Have you ever been ignored by your doctor, had a problem dismissed as being “normal for your age” or “nothing to worry about for the time being?” Both can be considered an “it’s all in your head diagnosis.”
It’s incredible how many stories women out there have about these types of problems. Even in this age of technological advancement and supposed improved levels of gender equality. It’s something we have often heard our clients tell us at our functional medicine center in Tulsa, OK.
Being Told You Are a Complainer
Studies have found that 40% of women who are eventually found to have autoimmune diseases, for example, have been told by a physician that they are “complainers.” The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association’s president and executive director, Virginia Ladd, said the number one concern among women with autoimmune conditions is that their doctor doesn’t listen to them.
The Problem is “In Your Head”
One woman was still in the hospital recovering from complicated brain surgery when she suddenly experienced muscle spasms. A young male doctor watched her convulse and said: “We don’t know what’s wrong with you — but we think the problem is all in your head.” The doctor later told her that she might have been having an adverse reaction to the post-surgery steroids the doctor gave her to reduce brain swelling.
Senior women may have ageism to contend with on top of this kind of treatment. One woman in her 80s began to experience severe abdominal pain and went from doctor to doctor before eventually seeking out alternatives. At one clinic, the doctor noted her age and asked, “Well, what do you expect?”
Some doctors also refer women for psychological evaluations before addressing their physical symptoms. One of the reasons for this is that historically, medical research focused on men. As functional medicine practitioners in Tulsa, OK, we listen to all of our client’s symptoms and issues with an open mind, no matter their age or gender.
Why Are Women Treated This Way
Have you experienced treatment like this? If so, wouldn’t you agree that it’s time for a new species of practice member care altogether? Here’s to a new age of holistic care where you are seen, heard, respected, and cared for.