PMRGCAuk
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Health Harmed by Gender Bias

Three Views of the Crisis in Women’s Health

Three new books — Maya Dusenbery’s “Doing Harm,” Abby Norman’s “Ask Me About My Uterus” and Michele Lent Hirsch’s “Invisible” — investigate gender bias in medical treatment.

nytimes.com/2018/03/13/book...

I'd hoped we were beyond this. There is a reference to autoimmune disorders.

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This!!!!!!

“Women should not be required to be more knowledgeable about women’s health than their doctors are”

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Ha ha ha - !!!!!

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I think older women are taken less seriously by the medical establishment certainly. I think you are quite interesting as long as you are fertile. I think older men get taken more seriously because statistically they don’t go to the doctor, so if they do go they get sent for all sorts of tests, in the U.K. anyway. I’ve seen my husband getting more thorough investigations.

If we are not interesting to the doctors then neither are the diseases we suffer from. These are old ingrained attitudes based on the very wrong assumption the older women don’t contribute to society. In spite of the careers we have and the caring responsibilities that still fall to us. Small rant.

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As an "old" man I don't get the treatment I would like!!!!! I feel it's the "old" factor which is the problem and attitude taken by the medical establishment!!

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I think you have a point there strathearn. It’s as if the medical establishment has to catch up with what’s happening in the Western world. People are living productive lives for much longer and need their health and strength to do so. How are you?

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I'm fine - as long as I pace myself. I do some part-time framing, try to look after a one acre garden and play golf (in a buggy). When I feel a slight pain and signs of exhaustion starting, I stop and have a wee nap to revive the old body. So far I'm reducing pred by 0.5mg every 2 weeks and have come down from 20mg to 15.5mg in 4 months. Some people would say I'm self-medicating but if your Rheumatologist and GP don't agree with your taper plan, what options do you have. I've been yoyoing for the past 2 years and their 20/17.5/15/12.5/10 taper does not work for me!! My quality of life has vastly improved over the last 4 months.

I've had a great 82nd birthday today - breakfast in bed, lunch at a nice restaurant with the family, watched Scotland beat Italy at rugby, had a nap, lovely supper and now watching the golf from America with a very palatable single malt!!!! I have a lovely wife who looks after me!!!

I don't know what the future will hold but I'm not, if I can help it, going to go through the pain, stiffness and exhaustion I experienced last year. Hope you are feeling OK - it helps to rant now and again!!!

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Hello Hindags

Thanks for this article - I have 'ranted' on here about this outrageous 'gender bias' in health care before - and I suspect we will have to continue to do so for some time to come - until and if women - ESPECIALLY mature women- are taken seriously everywhere (cross-culturally). These examples of women's experiences in health systems are exactly why I go on a lot about not liking the typical liberal or evolutionary 'add and stir mentality' to elicit change - ie. it is no use at all trying to change the world by adding currants to a recipe that is fundamentally flawed - patriarchal and often worse (still) misogynist - we need to alter things at the root - change the 'recipe' completely - BUT yes this would amount to a TOTAL revolution - so obviously not holding my breath - which would likely be misdiagnosed anyway as an attack of 'hysteria'. Sorry not to sound more optimistic .... thanks - these sound like 'good reads' !!

Best wishes

Rimmy

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Stirring stuff Rimmy. Holding your breath made me smile though.

I think ( glass half full) that there is something revolutionary stirring. To say more would alienate the lovely guys on here.

People need to be treated as individuals, with respect and compassion.

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And people need to stand up for themselves, not simply accept the judgement of "authority".

All of us can tell when we're being treated with condescension and arrogance. We can all tell when we're being placated and treated without respect.

How can we tell? We feel angry.

And we need to call out every doctor and every medical practitioner whose behavior insults our intelligence and our dignity. Expressing that anger in a very controlled way, and being very specific in detailing the behaviors we find objectionable, is very effective when dealing with disrespectful employees. And that is exactly what they are, whether one is seeking treatment from the UK system, or one is dealing with the US system. We are the employers, not the employees. We must be treated with the same respect we get and demand from other professionals - from lawyers to hairdressers.

If you want things to change, the change has to begin with us.

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I think nothing will really change until marriage or other relationships between older women and younger men become he norm as much as younger women and older men.

