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smoking cessation and weight loss


Smoking cessation and weight loss tend to be high on the list of New Year Resolutions that people make every year.

However, recent research suggests that despite the best intentions, 25 percent of New Year resolutions will fail within a week of making them.  The study conducted by psychology lecturer, Professor Peter Herman from Toronto University, concludes that the reason for failure often lies in setting unrealistic goals.

At PrivateDoc we notice that people who have decided to stop smoking or lose weight expect a rapid result. Smoking cessation and weight loss don’t happen overnight.  There are some people who are able to stop smoking immediately with no ill effects but they are few and far between.

Often our patients come to us having tried more than once to fulfil a New Year resolution; and they have tried diverse methods.

Smoking Cessation

There are two main things to consider when you are trying to give up smoking.  The first is that you have an addiction to nicotine. The second is that you need will power. You will invariably experience withdrawal symptoms when you cut off the supply of nicotine. You may feel:

  • Nauseous
  • Tired and drowsy
  • Irritable
  • Anxious
  • Depressed

You may also suffer from insomnia, constipation, diarrhoea and headaches with an inability to concentrate. Your sleep pattern may also be affected by insomnia.

The majority of smokers need help if they are to fulfil their New Year resolution to stop. One treatment supplied by PrivateDoc is Champix. Taken orally in pill form and can make you quit the habit within 2 weeks. The course is actually 12 weeks and you should see the course through even if you do stop smoking earlier.

Trials have revealed that smokers are twice as likely to quit with Champix as those who rely solely on willpower.  Champix will reduce your withdrawal symptoms.

If you would like to discuss smoking cessation, complete our free online consultation form and one of our GMC qualified doctors will assess your suitability for Champix as a way to help you with your nicotine addiction.

Weight Loss
After the excesses of the festive period many people may decide to prioritise weight loss as their New Year Resolution.

No matter which way you choose to lose weight, any assistance available medically, will still entail a balanced diet and exercise.  There are no exceptions to this but medication to stop your body absorbing so much fat can be obtained from PrivateDoc.

If you your BMI is 30 or more Xenical (orlistat) capsules can reduce fat absorption by up to 30 percent, in conjunction with a calorie controlled diet and exercise.

Alli (Orlistat) capsules, available from PrivateDoc, your weight loss may increase up to 50 per cent more than you could hope to achieve by dieting alone.

For more information on losing weight and medication options click on Weight Loss Capsules

Smoking Cessation and Weight Loss

As New Year Resolutions, deciding to stop smoking or to lose weight is a great way to improve your health. We wish you every success in your endeavours and are here to help if you need us.  Happy New Year!

Posted by & filed under lifestyle.

travelling with asthma, asthma inhalers


Many people believe that travelling with asthma is difficult but it needn’t be if you take the necessary precautions.

Asthma should never stop you doing the things you want to do so here are our top tips for ensuring you enjoy travelling, no matter where you choose to go.

1. Make sure you are in good health before travelling with asthma

Even if you feel great, talk to your GP about your intended trip. He can make some health checks to ensure you are fit to travel. If you don’t already have an action plan, your practice nurse can organise one for you if necessary.

You should also ensure that you have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) if travelling in Europe. This covers you for essential medical treatment whilst abroad. For more information as to how to obtain one click on EHIC

2. Travel Insurance Declaration

Omitting to mention any pre-existing medical condition on an application for travel insurance will invalidate the cover. If you are travelling with asthma and you have a serious attack it could cost you more than you would believe for ventilators or steroids. It’s extremely important to ensure you are covered so make the declaration!

3. Don’t forget your asthma inhalers

Note that we have stated asthma inhalers. You will already have learned to take an inhaler with you on any trip. But if you are going on holiday or on a business trip that’s going to last a few days take more than one. The means of preventing asthma attacks abroad is imperative.

Make sure you are carrying at least one inhaler in your hand luggage and others for luggage in the hold. Don’t forget the spacer if you are using brown inhalers.

You’ll need to place your hand luggage asthma inhaler in a sealed plastic bag when you pass through airport security. If you don’t they may confiscate it.

4. Spare prescriptions

If your luggage is lost or your bag stolen, having spare prescriptions available will make it simpler to obtain your medication. Keep them in the hotel safe or locked in your room.

