Recent Articles

What is Alzheimer’s disease and why should I care about it?

Alzheimer’s disease — the most common cause of dementia — is a group of brain disorders that cause a loss of intellectual and social skills. “Dementia” is an umbrella term describing multiple diseases and conditions that develop when nerve cells (neurons) in the brain die or are unable to function normally. Continue Reading →

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Local churches take up fight against diabetes

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Diabetes is the “gateway disease” that often can lead to other health concerns, especially for Blacks. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one of every three Blacks in this country either has diabetes or is pre-diabetic, and nearly 39 percent of Black Minnesotans’ deaths are caused by diabetes. As a result, Stairstep Foundation/His Works United, in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health, has partnered with 11 local Black churches to host classes to help people avoid becoming diabetic. “My church has been doing this way before other churches,” claims local school nurse Beverly Propes, a member of Friendship Baptist Church. Her church and Wayman AME Church have been partners in this effort for about five years. Continue Reading →

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The rewards of putting your health first

Last year I came to the realization that for me to live my life to the fullest, I had to take better care of myself. I weighed over 200 pounds and suffered from lower back and knee pain, low energy, and simply didn’t feel attractive. I had never really noticed the severity of the weight I’d gained, but as I stood in the mirror and faced facts, I came to a few realizations. First, I realized that a lot of older women in my family were and still are severely overweight, and because of this their quality of life is diminished by diabetes, joint problems, and a whole host of other issues. When my daughter was born, I promised her I wasn’t going to be one of those women; I was on the verge of breaking that promise. Continue Reading →

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Adding race to the ACE (Study)

Currently, in social service circles across the nation the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study is becoming a focal point on understanding and treating clients. Dr. Vincent J. Felitti originally conducted the ACE study in 1985. The original study was created from a weight-loss program for people with obesity. That study produced a result that showed that many of the participants unconsciously used their obesity as a shield against unwanted sexual attention, and many had been sexually or physically abused as children. The study was reproduced in the 1990s with the addition of Dr. Robert F. Anda. Continue Reading →

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Why should I care about nail health?



Nail problems are very common and troubling. Nails often reflect our general state of health and can often be the first sign of serious general health issues.  

Nail facts

Fingernails grow out in four to six months. Toenails grow out in nine to 12 months. Individual rates depend on age, time of the year, activity levels and heredity. Continue Reading →

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Focus on real policies that help women, not bogus conspiracy theories

Columnist Lucky Rosenbloom wrongly attributes to the Guttmacher Institute the claim — itself false — that abortion providers “target” African American women [column of April 11]. In reality, disproportionately high abortion (and unplanned birth) rates among women of color are the direct result of their higher rates of unintended pregnancy, which in turn reflect economic and social inequalities that are widespread and pervasive. The result is stark disparities not only on various reproductive health outcomes, but also on a broad range of health indicators, including high rates of diabetes, heart disease, AIDS and cancer. Antiabortion activists ignore these systemic inequities and instead cynically accuse abortion providers of targeting minority women. In fact, fewer than one in 10 abortion clinics are located in predominantly African American neighborhoods. Continue Reading →

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Diabetic eye disease on the rise in U.S. — African Americans at higher risk

Diabetes affects nearly 26 million people in the United States. In addition, another 79 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition that puts people at increased risk for diabetes. All people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, are at risk for diabetic eye disease, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness. Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of the disease and includes cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy, the most common diabetic eye disease, is the leading cause of blindness in adults 20 to 74 years of age. Continue Reading →

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First annual Baraza conference ‘a huge success’

Event launches movement to improve Black women’s health and wellness

Part 2 — see part one in the current print edition of the MSR

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

The October 6 Baraza Conference presentation by Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, Ph.D., was titled “Claiming Your Right to Wellness: Sisters in Recovery from Life” and addressed powerful issues such as trauma, grief and loss as they relate to both personal and professional relationships, and offered the audience exercises to improve wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Dr. Akinsanya is a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of the African American Child Wellness Institute. One of the things she discussed during her talk was cognitive reframing, such as when one thinks of a glass as half full or half empty. So, when you do reframing, what you do is look at a situation from another side. Dr. Akinsanya asked the audience to think of one negative thing you say about yourself that keeps you locked down. Continue Reading →

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Join me on a journey to a new and better self


Years ago, after I delivered my wonderful daughter, I found myself eating out of depression; love of course played a part, but so did broken dreams. I also felt anxious, overwhelmed, and at times hopeless. When my daughter was three months old we would wake up in the middle of the night, and I would make myself a stack of pancakes, hoping the fatigue and loneliness would go away. Food became a sense of comfort and relief. I had a million and one excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise. Even when I did muster the energy to exercise, I wasn’t consistent, had little faith in the process, and saw little change in my appearance. Continue Reading →

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Top health risks for the African American community


There are several common health issues that place the population at risk of increased injury and early death. We as a population always wonder how to protect ourselves from these common health issues. Good health references good quality of life. It has been shown in multiple studies that risk-factor reduction is a certain method we use for defense against injury and poor health. Risk-factor reduction requires good input from both the patient and healthcare providers. Continue Reading →

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