New Caahaz

Center for African American Health and Awareness Arizona

All about Sickle Cell Disease

What is sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell disease is a hereditary blood disorder affecting red blood cells.  It is mostly seen in people with African, Caribbean, Mediterranean, South and North central America.  The red blood cells in these individuals contain an abnormal type of hemoglobin.  This causes the red blood cells to be abnormal in shape therefore having difficulty passing through small blood vessels.

Abnormal sickle cell shaped cells will block small blood vessels.  Restricted blood flow to different areas of the body can cause tissue to become damaged resulting in the various symptoms below:

Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease:

Anemia.  If you are not getting enough red blood cells in the body, they cannot deliver the necessary oxygen your body needs to feel strengthened.  Therefore, one feels tired all of the time.

Pain.  This is another major symptom of sickle cell disease.  Pain can be experienced in episodes lasting a couple of hours to several weeks.  Pain can occur in your bones, abdomen, chest or joints.  The pain can be intense or mild.  Some can experience over a dozen attacks a year which may require medical attention.

Other symptoms include:

  • yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes
  • swollen hands or feet
  • poor vision
  • shortness of breath
  • constant infections
  • Complications with the Disease:
  • Spleenic Crisis

Normally, your spleen filters out abnormal red blood cells but the spleen may trap the red blood cells causing.  As a result, the spleen can grow too big.  In severe cases, a blood transfusion may be needed.


This was touched upon earlier.  Your body may have  a hard time fighting off infections.  Children and infants especially made need special vaccines to help their body fight off life threatening illnesses.

Acute Chest Syndrome

This is where the sickle cells get trapped inside of the chest causing pain, shortness of breath and fever.

PH (Pulmonary Hypertension)

When it is difficult for the heart to pump blood to the lungs, pressure may build up as a result.  This is called pulmonary hypertension.

Other complications of sickle cell disease include:

  • hand-foot syndrome
  • delayed growth
  • vision problems
  • stroke
  • ulcers on the legs
  • gall stones

How do you get sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell disease is hereditary.  In order for a person to have the disease, both parents must have the abnormal (S) hemoglobin gene.

Sickle cell disease is very treatable.  Talk to your doctor about the options that best suit you.




Colorectcal Cancer Screening Information

Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for men and women.  It is important that you get tested as soon as possible especially if you are at risk.  There are various resources available to you if you do not have health insurance.  We will post the dates and times of free screenings below but here is so more information about this type of cancer.

Are you at risk for colorectal cancer?

Age is  a major contributor.  Most people who get colorectal cancer are over the age of 50.  Other factors include having a disease or illness directly related to your colon such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.  If you also have a family history of the disease or even polyps in the colon, you are at risk.  You can also have a genetic syndrome such as FAP that can be a contributing factor.

What can I do to reduce my risk?

Screening early can find precancerous polyps before they turn into cancer.  That is why it is important to get tested.  Also, getting plenty of regular physical activity, limiting alcohol intake, and not smoking can reduce your risk.


Many people do not experience symptoms if they have colorectal polyps.  Again, it is wise to get screened early and regularly.

If you do have symptoms, they may include:

  • unexpected weight loss
  • stomach pain that doesn’t go away
  • blood in your stool


Regular screening beginning at the age of 50 is key.  If you are at high risk, then you may need to start getting screened earlier than 50 if any of the following pertains to you:

  • history of colon cancer or colon polyps in the family
  • you have chron’s disease, ifb, or ulcerative colitis
  • you have a genetic syndrome such as fab or hereditary non polyposis  colorectal cancer

You may be able to get a colorectal cancer screening from your doctor without a co-pay or deductible

The CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program provides colorectal cancer screening and follow up to low income men and women 50-64 who are underinsured or uninsured when resources are available.

For more information about the Fit at 50 Healthcheck program and free cancer screenings in your area, please call 602-243-7277.

Surviving a Heat Wave

Since Arizona is in the desert, there can be a record number of high temperatures that last for weeks on end.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, every year about 800 people are admitted to the hospital for an heat related illness.  Heat related illnesses are serious and can even lead to death.  Below are some precautions you can take to help you and your loved ones.

Who is the most affected by such temperatures?

The elderly and babies top the list.  Also, young children are at a high risk.  Their bodies simply cannot withstand extreme temperatures.

Other people who are infected include:

  • people taking medications for poor circulation or depression
  • those with high blood pressure
  • people who abuse alocohol
  • have mental health issues
  • people who are obese or overweight

If your body does not cool itself enough, then a heat related illness can occur.  Utilize these tips below to minimize the risk.

Here are some tips to survive the heat.

Keep hydrated.  You should drink at least two to three liters of water a day.  Stay away from alcohol or other caffeinated drinks.

