Archive for the ‘Acne’ Category

Fibroids and polyps: What women should know about a common health problem

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017



So what is a fibroid or polyp and how do you know if you have them?

Fibroids and polyps

Fibroids and polyps are growths in a woman’s uterus that are usually benign but can be malignant in some cases. While they are mostly be benign, some of the most substantial problems they cause for women result in infertility, trouble with getting pregnant and suffering recurring miscarriages.

Polyps are small growths on the surface of the uterine wall, an overgrowth of the lining that is easy for the ob-gyn to remove. Fibroids are larger and are usually imbedded in the smooth muscle of the uterine wall.

Fibroids vary in type, size, and where they grow in the uterus. Two types of fibroids can grow inside the uterus on a stalk or outside the womb.- Others can grow just below the lining of the uterus. Some fibroids grow in the middle of the uterine wall and some develop under the outer covering of the uterus. Heredity and race can increase your risk of developing fibroids.

Uterine polyps usually occur in women in their 40s and 50s. Factors that can put you at risk for fibroids are obesity, high blood pressure and a history of cervical polyps. Endometrial polyps – or those that grow in the lining of the uterus – occur in 10 percent to 25 percent of women, and are present in 25 percent of women with abnormal uterine bleeding, or heavy periods.

What are the symptoms?

While some fibroids and polyps can go undetected based on size and where they are located, there are a number of symptoms that women should be aware of.- Many will suddenly suffer from heavier periods than usual (lasting seven days or longer), sensations of abdominal or pelvic-area bloating, belly or pelvic pain, constipation, or pain during sexual intercourse. While none of these symptoms are life-threatening, they can detract from a woman’s quality of life.

If you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids or polyps, you should talk with your health care provider about your treatment options.

Treatment options

There’s no single best treatment approach. For uterine fibroids and polyps, your doctor might recommend “watchful waiting,” where active treatment is unnecessary unless the fibroid or polyp changes or if you’re at risk for development of cancer.

Certain hormonal medications, including progestins, may shrink polyps and lessen symptoms. But such medications are short-term solutions at best– symptoms typically recur once you stop taking the medicine.

Fibroids usually grow slowly– or not at all– and tend to shrink after menopause when levels of reproductive hormones drop. Medications for fibroids target hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle, treating symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pressure. They don’t eliminate fibroids, but may shrink them.

As recently as 20 years ago, hysterectomy was the standard treatment for fibroids and polyps. In addition to the complete loss of fertility that comes with a hysterectomy, patients routinely faced long, painful recuperation times – six weeks or more. New procedures for laparoscopic hysterectomies may have reduced recovery time for some women, but did nothing to prevent the loss of fertility and hormonal changes associated with a hysterectomy.

Today, alternatives exist that are less invasive and can be performed on an out-patient basis. These procedures, such as the MyoSure tissue removal system, can eliminate fibroids and uterine polyps without having to cut or remove any part of the uterus. The MyoSure System works for fibroids located within the uterus, is a short procedure which allows you to go home the same day. The procedure can help eliminate fibroids and polyps as well as the heavy periods that may be associated with them. To learn more, or to find a doctor who can perform the procedure, visit www.changethecycle.com or Facebook.com/ChangetheCycle.

Three simple ideas for creating an amazing cheese platter

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017



Here are three unique platter ideas that are sure to impress at your next party:

1. The cheddar flight. Wine isn’t the only thing that gets better with age. Offer your guests a plate of delicious, aged cheddar cheese. Black Creek’s premium cheddar cheese is available aged nine months, two or three years and features a richly-sharp flavor. To create this platter, present the cheese on a cutting board, and allow your guests to cut their own. Adorn each variety with number-shaped birthday candles to show their ages. For example, use a “9″ for the nine-month offering. If you would like to serve your cheddar in cubes, cut the cubes in different sizes, start small at nine months and get bigger as you reach three years.

Plate pairings: Aged cheddar isn’t only a delectable treat, it is also a wonderful partner for a variety of wine and beer pairings. A full-bodied merlot will complement your cheddar cheese plate perfectly, and your guests will also enjoy pairing this cheese with a zinfandel, stout or brandy.

2. Tour of Europe. Italy is known for its many cheeses, but what about France, Denmark or Holland? You may not know much about the cheeses available from these countries and chances are your guests don’t either. Create a “Tour of Europe” platter and wow your guests with an offering that will pique their curiosity and delight their taste buds. French cheeses like brie and camembert offer a soft texture with a memorable flavor. From there take your guests to Holland and Denmark, for blue cheese, extra-aged Gouda or the salty, nutty flavor of Edam. Add flags to your cheese offerings denoting each one’s nationality. Your guests will quickly tour the continent and try them all.

