‘Fear of facing pharmacists’ means common conditions ignored

A British online pharmacy has identified the most common ailments and conditions that consumers leave untreated

If you’ve ever wondered whether your patients were too embarrassed to tell you or their doctor about a condition or illness, you were right.

Pharmacy Outlet, an online pharmacy in the UK, surveyed 2000 British adults and found that many are ignoring even symptoms which could mean life-threatening illnesses due to “fear of facing pharmacists”.

Extrapolating the survey figures, Pharmacy Outlet found that 21.35 million British adults who had suffered from constipation or diarrhoea had refused to see a medical professional – whether a pharmacist or doctor – about the problem.

Sixty-three per cent of survey respondents said they had experienced these ailments, with 66% leaving it untreated. Incontinence was a problem for 20% of UK adults, but 54% left it untreated.

Next on the list was worms, with 51% having had the problem without seeking medical advice.

The proportion of people aged 18 to 34 who ignored worms was 63%, higher than the national average.

Forty-nine per cent of people with acne didn’t seek medical advice, while 29% of Brits said they had suffered from piles (hemorrhoids), but almost half (46%) never had the condition seen to.

Rounding out the list were warts and verrucae (plantar warts) which were ignored by 42% of sufferers; irritable bowel syndrome (ignored by 41%), thrush (32%) and cystitis (31%).

“Today’s research presents some worrying findings, with a huge number of ailments going untreated by the British public,” said Pharmacy Outlet’s superintendent pharmacist, Hitesh Dodhia.

“While people might not think these issues are severe enough to warrant medical help, in many cases they can be the result or cause of a much more serious condition.”

Mr Dodhia encouraged the public not to be afraid of seeking help.

“It is vital that anyone who experiences any regular or persistent medical problem seeks the help of a trained professional.”

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