Group remains an inspiring force within the healthcare community, working tirelessly to improve the well-being of individuals and communities alike.

CategoriesCholesterol,  Weight


A vegetarian or vegan diet can be a healthy way to eat if you pay attention to what you’re putting on your plate. Here are some tips for a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet:

1. Make sure you’re getting enough protein: Vegetarians and vegans can get protein from a variety of sources such as legumes, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds. Including a variety of protein sources in your meals will ensure that you’re getting all of the essential amino acids your body needs.
2. Include plenty of vegetables and fruits: Vegetables and fruits provide important vitamins, minerals, and fibre that your body needs to stay healthy. Aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
3. Get your calcium: Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth. Vegetarians can get calcium from dairy products such as milk and cheese, while vegans can get it from fortified plant-based milk, tofu, and leafy greens such as kale and collard greens.
4. Don’t forget about iron: Iron is essential for healthy blood cells, and vegetarians and vegans can get it from sources such as lentils, spinach, tofu, and fortified breakfast cereals.
5. Consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement: Vitamin B12 is important for nerve function and the production of red blood cells. It’s found almost exclusively in animal products, so vegetarians and vegans may need to take a supplement to ensure they’re getting enough.
6. Limit processed foods: While it’s easy to rely on processed vegetarian or vegan foods, such as fake meat or cheese, they can be high in salt, sugar, and fat. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a healthy and balanced vegetarian or vegan diet that provides all the nutrients with your body needs.


Why a healthy diet is important?

A healthy diet is important for many reasons. Here are some of the key reasons why a healthy diet is important:

  1. Provides essential nutrients: A healthy diet provides your body with the essential nutrients it needs to function properly, such as vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight: Eating a healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, which can reduce your risk of many chronic diseases.
  3. Reduces the risk of chronic diseases: A healthy diet can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  4. Improves brain function: Eating a healthy diet can improve brain function, including memory, focus, and mood.
  5. Boosts energy levels: Eating a healthy diet can help boost your energy levels, which can improve your overall quality of life.
  6. Improves gut health: Eating a healthy diet can improve your gut health by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy gut microbiome.

Overall, a healthy diet is important for maintaining good health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

For more information about associated costs speak to a member of our team or
E-mail: info@health-clinic.co.uk
Call: 020 7310 8458


Blood Testing & Health Check Community Project

We are thrilled to announce that our company is partnering with the Health Clinic to provide free blood testing services at Martindale Gurdwara. Our focus will be on testing for two important health indicators – cholesterol and diabetes.

High cholesterol and diabetes are two prevalent health issues that are increasingly affecting individuals in our community. Regular testing and monitoring of these health indicators can help individuals make informed decisions about their health and take proactive steps to prevent or manage these conditions.

We believe that everyone should have access to high-quality healthcare services, regardless of their financial situation. We hope to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of individuals in our community.

Our team of medical professionals will be on-site at the Nishkam Clinic @ Martindale Gurdwara to provide free blood testing services to individuals who visit us. We will be offering to test for cholesterol or diabetes, and our team will provide education and resources to help individuals understand their test results and make informed decisions about their health.

We are excited to be involved in this initiative and look forward to making a difference in the lives of those we serve. We are committed to providing high-quality healthcare services to individuals in our community.

If you or someone you know is interested in receiving free blood testing services for cholesterol and diabetes, please visit us at the Matindale Gurdwara 142 Martindale Rd, Hounslow TW4 7HQ. Together, we can work towards improving the health and well-being of our community.

CategoriesFlu,  News

Flu Vaccine Benefits

Vaccine Benefits

What are the benefits of flu vaccination?

There are many reasons to get an influenza (flu) vaccine each year.

Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination and selected scientific studies that support these benefits.

