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Medicine Has A Sexism Problem, And It's Making Sick Women Sicker

Saturday 10 March 2018


From The Huffington Post:


Doctor and patient
A lack of knowledge about women’s health, and a lack
of trust in their reports of their symptoms, conspire to
leave many women misdiagnosed, dismissed and sick.
(Photo: Nomad via Getty Images)

Medicine Has A Sexism Problem, And It’s Making Sick Women Sicker

By Maya Dusenbery
Guest Writer
March 7, 2018
©2018 Oath Inc. All rights reserved.


It’s estimated that a whopping 50 million Americans have an autoimmune disease. Three-quarters of them are women and, like me, they often develop them in the prime of their lives. I discovered that I’d been incredibly lucky to get a diagnosis within several months. Thanks to that early treatment, my RA was quickly put in remission and I’ve been healthy for years. But according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, patients with autoimmune diseases see an average of four doctors over four years before they receive the correct diagnosis, and nearly half report being labeled “chronic complainers” during their search.


As long as women’s “medically unexplained symptoms” are considered adequately explained by the “fact” ― accepted as a scientific truth for over a century now ― that women are prone to “somatizing” their emotional distress, they do not need to be medically explained by thorough scientific research. This Catch-22 has been especially clear when it comes to “medically unexplained” conditions that disproportionately affect women, including fibromyalgia, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and chemical intolerance. These conditions remain so poorly understood mostly because, assuming they must be psychogenic, medicine has put astoundingly little effort ― and few research dollars ― toward understanding them.


Full article…


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