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Women’s Health

Medicine’s Failure With Women in Pain

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I became a sick woman 10 years ago. In October 2010, the cause of the strange pain that had haunted me for years was finally uncovered and I was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a chronic autoimmune disease that is the most common form of lupus. Ninety percent of the estimated 3.5 million people who have it are women. Like many other autoimmune and chronic diseases that disproportionately affect women – including multiple sclerosis, Graves’ disease, myasthenia gravis, rheumatoid arthritis, and endometriosis – SLE is incurable and its cause is not fully understood.

In the years since my diagnosis, as I learned to live with my mysterious, unpredictable disease, I looked for answers through my medical history. Unwell women, like so many Russian nesting dolls, emerged from the annals of medicine. Their medical histories often followed similar patterns: childhood illnesses, years of pain and mysterious symptoms, and repeated misdiagnosis. These women were part of my story. But the observations of their disorders and symptoms in clinical trials told only a fraction of their stories. Notes on their cases gave clues about their bodies but said nothing about what it meant to live in them.

I tried to imagine what it felt like to be a sick woman struggling with an illness that defied medical understanding at these different points in history. I felt a close relationship; we shared the same basic biology. What has changed over time is not the female body, but medicine ‘s understanding of it.

The author, who suffers from the most common form of lupus, was photographed at her home on June 8th.


Photo:

Dylan Thomas for the Wall Street Journal

Specters of doubt and discrimination have haunted medical treatises on women’s health since ancient Greece. The authors of the Hippocratic Corpus, the fundamental treatise on Western medical practice, spoke of the “inexperience and ignorance” of women about their bodies and their diseases. In the 17th century, hysteria emerged as an explanation for a variety of symptoms and illnesses in women. Derived from the ancient Greek word hystera, which means uterus, it was originally believed that hysteria originated from the reproductive organs, which have been considered the source of many female diseases since the Hippocratic era.

In the 19th century, female hysteria “took center stage” and “became the explicit topic of numerous medical texts”, especially when the cause of an illness was not immediately apparent, wrote the British medical historian Roy Porter in “Hysteria Beyond Freud”. . “As the cultural critic Elaine Showalter has shown in her influential story“ The Female Malady ”, well-known doctors and psychiatrists of the time linked hysteria with the perceived tendency of women to fabricate symptoms for attention and sympathy.

Prejudices about the body, mind and life of women have cast a long shadow over modern clinical and biomedical knowledge. Graves’ disease, an autoimmune thyroid disease that affects 70-80% more women than men, had “female nervousness” in its earliest descriptions in 1835 and was even labeled psychosomatic, even after its autoimmune causality was discovered in 1956. Many women with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune neuromuscular disease first mentioned in 1877, were diagnosed as mentally ill and dismissed as hypochondriac until the 20th century. Multiple sclerosis has been known to be more common in women since the 1940s, but this prevalence has long been obscured by the assumption that the neurological and motor disorders in women are nervous or hysterical.

In 1955, chronic disease specialists at Johns Hopkins revealed that over the past decade, several women who were eventually diagnosed with lupus had undergone unnecessary psychiatric and surgical procedures – including electroshock therapy, insulin coma, and hysterectomy – after doctors misdiagnosed their chronic physical pain diagnosed as a symptom of emotional instability. Ulcerative colitis, a chronic bowel disease that affects the reproductive and sexual functions of women in poorly understood ways, has historically been considered to be caused by psychological distress. The recommended treatment for patients in the 1950s was prefrontal lobotomy.


As a result of a groundbreaking study in 2001, the gender pain gap was widely recognized only a generation ago.

Until almost the end of the 20th century, clinical studies and biomedical research relied disproportionately on male subjects and male laboratory animal models. US law of 1993 required the appropriate involvement of women and minority members in projects funded by the National Institutes of Health. This led, for example, to the first large-scale research on the preventive effects of aspirin on cardiovascular disease in women; previous studies had only men enrolled.