  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
  • Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year. For example, during 2018-2019, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 4.4 million influenza illnesses, 2.3 million influenza-associated medical visits, 58,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations, and 3,500 influenza-associated deaths.
  • During seasons when the flu vaccine viruses are similar to circulating flu viruses, flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 percent to 60 percent.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working age adults, and older adults.
  • Flu vaccine prevents tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year. For example, during 2018-2019 flu vaccination prevented an estimated 58,000 flu-related hospitalizations.
  • A 2014 studyexternal icon showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012.
  • In recent years, flu vaccines have reduced the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations among older adultsexternal icon on average by about 40%.
  • A 2018 study showed that from 2012 to 2015, flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with flu by 82 percent.
  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
  • Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac eventsexternal icon among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce worsening and hospitalization for flu-related chronic lung disease, such as in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPDexternal icon).
  • Flu vaccination also has been shown in separate studies to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetesexternal icon and chronic lung diseaseexternal icon.
  • Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
  • Vaccination reduces the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by about one-half.
  • A 2018 studyexternal icon that included influenza seasons from 2010-2016 showed that getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized with flu by an average of 40 percent.
  • A number of studies have shown that in addition to helping to protect pregnant women, a flu vaccine given during pregnancy helps protect the baby from flu for several months after birth, when he or she is not old enough to be vaccinated.
  • Flu vaccine can be lifesaving in children.
  • A 2017 study was the first of its kind to show that flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from flu.
  • Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
  • A 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients.
  • A 2018 studyexternal icon showed that among adults hospitalized with flu, vaccinated patients were 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU than those who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.Despite the many benefits offered by flu vaccination, only about half of Americans get an annual flu vaccine and flu continues to cause millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths. Many more people could be protected from flu if more people got vaccinated.

Unknown & Hidden Facts That You Didn’t Know About Smoking

An image of a cigarette and the smoke and tar it produces which is inhaled when smoking.

What are some unknown facts about smoking?

Over recent decades, thanks to technology, we are able to predict the outcomes of people who are addicted to smoking tobacco. There is a likely chance that you may not have heard some of these facts as they are a bit more in-depth, so let’s share them with you.

As we proceed into the article, we will give you a few light facts that not too many know about smoking, and continue onto the ones that are more hidden. From there, we will tell you the likelihood of you dying from smoking, and how you can stop if you are struggling.

Facts you may not have known

To start off with an important fact, the leading cause of death is an illness caused by smoking and secondhand smoke (according to the WHO). Also defined as the ‘biggest public health threat’, 8 million people a year from around the world die to tobacco smoking-related diseases/instances (or will kill at least half of its users statistically). 1 million of that number is non-smokers being exposed to secondhand smoke.

It is worth noting that 80% of the 1 billion smokers worldwide (15.7% of the whole population!) live in working-class conditions. Tobacco drives people to spend their income on Tobacco rather than basic household or personal needs.

Secondhand Smoke

Definition: Secondhand smoke is when a user smokes tobacco, and when exhaled will become ‘secondhand smoke’ affecting those around the primary user.

When exhaled or burnt, it can fill rooms, vents and even water pipes that end up being harmful to others. It is known that 7,000 chemicals are produced when tobacco is burnt or smoked, whilst almost 70 of them are known to cause some type of cancer.

This, in turn, has many negative side effects. The majority is as if you were the primary smoker. It can suppress the ovary system, reduce sperm count and also affect the pregnancy’s development which can lead to ‘Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’. It is also known that ‘Cardiovascular’ and ‘Respiratory Diseases’ can happen, alongside heart disease and various types of cancer (e.g lung disease or cancer).

Secondhand smoke causes up to 1.2 million people to die each year, 65,000 of them are illness-related in children.

Diseases Caused By Smoking

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)
  • Lung Disease & Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Liver Cancer
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Ectopic Pregnancy (11% of this are related to smoking)
  • Vision Loss (Cataracts & Glaucoma)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Rheumatoid
  • Colorectal Cancer

There are many more, these are just a few to name.

How likely are you to die from smoking?

Statistically speaking, 30% of all cancer deaths are related to smoking, alongside 87% of lung cancer are all related to the smoking of tobacco. For the average male, it is 23x more likely to develop lung cancer for smokers compared to non-smokers (according to livescience.com).

A study by – shows that smokers die fairly young. 23% of all heavy smokers never reach the age of 65. That means on the average life expectancy, people die 13 years younger. This is 11% of light smokers, and 7% of non-smokers (all according to cbs.nl).

It’s never too late to stop smoking. Research shows that your heart rate and blood pressure begins to stabilise after 30 minutes of quitting. After a couple of years, the risk of ‘Cardiovascular Disease’ decreases to the normal level of risk from a non-smoker.

How can I stop smoking?

Here at pillbox, we can give you advice when it comes to stopping smoking, we have an article that you can read about here. It is four times more likely to help than you attempting to stop on your own!

