■ Tap the power of anti-inflammatory
oils. Flaxseed oil and omega- 3 essential fatty
oils reduce inflammation and pain. Research
shows that compounds in virgin or extra-virgin olive oil work to inhibit the activity of
cyclooxygenase, an enzyme involved in
inflammation, the same way ibuprofen does.
Use it when cooking, in salads and marinades.
■ Apply ice. Use an ice pack or a frozen
bag of peas on your wrist for 15 to 20 minutes.
“Ice decreases inflammation,” says Bengtson.
■ Practice hand massage. Massage from
the tips of your fingers to your forearm twice
■ Drink lots of water. “The body is 70
percent water, so we need to stay hydrated,”
says Herbert. “Water helps to increase circulation and remove waste products from metabolic processes in the body.”
■ Try acupuncture. A study in the
Journal of Research in Medical Sciences in
2012 showed that acupuncture improves the
symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
■ Take a yoga class. Yoga is a good way
to gently improve posture and well-being. Just
be sure to learn from an experienced teacher
who will help guide you and give you time to
adjust positions so you don’t hurt yourself,
recommends Herbert. A small study from the
Perelman School of Medicine at the University
of Pennsylvania, published in the Journal of
the American Medical Association in 1998,
showed that practicing yoga improved grip
strength and reduced pain. Try a “gentle yoga”
www.gentleyoga.com), Kripalu yoga or
Iyengar yoga class. C
Health writer Chrystle Fiedler (www.
chrystlefiedler.com) specializes in writing
about natural remedies.
Philadelphia. “It’s like being a detective. You
are trying to understand why the body is
doing this, what the underlying reason is and
how to change it.”
■ Try injectable steroids. About a third
of patients who are injected with cortisone
into the wrist find it helpful in reducing pain
and inflammation. However, overuse can
bring side effects that include glaucoma and
high blood pressure. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help
relieve pain and inflammation temporarily.
■ Take a break. Rest for several minutes
at least once an hour if you do a lot of typing.
Ergonomically designed keyboards and mouse
devices can help take pressure off your wrist.
■ Eat anti-inflammatory foods. Focusing
on a plant-based diet with nutrients that ease
inflammation of the median nerve in your
wrist will help reduce pain, says Herbert, a
Pineapple, for example, contains brome-lain, an enzyme that tamps down inflammation. Research in the Alternative Medicine
Review shows that curcumin, found in the
Indian spice turmeric, helps to relieve inflammation in chronic conditions such as irritable
bowel syndrome and may help CTS too.
Various nuts, including walnuts, almonds,
cashews and hazelnuts, are rich in phyto-chemicals, which cool inflammation, according to a study published in the Asia Pacific
Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
■ Make a cup of green tea. Green teas
contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that
can tame free radicals and ease inflammation.
Other antioxidant-rich teas include free-radi-cal-fighting oolong, white and rooibos tea.
IF OTHER TREATMENTS are ineffective, you may
need surgery. Carpal tunnel release surgery,
where the carpal ligament that holds the joints
together is cut to relieve pressure on the median
nerve, is used most often, and requires only local
or regional anesthesia. Endoscopic surgery is
performed by making small incisions in your
hand or wrist with a device attached to a tiny
camera that allows the surgeon to see inside the
carpal tunnel. During open surgery, the surgeon
makes an incision in the palm of your hand by
the carpal tunnel and cuts the carpal ligament.
After the surgery, you may experience some
residual numbness, pain or weakness. Talk to
your doctor about what is right for you.—CF
When you aren’t
The Costco Connection
Costco member Jorge Cruise is the author
of Happy Hormones, Slim Belly (Hay House
Inc., 2013), available at most Costco
warehouses. You can get a free menu at
By Jorge Cruise
THE NEWEST dietary
science has revealed
that women over 40
have a biological imperative to consume sugar
and carbohydrates in
order to balance hormones. However, sugar and carbs cause
weight gain. This fact has made dieting and
losing weight very difficult.
It’s possible to follow a diet that can
both reduce these cravings and keep your
fat-burning engine revved. Here are five
steps that can help you lose up to 7 pounds
in a week.
Count only calories from sugar.
Conventional wisdom says that a calorie is
a calorie, but the only calories that affect
weight loss are sugar calories—the calories
that spike insulin. Carbohydrates are
molecularly structured as sugar and break
down the same way in our bodies, so they
are also sugar calories. Therefore, it is
important to always consider carbs the
same as sugar in order to keep insulin in
check and lose weight. Calculate sugar
calories by taking the total carbohydrate
grams on a nutritional label and multiplying by 4 ( 1 sugar carb gram = 4 calories).
Cycle your carbs. The secret for
women to balance hormones while still
losing weight: Eat up to 100 sugar calories
for two days, then up to 500 sugar calories
for five days.
Enjoy “freebies.” Freebies are foods
such as protein, green veggies, fats and other
foods that do not cause significant insulin
spikes and are important to fill up on.
Boost serotonin without food.
Simple tips and techniques such as smelling
a flower, going for a walk and getting enough
sleep are all natural ways to boost serotonin.
Get more magnesium. Magnesium is
closely related to serotonin: When one is
low, so is the other. The best way to get
enough magnesium is to eat plenty of dark
leafy greens, nuts and whole grains. C