As a result of the groundbreaking 2001 study, “The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain,” the gender pain gap was generally recognized only a generation ago. Authors Diane Hoffmann and Anita Tarzian, academics in medical ethics and health law at the University of Maryland, showed, based on clinical data and sociological research collected since the 1970s, that women were more likely to be prescribed sedatives and antidepressants than referred to diagnostic tests Chronic Pain Self-Assessment. They attributed this inequality to the fact that female pain is “more emotional and therefore less believable”.

Recently, a Swedish team analyzed research on gender and pain published in the US, UK and Europe since 2001 and concluded that women are still more “psychologized” and “taken less seriously” than men’s pain .

Reports from 2019 and 2020 from two related teams based in Toronto analyzed studies on the treatment of heart disease and depression and found that women received fewer referrals and procedures than men. Women were also more likely to describe poor communication with their doctors. The reports suggested that the development of specific “patient-centered” treatment regimens in treating women, including training clinicians in “active listening” and “asking questions”, may change the dynamics, but there has been little practical research into introducing them Practices.

One ray of hope is the increasing number of female doctors. Women themselves report better outcomes in diagnosis and treatment when they are cared for by female doctors, and female patients are more likely to survive a heart attack if their doctors are female, according to a 2018 report by the National Academy of Sciences. Although the number of men among active US doctors is still higher than that of women, women made up 36.6% of the field in 2019, an 8 percentage point increase from 2007.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Have you, family or friends seen that health problems are too easily dismissed by women compared to men? Join the conversation below.

Last year, the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of integrating gender differences into medical research. Studies show that women, especially over 55, are more likely to experience persistent post-viral symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and brain fog. Women also seem to experience more side effects after vaccination, including some that are life-threatening, but the extent and severity of possible risks are not yet understood.

Today, the exact reasons for the gender inequality in the incidence of my disease, SLE, are still largely mysterious, although researchers recognized its prevalence in women more than a century ago. More research is urgently needed to understand how and why confusing chronic and immune-mediated diseases and conditions affect women in far greater numbers, but women also need to be valued more as accurate reporters of their own experiences of pain and illness. Many of the answers lie in the bodies of women and in the stories their bodies have been writing for centuries.

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Women’s Health

Why a federal judge’s DACA ruling matters for California

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Good morning and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday the 26th of July. I’m Justin Ray, and I write from Palm Springs.

I remember going to Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood sometime in 2019. A friend met people I had never met before. I remember taking part in a conversation with two or three others and someone making small talk brought up a woman who had changed careers and entered and dominated an area very different from this she was -level guitarist.

I remember saying, “I can’t imagine loving life enough to want to be good at something.”

When I think of my mental health journey, I think of this moment because I finally said what I always thought: that I’m not very happy. The truth is, life can be painful.

This could be related to the fact that I never felt a part of it. My race and sexuality created situations that made me feel alienated. My race is sometimes fetishized in dating apps and bars. Other times people have told me that it makes me unattractive to them. I have been criticized for the way I dress and the way I speak. I’ve also received negative comments because I’ve been gay all my life. These experiences left me thinking that I am not well suited for this world.

The pandemic certainly didn’t help. Stories of tragedy and preventable deaths are difficult to hear. Then the isolation was so brutal that even as a person who loathes social situations, I long for company. But I don’t talk about my mental health problems because I think it’s inappropriate. I have a job, a home and haven’t lost loved ones to COVID-19. So what right do I have to complain?

Why do I share that, you may ask. Well, for the first time in a long time, I am seriously considering therapy. And I suspect I’m not alone in feeling more depressed than usual. In October 2020, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that “41.2% of adults in California reported symptoms of anxiety and / or depressive disorder, compared to with 37.7% of US adults ”. and their work was difficult.

A recent story by columnist Frank Shyong on mental illness inspired me to use my platform to tell all of you, I’m not fine. And that’s fine.