Dress Approriately.  Summer means light clothing that reflects the sun.

Stay indoors as much as possible.  This is pretty self-explanatory.  If you do not need to go out, then stay indoors to avoid the hot temperatures.

Prepare your home in advance.  If you need to service your air conditioning, do so before the hottest temperatures arive.

Check on your neighbor.  If you know of someone who may be especially susceptible to the heat exposure like the elderly, please take a minute out of your day to check on these individuals.  I am sure they will appreciate it.

Take regular breaks when engaging in activities in the warm weather.

When you are out an about, also watch for signs of the following:

Heat cramps – muscle spasms and pain due to overexertion.  This happens when there is too much water or salt lost in the body.


Emergency Preparedness Made Easy

Prepare your home for an emergency situation asap.  Follow these simple steps.

1.  Get an american red cross emergency kit.  You need to buy the deluxe emergency preparedness kit.

2.  Treat the kit seriously.  Do not go into the kit unless it is an absolute emergency and make others follow the same rule.

3.  Make the kit unique to you.  Let your family members pick out their favorite personal items as well as canned foods.

4.  Make an evacuation plan.  This does not have to be hard.  Just make two or three designated exit points in your home.  Practice the escape route at least twice a year and more if you can.

5.  Be in the know.  It is always a good idea to keep a battery operated radio handy for news and weather updates in the event you lose your electricity.   Also, make sure to follow the advice of your authorities if they tell you to evacuate.

Leave that Dirty Trash Can alone and other Germ Free Tips!

Although the winter season has passed and the worst of the cold and flu season is behind us, there is still cause to fight germs in our everyday lives.  Germs, bacteria, and viruses can be deadly to humans.  Experts will tell you that everyone needs to take the proper steps to limit the amount of germs you come in contact with.

Try not to touch.   I know this is easier said than done.  However, most places where people touch carry the most germs and bacteria.  Try to refrain from pushing the elevator button.  Maybe use the outside of your finger instead.  Avoid handrails as well as they are full of germs.  The next time you ride the escalator don’t bother to rest your arm or hand on it.  Hundreds of people do this on a daily basis.  A plastic trashcan in your home can also have lots of germs.  I was looking at a site the other day that reviewed touchless trash cans.  A touchless trash can is a modern upgrade to the traditional plastic one and has been well received by the public.  A stainless steel touchless trash can looks great in the kitchen and can stop your family members from touching the can which can be filled with germs.

Wiped down Your Desk.  What I am about to reveal may shock you.  The average work desk has more germs on it than a toilet seat.  An easy way to combat this problem is to keep some disinfectant wipes at your desk and just clean the desk on a regular basis.  Disinfectant wipes are very inexpensive and there are more than enough in a can to do the job for a few months.  Do not forget to clean the what is actually on the desk as well.  This tip is especially important if you share a workspace with another person.

Bring your own mug.  I am talking about coffee pots.  Most regularly used coffee pots are not cleaned on a regular basis and not cleaned thoroughly.  If you can, you definitely should just take your own.  If there are Styrofoam cups available, always grab from them middle instead of the very top.

Do not shake hands.  Many people in their professional lives cannot avoid this.  If you can, however, you should.  This is how many people catch colds and other viruses.  If you do have to shake hands with others, please wash your hands.  You need to wash your hands for at least 15-20 seconds with warm water.  Anytime less than this is not effective.

We talk about some serious health issues on this site but sometimes I like to give you information that is important to your overall health.

Sustainable Food Sources Matter

Do you know of available sustainable food sources in your area or what exactly the term sustainable actually means?  In this article, I will define what a sustainable food source is and why it is important for your health.  I will also identify some sustainable food sources.

Why Sustainable Food?

Most of the food that you are probably regularly consuming is unsustainable.  Millions of Americans shop at their local grocery stores.  There isn’t really a textbook definition for sustainable food.  For our purposes, we will say that food should be produced, processed, bought and sold in a way that is responsible for both the animals and the environment.  The outcome should be safe and nutritious food which enhances the quality of life for both consumer and producer.

A little More Detail

Sustainable food is what our ancestors consumed for thousands of years which kept them healthy.  Many of the animals which we are eating from are not housed in the proper conditions or fed the best nutrients. Food is mass-produced with non-renewable resources.  It is also being genetically modified and cloned.

Food filled with hormones and tons of pesticides are becoming an everyday occurrence.  Pesticides and hormones actually harm your body.

Where can you buy Sustainable food?


CSA’s are Community Supported Agriculture programs.  It allows the consumer to purchase a part of a local farmers crop before it is produced each season.  The local farmer with your contribution pays for all of the equipment and supplies needed upfront without the need for outside funding.  The farmer usually delivers the food to designated locations and some instances you can pick it up.  CSA’s actually lower the cost for both farmers and the consumers as the middle man is cut out of the picture.