To give advice on how to stop smoking, here are some tips that will self-help:

Have a positive mindset

With a negative one, you will most likely quit off the bat or not make it very far. Convince yourself that you can do it and place yourself in the peace of mind. Self-reflect on mistakes throughout your journey and pick up on those errors, you won’t get it right the first time.

Change your drink

According to PMC, alcohol, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks all affect the taste perception of tobacco. It makes tobacco ‘taste’ better after having one of these beverages, so try drinking more water when attempting to quit.

Take your mind off of the cravings

Take notes on the cycle of your cravings. For example, note down how long the cravings usually last for, and how often they come around. From here, develop some strategies to take your mind off of the cravings.

Distract yourself with something you peaks your interest and you can get invested in, this way you can take your mind off of the cravings. By no means is it easy, and will take some getting used to, but remember the benefits, stay positive!

Distract your mouth and hands

Keep them occupied, especially during the cravings. For example, place a drink or something to do with your hobby in your typical smoking hand, and try chewing gum to distract your mouth.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can increase your chances of success by a lot.

Woman breaking cigarette
CategoriesPillbox Chemists,  Smoking,  Uncategorized

How To Quit Smoking With Tips

Everyone knows the dangers and risks of smoking but this doesn’t make it any easier to quit. Whether you smoke occasionally or you go through multiple packs a day, quitting can be a challenge that not everyone is ready to face.

Understanding what ‘Smoking’ does

Having an addiction to smoking is both physical and psychological. The nicotine contained in tobacco provides a temporary and addictive ‘high’ which can lead to a better chance within withdrawal symptoms, only if you are suddenly to cut it out of your regular routine. Because nicotine causes you to feel good temporarily, your brain will start to associate smoking cigarettes with the elimination of stress and a way to make you feel better if you are feeling stressed or in need of something to make you feel better.

People start smoking as a way to cope with stress, depression, anxiety and sometimes purely because of boredom or as a way to socialise. To effectively quit, you may find that you need to look to different, healthier ways to cope with these feelings. If you smoke regularly, the habit can be ingrained into you as a daily ritual and may start to become an automatic response during certain periods or times of the day.

To effectively quit smoking, you must first address that you have an addiction as well as the habits and routines that come with it. It is possible for anyone to quit, no matter how much or how often they smoke, and with the right support, you can create a plan to kick the addiction. Even if things seem hopeless and you’ve tried to quit before with no luck there is still time and it is never too late to try again.

Tips to Quit Smoking

Create a List of Reasons to Quit

You could start the list with things like ‘it shortens my lifespan’, ‘my family wants to see me healthy’ or ‘it will save me money’ etc. and keep adding to it whenever you come up with another reason until you are completely satisfied. Once you have created this list, keep reverting to it and reminding yourself why you made the decision to give up the habit. When times get tough, and they will, take out the list and read it whenever you need support.

Make Friends With People Who Don’t Smoke

This can be one of the hardest tasks to follow as there are a lot of people who smoke out there. It can also be really tough not to hang around with your friends who do smoke or follow them out when they go for one. You shouldn’t cut these friends off however, you should try and choose times to see them in settings where it is difficult to smoke or you could ask them to smoke away from you. 

When you look over at people who are smoking, you should try and dissociate yourselves from them and think of yourself as a non-smoking individual. Try and ingrain into your mind how dirty the habit is and think yourself lucky that you are no longer damaging yourself like they are. Be around people who constantly remind you how good you are doing and who will discourage you from smoking if you are feeling as though you are going to relapse.

pack of cigarettes

Make a Plan to Quit

Make a promise to yourself, set a date for when you want to quit by and stick to it religiously. Start by cutting down little by little until you start to notice that you don’t need as many cigarettes as you once did. Keep cutting down until you completely stop, once you do you should make sure that you don’t sneak in a cigarette every now and then as this can lead to a full relapse and then you are back at square one.

Identify When You Get Cravings

Certain things and certain places can cause you to crave cigarettes. This can be anything from waking up in the morning to going outside, make sure that when you do get a craving you identify it and jot it down somewhere so you don’t forget. Cravings can last up to five minutes, so, make a list of things you could be doing in those five minutes instead so that you have something in place to replace cigarettes as a temporary pleasure.

