Been ignoring your gut health? Got pain or bloating? A visit to your pharmacist can give you the help you need from guidance on medicines to when to see a doctor, says Superdrug pharmacist Caroline Eddie.
1. It’s quick and easy to see a pharmacist
We’re an accessible and friendly bunch – you don’t have to make an appointment to see us – find a pharmacist at selected Superdrug stores and just walk in.
We pharmacists can give useful and practical advice on the self-care remedies we sell for everything from IBS to bloating.
There are no annoying phone queues to wait in and we’re around at weekends too, when it can get even trickier to see a doctor.
Want more information? Your Healthy Gut Guide is packed with trusted articles from Healthily to keep your gut health in check.
2. We will give you trusted information
Pharmacists have to do at least 4 years of training at university and are experts in medicines and how they’re used.
We’re up-to-date with all the latest information so may be able to help you find an even better solution for your gut problem than your go-to remedy (ie the one your mum always used/your friend recommends).
3. You don’t need to feel embarrassed to talk to a pharmacist
If you need more help with a gut issue but can’t face talking in front of a queue of people, private consultation areas are available – just ask a member of the pharmacy team.
We can also wrap your products in discreet packaging, which can help if you feel red-faced about buying certain products.
4. Pharmacists can help you with holiday tummy troubles
Superdrug runs more than 60 health clinics in store which help patients with a range of healthcare needs. So if you’re worried about a nasty bug like traveller’s diarrhoea ruining your holiday, just book an appointment in advance.
You’ll be assessed by one of our nurses or pharmacists and we can give you advice on how to stay safe on holiday. This can include how to avoid picking up a bug while you’re away and what to pack to help with your symptoms if you get sick.
Find out more about Superdrug health clinic services.
Read more about what can help diarrhoea.
5. A pharmacist can give you confidence to take your medicines safely
We know about medicines, for example IBS treatment, and can pass on handy tips and advice on how to take them and where to store them.
The best way to get the most out of your pharmacy visit if you have a gut problem such as IBS is by:
– keeping a record of symptoms by using a symptom tracker app or notes on your phone/tablet
-thinking about questions you want to ask before your visit on things like side effects
– giving your pharmacist a brief medical history e.g. any conditions you have/other
treatments you take such as probiotics
6. You can ask your pharmacist for healthy lifestyle advice
As well as remedies it’s handy to know what you can do for yourself to help keep your gut healthy.
Pharmacists can give you lifestyle tips about how you can ease your gut problems. For example, if you’re suffering from indigestion we can pass on advice about not eating too close to bedtime as well as talking you through antacids and other indigestion treatments. (2)
Feeling a bit queasy? We can also give tips on easing nausea like resting, staying hydrated and eating plain foods. (3)
For more help on gut problems visit Your Healthy Gut Guide.
7. Pharmacists can spot medication side effects which can affect your gut
If you’re taking medication you may get side effects which can bring on gut issues. So if you’re affected just ask us for advice.
Common drugs that cause gut side effects include codeine painkillers (4) which can cause constipation. While NSAIDs (non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen can cause indigestion symptoms. (5)
So don’t put up with pain and discomfort – your pharmacist can help advise you on next steps.
8. Pharmacists can tell you when you need to see a doctor
Your pharmacist will be able to spot the red flags for when you need to see a doctor.
In the vast majority of cases your indigestion will be just that – but a lasting problem can be a symptom of an underlying illness such as a stomach ulcer, inflammatory bowel disease or more rarely cancer, so should be checked by a doctor.
Find out more about helping your gut health with Your Healthy Gut Guide.