Tag: medical

Gender Binary’s Disservice

Posted by – September 12, 2013

This just in from the “We’re not just making this stuff up” department of gender studies, where we don’t actually just talk about how the binary prescribes and proscribes our lives, but even moreso, how it influences and limits medical research:

Both men and women make estrogen out of testosterone, and men make so much that they end up with at least twice as much estrogen as postmenopausal women. As levels of both hormones decline with age, the body changes. But until now, researchers have focused almost exclusively on how estrogen affects women and how testosterone affects men.

Sadly, we have known for a very long while that men have & need estrogen and vice versa, that neither is the “male” hormone or “female” hormone, and yet we persist in separating these hormones based on their dominance in one kind of body or another.

The article goes on to point out that middle aged spread in men is likely due to a decrease in estrogen levels, which was previously believed to be caused by the decrease of T, which, coincidentally, has lead to a $2 billion dollar testosterone industry. Go figure.

NYC Editorial Board Calls for Manning’s Humane Treatment

Posted by – August 28, 2013

This is what I call a Big Fucking Deal: The NYT Editorial Board wrote a piece calling for medical transition care for Private Manning and for other trans prisoners like her, making the important point too that her housing should be safe but not isolated due to the heightened risk of sexual assault in prison for trans people.It begins:

When Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning, declared that she wanted to live as a woman, the Army’s response was callous and out of step with medical protocol, stated policies for transgender people in civilian federal prisons and existing court rulings.

and then ends:

Private Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, said last week that he hoped military prison officials would voluntarily provide hormone treatment, without a lawsuit. It should not take a court order to get officials — including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel — to do the right thing. They should give Private Manning appropriate medical care and safe but not unduly isolated housing, which should be available for all transgender prisoners.

What is most remarkable to me is that I read and edited a draft by trans activist Danielle Askini of Seattle’s Gender Justice League which will run in tomorrow’s Seattle Times – and its ask and major points are essentially the same as the Times’ letter.

Very, very exciting stuff.

 

On Vaccinations

Posted by – August 19, 2013

I have a lot of friends with children, and I’m increasingly chagrined that my own peers are taking their political views on Big Pharma to a place that puts all of us at greater risk of dying of things we don’t have to die of.

So to explain how it all works, what “peer reviewed” means, and to comment on various “But — ” arguments, here’s this very good, clear article about what it all means, including links out about how places with low percentages of vaccination are getting the most diseases, and to this one about how herd immunity works.

That is all.

Trans Elders

Posted by – June 14, 2013

Although the language seems a little dated (“transgendered” and “T-girls” most especially) these seem like worthwhile studies and good for anyone providing medical services for trans people, especially an aging population.

The transgendered population confronts a myriad of difficulties which hospice must also address.  Socially, transgendered folk, gentle folk, find themselves relegated to a near-netherworld existence.  Forced to society’s fringes they feel isolated, even abandoned, by family and friends.  They may find their friendships restricted to a “gay-friendly” environment or to other ‘T-girls’.  Many T-girls succumb to a personal economic collapse with a loss of job, loss of insurance, and even a homeless existence.

I like “gentle folk”. While it’s not always true, you get a sense of who Dr. Killeen “met” by reading these studies. At least I do.

Dex and DES

Posted by – August 19, 2012

A few years ago it looked likely that we’d discover a drug that might be taken prenatally by mothers whose children might have a high risk of CAH – in order to prevent it.

Since CAH is the only intersex condition that can necessitate medical treatment, and specifically might prevent an “adrenal crisis” that can be life threatening to a newborn with CAH – this development could have been a good thing.

Except that it’s off-label use it intended to prevent lesbians and tomboys. And career women. Depending on how exactly you’re going to define female masculinity.

It’s nice to see Slate finally reporting on it, despite the dumb-ass & sensationalist title of the article, & I’m hoping that means this question gets put to a much wider range of parents and potential parents.

Here’s the paper by Dreger, Feder and Tamar-Mattis.
Here’s a summation out of Northwestern.

WI Prison Law & GID

Posted by – March 27, 2012

A while back, a federal judge here in Wisconsin ruled that the 2005 Sex Change Prevention Act (really? was that necessary?) was deemed unconstitutional because it represents:

“deliberate indifference to the plaintiffs’ serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment,” because it denies hormone therapy without regard to those needs or doctors’ judgments.

The U.S. 7th District Court of Appeals upheld his ruling last year, and just this week, the Supreme Court turned it down for review.

Which means, overall, that trans prison inmates in WI, IL, and IN can get medical care for their transition while in prison.