5. Avoid situations that trigger your asthma

There are many causes of asthma attacks and you will know what triggers your own.  Most hotels, restaurants and bars are smoke free nowadays but if smoke is a trigger, avoid places you might come into contact with it.
Those with hay fever triggered asthma need to keep away from high pollen zones. If dust brings on your asthma attacks keep away from dry tracks and roads where dust is thrown up into the air by vehicles and wind.

Research the environment of the place you are visiting on the internet, so that you can avoid areas likely to trigger your asthma attacks.

6. Make sure you exercise

Even if your asthma attacks are brought on by exercise, you should attempt light exercise regularly to keep your lungs and body strong. Clearly you should not over exert yourself but by doing a little it can pay dividends in attack prevention.

You could take a walk or hire a bicycle and cycle for 15 minutes or so once every other day. A light workout in a local gymnasium is also beneficial as long as you don’t overdo it.

7. Travelling with asthma alone

There’s no reason not to travel alone if you take the necessary precautions. Wearing a Medic Alert pendant or bracelet makes people aware that you have asthma in an emergency situation. It could save your life!

You can obtain asthma inhalers online from PrivateDoc that can be delivered to your door prior to travelling with asthma.  Complete our online consultation form and mention your proposed trip. One of our GMC qualified doctors will review your case and may be able to provide you with sufficient medication to cover you.

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asthma medication, asthma treatment


The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology recently published a study related to patients who reduced their daily asthma medication.

American researchers revealed that asthmatics whose symptoms had not elevated or needed increased medication for at least a year, were as safe cutting down their medication as they were in maintaining the same level.

Only 11% of participants in the study experienced problems in the reduction of their asthma medicine, 4 to 5 months after they had begun the process.  In comparison to the patients who sustained their normal level of treatment, those who cut it down saved an average of $34 (around £26 per month).

Asthmatics who have been stable for at least a year, should consult their doctor if they wish to reduce their medication. Should it be decided that you are eligible to cut down you’ll need a peak flow meter.  This will monitor your respiration allowing you to safely cut down your asthma medicine on a daily basis.

Asthma medication is vital in controlling the condition and 2 main types of medicine exist.

Rescue (quick relief) medications

These are used predominantly in emergencies to relax the muscles around the bronchial tubes (airways). However, they can also be used if you have asthma that is induced by exercise for rapid relief.  If it’s necessary for you to use quick relief medication more than twice per week, you should consult with your GP about a better method of controlling your condition.


These medicines are the key to asthma attack prevention.  They reduce inflammation of the bronchial tubes. This in turn diminishes the reaction to factors that normally trigger your asthma.

The correct medication allows asthmatics to live normal and active lives with the minimum of inconvenience.

 Is asthma medication available over the counter?

It’s never a good idea to buy drugs of any type over the counter without consultation with a doctor. Some asthma remedies are available for short term relief but these do nothing to control your asthma.  In addition, those suffering from conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease shouldn’t consider buying asthma medication over the counter.

It’s also possible to purchase medication online from Private Doc. However, before being able to do so you will be required to complete our free, confidential, consultation form.  One of our GMC registered doctors will then review your case and may be able to prescribe the appropriate medicine for you. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home since PrivateDoc will arrange for prescribed  asthma medications to be delivered to you. Many asthmatics find this a convenient service, especially when they lead busy lives.

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Asthma attacks are caused by innumerable environmental things including dust, smoke, pet fur, cold air and sometimes exercise.

Asthma is a disease that causes inflammation of the bronchial tubes. In an attack the muscles around the airways contract and the lining of the bronchial tubes swell. As a result, there is an over production of mucous and that’s what impairs your breathing.

Currently in the UK there are over 5 million people being treated for asthma. An average of 1 in 11 children is suffering from the disease and 1 in 12 adults.

According to the WHO (World Health Organisation) some 235 million people are suffering from asthma worldwide.

What Causes Asthma?

Scientists have not yet come up with a definitive answer as to what causes asthma. However, they believe that it develops through genetic and environmental elements.

If someone in your family has asthma there is more likelihood of you developing it, more particularly if your parents suffer from it.

Also if you are prone to allergies such as have hay fever, atopic dermatitis (eczema) and food or air allergens, asthma may follow.