Plate pairings: A tour of Europe will offer your guests many different tastes and several beverages can be paired with this plate including stouts, ports and cabernets. If you’re looking to add another country to your tour, visit www.dcicheeseco.com/cheese/region for a variety of ideas.

3. Flavor within flavor. If you want to offer a cheese plate with a look and feel all its own, Great Midwest flavored jacks and cheddars are the perfect answer. Each cheese’s natural flavor is complemented with the addition of flavor infusions ranging from sweet (blueberries) to spicy (jalapeños) to savory (horseradish). Offer your guests a tray featuring fruit-filled cheeses on one side and spicy cheeses – loaded with jalapenos, habaneros or chipotle – on the other. Garnish with the fresh versions of the appropriate fruits or peppers. Your guests will love your presentation and the beautiful colors such a platter provides.

Plate pairings: A plate of flavored jacks and cheddars offers guests several different tastes and is perfectly complemented by a wide array of beers. If you plan on serving a plate featuring spicy cheeses, offer your guests a riesling or iced tea as well.

Creating that perfect cheese tray is simple once you have a theme. Let your imagination guide you and you will be rewarded with a platter that expresses your creativity and wows your guests.

Invest in family-healthy diets by growing half your plate

Friday, May 12th, 2017


Healthy eating is defined in many different ways, but the United States Department of Agriculture replaced the former Food Pyramid with MyPlate – creating an easy visual for everyone to enjoy healthy and balanced meals.

 
The MyPlate graphic shows a place setting. The dinner plate is divided in half. One half of the plate is composed of fruits and vegetables, and the other half grains and proteins. To see exactly how much that amounts to for each member of your family, visit www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov.  If you’re interested in changing your family’s eating habits, how can you get them to fill up half of their plates with fruits and vegetables?

 
This season, consider adapting your family’s eating habits to mimic the MyPlate graphic. Although most on-the-go families don’t eat that many fruits and vegetables, it’s easy to do, especially if you plant a garden and buy from local farmers markets. When you grow your own fruits and vegetables it can help save time and money, but the benefits go much deeper. Growing fresh produce is a rewarding experience that provides your family with quick and healthy alternatives to snack foods. Even a finicky child will most likely eat a carrot that they grew themselves or snack on some salsa from their very own garden.

 
Growing enough fruits and vegetables to fill half your family member’s plate is easier than it sounds- here are some tips to accomplish this task:

 
* Plan a garden. Map out a space in your backyard that will make a nice garden plot. Keep it in a sunny spot, away from trees and buildings. Consider installing a fence around the spot, especially if your backyard is frequented by bunnies or deer. If you don’t have a backyard, check out your city’s community garden plots to borrow or rent. Or consider creating a container garden on your deck, balcony or patio. It is easy to grow veggies in any space.

 
* Make a list. Write down the vegetables and fruits you want to grow, keeping in mind what plants thrive in your zone, as well as the spacing you have available. If you don’t have space for enough fruits and vegetables to last you the entire summer, consider participating in a co-op or making a visit to your local farmers market once a week to add in a variety of fruit and vegetable options.

 
* Start planting. Give your plants all the nutrients they need to grow well, so you can experience a bountiful harvest. If planting in containers, the Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix works perfectly for smaller pots or more arid environments, the Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix provides an organic potting soil option and the Miracle-Gro Expand N Gro Concentrated Potting Mix is lightweight and expands with water, making it easier to move larger containers while planting.

 
* Weeding, pruning and watering. Once planted, fruits and vegetables will likely need a little growing assistance in the form of pulling weeds, pruning back overgrown plants and of course, watering. For best results, water deeply each morning before the heat of the day has taken its toll. Container gardens tend to need to be watered more frequently because growing plants can quickly soak up water added to the container. With good maintenance, your plants should provide you with a large and delicious harvest.

 
* Serve up those fruit and veggie dishes. When you’re ready to harvest, start planning menus that will make good use of your garden’s growth. Visit www.groyourown.com to find many delicious recipes that will use different fruits and veggies from your garden.