Seek Support

You should seek support from friends, family or if you feel like you need professional support you shouldn’t be scared to ask. If you know of others in your family or friend group that want to quit you should suggest that you try quitting together so that you have someone who is going through the same experience to rely on.

There is support available from your local stop smoking service at all times. You are up to four times more likely to quit if you seek expert help and advice so don’t be afraid to call the NHS Smokefree helpline which is 0300 123 1044. They are open Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 8 PM and Saturday to Sunday, 11 AM to 4 PM.

lung damage

Consider Changing Your Diet

Some studies have found that some foods, which include meat, can make cigarettes feel more satisfying. This is especially true if you regularly smoke after having a meal or eating your favourite foods. 

Other foods, like cheese, fruit and vegetables can actually make cigarettes taste worse and make them less satisfying. Try and swap your meals where you can for vegetarian options and try and stick to foods that help you hate having a cigarette afterwards. This simple fix can do wonders and soon enough you might end up finding that you don’t even want a cigarette at all.

You might also want to consider changing your routine at or after mealtimes. By keeping yourself occupied doing the dishes or settling down and watching TV you may find that you o longer need to go out for a smoke as often or at all.

CategoriesCheckups,  Cholesterol,  Flu,  Pillbox Chemists,  Uncategorized

Pillbox Chemists to Launch Pharmacy Services through dedicated Website

Pillbox Chemists have launched a new website to sit alongside their main site dedicated to Pharmacy Services offering a full range of services from MURS/NMS to Travel Vaccinations. The website is at a early stage with development underway to offer a Online Booking System Q1 2020

Patients will be able to book a Pharmacy Service through the website at any one of the companies 23 pharmacies visit www.health-clinic.co.uk


Cholesterol Care with PillBox Chemists

Have you or anyone else you know got any cholesterol issues? Are you unable to check yours or someone else’s levels? Well, you’ve asked for it and we are now delivering. You can have your cholesterol levels checked at any of our Pharmacies. 

Simply ask, and one of our trained Pharmacists or Pharmacy Assistants will conduct a simple fingertip ‘pinprick’ test for you. Our skilled professionals will accommodate you to one of our GPhC certified consultation room. What does that mean for you exactly?

Our GPhC consultation rooms are approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) which ensures that our standards meet the standards set by our bodies ensuring you get the best care possible in a looked after, well-managed environment to get your cholesterol levels checked. 

Image Source: wellbeingpeople.com

We will take a small blood sample just from your fingertip without you having to worry about pain or giving lots of blood. Just one small prick and you’ll have your results present and have the Pharmacist to go through your results and discuss what to do from there. There are no needles for you to worry about.

Now you may have some questions about this so we collected some most frequently asked Q&A’s (Questions and Answers) about cholesterol and cholesterol testing to help reassure you about the process and its importance in tracking your overall health.

Why should I get my cholesterol checked?

Getting your cholesterol levels checked is an important part of staying healthy. High cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in UK adults. This is why getting your cholesterol levels checked is vital.

The higher your cholesterol, the higher your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Therefore it is crucial for you to check your cholesterol levels.

How often should cholesterol be checked?

It’s generally recommended by the NHS and other bodies, that every UK adult aged 20 or older should have their cholesterol and other traditional risk factors checked every four to six years. After the age of 40, your health care provider will then want to use an equation to calculate your 10-year risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease or stroke.

What are the symptoms of cholesterol problems?

The most common symptoms include:

  • angina, chest pain.
  • nausea.
  • extreme fatigue.
  • shortness of breath.
  • pain in the neck, jaw, upper abdomen, or back.
  • numbness or coldness in your extremities.

Now although they do not serious they can lead to to a number of serious health conditions. It doesn’t matter if you’re slim or even active. Cholesterol can affect anyone and lead to serious symptoms such as:

  • Heart attacks
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke

This is why it is important to get your cholesterol levels checked.

What is the best drink to lower cholesterol?

High Cholesterol as mentioned before can increase the risk of heart conditions. Although there are medications that you can take to improve and lower your cholesterol, simply changing your lifestyle can make a huge impact. Beverages. Adding drinks onto your diets can help and these are the drinks you should look out for

Green tea

Hot green tea, or a green tea supplement, can naturally help to reduce cholesterol. Teas have been known as a drink that is soothing for the mind and the body. It has many healing properties and green tea may be the answer for you. The antioxidants found in the tea is what makes this a good cup of tea.

