I wanted to do a blog about women’s health history and how the female holistic community is trying to change the game.
Women are misdiagnosed at much higher rates than men.
Did you know women are medically misdiagnosed at a much higher rate than men? We are 50% more likely to be misdiagnosed when having a heart attack and about 33% more likely to be misdiagnosed following a stroke. Those incredibly high numbers are nothing to play with, and they don’t stop there.
I have seen many patients with chronic diseases, like Lyme for example, who have gone years without a diagnosis or solution. Many are told to “meditate” or “try yoga” because it must just be from being in a stressed-out-mom state. Fortunately, many women can find relief for chronic disease with holistic care!
Our male counterparts aren’t always dismissed so easily and this dismissal and misdiagnosis goes back further than you would think. For years, centuries even, women have been misdiagnosed in the medical community at much higher rates than men, and it honestly stems back to about the 5th century with Hippocrates.
Have you heard of hysteria?
You see, hippocrates believed that the root cause of “mental illness” in women came from the uterus, and the Greek word for uterus is hystera. So, when women were battling with mental illness, or something that the medical community couldn’t figure out at that time (which was a lot), they were diagnosed as having “hysteria” or being hysteric. This was a way for medical professionals to dismiss issues they weren’t sure about by blaming the female anatomy.
This is not to mention that they believed that “not only is a woman vulnerable to mental disorders, she is weak and easily influenced by the supernatural” or by organic degeneration, and she is somehow guilty” – whether that’s through sinning or not procreating, etc.
Now, this may seem super outdated, but our current misdiagnosis rates of women show that we may still have this notion of hysteria deep rooted in our medical society.
The holistic community is working to change that.
Another contributing factor is that over 75% medical research today is conducted on males alone. So, a lot of medications or products haven’t been accurately assessed on a woman’s system and are treated as if it were interacting with a male system. We know there are huge differences between the two, yet we keep prioritizing male health and diagnosis over female health.
Relief with holistic treatment.
You may find that many holistic practitioners and advocates were originally the women the medical system failed; a college student battling with migraines that were written off as “hormonal”, a new mother struggling with postpartum depression who was told they just needed to get used to the stress of a newborn, an active 50 year old who suddenly can’t get out of bed because of chronic, untreated Lyme that’s told they’re just getting old.
These are the stories we hear in the holistic wellness community all the time. We know we have to do better, and luckily the tide is turning as more and more women enter the health and wellness space. We can advocate and fight for you as much as possible, but your wellness starts with you believing in yourself and your body. Holistic chiropractic care for autoimmune disease is one of the best ways to take charge of your diagnosis (which does not define you)!
You know your body the best.
If you’re a woman, listen to your body. You innately know more about yourself than any doctor or researcher and if you think something is wrong or off, then it just might be. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get a second opinion. It could be the difference between being chronically ill, depressed, or worse and having healthy, active years ahead of you.
Looking for relief from chronic pain?
Come visit us or set up a free chiropractic consultation to see how chiropractic can help with your diagnosis (or lack thereof)!