Migraine is a Health Disparity for People of Color
Migraine is a neurological disease that affects 60 million Americans and is the 2nd leading cause of disability worldwide. It is an underestimated, underdiagnosed, and undertreated disease despite its heavy burden. However, communities of color, which have been historically, socially, and economically disenfranchised from research studies and treatment are bearing the brunt of this burden. The American healthcare system is riddled with flaws, and headache medicine is no different.
The racial inequities in headache diagnosis and patient care have been brought to light by the recent increased focus on systematic racism that impacts health equity. Numerous studies have shown that the rates of migraine diagnosis and treatment vary significantly between Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites. Although prevalence of migraine is similar (14.5%, 14.5%, and 15.5% respectively), Blacks and Hispanics utilize healthcare at a disproportionate rate compared to Whites.
When seeking treatment, Hispanics had a lower total number of visits that result in a migraine diagnosis. Blacks with severe headaches are more likely to get a diagnosis of probable migraine, while Whites get a more definitive diagnosis. Because of disparities in the U.S. health care system, migraine is more severe and more likely to become chronic among Blacks and African Americans. This chronification is unfortunately linked with increased depression and disability, and a lower quality of life.
Black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) experience stress and adverse health outcomes due to the exposure to racism and racial trauma. A theory, known as race-based traumatic stress, indicates that some individuals experience racial prejudice as psychological trauma. This PTSD-like reaction leads to increased severe headaches and migraine attacks. Research confirms all of these inequities – but an ongoing lack of quality research on BIPOC with migraine means there is still much that is unknown or poorly understood.
The Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients (CHAMP) and its partners realized that meaningful change was required. They created the Disparities in Headache Advisory Council that has held numerous training sessions and provided seed-funding for new initiatives that promote diversity and equality in headache medicine.
CHAMP is one of many patient advocacy organizations participating in National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. Every June, we spend the month raising awareness and educating the public via a variety of programs and projects held around the country. The theme for this year is “A New Era of Care,” which reflects the surge of innovation in headache and migraine treatments that are dramatically improving lives.
June 16th is our first Advocacy Day of Action, supporting a U.S. House Resolution designating June as Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, led by Representative Madeleine Dean (D-PA-4th). This resolution addresses the inequities that BIPOC communities face in health access and quality of care. You can show your support by contacting your Representative in Congress and asking them to co-sign the resolution. Take action by visiting: headachemigraine.org/policy-partners/.
7 Bad Sleep Habits That Cause Weight Gain
If you’ve been losing sleep at night worrying about why you can’t seem to lose weight, you may very well be sleeping with the enemy: bad bedtime habits.
Research shows that sleep plays an important role in weight management. People who get adequate sleep have lower BMI indexes than people who don’t. Findings also suggest that not getting enough sleep can cause weight gain.
“When you have poor sleep or lack of rest, you’re setting a whole cascade of events in motion hormonally that could set you up for weight gain,” said John M. Jakicic, director of the Physical
When hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin are thrown out of balance, these can affect your sleep, mood, and food cravings. Sleep tight and wake up right by correcting these common weight-gaining sleep habits.
1: Sleeping with lights on
Hopefully, you don’t still need a nightlight. Findings from a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology show that exposure to even a small amount of light not only affects the quality of rest but can also put on extra pounds. Cortisol, “the stress hormone,” has also been shown to be abnormally high when you’re exposed to light.
The fix: When it’s time for “lights out”, really make sure all the lights are out. Close the blinds, use dark drapes, turn your alarm clock away from your line of sight, and put your cell phone and other electronics at least three feet away.
2 : Sleeping on your stomach
If we had to rank sleeping positions, lying on your stomach might be at the bottom of the list. While it’s a good position for snoring or sleep apnea, the benefits don’t extend much further.
Unfortunately, sleeping on your stomach can cause both neck and back pain. It also has shown as one of the positions that you can gain the most weight because of its after-effects. It can also add a lot of unnecessary strain to your muscles and joints, which is why you might be waking up sore and tired. Placing a pillow under your lower belly might help reduce back pain.