Montmorency Tart cherry juice

A study published in Food & Function found that Montmorency tart cherry juice helps both cholesterol levels as well as respiratory conditions such as cardiovascular health. This type of cherry juice adds a lot of nutritional benefits from the fruit to your diet. 

Citrus juice

For those who like their fruits, bitter or sweet, drinking hot water with lemon juice has been found to lower your cholesterol levels. A lot of dieticians recommend kickstarting your body functions by drinking this first thing every morning as it also contains antioxidants proving to be helpful to your heart. It also has an added benefit of feeling active early in the morning.

Cranberry juice:

Cranberries have the same benefit just like the citrus juice does. There is a lot of nutrients within the juice which helps the body fight off infections as well as the bad cholesterol that we have in our body. Having cranberry on its own is more beneficial but having it as a beverage still helps.

Having these drinks for your daily lifestyle has been in the past proved to be beneficial for not just your heart but also your body. It helps with fighting the flu as well as get rid of those toxins we are exposed to when eating some food.

How can I lower my cholesterol quickly?

  • By eating heart-healthy foods like fruit and vegetables, it is proved to be good for not only a balanced diet but reducing the risk of cholesterol that leads to heart conditions. This is one of the reasons as to why they say having your 5 a day. This also has an added benefit if you suffer from vitamin deficiency as fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
  • By reducing your saturated fats intake, you can significantly lower your cholesterol quickly. Saturated fats are found mainly in red meat and full-fat dairy products. These products although may be tasty are the ones that contribute to your cholesterol levels. Instead, snack on pretzels or have a lush salad box. These have all the flavours and tastes you may have been missing all this long.
  • Eliminate your trans fats completely. Trans fats are listed most of the times as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. They are mostly found in cakes and cookies and although they may be tasty it is good to check the ingredients to be on the safe side. It should be noted that The Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils by the start of 2021.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish. Omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect your cholesterol and instead have heart-healthy benefits including the reduction of blood pressure. Foods such as salmon, herring and walnuts have Omega 3.
  • Increasing soluble fibre accounts to the reduction of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Foods such as oatmeals, Brussels sprouts, pears and apples are the ones that you should keep an eye for.
  • One more thing you could do is add whey protein to your diet. This is a necessity as it attributes towards your dairy intake whilst not having the fatty side to it. This helps in the reduction of increasing your cholesterol levels.

Do eggs raise cholesterol?

It is stated by scientists that having up to 3 whole eggs per day is perfectly safe for healthy people to consume and that doing so will raise your HDL levels (the “good”) cholesterol.

Does lack of sleep affect my cholesterol levels?

There have been several studies which seem to clearly show that too little sleep has a negative impact on lipid levels. Usually, when you’re not sleeping within the period you aren’t sleeping and should be sleeping, you eat something which you may not need to eat. This adds on your cholesterol levels depending on what you eat. 

In addition to this, It’s also been proven that sleeping less than five hours at night raised the risk of high triglycerides and low HDL levels in women. What this means is that you will have more bad levels of cholesterol levels that good. This increases the chance of getting a heart condition.

If I feel healthy, should I still get my cholesterol checked?

We highly recommend that all adults should get a cholesterol check – no matter what your age or how healthy you feel. As mentioned before, no matter how healthy you may think you are or slim, we all have a chance of getting a heart condition if we don’t have one at the moment. It all matters about your dietary, how healthy you etc. 

Is it just what I eat that affects my cholesterol levels?

Your cholesterol levels depend on your genes as well as your lifestyle, so the only way to know your cholesterol numbers is to get a check.

What does a cholesterol check actually entail?

A cholesterol check involves a simple blood test administered by means of a ‘pinprick’ into your fingertip. No long needles are administered and only takes a couple of moments and you can be on your way after your results have been explained and explored to what measures you may need to take.

Does a cholesterol check show you anything else?

When you get a check, your doctor or pharmacist should also check your levels of triglycerides – another type of blood fat. As well as this, you can get a total synopsis on your VLDL levels. These are very-low-density lipoprotein which is another type of bad cholesterol. It tells you the development of plaque (if any) on the arteries. The result is based on your triglycerides.

