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Posts Tagged ‘Blacks’

Don’t Leave me in all this Pain…

Recently there was a discussion online regarding more entertainers sharing with the world their struggles with chronic illness. Of course there are some, such as Kathleen Turner, who have come out with the fact that they have RA. She has a great story and cautionary tell of dealing with being diagnosed with RA. However, I always new there were others dealing with an autoimmune disease..Well, recently one of my besties has gotten me addicted to the reality show “Braxton Family Values” staring Grammy award winning Toni Braxton. Love it..Full of drama and comedy, they really bring it. On this past episode she announced to her family and the world that she has Lupus. It has been impacting her heart and lungs and has caused her to put her performing career on hold. She decided to tell everyone to encourage early diagnosis, because her being diagnosed with Lupus late, had a harsh impact on her life. By the time she was diagnosed her body was in such a bad flare that she couldn’t perform and had to cancel her performance contracts, which led to financial disaster.  This is a terrible position to be in, and so many people have had to stop working, give up their dreams in some form or another just to take care of themselves. So it may sound crazy, but there is some comfort is knowing you are not alone, this can happen to anyone, you are not being punished..Autoimmune is a random illness that impacts rich, poor, Black, White, Fabulous and, well everyone is fabulous in their on way..

I think it took a lot of courage for Toni to come out and share with the world her battle with Lupus. I am sure it was very difficult for her to come out with her truth especially while going through a divorce, a son who has Autism and financial woes.  But for someone like me who can identify with her health struggles and in part her personal issues, I will definitely go out and support her projects.  It is a great testament to how important it is to share your story to hopefully inspire others to pay attention when their body is telling them something is wrong.  Hats off to you Miss Braxton..you truly exemplify being Fabulous and Sick..

For more info..check out this great article with Braxton in Black Enterprise.

http://www.blackenterprise.com

Single Black Female….seeking cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I have searched and searched and I must say I have been a bit disappointed by the lack of information regarding African-Americans and Rheumatoid Arthritis or Autoimmune Disease in general. The little information I found provided insight more on Type 1 Diabetes and Lupus. Which is great but, considering there are over 80 types of Autoimmune diseases with African American, Hispanic, Native-American women having a higher predisposition for certain types, I would think there would be more information.  According to the CDC, African Americans are 17% less likely to report arthritis than Whites and Hispanics are 46% less likely. However they are twice as likely to report severe joint damage pain and work limitations. Other than the assumption of language barriers and access to health care the core reasons for the disparities are unknown.

I personally believe in this media overload world, more should be done to help the minority women identify with the women on RA medication TV and Internet ads. If a minority women would see herself on a Rheumatoid Arthritis TV/Facebook/Twitter educational ad experiencing these symptoms, she may ask her doctor to test her rheumatoid factor, instead of just pounding Motrin to self-manage the pain. Without getting the proper medical attention, it will lead to severe joint damage and debilitation.  With early diagnosis, a woman can start on an exercise plan, a healthy eating regimen and seek proper health care. All the things that can help a patient manage their RA. On the flip side, doctors may also become more sympathetic to young minority women who come into the office with RA symptoms and encourage her to see a Rheumatologist and not just prescribe her with the Motrin.

Ultimately, the goal is to educate, educate, and educate all women into living a healthier more fulfilling life with RA. However, I also believe that the 12% of the African Americans living with arthritis should not be left out of this educational program.

Arthritis Impacts African Americans and Hispanics more than Whites

http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r100415.htm

Autoimmune Disease

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/autoimmunediseases.html