And don’t forget about the USDA’s MyPlate proportion recommendation. When serving, try and keep half of the plate full of what you harvested out of your own backyard to maintain healthy eating habits. If you find yourself with more fresh produce than your family can eat, consider donating to a local food pantry or sharing your harvest with friends and neighbors.

Parents urged to get kids vaccinated against meningococcal disease for new school year

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017



While parents may have grades and carpools on the mind, they should know that meningococcal disease is the result of a rare, but serious bacterial infection that can progress very rapidly and take the life of an otherwise healthy person in as little as one day. Symptoms that parents and their teens should watch out for could include stiff neck, fever, lethargy, sensitivity to light, irritability, headaches and vomiting.

With school in session, kids are going to bed later and waking up earlier; the resulting fatigue may raise the risk of meningococcal disease, possibly by weakening the immune system. Common activities such as sharing water bottles and utensils can also facilitate the spread of the disease. As fall sports season approaches, student athletes can be at greater risk of exposure to meningococcal disease, since cramped locker rooms and long bus trips can increase the risk of exposure to the germs.

To help raise awareness about the serious consequences of meningococcal disease and urge parents to take action and vaccinate against the disease, the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) partnered with Sanofi Pasteur to launch Get in the Game: Keeping Teens Healthy. Get in the Game is a national Campaign that is a part of the Voices of Meningitis educational program and features Olympic swimmer and mom Dara Torres along with meningococcal disease survivors.

“As a mother, I know how busy this time of the year can be, running from one sports practice to another,” says Torres. “But parents shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of vaccination for meningococcal disease. I hope that parents will feel empowered and motivated to speak with their children’s health care provider to make sure their child is up-to-date with their vaccinations.”

Adolescents and young adults can be especially vulnerable to the disease; however, many parents aren’t aware that this disease is a threat or that there are vaccinations – recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – available to help prevent this disease.

“At NASN, we want parents to know about the serious consequences of meningococcal disease and the importance of vaccination,” says NASN’s President Elect, Beth Mattey, MSN, RN, NCSN. “In addition, as a school nurse, I want parents to know that teens who have already been vaccinated for meningococcal disease may now need a booster to help protect them during the years when they are at greater risk of infection. The new school year is an excellent time to have that conversation with your health care provider.”

Visit Facebook.com/VoicesofMeningitis to learn more about meningococcal disease and the Get in the Game Campaign.

Alzheimer’s caregivers: Tips to take care of yourself, too

Friday, May 5th, 2017

“It’s important for caregivers to take care of themselves as well, and to help those they care for find treatment options that can make it easier for both patient and caretaker to better manage Alzheimer’s symptoms,” says Dr. Richard S. Isaacson*, associate professor of neurology and director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention & Treatment Program at Weill Cornell Medical College and a respected AD researcher who has several family members with the disease. “Just as there is no one solution for managing Alzheimer’s symptoms, caregivers need to employ a suite of tactics in coping with their responsibilities – from stress-relieving habits and regular medical care for themselves, as well education about nutritional therapy and medication for patients.”

Caregivers should keep in mind that helping themselves stay well is also helping the people for whom they’re caring. If you’re taking care of a loved one with AD, here are some ways you can help both yourself and the person in your care:

* Therapy to mitigate AD symptoms – Coping with common symptoms of AD such as disorientation, forgetfulness and emotional imbalances are among the most stressful aspects of caregiving. Helping patients mitigate those symptoms can improve the quality of life for both the patient and caregiver. Some medications show promise in helping reduce symptoms, and a new medical food, Axona(R) by Accera, Inc. can further help some mild to moderate patients mitigate symptoms, especially when used in tandem with drug therapies.

Axona helps by providing the brain of mild to moderate AD patients with an alternative to glucose – the “food” which fuels brain function. A brain affected by AD doesn’t process glucose into energy as efficiently as a healthy brain, creating a condition known as diminished cerebral glucose metabolism (DCGM)) which most often occurs in the areas of the brain involved in memory and thoughts. The easy-to-mix, once-daily prescription medical food Axona helps provide brain cells with an alternative energy source, which may help ease the effects of DCGM and enhance memory and cognitive function in AD patients. Doctors and caregivers of AD patients who use Axona report patients appear more alert and engaged in daily activities and interactions with others.

* Seek support – Caregivers provide a tremendous amount of support for both patients and those who love them, but they can use support too. If you are a caregiver, join a support group where you can connect with people whose experiences and emotions parallel your own. You can find a support group through the Alzheimer Association’s website, www.alz.org. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends, too. Something as simple as picking up laundry or groceries, or sitting with a patient for an hour while you run errands doesn’t take much time away from someone else’s schedule, but it could give you a much-needed break.

