Medicine Has A Sexism Problem, And It’s Making Sick Women Sicker https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...exism-research_us_5a9e01c4e4b0a0ba4ad72a3c?v7 This article published on HuffPost today provides an excellent overview of the MUS concept as applied to illnesses that are more common among women. Although the history regarding women being under-represented in medical research is US-based, the comments regarding medically unexplained symptoms are applicable worldwide. ME gets a mention. Here are a few excerpts: "Meanwhile, over the last couple of decades, an ever-growing body of research has revealed there are, in fact, important sex and gender differences ― in everything from how drugs are metabolized to how the same disease manifests itself to the prevalence rates for various conditions. But in a medical system in which it takes 15 to 20 years for any new scientific knowledge to go from “bench to bedside,” much of this emerging information has yet to be incorporated into medical education, let alone clinical practice. The picture only gets worse when we look at diseases that primarily affect women. Those women’s health advocates who sounded the alarm in the early 1990s accused the medical establishment of neglecting those conditions entirely: As Congresswoman Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.) put it at the time, “You fund what you fear.” (ME, unfortunately, clearly hasn't been feared enough.) And based on the minuscule amount of funding they were receiving, a male-dominated research community didn’t seem to fear many health problems common in women ― from autoimmune diseases to gynecological disorders to chronic pain conditions. In fact, the problem ran even deeper: It’s not just that medicine hasn’t considered many women’s diseases to be very urgent ― it’s that it hasn’t considered them to be “real” diseases at all. Which brings us to the second gap hindering women’s medical care: the trust gap. Women’s reports of their symptoms are too often disbelieved ― a problem rooted in the history of hysteria. Perhaps most common in the medical literature these days is the term “medically unexplained symptoms” ― a phrase that needn’t necessarily imply a psychogenic origin but, in practice, often does. As long as women’s “medically unexplained symptoms” are considered adequately explained by the “fact” ― accepted as a scientific truth for over a century now ― that women are prone to “somatizing” their emotional distress, they do not need to be medically explained by thorough scientific research. This Catch-22 has been especially clear when it comes to “medically unexplained” conditions that disproportionately affect women, including fibromyalgia, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and chemical intolerance. These conditions remain so poorly understood mostly because, assuming they must be psychogenic, medicine has put astoundingly little effort ― and few research dollars ― toward understanding them. How many collective years of needless suffering have women with “medically unexplained” conditions endured while medicine has been stubbornly looking the other way?"