Farmers Market

Farmers from the local area gather usually on the weekends to sell their locally grown produce.  Most people are no strangers to going to the farmers market.  They can be held though indoors or outdoors.

When you shop at a farmers market, you help support local families.  In return, you receive fresh produce that is not injected with hormones or pesticides.  What many people do not realize is that you can get more than just fruits and vegetables at your local farmers market.  A farmers market now can sell items such as meat, eggs, cheese, milk, herbs and even some crafts.  This is a great option as many people do not live next to a whole foods market.


One of the best ways to eat sustainable food is to actually grow the produce yourself.  This is not as complicated as people think and is a great option.  You do not need a large space and do not have to have a huge backyard.  There are hundreds of ‘urban farms’ popping up everywhere around this country.  If you do not have an outdoor space, you can try window gardening.

Sustainable food is a way to both benefit you and the community.  These were just a few of the ways that you can eat sustainable food.   Eat more sustainable foods today to improve your health and improve the livelihood of the people around you.

Lose Weight with the help of the People in your Community

Ever think how the people around you can help you to lose weight.  I was just watching a clip on tv showing Lipozene reviews for the popular product.  The Lipozene reviews and results seemed genuine but I questioned whether or not Lipozene really worked.  People can lose weight without diet pills but many times people look at the people around them as a hinderance to their weight loss.  They believe that if they got rid of their spouse or spent less time with their children then they could achieve their weight loss goals.  Sometimes, this can be the case.  However, sometimes people in your community can help you to lose weight.  Find out how below.

Your Spouse

Studies have shown that when one spouse joins a weight loss group the other person on average loses about 3% of their body fat.  This seems to be understandable since the other spouse who did not join the weight loss group have already picked up on your healthy habits.  Therefore, as you share more things with your spouse he or she gets the healthy benefits.  Instead of gaining love handles, you are both starting to slim down.


You see these people a lot.  You spend at the bare minimum 5 days out of the week interacting with these people.  Many companies today encourage their employees to stay fit and healthy by adoptinga diet plan at work.  Many employees actually engage in a weight loss competition with one another.  Friendly competition is always healthy.  For good reason, it actually brings out the best in us.  In fact, the proof is in the pudding.  Studies show that people who compete together to achieve weight loss lose more weight than people who go at it alone.

Your Family

Many mothers strive to give their children a healthy balanced meal.  As a result, the mothers ate healthier themselves as well.  Adults who are empty nesters tend to not make healthy choices.  So, if you do have children, a healthy, quick meal is your focus.  Since you eat what they are eating, well then you tend to both benefit.

Weight Loss Groups

Weight Watchers  is a popular diet around the world.  They have implemented this technique to try and benefit their customers.  The theory is that in-person groups with like-minded individuals help to boost your weight loss success.  They definitely may be on to something.  As previously mentioned, people who are in weight loss groups lose more weight than people who go at it alone.

Hopefully, you can see that the people around you in your everyday community can actually help you to lose weight.  Utilize the people around you to beat the odds and make permanent weight loss a reality.


Blood test readings and Low Libido

A simple blood test cannot diagnose all diseases but it can diagnose some.  It can be an important step for your overall health if you haven’t had one in a long time.  Blood tests can be useful .

First, we will discuss what blood tests measure.  Blood tests show normal ranges where different substances fall within your body.  Normal ranges will vary depending on your age, gender, etc.  You may fall outside of the results for a normal range but it is important to keep in mind that other factors can skew your results.  For example, your results may be skewed if you are on your period, you take medications, or your alcohol intake.  Make sure to be open and honest about anything you are currently taking in your body.
What You didn’t Know a Blood Test Could Diagnose

The typical diseases that a blood test can diagnose are all too common such as diabetes or high cholesterol.  This is detailed below.  However, many people fail to realize that a blood test can diagnose low libido in women.  Just the other day, I was reading about Hersolution which was made specifically to combat problems with libido in women.  The Hersolution reviews were very positive.  This is an over the counter herbal formula which many of the Hersolution customer reviews say work but sometimes you may need more.  This is a growing problem women face.  Treatment options are available.  Blood testing will involve a specialist evaluating your estrogen levels, testosterone levels, and your thyroid levels.

Common Blood Test Readings

Complete Blood Count

The complete blood count shows normal ranges for things like your red and white blood cell count, platelets, and hemoglobin.  Abnormal blood cell count could be an indicator of cancer.

Blood Glucose

Your blood glucose level measures whether or not you are pre-diabetic or diabetic.  Your doctor will usually tell you that you must fast for at least 8-12 hours before taking this test so the results will be accurate.