3: Keeping your bedroom too warm
People who always have to sleep with a window cracked or a fan on (no matter the season) might actually be on to something. The body naturally cools down while you rest, releasing fat-burning hormones and repairing your skin, bones, and muscles. Having your room too warm can disrupt this process.
The fix: Sleep in a cool room, preferably below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
4: Eating right before bedtime
That very important cool-down process can also be disrupted by eating late-night meals and snacks.
The fix: Have your last meal no later than three hours before your bedtime.
5: Late night exercise
Regular exercise is extremely important for weight loss and maintenance, but high impact exercise – like cardio – raises your body temperature, prevents the release of hormones, and makes it harder for you to fall asleep.
The fix: Skip late-night cardio and do light stretching, like yoga, instead.
6: Sleeping in clothes
Pajamas are cute and comfy, but if you want to sleep better, ditch them. Tight or form-fitting clothing, including underwear and bras, can raise your body temperature and have been shown to reduce the secretion of melatonin.
The fix: Sleep naked and under light blankets. If you absolutely must wear clothes, keep them loose and breathable.
7: Not getting enough sleep
Having a bedtime isn’t just for children. Every person’s body is different, but on average, sleep experts agree that seven to eight hours of sleep is ideal. A lack of sleep increases cortisol, hunger hormones, and decreases growth hormone, serotonin, and leptin – all increasing the risk of weight gain.
The fix: Try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.
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Extra Credit: Staying up too late
Sometimes burning the midnight oil working is necessary, but don’t make it a habit if you’re trying to lose weight. The reason you’re not getting enough sleep (Bad Habit 6) maybe because you’re going to bed too late. The later you stay up, the more likely you are to eat and snack, throwing off your metabolism. The early morning hours (starting at 2 a.m.) are also when cortisol naturally begins to increase.
The fix: Put yourself to bed by 11 p.m.
The COVID Vaccine Lottery: The Journal of Steffanie Rivers
As more people get the COVID vaccine there is more pressure for those who have decided not to take the vaccine to acquiesce to that pressure. The full court press isn’t just coming from family, friends and co-workers. Even my OB-GYN doctor took time to push the vaccine…so hard I wouldn’t be surprised if he was paid kickbacks for getting his patients to sign up at his office. There was no objective conversation about its pros and cons. Nor did he suggest that I build my immune system to fight off all pathogens. It was all about that vaccine.
If you don’t want to get the vaccine, don’t be bribed into it by the carrot some people are dangling: Show your vaccine card at Krispy Kreme’s and get a donut! Or show the card for free beer at some local bars. It conflicts with common sense and it’s insulting, because eating too many donuts and drinking too much alcohol suppresses the immune system, which turned out to be death sentences for more than 600k Americans – mostly Black and Brown people – in the last fourteen months.
Now Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced his state will give away a million dollars a week to a registered voter so long as that person is COVID vaccinated. And teenagers can get a full-ride college scholarship to any state college or university so long as they’re vaccinated.
Instead of bribing people to get a vaccine with questionable ingredients and efficacy rates, why not use some of that money and power to investigate and remove bully, liar, killer cops committing legalized genocide. Why not use that money and power to dismantle police unions that protect those same cops?
Even some employers are bribing employees by offering vacation days or money in exchange for COVID vaccination. They’re going this route because federal law prevents them from requiring you to take the vaccine, the same as nobody can require you to take a flu shot! For now all they can do is require temperature checks and other precautions to protect their work pool. If they had required everybody to wash their hands before touching serving utensils at the employee brunch and other preventative measures we might be having a different conversation right now. But I digress!
In a recent interview retired surgeon, Dr. L. Ray Matthews, said he had reservations about the vaccine. He suggested taking Vitamin D3, Vitamin C and zinc as supplements to help build the immune system instead. With thousands of pathogens that could become pandemics, Matthews said focusing on one vaccine isn’t the best strategy.