Sometimes we are so busy with life that we don’t self-check and take stock of how it’s going. Sometimes we have distractions that prevent us from seeing some aspects of our life experience. I invite you to reflect on your life: are things okay? Are there aspects of your life that don’t go as planned? Are there any ways I can get help?

I am not a psychiatrist. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there: if you’ve never had therapy before, the concept can be a little daunting. But, as The Times says in a beginner’s therapeutic guide, it’s an opportunity to discuss what you are experiencing and how you are feeling in one place, in a place free of judgment. Hotlines are another resource for those going through a mental crisis. There are also more specialized resources for black people, LGBTQ people, our Indian friends, and so many other groups.

And even if you don’t get help, I hope that sharing my struggles will make you feel less alone.

If you or someone you know feels suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Call 800-985-5990 for the disaster relief line.

And now this is what happened in California.

Note: Some of the websites we link to may limit the number of stories you can access without a subscription.

Vaccinated People Can Get Breakthrough Infections: How Concerned Should We Be? As coronavirus cases increase across the state and nation, reports of infections among those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are attracting increasing attention. But how common are “breakthrough cases”? The fact is that vaccinations remain consistently effective where it matters: the protection against serious illnesses. The reporters Rong-Gong Lin II and Luke Money break everything up. Los Angeles times

LA STORIES

Austin Beutner’s tenure as headmaster in LA was shaped more by crises than academic gains. Author Howard Blume explains how the former Wall Street executive with no education management experience ran the country’s second largest school district during troubled times. Beutner resigned when his contract expired on June 30th. Blume looks at two focal points during Beutner’s tenure (the pandemic and the six-day teachers’ strike in January 2019) to explain his legacy: “The pandemic really has destroyed any long-term vision.” He may have had it. “Los Angeles Times

Podcast “The Times”

Our new weekday podcast, moderated by columnist Gustavo Arellano, takes the audience beyond the headlines. Subscribe to Apple Podcasts and follow on Spotify.

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

The new California election would ban styrofoam food packaging nationwide. A coalition of environmental groups has qualified a statewide vote that requires plastic packaging sold in the state to be recycled or reusable. In addition, companies that make plastic packaging would have to reduce their sales volume in California by 25% by 2030. The measure will appear on California’s November 2022 ballot. Monterey Herald

CRIME AND COURTS

A man seen in West Hollywood carrying an unconscious woman into a white van and driving away has been arrested and charged with kidnapping, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Saturday. A gray-haired man was seen carrying the woman who had recently left a bar. As the van drove off, a witness stopped a passing Sheriff’s Department patrol car. Fernando Diaz, 50, was booked at 3:15 a.m. Friday and charged with kidnapping the crime. His lawyer details were not known. Los Angeles times

HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Accused Dr. Anthony Fauci effectively sent US tax dollars to China and lied to Congress about the project. Paul’s claims are based on some very specific assumptions, not all of which have been proven to be true. Reporter Melissa Healy has dealt with the allegations and separates fact from fiction. It also identifies a crucial “logical leap”. Los Angeles times

He couldn’t cope with the death of his fiancée. So he brought her back as an AI chatbot. Eight years after his fiancée died of rare liver disease at the age of 23, Joshua Borbeau, still grieving, began texting her using an artificial intelligence simulation. “Intellectually, I know it’s not really Jessica,” he later said, “but your feelings are not an intellectual thing.” San Francisco Chronicle Francisco

CALIFORNIAN CULTURE

SoCal Olympians share inside views about their sports and the training that led them to the Tokyo Games. KCRW spoke to more than 10 Olympians from Southern California about their journey and passion for their sport. One athlete is Sarah Robles, a weightlifter from Desert Hot Springs: “The women consistently outperformed and outperformed the men. And it’s not a diss with the men, it just shows how strong our women’s team is at the moment and how well we are doing internationally. ”KCRW

Bay Area restaurant workers say customers misbehaved. “I’m seeing a huge increase in people who just forget to be human,” said Mina Makram, founder of the Palo Alto bakery Misfits Bakehouse. “People stayed home for a year and a half, but everyone in the service industry had our butts torn … and we’re getting that now.” SFGATE

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at latimes.com/games.