How is that for a radical revision of our culture? Lol

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Yes pretty radical with sexism and ageism often intersecting - and should also include women & women and likewise men and men with 'age' no issue in any context !

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Oh just marry him Hindags, nobody minds really, they’re just jealous.

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Two of my children are in long term relationships. The boy has a girlfriend about eight years older, the girl has a boyfriend ten years younger.

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You obviously raised them well.

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They are free spirits. However there are no children in these relationships. Both girls wanted children but may have waited too long, and neither boy did, they weren't ready to be dads. So it's not really the best scenario when you consider biology.

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My wife is 77 and I am 71. We met at work in 1988, and have been together for nearly 30 years. I wouldn't trade her for any other woman on earth.

Edward

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OTOH - it was recently suggested in the UK that the death rates in prostate cancer compared to breast cancer in women are also due to gender bias.

I'm not entirely sure - is it perhaps less to do with gender than self-confidence and awareness. Not to mention education in general and financial status. The situation amongst those well able to advocate for themselves differs from the rest of the population. Being proactive makes a big difference.

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PMRpro, are you suggesting that the death rate from prostate cancer is somewhat driven by men's hesitation to be treated, and fear of impotence with some treatments? I've known many women who have been afraid to find out if that lump they have is cancer for fear of losing a breast and losing their husbands also as a result. I think on that score both sexes might be more or less equal.

My concern is more the institutionalized bias about women's illnesses. When symptoms are not straight forward, the easy "diagnosis" is somatoform disorder. How many women are told or treated as if "it is all in their head". Grrrr!!!!!!

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That is the more sensible thought process and what I think is probably the truth. The imbalance improves once men are retired and have easier access to medical care - and are less able to hide problems from the wife who then nags them to the doctor!

It was NOT what the DM aka the people's medical journal suggested last Friday however! They apparently believe that women get better care for breast cancer for example because of the bias of funding to the BC campaigns and blanket coverage. (PS, I'm merely reporting, don't shoot the messenger!)

pbs.twimg.com/media/DU--fgw...

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My Mom wound up in the hospital for fainting (3 times). She has some injuries from hitting the ground and from a fall on the ice the other day. It seems a blood pressure medication needs adjusting. I saw various staff treat her very differently. Some were great from the start but one looked to me or my brother for confirmation. One spoke to her like she was two at first. Just because she's 84 doesn't mean she isn't sharp. The one wanted to know if she was using a walker or cane and when she told them she walked two miles everyday was a bit taken aback. I do have to say that once she started answering their questions and asking her own, they all changed their tune. I will say that it really annoyed me though and I had to bite my tongue and let her handle it. Age and gender should not impact how people are treated!

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I hate that condescending tone that is adopted. When my mother had DVT the hospital clearly didn’t think she was worth treating. Is this euthanasia by stealth? I was treated in a belligerent manner as if a fight was expected. Fortunately her body absorbed the blood clot and she lived on oblivious. They were not set up for people with her mobilities for x Ray. She was x rayed held up by me. What about my exposure to radiation?

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It will have been no more than she was exposed to - and you don't have to do it every day. But I'd have made a complaint to PALS.

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Water under the bridge now but I have a sensitivity to that sing song tone. My mother was latterly in a nursing home for people with dementia. Even with those communication difficulties people are hugely underestimated, as I proved by talking to her housemates daily. They were so relieved. We need as a society, to get this right.

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Tell me about it! I can't cope with the baby-talk habit either. I talked to my girls as if they were my mates right from the start.

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Ditto, Pp. Mine were boys - definitely no baby-talk.

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Absolutely right, SJ. But what are the chances of change for the better? Shouldn't education encompass this - equality and respect for all? Progress seems so slow.

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I raised my children that way and it really shows in their characters. I love that they lack prejudice and are the real deal. Every little helps.

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Did they not at least protect you with some sort of lead apron over your torso? That is pretty shocking.

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No they didn’t. Of all places a hospital should think about accessibility issues surely?

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It is really amazing, the insensitivity and the ignorance. I wonder if the condescension isn't masking a sense of impotence many doctors feel facing the vicissitudes of aging ours and their own.

Not acceptable anyway.

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