* Keep an organized schedule – Routine can be very comforting for AD patients, and a schedule can help caregivers stay on track and feel less stressed by day-to-day demands. Online calendars or apps for your mobile device can help you keep a schedule and stay organized. Be sure to schedule in some time to give yourself a break, along with doctor’s appointments and medication timings.

* Avoid isolation – Withdrawal from society is common among dementia patients and can take a toll on those caring for them. Caregivers can feel isolated, too. It’s important to connect with others. Seek social interaction that will benefit you and your loved one with AD, whether it’s attending a weekly prayer meeting or a regularly scheduled dinner with family members.

* Keep things in perspective – The Alzheimer’s Association outlines five key things to remember: Don’t take behaviors personally; stay calm and patient; realize pain can be a trigger for behavior; don’t argue; and accept upsetting behaviors as part of the disease. Remember, your loved one can’t control his or her disease, but you can control your reaction to disease-related behaviors.

To learn more about Axona, visit www.about-axona.com/. For more information on AD, including tips for caregivers, visit www.alz.org.

*Dr. Richard Isaacson is a paid scientific advisor/consultant for Accera, Inc.

How to blast through your weight loss plateau

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017


If it seems like you work out regularly only to continue to struggle losing weight, you’re not alone. But losing weight in order to improve health may be the wrong approach. First you need to fix what’s holding you back on the inside, so you can see the transformation you want on the outside.

Cliff Edberg cringes every time he hears someone say: I want to lose weight to get healthy. In my opinion that phrase is backward, says Edberg, a registered dietician, personal trainer, and certified weight loss coach at Life Time Fitness, The Healthy Way of Life Company. People need to get healthy first in order to lose weight. Weight gain or being unhealthy isn’t directly caused by a lack of exercise, it’s a side effect of metabolic dysfunction.

Generally people refer to having good metabolism (someone who burns calories quickly) or bad metabolism (a slow caloric burn with leftovers stored in body fat). But metabolism is much more than the rate at which calories are burned. Metabolism is the process of breaking down food into smaller molecules for various uses in the body. Certain foods or ingredients might interfere with a person’s metabolism, as can a lack of nutrients, high blood sugar or an overabundance of stress hormones. This metabolic disruption is often behind a person’s inability to lose weight, even when they are taking steps to eat right and exercise.

Michelle Stork, 43, from Chanhassen, Minn., had resigned herself to creeping weight gain, despite diligently working out for years. As time went on it was easier to gain than lose weight, she recalls. Exercise alone wasn’t taking it off.

She accepted the weight gain as a normal part of getting older, but Edberg, her personal trainer, didn’t. He encouraged her to take a simple blood test to check for underlying metabolic issues. I could see on paper what the problems were and it motivated me to try what my trainer suggested, Stork says. She slowly added recommended supplements, including vitamin D, probiotics and fish oil, which increased her energy, but didn’t affect her weight. The next step was to change her diet.

We discovered a high likelihood that she was sensitive to gluten and dairy, Edberg says. Unlike an allergy, a sensitivity means the hormones derived from the metabolic process of such foods send confusing messages to the brain, which can cause various symptoms, including weight gain. Within a month of eliminating gluten and dairy from her diet Stork lost more than 10 percent body fat and dropped 12 pounds and two sizes.

If someone has a thyroid issue, nutrient deficiency, sex hormone imbalance, etc., they will gain weight Edberg explains. As a certified weight loss coach, he knows that unless the true underlying metabolic issue is addresseda person will not sustainably lose weight. All the exercise in the world will not fix a thyroid issue or nutrient deficiency. In some cases it might make the underlying problem worse.

This inside out approach to personal training is the standard at Life Time Fitness. New members take a comprehensive assessment, called myHealthScore, to measure six metabolic markers – cholesterol ratio, triglycerides, blood pressure, body fat ratio, glucose levels and nicotine use – in order to first set goals based on their internal health.

With information from myHealthScore Edberg says he can make precise exercise, nutrition, lifestyle and supplementation recommendations to support each client’s individual metabolism needs.

Stork is impressed with her results, but the implications go beyond a smaller waist line. Her father suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which looms large in her mind. The steps she is taking now she hopes will prevent a dependence on medication later. I know what may be ahead of me as I get older, and I know I need to start doing things to improve my overall health and fitness to help counter any disease I may develop later in life.

