Five-Time Olympic Swimmer and Author Dara Torres Shares Personal Story With Psoriasis


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(BPT) – Following her poolside reporting assignment in Rio this summer, twelve-time Olympic medalist and author Dara Torres is diving into her next endeavor—to share her personal story with psoriasis and to raise awareness about the disease.

Psoriasis is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease, which causes increased skin cell growth that may appear on the skin as raised, sometimes red patches, covered with a silvery buildup of dead skin cells. People living with psoriasis often report that the disease has emotional and physical challenges. In fact, a survey reported nearly 9 out of 10 people living with psoriasis experienced self-consciousness or embarrassment about their condition.

Torres is one of 7.5 million people in the U.S. living with psoriasis, and she understands what it means to overcome her fears and achieve her goals – both in and out of the pool. Despite having lived with plaque psoriasis for nearly two decades, Torres has never let fear or embarrassment keep her out of a bathing suit, out of the pool, or stop her from achieving her goals. She didn’t let it keep her from becoming the first and only female swimmer to represent the U.S. team in five Olympic Games or being the oldest swimmer ever, at age 41, to earn a place on the U.S. team. Out of the pool, she went on to become a New York Times best-selling author, co-host of a cable sports TV show, and—what she considers her greatest achievement—a proud mom.

Torres’ passion to help others is why she says she has teamed up with Celgene, the makers of Otezla® (apremilast), to launch the SHOW MORE OF YOU campaign, which aims to inspire people living with psoriasis to raise awareness about their condition and celebrate their accomplishments. Torres is encouraging people with psoriasis and those who support them to join her and others by sharing inspirational photos and messages of how they are showing more of their true selves.                                          

To learn more about the SHOW MORE OF YOU campaign, psoriasis, Torres’ personal story, and to upload inspiring photos or messages, visit ShowMoreOfYou.com.

APPROVED USE 

Otezla® (apremilast) is a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis for whom phototherapy or systemic therapy is appropriate. 

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION 

You must not take Otezla® (apremilast) if you are allergic to apremilast or to any of the ingredients in Otezla.

Otezla is associated with an increase in adverse reactions of depression. In clinical studies, some patients reported depression and suicidal behavior while taking Otezla. Some patients stopped taking Otezla due to depression. Before starting Otezla, tell your doctor if you have had feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal behavior. Be sure to tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or other mood changes develop or worsen during treatment with Otezla.

Some patients taking Otezla lost body weight. Your doctor should monitor your weight regularly. If unexplained or significant weight loss occurs, your doctor will decide if you should continue taking Otezla.

Some medicines may make Otezla less effective, and should not be taken with Otezla. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines.

Side effects of Otezla were diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache.

These are not all the possible side effects with Otezla. Ask your doctor about other potential side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or planning to breastfeed. Otezla has not been studied in pregnant women or in women who are breastfeeding.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.  

Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-332-1088. 

Please click here for Full Prescribing Information. 

© 2016 Celgene Corporation 08/16   USII-APR160175 

 

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Back to work: Ease your baby into bottle feeding

(BPT) – During your first few weeks with baby, your lives were intimately entwined: eating, sleeping and eating some more. All occurring at erratic, irregular times, and around the clock, might we add.  

As the calendar on maternity leave begins to run out, it’s hard to fathom how this intensive baby schedule is going to fit in with your working life. Now is the time to start planning for your return to work, especially if baby will be eating from a bottle for the first time.

It’s a scenario that will be familiar to many moms. About four-fifths of U.S. infants are breastfed at some point, according to a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When babies reach 3 months old, 44.4 percent are exclusively breastfed, and that percentage dips to 22.3 percent by the age of 6 months.

Whether you plan to pump or switch to formula, preparation is the key to ensuring a smooth transition.

Pump and freeze: Two weeks before you return to work is the ideal time to start pumping and freezing extra milk so you have plenty in your supply. Set aside time after one feeding per day to pump, and store the milk in the plastic bags that are designed for use with the pump. If baby is going to a daycare provider, be sure to label them with your last name and the date.

Practice with a bottle: In this two-week period before work, start offering breast milk or formula from a bottle so baby becomes accustomed to this new approach to eating. Some babies aren’t picky, while others will protest. In the latter case, that might be because your baby strongly associates you with food! Before a regular feeding, try leaving for a brief outing while another caretaker stays behind with baby and offers her a bottle. Many parents have found that eventually, with practice, baby will accept a bottle.

Have a supply plan for your child care provider: Talk to your child care provider about what they need from you. If you are providing breast milk, have a conversation about what happens when the supply runs low. Some provide formula, while will require that you send a container or two they can keep on hand for backup. With that in mind, a test feeding at home with formula is a good idea, so you can confirm baby does not have any allergies.

Pumping at work: If you plan to pump, set up a meeting with your boss a couple of weeks before you return to work to plan on how this will fit with your work schedule. One way to do it is to break up your lunch hour into three 20-minute segments, pumping once in the morning and once in the afternoon, which leaves a 20-minute meal break for you. Also, talk about where you can pump, preferably in a clean, private lactation room not far from your work space.

Keep formula on hand: Over the next few months, your baby’s eating habits will emerge and change. Even if your workplace is generous with time and resources to help you stay on your pumping schedule, a busy week can collide with a hungrier than usual baby, which can tax your supplies. Have a couple cans of powdered baby formula on hand so your family is ready in any situation. Consider store brand infant formula, which is just a nutritious and safe as the nationally advertised name brand versions, because all infant formulas sold in the U.S. must meet the same Food and Drug Administration standards and offer complete nutrition for baby. Store brand formula can save families up to 50 percent, or approximately $600 per year. Even if you are already feeding baby with a certain brand formula, switching to store brand formula is safe and well-tolerated in infants, according to “the Switch Study,” a clinical study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia.

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