You will be more at risk from asthma if you had one or more respiratory infections when you were a baby or young child.  Respiratory infections may inflame the lungs damaging the lung tissue and this may affect their function when you get older.

Exposure to allergens and respiratory infections during early childhood increases your risk of developing the disease, since a child’s immune system takes time to mature.

According to the National Institute of Health, in pregnancy, a prospective mother’s diet and coming into contact with smoke or other allergens can put her child at higher risk of developing the disease.

Allergic Asthma

Some people are affected badly by allergens.  If you have Allergic Asthma your immune system releases immunoglobulinE (antibodies) to fight against substances that will do you no harm.

The result is that your lungs will become inflamed due to the chemicals emitted from certain cells

Allergens that commonly cause asthma attacks include pollen, pet fur, mould and dust mites to name just a few.

Symptoms of Allergic Asthma

Irrespective of the type of asthma you are suffering from the symptoms are identical. They include

  • Shortness of breath
  • Hyperventilating
  • Wheezing
  • A tightening of the chest

PrivateDoc offers many different types of asthma inhalers. Complete our free online medical consultation form and one of our GMC qualified doctors will study your case. If you are eligible for treatment online, the doctor will prescribe the correct asthma inhaler for your asthma attacks..

Asthma attacks brought on by exercise

Up to 90 per cent of asthma sufferers will experience airway obstruction and breathing difficulties during exercise according to the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America). This condition is known as EIB (exercise induced bronchoconstriction).

If you exercise and breathe in cold or dry air your risk of EIB is higher than if you exercise in a warm, humid environment.  If you have common cold symptoms or have experienced an asthma attack recently, the risk of EIB will be raised when you exercise. The same applies to exercising with factors such as pollution, smoke, pollen and other airborne irritants in the environment.

EIB symptoms

It’s unlikely you will suffer an EIB attack during exercise.  It’s more likely to occur between 5 and 10 minutes after you have stopped. Usually symptoms will go within around 20 or 30 minutes.

However, you may experience a further attack 4 to 12 hours later and this may continue up to 24 hours.

Complete the PrivateDoc online consultation form if you are suffering from EIB. Our highly professional doctors may be able to help with online treatment.

There are many other asthma triggers and when you complete the form it will be helpful to include anything you consider relevant to the cause of your asthma attacks.

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asthma, asthma treatments

According to a recent study conducted by the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, the basic clinical standards of care are not being met for asthma sufferers.

The charity researchers based at Edinburgh University want a review of the provision of asthma treatment, considering that over £1 billion is spent on it annually in the UK.

The study has revealed that 3 asthma sufferers die daily from attacks and that these deaths are avoidable.

The research team discovered over 6 million sufferers consulted their GPs or nurses every year and that 270 people were admitted to hospitals every day due to asthma attacks.

Smart inhalers

Calling for a different approach to the way care is delivered, Asthma UK (the authors of the report) suggest that smart inhalers would not only save lives but also reduce NHS time and expenditure.

Over 18 million people, at some point in their lives, are treated for asthma in the UK. Britain has one of the largest amounts of sufferers worldwide.

The research erred toward the conservative in estimating that there were around 100K hospital admissions and a minimum of a thousand deaths annually in the UK as a result of asthma.

NHS Medical innovation

NHS England stated that medical innovation is a priority within the NHS, particularly in relation to new vaccines and medicines, IVF treatment and hip replacement.  New technology and helping patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma to better understand their conditions is apparently the “next frontier” for the NHS.

Current asthma clinical care is sadly lacking

However, it’s clear that current care provision is sadly lacking especially since asthma is a condition that can be effectively managed given the correct support. Researchers conclude that focussing more on basic clinical care will reduce severe asthma attacks, admission into hospitals and deaths. To read the full report click on  Asthma Research Article

Treatment available from PrivateDoc

At PrivateDoc we offer a variety of treatments for asthma all of which help patients to breathe more easily. By completing our free online medical consultation form you will receive a prescription from one of our GMC qualified doctors.  Studying your individual requirements and medical history our doctor should be able to prescribe the inhalers you normally use.

All treatments are designed to help patients cope with attacks so that symptoms do not negatively impact on their everyday lives.  If you need advice about any asthmatic condition help is just a click away with PrivateDoc.