Secrets for a streamlined routine: How to look flawless in seconds

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominated star of the TV series “Nashville,” Connie Britton was one of these women whose routine involved multiple steps. Back on set and busier than ever, Britton offers up her favorite tips for simplifying her routine.

* Connie’s beauty secret: “I have tried many products over the years and have a cabinet full of the latest moisturizers, sunscreens and foundations to prove it,” says Britton. “I was so excited to finally discover POND’S Luminous Finish BB+ that has short and long term benefits – it gives me flawless coverage instantly and evens out my skin tone while brightening and moisturizing my skin. It really does it all and keeps its promise.” Britton has teamed up with POND’S to help women get flawless skin. The multi-tasking beauty benefit cream is formulated with Tone Perfecting Complex and visibly fades dark spots.

* Snacks to swear by: Busy routines allow for little time to sit down and enjoy a meal. “I make sure to carry high protein, healthy snacks like almonds that are great for my skin and help keep it radiant,” explains Britton. As a bonus, being prepared with healthy snacks make it is easier to resist the urge to give into the temptation of sugary treats.

* Get glowing: Britton’s other secret for beautiful skin? “I love doing exercise that feels like it strengthens and nourishes inside and out, so lately I have been doing a lot of yoga, which incorporates body, mind, and spirit,” she says. “I always feel great after!”

* Make-up for lost time: “As a mom, it’s tough to fit in a full eight hours of beauty sleep,” says Britton. “But I’m always really amazed at what a difference a couple of coats of volumizing mascara make in the morning. It actually helps me look bright-eyed and well-rested.” After curling lashes apply two coats of mascara for eyes that looking instantly brighter and awake.

For more tips from Britton, visit the POND’S Facebook page at facebook.com/Ponds.

How to put together a casual, yet professional look

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017


When the directive comes down from management that your workplace is moving to a casual dress code, it’s usually cause for office-wide celebration. More and more companies these days are recognizing the importance of keeping their employees comfortable, and are adopting looser standards for their corporate dress codes.

If your company goes casual, it doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to your professional appearance. Take advantage of the relaxed standards of a more casual dress code, but try to avoid some of the pitfalls that might cause you to look sloppy and unprofessional.

Play the situation

When you’re spending the day in the office, casual attire that fits into your dress code is totally appropriate. But the dress code doesn’t always apply to every situation you might run into during the course of your workday. If you have an important meeting with an associate from another company, more formal attire is appropriate, whether it’s spelled out in your dress code or not.

Keep it clean

No matter how relaxed the dress code is, it’s never a good idea to wear jeans with holes in them or a coffee-stained shirt. Like it or not, wearing frayed or worn clothes will negatively affect how co-workers perceive you.

Get the right fit

Even with casual items like jeans and polo shirts, finding the right fit can mean the difference between a crisp and well-put-together and stylish look and a drab appearance. Dark jeans present a crisper look that’s more appropriate for business settings and styles with a wider cut around the boot usually pair better with loafers, boots and casual dress shoes – even though your tennis shoes may be comfy, leave them at home for play time.

When shopping for work-appropriate jeans, wear shoes and a shirt you’d normally wear for work to get an idea of what style fits best with your work attire. Several clothing brands offer a number of work-appropriate jeans for men and women for less than $30 a pair. It’s important to note that you don’t have to break the bank for a professional yet casual look.

You should avoid certain styles of jeans in the workplace. Men: While your build and personal style might allow you to brilliantly pull off skinny jeans on the weekends, don’t be tempted to wear them in the office. Women: You might turn heads with the way you wear those low-rise jeans, but opt for something less revealing for the workplace.

Err on the conservative side

If you have to ask yourself if your outfit is too revealing, chances are it is. Women should refrain from low-cut blouses, just as men should resist the urge to ditch the t-shirt underneath that button-down shirt. If your dress code is casual enough to allow for T-shirts, refrain from wearing anything containing messages or images that could be deemed by anyone as offensive. You can impress your friends with your witty T-shirt on the weekends, but your peers – or superiors – may not share their sense of humor.

While there are certain things to avoid when composing your work-casual look, remember to enjoy the freedom and comfort allowed by your relaxed dress code. By keeping your wardrobe stocked with casual attire that fits your body well, looks clean and crisp and is appropriate for the workplace, you’ll maintain comfort while exuding professionalism and confidence. 

