From my grandmother, mother, aunts, cousins, wife, and etc., the most powerful and influential people in my life have always been black women. I love and respect my queens. They have been the backbone of our communities and families for several generations. For a baby, “mama” is God in baby language. We can never pay back the debt that we owe to the women that are in our lives. They sacrifice themselves for the better good of everyone else. No matter how tired they are, they still make sure that their loved ones are taken care of. For these reasons the health of our women needs to be discussed.
We are seeing a decline in the health of our women. Looking at some information on Black Women’s Health Imperative and http://www.goredforwomen.org, I saw some information that kind of shocked me. I had no idea that black women were struggling with heart disease at the rate they are. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women. African American women are two times more likely than Caucasian women to suffer from heart disease and stroke. Heart disease kills roughly 50,000 African American women every year. Almost 50% of African American women ages 20 and older suffer from heart disease. Education and awareness must be made a priority because only 52% of women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Heart disease and stroke kills a woman every 80 seconds. Forty six of every 100,000 African American women die from stroke every year. Diabetes which is heart disease connected, affects almost 10% of every 100 black women.
Breast cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer for black women. Similar to white women, the rate of breast cancer in black women soared in the 1980’s. However, as the rates of breast cancer stabilized for white women, it continued to rise for black women. African American women develop breast cancer at earlier ages and die at higher rates. African American women suffer from a more aggressive form of breast cancer called “triple negative breast cancer”. Black women are twice as likely to develop this more aggressive, harder to treat version of cancer than white women.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks the healthy tissue in our body. When the immune system of a lupus patient becomes overactive, it develops antibodies that can’t distinguish the healthy tissue from foreign invaders. It can affect all areas of the body and patients often experience pain, inflammation, and damage in various parts of the body. Lupus is often misdiagnosed as other diseases because the symptoms can masquerade as other conditions. Though autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiency syndrome are on two different ends of the spectrum, many aspects of AIDS and lupus are strikingly similar.
In the future I will go in deeper dialogue about these conditions. I really wanted to focus on possible solutions and the role men can play in helping with the improvement of our women’s health.
There are many factors that play a role in our women’s health. African Americans genetically have a response to salt unlike other individuals. My theory is due to salt and swine flesh being force fed to us on the middle passage, we had a negative response to this foreign food that has altered our genetics. The majority of black slaves were Hebrew and Muslim so pork wasn’t apart of the diet.
Elevated estrogen levels has a terrible impact on a woman’s health. Elevated estrogen levels causes toxic fat gains and increased cancer risks. Women should avoid soy products as much as possible. Be mindful of xenoestrogen found in plastics, cosmetics, and birth control. Avoid meat and dairy products that have been given hormone additives. Probiotics are great for battling autoimmune diseases and aid with the proper elimination of excess estrogen. Eating a well balanced diet with plenty of FRUITS and VEGETABLES is a must. Eliminate sugar and high fructose corn syrup from your diet.
Women also need more rest and sleep. Fellas, this is where we must step up. Many of our women are trying to juggle family life, going to college, and professional careers. We must be willing to help with things around the house because stress is as harmful as bad eating habits. Be willing to help cook a nutritious meal instead of depending on McDeath, Muder King, Taco Hell, Pizza Slut, Drunkin Donuts, Dairy Fiend, and these other disgusting establishments to feed our families. If we as men are to be the leaders of our home then we need to set the example. You should be eating correctly and exercising routinely. You don’t have to force her to do anything. Just allow your lifestyle to do the talking and eventually she will get down with the program. Now, if you’re a fat sloppy couch potato then you better not say a word if your wife has gained a few pounds. You complain about her not being the same size as she was when you first met. Well, she has given birth to your children so what in the hell is your excuse. So the fellas need to get off their lazy ass and get active. That will set a trend. You can now treat walks, jogs, bicycling, and working out as quality time with one another.