This will measure you good (HDL) cholesterol levels and your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.  Again, it is recommended that you fast for at least 9 to 12 hours prior to taking the test.  If you do have high cholesterol, you may be at risk for heart disease.  This is something you should look further into if this sounds like you.

You can go to a local community clinic if you need to get a blood test.  A blood test is simple that can help you diagnose many health problems.

Lipozene Reviews and Diet Mistakes to Avoid

Since the new year is here, many people want to lose weight quickly.  I was watching tv the other day and saw an ad for Lipozene.  The people on the ad all had positive Lipozene reviews  but I wondered where these Lipozene reviews the truth.  It turns out people have had mixed results.  Many of these weight loss pills and fad diets are quick but have no real long term plan.  That is why often times people fail after trying these diets.  The problem is that without the proper mindset and goals weight loss will just be a temporary thing.  The key is to make small changes that you can live with that give you big results overtime.   Many people want to rush into weight loss and will do anything to lose weight.  Do not let this be you.  Here are some diet mistakes to avoid.

1.)     All or Nothing.  What do I mean by that?  The all or nothing attitude stems from our personal egos to be perfect.  Being perfect means that you must follow the most popular diet out there and do everything the experts tell you to do.  You throw out all of the food that is not on the diet even though some of these foods you know cannot live without.  You stick to the diet plan for maybe a week or three weeks then you are frustrated with your results. 

You then may go on a binge or crash diet.  Within a few weeks, you have already gained back all  of the weight you originally set out to lose.  You become frustrated and give up.  Don’t do this.  Instead, stick to small changes that you are confident you can do.  You will ultimately do better in the long run.

2.)    Sacrificing foods you love.  I actually alluded to this earlier but I will go into more detail.  Basically, when you go on a popular diet you give up many of the foods you love.  In reality, you will not last long when you do drop the weight that you desire.  Why?  It is simple.  You will be craving these foods more intensely when you actually drop those pounds.  A diet is not the best thing to practice but lifestyle changes are.  Why not try to incorporate the foods you love in smaller proportions?

3.)    Not achieving your goals.  When people do not accomplish their goals, they feel defeated.  The pressure is many times too much to bear.  They feel depressed.  If you are trying to lose weight, you may even begin to start binge eating.  When you do set goals, remember that they must be realistic and timely.  Setting small goals that are achievable are the best.  For example, plan to lose 2 pounds per week if you are just starting out. 

If you have been making these mistakes, then please don’t worry.  You are not alone.  The most important thing is to move on and try to progress.   It is always important to learn from your mistakes and not dwell on them.  Just make a commitment to become a healthier individual and set your sights on realistic goals.


Keeping the romance alive after your kids Leave the Nest Egg

Many studies have found that happiness in marriages increase after the children leave home.  Despite the joyous news, many couples doubt that their marriage will even survive after their kids leave.   Many people believe that their children were the glue that kept the couple together in the first place.  They wonder if they will have anything in common or whether they will still like each other.  Many people do not realize that keeping the romance alive does not take a lot of hard work.  In fact, it may take some simple actions to reignite or keep that spark alive.  Below, I give you some simple tips to help your marriage to keep going strong.

Set aside time to talk

Communicating with your spouse is important.  Communication is just as much verbal as non verbal.  If you are having problems with intimacy, then conversating with your spouse can help bridge the gap.  You can talk about anything except work or your children.  Strike up a conversation in the morning when you are sipping your daily cup of coffee or even dinner time.  Meals are a wonderful way that you can sit and talk with your spouse. 

Share a New Activity

Many people have separate hobbies outside of their spouse which is great.  Independence is important in any relationship.  However, if you are looking to draw closer to your spouse then see if you can engage in an activity that you both enjoy.  Maybe you can enjoy learning a new sport together such as tennis or take up ballroom dancing.  You will be surprised how many new activities you can enjoy together. 

Get Intimate

If your love life had not been so great when the kids were around, then it is time to indulge yourself.  Many people over the age of 40 have body changes that can affect their love life.  Do not let that be an excuse to stop you.  Use a lubricant if you suffer from vaginal dryness and you may want to get an aphrodisiac.   Gone are the days that women just have to accept their problems with low libido. has great reviews on popular female aphrodisiacs such as Hersolution.  According to, the Hersolution reviews look promising.  There are different options including the hersolution gel and pills.  The Hersolution gel reviews are just as good as the pill and best of all they are both completely natural and safe.

Using the three tips mentioned above really can impact your love life for the better.  Most people will read this article and do nothing.  Sadly, they really are missing out on the benefits.  Talk to your partner, spend time with them, and have sex.  These are all of the things you were doing previously when you were in a happy relationship.  Why not make this a reality once again?

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