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

Los Angeles: Cloudy, 79th San Diego: Overcast, 77th San Francisco: Cloudy, 67th San Jose: Sunny, 80th Great red wine weather. Fresno: Red hot again, 99.Sacramento: Burning down, 90.

AND FINALLY

Birthdays: Sandra Bullock was born on July 26, 1964. In 2019, she rented a home in Hollywood Hills for $ 22,000 a month. Lori Loughlin was born on July 28, 1964. She was released from prison in late December 2020 following the college admissions scandal.

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please limit your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments to essentialcalifornia@latimes.com.

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Women’s Health

Veera Health raises $3mn in funding led by Surge, Global Founders Capital

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Veera Health, a digital health platform for women, has raised $ 3 million in a funding round jointly led by Sequoia Capital India and Global Founders Capital’s Surge. Y Combinator, co-founder of CloudNine Hospitals, Rohit MA, and Tinder India Head Taru Kapoor also took part in the financing round. Angel investors participating in the round included Benjamin Bryant, Ethan Perlstein, Holly Liu, Utsav Somani, and Walter Chen.

Veera Health is also supported by the global tech accelerator Y Combinator. The company’s first product is a digital therapy platform that helps women identify and navigate PCOS with a full range of medical care, nutritional therapy, lifestyle coaching and medical support.

Founded in August 2020 by sisters Shobhita and Shashwata Narain, Veera Health is dedicated to bridging the gap in access to quality health care for women by delivering scientific, advanced treatments through a seamless digital platform. The founders hope to raise awareness of women’s health needs and empower all women to take their wellbeing into their own hands.

“Unfortunately, the prevalence of PCOS in India is enormous, which makes PCOS a natural source of disease for Veera. Within a few days, Veera can diagnose, treat and reassure those women with PCOS who would otherwise still seek help or wonder . ” where to start, ”said Sean Doolan, partner at Global Founders Capital and co-head of the investment.

Veera Health’s first path to expanding access to health care is by focusing on PCOS. While one in five women in India is said to have the common chronic condition, fewer than 30% are clinically diagnosed. The variety of symptoms adds to the complexity – from irregular periods and weight gain to mood disorders, acne, and excessive body hair. If left untreated, it can lead to diabetes, infertility, and even endometrial cancer. Most women with PCOS waste years and tens of thousands of rupees hopping between doctors, diet plans, gyms, and unproven supplements without noticing a change in their symptoms.

“I was extremely frustrated with how long it took to get diagnosed with PCOS and get the right medical advice to manage my condition. Even after trying several doctors, I felt like I was groping in the dark about how to actually treat my symptoms. In the Indian context, too, there is definitely a lot of judgment. We hear story after story from our customers about being physically embarrassed or told to get married instead of treating PCOS, ”said Shobhita Narain, COO and Co-Founder.

The company’s subscription-based program is designed to solve the most frustrating problems with PCOS. Veera Health patients receive a holistic treatment plan administered by a team of doctors who specialize in PCOS, including gynecologists, nutritionists, dermatologists and mental health experts.

“Our vision is to start with PCOS and expand to other health conditions in women. As part of the target market ourselves, we understand the issues better than anyone and look forward to building something that we can use for ourselves in our lifetime, ”said Shashwata Narain, CEO and Co-Founder.

Each plan is customized based on the patient’s medical history, past procedures, and lifestyle preferences. A dedicated care manager also supports and adjusts the experience for the patient on their journey.

“Women’s health is a great intuitive space, and this unique focused approach by the Veera team has the ability to make a profound impact not only on identifying but also overcoming such health markers through early access, information, support and planning,” said Rohit MA, co-MA founder of the CloudNine group of maternity, child care and fertility clinics.

