June 2018 health news

22 May 2018

The latest health research insights and products to help you stay healthy.

Tick off

Lyme Disease, a debilitating illness caused by the bacteria transmitted by biting ticks, is a greater risk in summer months when we’re out and about more. Danger zones include woodland, heathland and areas inhabited by deer.  Lifestyle System’s Tick Remover Card, RRP £4.99 (ellis-brigham.com) is a credit-sized card that slips easily into your wallet or pocket. Containing different sized removal tools, it features a magnifying lens for winkling out those nasty little biters quickly and efficiently.

Do you need HRT?

Menopausal and don’t know where to turn? Superdrug’s Online Doctor Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Service, could provide the support you are looking for as you go through this important life stage.  It will assess your eligibility for HRT and provide clear instructions on how to use it plus advice on symptoms to look out for that might need follow up. From £25, visit superdrug.com/OnlineDoctor to find out more.

Learn more about HRT

Viagra over the counter

Erectile dysfunction (ED), defined as the inability to get or maintain an erection hard enough to have satisfying sex is thought to affect up to a quarter of men in the UK. If you’re one of them you can now get Viagra Connect (sildenafil) over-the-counter without an appointment or prescription simply by walking into the pharmacy.

Note: ED can sometimes be a sign of other medical problems so before asking for Viagra speak to the pharmacist. Many pharmacies now have an area set aside so you can speak to someone confidentially.  

Learn more about Viagra

Shingles vaccine alert

Shingles, aka herpes zoster, an infection of a nerve and the surrounding skin is really serious and can be extremely painful. It’s caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox and even if you think you’ve never had chicken pox you could have had a mild version that went unnoticed.

Your best protection is to get the shingles vaccine when you hit 70.

This one-off shot can reduce your risk of shingles by 62% and of painful post-shingles nerve pain by 88%. It’s available all year round so ask your GP next time you’re at the surgery or phone to book an appointment.

Who is eligible? Anyone can have the vaccine on their 70th birthday. There is a catch-up programme for people who turn 78. And if you’ve previously been offered it but missed out you can get it until your 80th birthday.

Find out more about shingles

Care for carers

Without the right support, carers can lose sight of their own health and wellbeing. That’s why this year’s Carer’s Week (June 11th – 17th) sees eight charities joining together to encourage carers to recognise their own support needs. Visit carersweek.org to discover what is available online and locally.  

D for daily

As we get older, our bodies find it harder to make ‘the sunshine vitamin’ needed for strong bones, teeth and muscles. The Government recommends a daily 10mcg vitamin D supplement, particularly in autumn and winter. If you don’t like swallowing pills, Nature's Way Alive! Vitamin D3 Soft Jell (£14.99 for 60), containing a unique blend of fruit and vegetables, plus vitamin D3 – the best absorbed form of the vitamin – calcium and phosphorus could be the answer.

Learn more about vitamin D supplementation

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.