What can a cholesterol test tell you?

A cholesterol test can be used along with some other simple tests to give a good idea of your heart health. These include a blood pressure test and find out your BMI and waist measurement. This can tell you if you really are healthy or not.

Do I have to fast before I have my cholesterol levels checked?

You can eat and drink normally before the test unless your doctor or pharmacist asks you not to. The benefit of not having to fast is that you can identify your cholesterol levels with the food that you are having in your daily life. Therefore you would be able to identify if there are any necessary action needed in the changing of your dietary. 

Will I get my results explained to me?

When you have a cholesterol test, it is really important that your healthcare professional explains the results to you, to prevent unnecessary worry and confusion about the results. At PillBox Chemists, we never let you leave without ensuring that you’ve fully understood your results.

What are the different types of cholesterol readings?

Total cholesterol:

This is sometimes written as ‘serum cholesterol’ or TC and refers to the overall level of cholesterol. But it’s not just the total cholesterol that’s important

Non-HDL cholesterol:

Your non-HDL cholesterol is your total cholesterol minus your HDL cholesterol. It’s the LDL and all the other bad cholesterol added together and ideally should be as low as possible.

HDL cholesterol:

Your HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) helps clear the cholesterol out of your arteries, while your LDL cholesterol  (low-density lipoprotein) can clog them up. So your HDL cholesterol should be above 1mmol/L in men and above 1.2mmol/L in women, ideally around 1.5-1.6mmol/L.

TC: HDL ratio:

You might be given a ratio of HDL compared to the total cholesterol, written as TC: HDL ratio. You can work it out from your HDL and total cholesterol numbers. This should be as low as possible; above six is considered high.

What might the pharmacist recommend after my cholesterol test?

The interpretation of your cholesterol results should be made in relation to any other risk factors you may have, and any other health conditions.  Because of other risk factors or medical conditions that you may have, your doctor may recommend lowering your cholesterol level.

There’s no need to book an appointment to have your cholesterol levels checked, just head into your nearest PillBox Pharmacy branch and speak to the duty Pharmacist, who’ll be happy to help you from there.

To find the nearest PillBox Pharmacy to you, use our handy branch locator https://www.pillboxchemists.com/your-nearest-pharmacy/ – remember, no appointments needed, let us help you get your cholesterol levels checked at a time that’s convenient to you.

weight loss items

Weight Management with PillBox Chemists.

Trying to reach and maintain a healthy weight can prove to be a difficult task. We’ve consulted with all of our resident pharmaceutical teams to collect the best tips for you, and here we have picked out the best 15 tips to help manage your weight.

1. Drink Enough Water, Especially Before Meals!

Drinking enough water can increase the metabolism rate by 24-30% over the course of 1-1.5 hours, helping you be eligible to burn off more calories than normal.

A study conveyed that drinking just half a litre, (or 19oz) of water, within a time frame of half an hour before meals, actually helped eat fewer calories along with losing 44% of more weight compared to the people who didn’t drink that amount of water before a meal.

2. Eating Eggs For Breakfast

Eating an entire egg can have more benefits than you think, including helping you lose the weight you want to. Many studies show that swapping a grain-based breakfast with eggs can aid you in eating less calories for the next 36 hours, as well as losing weight and body fat.

3. Drink Coffee! (Preferably Black Coffee)

The quality of coffee has a bunch of antioxidants that can have multiple health benefits compared to what you think. Studies show that caffeine in coffee can help increase your metabolism rate by 3-11% AND increase weight loss / fat burning by up to 10-29%. The only downside to this is that you must make sure to not add plenty of cream, sugar or any other high-calorie ingredients into your coffee, as that’s when it will negatively affect any benefits.

Image Source: www.forbes.com

4. Drink Green Tea

Similar to coffee, green tea can also have many benefits for weight loss. However, green tea does contain little amounts of caffeine, it has a load of powerful antioxidants called ‘catechins’ which is believed to work alongside with the caffeine to increase the fat-burning rate. On the other hand, when the evidence is mixed, there is enough displayed evidence to say that overall, if you regularly have an intake of green tea, (whether it is a beverage of a supplement) it can help you with your weight loss.

