Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Why Many Black Women Will Die By Age 44

March 29, 2007 by  
Filed under Health

(Akiit.com) In March, we focused our attention to celebrate women’s history month; one of many worthy of national observance. While we have certainly made many important strides over the past decades, there is cause for concern due to the current state of our health as women of color.

We hear about all the major degenerative diseases that claim the lives of so many of us, but not enough about the underlying issues that predispose us to them in the first place. By the way we live, the way we eat, and the way we handle stress we give ourselves disease one day at a time. This cycle in part or as a whole has caused our health breakdown.

Due emphasis must be placed on the fact that health is determined by three factors (excluding accidents):

1) internal stress which leads to lack of energy, dehydration, lack of oxygen, shut down of body functions and lowered immune systems.

2) toxemia caused by diet, environmental toxins which can lead to obesity and other degenerative diseases.

3) acidosis caused by malnutrition, stress and nutritional deficiencies.

These are the main contributors for health breakdowns, but two of which only account for 10% of overall health. Stress is at the root accounting for 90% of all illnesses.

Research shows that 40% of all heart attacks are preceded by a psychologically stressful event. According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the number one cause of death for African American women. In addition, severe organ problems, (especially kidneys) are more common in black and Hispanic women than any other race.

Cardiologist Dr. Richard Williams of the Journal for Gender Specific Medicine states that African American women with coronary artery (heart disease) have a higher mortality/ morbidity rate than African American men and white women under the age of 55. In the age group of 25-44, black women have up to 2.5 times the risk for coronary heart disease than that of white women. It has even been well-documented that the top two risk factors for these diseases is smoking and obesity in black women.

Clearly, you can see how this destruction and degeneration is so rampant in our community. A bad diet along with the stress only compounds this cycle of health breakdown. Consider the disproportionate rates of obesity that is quite often caused by stress, as we tend to eat when we are overwhelmed, frustrated or unhappy. This, in turn, causes, our digestive systems to shut down.

Obesity is also associated with the prevalence of type II diabetes which is a risk factor for heart disease. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are 16 million diabetics in America and half are women.

We should also note that black women have an earlier onset of obesity than our white counterparts as well as the fact that studies show that black women retain more weight post-partum than white women.

Given these various correlations, imagine if more focus and resources were spent on trying to treat the whole person to counteract and prevent disease, as opposed to ignoring underlying issues that ultimately is the root cause and disease being the effect!

So What Can Be Done?

Amongst black women, the word ‘strong’ is very often synonymous with ‘black woman’. However we must be balanced in our thinking enough to understand that at times we still need to ask for help and get the support we need to minimize damaging stress in our lives. Connect with the sisterhood that is available to us instead of reaching for unhealthy foods that lead to obesity and related illnesses.

We must eliminate harmful stress, avoid toxemia of all kinds, and build our bodies up to protect against acidosis which occurs when there is ongoing stress and nutritional deficiencies. When we are fully aware of the risks to our health, what is needed next is action with a sense of urgency not procrastination. When you begin to cleanse your body of impurities and feed it good nutrition, you essentially take proper care of your body and in turn your body will take care of you. The way we can accomplish these can be summed up in three words: CLEANSE, REVITALIZE, REPLENISH for the sake of our mind, body and soul!

By Makeisha Lee

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