Ask a mature Black man about his health and wellness records and he may not have an answer for you. The truth is, many Black people, especially Black men are terrified of the doctor.
Let’s dig deeper: Why do Black men avoid getting check-ups? Do they fear what a doctor might say? Is it their own sense of masculinity and the notion that men do not need help? Or, is it that they simply do not trust doctors? The answer is all of the above, and even deeper than you can imagine.
History has played a role in Black men’s deep distrust of the medical community in this country. Accounts like the Tuskegee Syphilis Study where hundreds of Black men were given Syphilis and denied treatment as the medical community used them for medical research, is among them. Unfortunately, that distrust is among the reasons healthcare professionals believe there are higher rates of deaths for African-Americans. Studies indicate that Blacks often develop chronic diseases earlier and die earlier than whites.
Systematic oppression and abuse may make it seem impossible to gain access to healthcare or find a healthcare provider you can trust. However, taking control of one’s health requires being informed about your body and providing it with the necessary care. It is an important step towards fighting against oppression.
Here’s a few ways you can find the best provided care for you:
- Maintain Your Health At Home. The physician is the professional, but you are responsible for your own health. Make sure you’re doing what you can at home to maintain a clean bill of health.
- Find a healthcare provider that makes you feel seen, heard, and safe. Ask yourself these questions: Does the physician listen to you without interrupting or jumping to conclusions? Does the provider seem to understand and respect your concerns? If not, then keep searching until you find THE ONE.
- Maintain an annual or quarterly healthcare check-up. Once you find your ideal physician; maintain a consistent medical regimen. Depending on your health goals; you should be seeing your health care team regularly, whether it’s once a year, every six months, or quarterly. Having more frequent check ups ensures less surprises along the way because you are more in-tune with your health.
Black Americans are more likely to develop health conditions at an early age, and more likely to die younger than their white counterparts. Many share that they fear seeking medical attention due to the fear of being discriminated against.
There is a cultural distrust within the Black community; the U.S. has a history of experimenting on African Americans and treating them differently. Because of that distrust it has become the norm to not go to the doctor unless you are dying.
The facts are, our Black kings are dying from preventable diseases. We owe it to ourselves, our ancestors, and our people to restore the Black man’s health. Black men deserve to live full limitless lives without chronic disease and unnecessary illness. Black men deserve better health so that they can live, be active fathers and the community men now and forever. Here’s to better Men’s Health for Father’s Day.
The African American Community faces a critical health crisis, with higher rates of suffering and mortality from preventable health issues and chronic diseases compared to other demographics.
- High Blood Pressure: African Americans have a 55% prevalence of high blood pressure, whereas White Americans have a rate of 27%.
- Diabetes: African Americans are diagnosed with diabetes 77% more often than White Americans, while Latinx individuals are diagnosed 66% more frequently. In the United States, 29.1 million people have diabetes, with 40-60% of Blacks and Latinos affected.
- Cancer: Black people are expected to have about 224,080 new cancer cases and 73,680 cancer-related deaths in 2022. Black people face the highest death rates and shortest survival rates among racial/ethnic groups in the United States for most cancers.
These disparities are influenced by imbalances and deficiencies in diets, as well as exposure to consumer goods such as grooming/beauty and cleaning products, and environmental toxins.
To address these critical health issues, prevention strategies should be prioritized. Our His PREVENTION Daily Kit targets three preventable health concerns that disproportionately affect Black and Brown people at the root level: Inflammation, Imbalance, and Vitamin D Deficiency.
The perfect Father’s Day gift for the brothers you love, learn more and use the code PREVENTION to grab it 20% off!