Just the right size: How to shop online

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Still, the concern that stops many people from pushing their virtual shopping basket to check out is sizing. To learn how to order just the right size when shopping online for clothes, follow this advice from fashion school pros in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Measure yourself
“It may seem simple, but invest in a measuring tape,” says Claude Brown, academic director of the Fashion Design and the Fashion Marketing & Management programs at The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles. “It costs less than five bucks, and will make all the difference when finding your right size online.”
Sizing can vary widely from brand to brand notes Brown, who also designs his own collection of dresses and sportswear. So if you are trying a new and unfamiliar brand, a key first step is to measure your waist, hips, bust and inseam.
Retailer sites will often have measuring guides that describe where and how to measure. Two measuring tips from Geetika Gupta, an instructor at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco who teaches courses in both fashion design and fashion marketing, is to always measure over undergarments and allow the tape to roughly skim the body, not sag or cut in.
Read charts and descriptions
Gupta, who runs her own fashion design and wholesaling business, also advises to take a close look at the size charts of the brand you are browsing. “With your measurements in hand you can figure out where you generally fit into a brand’s size ranges. Then what you want to do is read the garment description and look for keywords based on fit.” she says. Indicator words such as “high-waisted” or “boy fit” can help you decide if an item might be the right shape or style for your body, and better align with your fit preferences, which are very personal.
Brown also cautions that you can’t just rely on photos either. One of the reasons clothes can look perfect on the models is because sometimes a garment is clipped, pinned or taped to the body to look just so.
Look for low-cost shipping
Online shopping features like a live chat, virtual shopping assistants and runway videos are occasionally available, but with your measurements and new-found product knowledge, can be less applicable. Some retailer websites offer to adjust the inseam before they ship your order, which can be worthwhile, says Gupta. “However, beware the quality from mass customization websites where you enter your measurements to receive customized pieces of clothing,” she warns. 
“In general, dresses, skirts and blouses can be easier to assess size and fit,” Gupta says. “I also look for sites with free or low-cost return shipping and like to order two sizes of the same item so I can try both on.” She does this until she is familiar with a brand and how it fits her. 
To learn more about The Art Institutes schools, visit www.artinstitutes.edu.

Delaying treatment for minor health issues could cost more in the long run

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017


Many families go through a check and balance process when it comes to their health. They try to determine if avoiding the cost of medical bills as well as time off from work is worth the risk of delaying medical treatment for a problem – especially when they question how serious the problem is for their long term health.

Many health experts agree that delaying needed and recommended treatments will end up costing individuals and the country far more in the long run. Some relatively minor problems, including high blood pressure, hearing loss, joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome tend to escalate if left untreated, putting a patient at risk for more serious (and expensive) health consequences.

 

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a good example of an ailment you might think you can live with rather than pay the cost of treating it. It’s surprisingly common, with up to 5 percent of the workforce affected, according to the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal. On average, affected workers lost 27 days of work to recuperate from CTS last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 
With people spending more time on their computer or online, more people are likely to be exposed to the repetitive motions that can lead to CTS.

 
While severe cases may require surgical treatment, studies have shown that early treatment with splinting and massage can help alleviate this painful condition. Appropriate splinting (or bracing) helps keep the affected wrist in a neutral position, minimizing pressure on the irritated nerve, according to the Mayo Clinic.

 
Massage can also be effective, researchers have found. A report in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies indicates massage can reduce CTS symptoms. While only your doctor can make an actual diagnosis, once you know you have carpal tunnel syndrome there are simple, low-cost steps you can take to supplement your own treatment, including:

 
* Adjust your posture to minimize strain. Sit up straight and don’t rest your wrists on the edge of your keyboard tray while typing; try to maintain a straight wrist position.

 
* Stay hydrated. Proper hydration is essential to the healthy functioning of all our tissues.

 
* Ask your doctor to recommend appropriate exercises to keep the wrist flexible.

 
* Wear a wrist brace, even when you sleep. A special night brace is best. 

 
While you can purchase a low-cost brace in most drugstores, a better option might be one that combines bracing and massage benefits, such as the IMAK SmartGlove. Made of washable, breathable cotton material, the SmartGlove encourages proper hand and wrist position to help alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms, and an ergoBeads pad cushions your wrist and improves circulation with a massaging effect.

 
It makes sense to save yourself long-term pain and money by addressing the problem early. Consult your doctor if you experience wrist pain that might be carpal tunnel syndrome. To learn more about CTS relief, visit www.Imakproducts.com.