Living with Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common
gynecological condition, affecting
an estimated 2-10% of women...

read more

Create a Backyard Bouquet

May is the month for flowers in our
region. Whether it is roses or
hydrangeas or lilies, chances are...

read more

Be Bike Safe

Wednesday, May 7, is National Bike
to School Day - a day aimed at
encouraging kids and parents to...

read more

Living with Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition, affecting an estimated 2-10% of women of childbearing age. This condition can cause severe and ongoing pain or it may be without any symptoms at all. In those asymptomatic cases it is often not diagnosed until a woman experiences problems with fertility.

If you are living with endometriosis, talk to your gynecologist about the treatment options that are best for you. And in the meantime, here are some simple things you can do at home to help alleviate your symptoms.

  1. Cut Back on Coffee: Limit your coffee consumption to no more than two cups per day, and avoid other sources of caffeine.

  2. Use OTC Medication: Over the counter non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help relieve cramps and other symptoms associated with endometriosis. If your pain does not respond to these medications, talk to your doctor about other options.

  3. Watch Your Diet: Different foods affect different women in different ways, so the best way to see if your diet may be aggravating your endometriosis is to keep a food journal. Possible culprits are alcohol, spicy foods, greasy foods, processed foods, fatty meats or food allergens (dairy, gluten, etc.). Carbonated beverages or foods high in sodium may also worsen your symptoms.

  4. Consider Fish Oil: Talk to your doctor about whether a fish oil supplement may help reduce your pain. The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have been found to reduce inflammation.

  5. Keep a Heating Pad Handy: Heating pads often provide relief for women suffering from endometriosis or other gynecological discomfort. If you don't have a heating pad, try warming a bag of rice in the microwave or a bottle of water and placing that on your abdomen.

  6. Take a Warm Bath: Another pain relief option is a warm bath. The warm water often relaxes the abdominal muscles, relieving the pain of cramping. In addition, the quiet of a bath can soothe the tension and stress that can accompany endometriosis.

  7. Maintain Healthy Habits: As with most health conditions, endometriosis can be worse when you are stressed, tired, malnourished or just generally not well. So take care of yourself - get enough sleep every night, eat right, take your doctor-approved vitamins and practice good relaxation techniques. This is important whether you are experiencing symptoms or not!

To learn more about the latest treatments available for endometriosis and other conditions, attend one of Dignity Health's upcoming women's health events. Register here.

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Be Bike Safe

Wednesday, May 7, is National Bike to School Day - a day aimed at encouraging kids and parents to be active and look for opportunities to get out of the car and onto a bike in their daily lives. The goal of Bike to School Day is not only to encourage fitness but also to help our environment by replacing car trips with bike rides; to support healthy habits among families; and to increase awareness of bike safety.

Below are some important tips for you and your young cyclists to keep in mind as you hit the road on two wheels this spring and summer. Tips courtesy of the Department of Transportation.

  1. Wear a Helmet: Regardless of your age, this is the number one rule when you get on a bike. Anyone riding a bike should have a properly fitted, road-safety approved helmet on their head. Even the smallest tumble from a bike can cause a head injury if the rider is not wearing a helmet... And if the rider is in a more serious accident, the helmet can be the difference between life and death. As a parent, you need to set the example. Do not ride without a helmet.

  2. Adjust Your Bike: A bike is safest when it is fitted to the person riding it. To see if your bike is properly adjusted, stand over your bike. There should be 1-2 inches between you and the top bar if you are using a road bike. For a mountain bike, there should be 3-4 inches. The seat should be level, front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat.

  3. Check Your Bike: Before riding, inspect your bike. Be sure the tires are properly inflated. Test your brakes to make sure they are working. Look at the chain to spot any potential problems.

  4. See and Be Seen: Whether daytime, dawn, dusk or night, you need to be seen by others on the road. Wearing neon, fluorescent or other bright colors along with reflective tape or markings in daytime and nighttime is the best way to ensure you are clearly seen. Flashing lights on your bike and/or your body are also good safety options.

  5. Be Aware: Always be on the lookout for road hazards and other drivers. Be thinking one step ahead and encourage and teach your children to do the same. Potholes, gravel, puddles and debris can cause bike accidents and cyclists should always be on the lookout for such hazards. Conversely, other cyclists or motorists also need your attention, particularly when they are turning onto or off of the roadway or slowing or speeding up.

As with most things in life, the best way to teach your children to be safe cyclists is by modeling that behavior yourself. Take frequent bike rides together and talk about ways to stay safe.

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Create a Backyard Bouquet

May is the month for flowers in our region. Whether it is roses or hydrangeas or lilies, chances are if you have flowers planted in your yard they are blooming right now. And while most flowers are gorgeous kept on the plant, it is sometimes fun to cut the flowers and bring them inside and create your own at-home floral arrangement. (Trimming the flowers can also encourage more growth in many plants!)

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your backyard bounty!

  1. Water Works: Cut flowers should be placed in a vase with tepid water as quickly as possible. If you have floral preservative on hand, add that too.

  2. Trim It: Cut at least an inch off the stems using a sharp knife, immediately before placing the flowers in water. The fresh cut helps the flowers absorb water better.

  3. Temperature Counts: Warm water is best for buds that are still closed, such as roses and ranunculus. The warmer water helps the bud open.

  4. Foam Fun: Florist foam is a great thing to keep on hand. Use it to keep your flowers positioned correctly. To use, simply trim the foam into the shape you need and then soak it in water for 15 minutes before placing it in your vase or pot. Add water to the foam every day or two.

  5. Pay Attention: If your flowers seem to droop after a day or two, try trimming the ends again. Sometimes that is all that is needed to encourage water absorption. Also be sure to trim off any leaves that fall below the water line.

  6. Arrange with Care: When creating your arrangement, place the larger flowers first, turning the vase or pot to create an even and balanced effect. Next, add the smaller or thinner flowers or filler, filling in the open spaces.

  7. Taller is Better: For most arrangements, the flowers should be one and a half times taller than the vase. Of course, if you are going for a more square or rectangular display then use your own judgment. Just be sure the width works with your selected height.

  8. Consider Colors: While a brightly colored arrangement is always beautiful in spring, a monochromatic arrangement can be very striking. Consider creating something that use flowers of various purple shades or pinks and reds.

  9. Don't Waste: If you have longer stems of greenery that you trimmed from the flowers or plant, use those as filler in your arrangement. Letting the greenery fall over the edge of the vase can create a nice effect.

  10. Water!: Whatever you do, keep an eye on that water line. Keep fresh water in your vase can keep a backyard bouquet fresh and pretty for a week or more!

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