February 4, 2023

This Week

  • New Drugs for Treating Diabetes Work for Weight Control - But Should You Take Them?
  • What to do when your PSA is Elevated or Rising
  • COVID-19 Emergency Declaration to End May 11th

Top of Mind


The African American Wellness Project's mission is to provide you with information to keep you healthy and advise you on how best to navigate the health care system which is often not African Americans friendly. This week, we will start a section in our newsletter called, ”What to Do.” I will take a symptom, such as Prostate Cancer, and with the help of our faculty suggest what you should do. Of course, you can always go to our website at https://aawellnessproject.org/ if you have questions about your health. The African American Wellness Project has also partnered with Healthwise to provide you with a symptom checker that is used by some of the largest health institutions in the country. So if you have questions that you want answered or advice from our vetted and trusted sources, send them to us at abthealth@gmail.com.

Stay Healthy,

Dr. Mike

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New Drugs for Treating Diabetes Work for Weight Control -

But Should You Take Them?

For the past couple of years, there have been a couple of injectable drugs developed, given once a week to to control blood sugar, but they also control appetite. They are now all the rage. So much so that diabetic patients cannot find the drugs. The drug imitates a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 that we naturally produce in our intestines, limiting appetite by signaling to our bodies that we feel full and prompting our stomachs to empty more slowly. But to make a long story short: it does work, it is expensive, many insurance companies won't pay for it, it has some pretty frequent side effects, and when you stop the drug, the weight can come back pretty fast. I was a skeptic until I participated in a round table discussion on the drug. It seems after talking with most of the experts that obesity is a bigger problem than Diabetes. There are approximately 250 illnesses tied to obesity.

There are numerous good weight control diets out there, but the key is to find one that works best for you. A good diet should be balanced, providing your body with all the essential nutrients and energy it needs while helping to cut down on unhealthy fats and sugars. Good weight control diets are only effective when accompanied by regular exercise!

What to do when your PSA is Elevated or Rising

If your doctor notices anything unusual with your PSA, such as rising too fast or is elevated, they may recommend another type of test that might provide a clearer answer about whether you have cancer. These include:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). During this painless, noninvasive procedure, you lie down on a movable table, and the MRI machine takes detailed pictures of your prostate using a powerful magnet, radio waves and a computer. A traditional MRI exam does involve a closed-in space, so if you have claustrophobia, you may be given medication to help keep you calm. An MRI tends to take between 45 and 60 minutes but can sometimes last up to two hours.
  • Biopsy. A prostate biopsy is a procedure to remove samples of suspicious tissue from the prostate. The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland in males that produces fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.

My recommendation is to get the MRI. It is less painful and there are fewer side effects. For more information, visit our web site at https://aawellnessproject.org/.

COVID-19  Emergency Declaration to End May 11th

President Joe Biden's administration, on Monday, said it will end COVID-19 emergency declarations on May 11, nearly three years after the United States imposed sweeping pandemic measures to curb the spread of the illness.

The government has been paying for COVID-19 vaccines, some tests and certain treatments under the PHE declaration. When it expires, those costs will be transferred to private insurance and government health plans.

COVID-19 cases are declining in the United States, though more than 500 people continue to die each day from the disease, government data has showed.

For more information, go to our website at www.aawellnessproject.org. or listen to our podcast at Blackdoctorsspeak.org on any podcast platform.

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About the Editor 

Dr. Michael LeNoir is just your neighborhood doc — a world-renowned allergist, a board-certified pediatrician, recognized expert on asthma in inner cities, and the President and Founder of AAWP. Serving the Bay Area since 1977, Dr. LeNoir has dedicated his career to helping African Americans navigate a healthcare system he saw first-hand that is fundamentally build on racial biases. Read More

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