Prior to founding Veera Health, Shashwata helped McKinsey & Company grow consumer and healthcare companies. She holds an MBA from Wharton and studied data science at Yale University. Shobhita worked for several years at leading healthcare companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Accenture Life Sciences and UnitedHealth and studied biology and psychology at Tufts University.

Veera Health is part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 companies who have developed new digital solutions to help businesses and individuals work, live and learn better in a rapidly evolving Southeast Asian landscape.

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Women’s Health

Gymnast MyKayla Skinner ‘Heartbroken’ After Ending Olympics Run Early – NBC10 Philadelphia

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Unfortunately, it looks like MyKayla Skinner’s Olympic journey and gymnastics career has come to an abrupt end.

The 24-year-old gymnast and the oldest of the US women’s team competed as an Olympian for the first time on Sunday, July 25th. She took part in the qualifying round of the Tokyo Olympics as a lone fighter and not in a team event. In order to continue at the games, she had to end up in the top eight overall and one of the two best US gymnasts. She finished 10th

Skinner was seen crying when she received her scores, ESPN reported. Due to the strict COVID-19 protocols in Japan, the gymnast – who actually contracted the coronavirus earlier this year – has to leave the country within 48 hours of the meeting and is not allowed to cheer on her teammates from the stands during her Olympic Continue the journey, said the network.

“Heartbroken,” Skinner wrote on Twitter, “but I feel so humiliated and blessed for the amazing performance I had tonight! You all moved me to tears, thank you for being my greatest cheerleader! [kiss emoji] xoxo myk. “

She added: “#NeverGiveUp”.

Meet the US gymnasts competing in the Tokyo Olympics

For Skinner, a University of Utah athlete who finished fifth among the six members of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, the road to the Tokyo Olympics was long and arduous. A native of Gilbert, Arizona, was not selected to compete in the 2012 Olympic Trials. In 2016 she was named a substitute for the Olympic Games in Rio, but was not given an official place on the US team.

She has also suffered from health problems in the past few months. Last December, Skinner injured her Achilles tendon. A month later, she contracted COVID-19 and was later hospitalized with coronavirus-related pneumonia.

Earlier this month, she announced on Instagram: “The Olympics will be my last gymnastics competition before I officially retire.”

She added that while she would no longer compete as a college athlete, she plans to return to the University of Utah to complete her degree.

There’s a small chance Skinner’s Olympic dream could go on. If one of her teammates can’t go to a final, she could take her place.

The performance of the US women’s gymnastics team on Sunday fell short of expectations. They finished second in the team competition and lost to Russia after having led the way in all Olympic Games and World Championships for the past decade.

Simone Biles, colleague from Team USA, five-time world champion and one of the best gymnasts of all time, was also disappointed with her own performance in qualifying, but made the cut. The 24-year-old athlete still has the chance to win six gold medals in the final of the women’s gymnastics team on Tuesday, July 27th. She expressed support for Skinner, who is three months older than her, after Sunday’s competition.

“So proud of this one,” Biles wrote on her Instagram story alongside a photo of the two hugging. “Nobody understands the hard work and dedication it takes to get back from college gymnastics and form an Olympic team. You did the damn thing! Thank you for reminding us that grannies can too! Thank you, for keeping the gym light-hearted and fun! I love you Ms. Olympian. “

Skinner replied, “Couldn’t have asked for a better grandma to exercise in the past two years. Thank you for pushing me and supporting me in everything. I love you sooo damn very much! OGs for life !! Now do your thing GOAT. “

Other Olympic gymnasts also expressed their support for Skinner.

“MyKayla, you made a whole team, a nation and many, many generations SO proud,” tweeted retired US gymnast and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin. You’re an OLYMPIAN forever. “

Dominique Moceanu, who won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics, wrote on Twitter: “You embodied the Olympic spirit when you represented yourself and Team USA Flag of United States with determination and passion.”

The 39-year-old added: “We were inspired by your Olympic trip!

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