Meds for Women

Posted by – March 21, 2012

It’s pretty ridiculous that most clinical trial leaders effectively ignore the fact that women absorb and metabolize drugs completely differently than men, especially since, according to this study, women use an average of five prescription drugs compared to less than four for men — and that’s not even counting their slutty prescription contraceptives. In 100% of the study’s clinical trials, women failed to take prescriptions as directed, and were often not prescribed correct dosages to begin with. The study focused on cardiovascular disease — the number one killer of women in the U.S. — and diabetes, since more than half of diabetics are women. If more women than men are dying from these diseases, how come their antidotes are still tailored to men’s bodies?

asks this Jezebel article, and it’s about goddamned time. Most clinical studies are done assuming the patient is a testosterone-dominant, 200 lb. person. If you are not, your meds aren’t accurate.

Medical Treatment of Trans Youth

Posted by – February 22, 2012

This is the kind of progress that is long overdue.

Switching gender roles and occasionally pretending to be the opposite sex is common in young children. But these kids are different. They feel certain they were born with the wrong bodies.

Some are labeled with “gender identity disorder,” a psychiatric diagnosis. But Spack is among doctors who think that’s a misnomer. Emerging research suggests they may have brain differences more similar to the opposite sex.

Spack said by some estimates, 1 in 10,000 children have the condition.

and

These children sometimes resort to self-mutilation to try to change their anatomy; the other two journal reports note that some face verbal and physical abuse and are prone to stress, depression and suicide attempts. Spack said those problems typically disappear in kids who’ve had treatment and are allowed to live as the opposite sex.

No kidding.

Trans Care & Medicare

Posted by – August 21, 2011

For those of you on Medicare who are seeking trans-related medical care, NCTE has created a document that can help guide you through what should be covered. Share it with your doctors.

Breeding Out Tomboys

Posted by – July 1, 2010

So what do you call it when a female doctor walks into a gene lab & doses all the pregnant mothers with a drug to prevent their daughters from wanting to work in “masculine” careers? Hypocrisy? Insanity? Female chauvinism? Pulling up the ladder under you?

I call it bullshit, but it’s happening. Dr. Maria New, an endocrinologist, is trying to prevent CAH in female infants, but as it turns out, the drug that prevents this masculinizing intersex condition in XX infants seems also seems to decrease incidents of lesbianism and bisexuality while simultaneously decreasing girls’ other “natural” impulses like playing with dolls and fantasizing about pregnancy and childbirth.

(Do little girls fantasize about pregnancy & childbirth? I had no idea. I never did, and I did play with dolls.)

From an article by Alice Dreger and two colleagues:


And it isn’t just that many women with CAH have a lower interest, compared to other women, in having sex with men. In another paper entitled “What Causes Low Rates of Child-Bearing in Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia?” Meyer-Bahlburg writes that “CAH women as a group have a lower interest than controls in getting married and performing the traditional child-care/housewife role. As children, they show an unusually low interest in engaging in maternal play with baby dolls, and their interest in caring for infants, the frequency of daydreams or fantasies of pregnancy and motherhood, or the expressed wish of experiencing pregnancy and having children of their own appear to be relatively low in all age groups.”

In the same article, Meyer-Bahlburg suggests that treatments with prenatal dexamethasone might cause these girls’ behavior to be closer to the expectation of heterosexual norms: “Long term follow-up studies of the behavioral outcome will show whether dexamethasone treatment also prevents the effects of prenatal androgens on brain and behavior.”

In a paper published just this year in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, New and her colleague, pediatric endocrinologist Saroj Nimkarn of Weill Cornell Medical College, go further, constructing low interest in babies and men – and even interest in what they consider to be men’s occupations and games – as “abnormal,” and potentially preventable with prenatal dex:

So dex might have prevented Dr. Maria New, which right about now looks like it would have been a good idea.

I’d also like to point out right about here that, for the record, for all the people who pooh-pooh non-trans, gender variant women when we talk about being “third sexed” along with trans women, that it looks like us dykey, tomboy, uppity types are the first on the chopping block.

Still & all, Dan Savage asks an important question:

Gay people have been stressing out about the day arriving when scientists developed treatments to prevent homosexuality . . . Well, here we are—the day appears to have arrived. Now what are we going to do about it?

So what are we going to do about it?

Not Vaccines

Posted by – February 12, 2010

As it turns out, the risk of Autism has nothing to do with vaccination.
It has everything to do with the age of the mom, or in cases where the woman is younger, with the age of the father.

In an analysis of nearly five million births and more than 12,000 autism cases, every five-year increase in maternal age at delivery was associated with an 18% greater risk of the child later being diagnosed with autism, according to Janie Shelton, MPH, a doctoral student at the University of California Davis, and colleagues.

Mothers who gave birth when they were 40 or older had a 51% increased risk of having a child with autism compared with those who were 25 to 29, the largest age group (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.35 to 1.70), the researchers reported in the February issue of Autism Research.

Nature unfairly targets career women and guys who marry younger women. Go figure.