5. Cut Back on Added Sugar

‘Added Sugar’ is single-handedly one of the worst ingredients to be consumed within the modern diet. Most people consume too much. Sugar (along with high-fructose corn syrup) consumption is highly associated with the risk of obesity increases, as well as certain health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

To lose weight, you must cut back on added sugar.

Make sure that you read all of your food and drink labels, even if they are ‘so-called healthy’, they can still be loaded with sugar.

6. Eat Less Refined Carbohydrate

Refined carbohydrates that include sugar and grains that have been stripped of its nutritious parts and fibrous. This also can include certain things such as white bread and pasta amongst the chief culprits. Refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar to spike, leading to feeling hunger and increased food intake for a few hours, which has a significant link to obesity. If you are going to eat carbohydrates, make sure you eat them with their natural fibres!

7. Go on a Low-Carbohydrate Diet

If you are wanting to receive all of the benefits of carbohydrate restriction, then make sure you go all out into committing to a low carbohydrate diet. Multiple studies show that having a regimen can aid you to lose up to 3 times the amount of weight compared to a standard low-fat diet, whilst also improving your health.

8. Exercise Portion Control or Count Calories

Portion control is important! Simply eating less, or keep track of your calorie intake is proven to be useful, for fairly obvious reasons. Keeping track by using a food diary, or taking pictures of your meals, or even simple things can help in losing weight. Doing anything that has an increase in your awareness of what you’re consuming, allows you to be on top of your daily food intake and is likely to help.  

Image Source: www.health.harvard.edu

9. Keep Healthy Food Around in Case You Get Hungry

Having accessibility to healthy food nearby can aid to prevent you from eating unhealthy substances when you become very hungry. Any small snacks that are easily portable are good to take. Anything with whole fruits, nuts, baby carrots, yoghurt and are handy and easy to take around. Make sure you look at the snack in case there are any allergies you could be vulnerable to, and avoid added sugar within those snacks.

10. Eat Spicy Foods

Chili peppers tend to contain ‘capsaicin’, which is a compound that is spicy but can also increase your metabolism rate and decrease your appetite, but only slightly. Although, it is important to know that people may develop tolerance when dealing with the effects of capsaicin over time unless you boost the amount of spice every so often to compensate for the drop-off.

11. Do Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is known as cardio. It is an efficient and a great way to burn calories along with improving your physical and mental health. Aerobic exercise seems to me typically effective when it comes to losing belly fat. The unhealthy fat builds up around your organs and has a high chance of causing a metabolic disease.

12. Eat More Vegetables and Fruits

Fruits and vegetables have many properties that can make the extremely effective for weight loss. They have fewer calories, but a lot more fiber. The content that is filled with high water, gives them low density and energy, making it feel more filling. They’re also very nutritious, so eating them is important for your overall health.

13. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is single handedly one of the most underrated things that people overlook .

when attempting a diet, or simply being healthy and exercising. Poor sleep is one of the strongest factors that aid the risk of obesity, and is linked to 90% of increased risk of obesity in children, along with 55% in adults. If your sleep schedule, or at anypoint you are getting less than 6 hours of sleep, then you are at a much greater risk of falling to obesity than someone getting 8 hours of sleep. To sleep better, try exercising before bed, having you last used your mobile, computer, tablet etc an hour before getting into bed.

14. Eat More Protein

Protein is the most important nutrient when it comes to weight loss.

Consuming a high-protein diet has been proven time and time again that it increases your metabolism rate by up to 100 calories per day, whilst also cutting off another 400 calories per day.

Eating 25% of your calorie intake daily as a protein tremendously reduces obsessive cravings / thoughts about food up to 60% whilst also reducing the late night snack factor by half!

The simplest, easiest and effective way to help your weight loss is my just adding protein to your diet.

15. Don’t Do Sugary Drinks, Including Fizzy Drinks and Fruit Juice

Sugar of course, is bad, however, sugar in the form of a liquid makes it even worse. Many studies convey that calories taken from liquid sugar may be the most fattening to the modern diet. As an example, a study showed that sugar-sweetened liquids are matched up to 60% increased risk of obesity in children for each daily serving.

Bare in mind that it applies to things you won’t expect as well, such as fruit juice, which contains almost the same amount as a sugary drink like Coke.

Eat fruit whole, but avoid the fruit juice altogether, or as little as possible.

So there we have our team’s top tips! Hopefully this will help inspire you to begin your weight loss journey!

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