So this week has been a roller coaster, today at 6:08am I received a message from my Aunt that my paternal grandmother died. My grandmother had been suffering with cancer for a while and though she put up a good fight she went home to be with the Lord. On one hand I take comfort in the fact that she won’t be in anymore pain but on the other hand I feel sad and frustrated, because my grandmother passed exactly 2-months to the day as my Aunt (her only daughter), at the same hospital and they had the same doctor! This doctor did not catch my Aunt’s cancer until it was stage 4. I know doctors do the best they can and we all have to die one day but on Thursday I watched a documentary Forks over Knives. The way I saw this documentary is because I was home from work (due to being exhausted after being at the hospital late the day before) and I walked into a neighborhood hair salon that also has nutrition and health programs! I asked about a hairtstlye and something told me to ask about the health information (I had passed by for months wondering about the salon with health classes) and I had a great conversation with the hairdresser who just happened to be graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (the program I just enrolled in!). She is also a spiritual woman and invited me to watch Forks Over Knives and in this documentary the American diet’s connection to cancer was discussed and I realized that the saying is true “we perish for lack of knowledge”. The documentary even addressed the role the FDA plays in promoting a unhealthy diet. From my time working for Healthcare-Now! A single payer health care reform advocacy group I have learned the connection between big business and our health. As Comedian and Talk Show host Bill Maher stated: “there is no money in healthy or dead people, but in people who are sick”. Continue reading
See Part I –On Your Black World
In this second part of the series we will take a look at the role food may play in causing or aggravating fibroids. Just to review fibroids are smooth muscle cells that may grow in your uterus during childbearing years. Though fibroids are not cancer, they are still tumors and are quite common for African-American women. Many women do not realize they have them and though they can shrink after menopause they can hinder the ability to get pregnant. From What Are Fibroids
Some very common foods may contain substances that may lead to and increase growth of uterine fibroids. According to NutritionMD women who eat more than one serving of red meat a day have a 70% higher chance of developing fibroids. If you have fibroids limiting red meat will help you a great deal. The second culprit are foods and beverages that contain Methylxanthines a.k.a. coffees, teas and caffeinated sodas and chocolate that contains some caffeine. Carbs can also play a role in causing fibroids according to Dr. Christiane Northrup, cookies, breads and cakes, can alter the way that estrogen is metabolized and may increase your risk. Additionally, according to Nutrition MD eating a great deal of refined foods may also influence your weight if you do not get enough exercise because as women gain weight, their risk of fibroids increases.
And though must of us love happy hour alcohol can also play a role in causing fibroids because it is metabolized in the liver and may slow down the metabolism of estrogen, which leads to higher estrogen levels in the body, as noted by Tori Hudson, ND in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients Online Magazine. The longer you have been drinking the higher this risk becomes. This may sound like discouraging news, what can you actually eat and will you have to kiss happy hour goodbye? Well the good news is there are healthy alternatives that can also help you deal with current fibroids or better yet prevent them from occurring. More After the Jump
I was elated to be accepted as one of Dr. Boyce Watkins “Your Black World” bloggers a few weeks ago and decided to do a series of post on Black women and fibroids. Please see my first post below:
Fibroids are more common in African-American women than in women of other racial groups. One study showed that fibroids are three times more common in African-American women than in Caucasian women. Additionally, fibroids tend to be larger and occur at an earlier age in African-Americans.” The Philadelphia Black Women’s Health Project
Instances of fibroids are of epidemic proportions among Black women and yet we are not hearing about this issue in our magazines, television shows or on our blogs. If left untreated or diagnosed too late fibroids can cause heavy and painful menstruation, painful sexual intercourse, urinary frequency, hinder pregnancy and may even lead to a hysterectomy. Black women develop fibroids earlier than their white counterparts and have more sever symptoms. While many feminist groups cry out for reproductive health this issue is ignored, could it be because it affects Black women at disproportionate rates? Like most of America the healthcare system is infected with racism, which means that conditions that affect the Black community are ignored and so like so most issues we have to take matters into our own hands. More After the Jump