Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rise of the FBIs (that's fat, bald and impotent men): Three-in-one sales of treatments soar as embarrassed blokes flock online
An increasing number of men are buying treatments for slimming, impotence and hair loss
The number of British men buying slimming, impotence and hair loss products has soared, new figures have revealed.

A British online pharmacy says these products now account for 25 per cent of its entire sales of more than £15m a year. And, in a new trend, it says men increasingly buying treatments for all three ailments in one order.  An analysis of 2012 sales figures by Chemist Direct found there was a 40 per cent rise in such orders from customers across the UK, compared to the previous year.

The most popular products include Regaine hair loss foam for Men, XLS-Medical and BioBurn slimming tablets, and Maxbido, the male sexual enhancer.  The biggest demand was in London and the South East, followed by the Midlands, and then the North East. In fourth place were customers in Scotland, followed by those living in the North West. Part of the rise in demand may be attributed to the recession, as increased pressure both at work and at home can cause stress, affecting a man’s sex drive, and causing weight fluctuation and even hair loss.  Last year a survey found that the South East was ‘Impotence Capital of England’

Experts have warned that there could be a rise in impotence due to men suffering from an increase in stress and anxiety – caused by long working hours, home pressures and the recession. Last year, in a survey of more than 1,000 people by Good Housekeeping Magazine, more than a quarter of couples questioned said they were having less sex than they were a year ago, with men blaming their lack of libido on money worries.

Impotence is a common condition with studies showing that up to 33 per cent of men will suffer it at some point of their life. However, the trend may also have been triggered by men increasingly recognising that they can get help and treatment completely anonymously online, instead of having the embarrassment of walking into their local chemist and explaining their symptoms - or even worse, the possibility of seeing someone they know.

Recent research conducted by the University of Texas and published in Journal of Clinical Investigation, identified a link between stress and comfort eating, leading to weight gain.  And although much of male pattern baldness is thought to be hereditary, stress can also have an impact.

When a person feels intense stress, the body releases a large amount of adrenaline; this transmits a signal to the hair follicles which causes them to enter the telogen (resting) phase early, where they stay for three months.  During this phase there is no new hair growth. This results in an uneven hair growth pattern which leads to thinning hair and then hair loss. As hair is considered to have a non-essential body function, the body will react to stress in a way that it considers being least harmful, hence the hair growth cycle can be affected.

Chemist Direct Chief Pharmacist Krishna Soma said: 'Over the last year we’ve seen a significant rise in orders from customers requesting treatments for all three conditions.  'This is supported by anecdotal evidence, with more male customers contacting our pharmacists directly to ask about suitable treatments.' She added: 'These are extremely serious issues which can have a detrimental effect on a man’s self-confidence.  'We understand that many men feel uncomfortable talking about these problems in person, but want to seek expert help and get the right treatment.'



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