With so many issues surrounding this vaccine, the million dollar question is: Why are so many politicians and medical professionals using bribery to get compliance instead of urging the use of proven vitamins and supplements? Click on the video above to find out what I think is really going on.
The CDC Has Issued Updated Outdoor Mask Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Americans
Finally. For those concerned about wearing a mask outdoors, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance on the issue for fully vaccinated Americans.
The bottom line is that fully vaccinated people can unmask outdoors if they are walking, running, hiking or biking alone or with members of their household.
The fully vaccinated can also go mask free while dining at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households.
The new outdoor mask recommendations were announced Tuesday by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky during a White House Covid-19 briefing.
Additionally, those who are fully vaccinated can also take off their masks at small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends, or where there is a mixture of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
In addition to continuing to avoid large-sized gatherings, the CDC said fully vaccinated people should also avoid medium-sized gatherings. For the fully vaccinated who do chose to attend a crowded outdoor event, such as a live performance, parade, or sporting event, wearing a mask is recommended.
Masks should also still be worn in outdoor public settings and venues where they are required
In indoor public spaces, such as a mall, movie theatre or museum, the CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask.
In addition, the CDC said fully vaccinated Americans who live or work in a group setting, such as a group home or dormitory, no longer need to stay away from others for 14 days if they are around someone who has Covid-19. They should still get tested, even if they don’t have symptoms.
Are You Getting Deep Restful Sleep?
Are you getting Deep Restful Sleep? I am not talking about laying in bed for 7-8 hours tossing and turning. When was the last time you had a very deep sleep and woke up feeling refreshed and energized and ready to take on the day?
I am Shara Prophet the Mind Magic coach and I help people reconnect with and activate their inner power so they can heal themselves and design the life that they truly deserve and desire.
Sleep is essential to our health and well-being. While we sleep, the body repairs itself allowing emotional, mental, and physical healing to take place.
Did you know we sleep to dream?
Dreaming is the time for our brains to “take out the trash” or vent out any issues that could be blocking our desires for excellent health, a fulfilling career, more money, or meaningful relationships.
Dreams only occur when we sleep. If we don’t sleep well, we don’t dream, and the trash doesn’t get taken out. This can overload the brain causing hyper-suggestibility, fatigue, loss of memory, brain fog, and lack of focus.
I use hypnosis to help many clients with sleep issues like insomnia and anxiety. Hypnosis is a holistic and effective way to achieve amazing restful sleep. If you don’t want to use or want to discontinue use of sleep aids like sleeping pills, then hypnosis is a great alternative.
It is a state of focused awareness that automatically brings deep relaxation to the entire body. This deep comfort and relaxation help to bypass the mind’s natural defenses creating a direct line of communication with the subconscious mind which controls all our automatic behaviors.
We can use hypnosis to tell the subconscious mind that it is easy for you to fall asleep quickly and get sound, restful sleep. I always include a suggestion that you will wake up feeling refreshed and energized and in the event you need to wake up and respond to an emergency, you will do so immediately and be fully alert.
Check out my FREE hypnosis videos for Deep Sleep Fast on my YouTube channel, Open Door Hypnosis TV. This is a powerful hypnosis, so only listen to this when you are ready to sleep for the night. This hypnosis for deep sleep will help you release anxiety and tension, relax every muscle in your body, fall asleep faster, and get a nice deep sleep. I suggest listening to this hypnosis every night before bed until you can get to sleep on your own.
Of course, if you feel you need more assistance with your sleep issues, please consult a professional like your physician, a sleep expert, or a Certified Hypnotherapist like myself.
For more information, contact the author.
Shara Prophet, C.Ht. is a speaker, expert lecturer, Certified Hypnotherapist, Mystic and author of The B.E.M.A.G.I.C. Manifestation Workbook. She specializes in personal development and behaviour modification, is the founder of Open Door Hypnosis and The Mind Magic Institute. Shara created The Mind Magic Minute column to teach people “cheat codes” to living a more healthy, peaceful, and prosperous life. She was recently featured on OWN in the Dark Girl’s 2 Documentary.