"More than 40 percent of women eventually diagnosed with a serious autoimmune disease have basically been told by a doctor that they're just too concerned with their health or they're a hypochondriac," says Virginia Ladd, founder and executive director of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Women's health problems doctors still miss
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Dr. Bell puts the estimate at fully half of people who are dismissed as hypochondriacs who are eventually diagnosed with a valid physical condition that explains their symptoms.
Much of the problem, I think, is that most autoimmune patients are female and most doctors are male. When a woman complains, men are conditioned to ignore it unless they see some valid basis (which is often absent in a cursory exam of autoimmune patients).