The origin of the vocation of Carme Walsh Lobet It is not necessary to look for it to be the daughter of a doctor – who was influenced – but in something much more intimate: her periods were terribly painful. Understanding the menstrual cycle that gave her such a bad life not only made her an avid endocrinologist. It also turned it into an “inconvenience” for the health care system that, until four days ago, was designed by and for men.
Their struggle to incorporate a gender perspective into health care has had an effect. Not long enough, according to him. In “Invisible Women for Medicine” (Captain Swing), now an updated classic, encourages arguments.
-What was it before, medicine or feminism?
– I came to feminism through biology. My first impact was in my fifth year of medicine, in 1966: women came into the emergency room with fractures and contusions that did not fit the “down stairs”, and the boss decided: “Stay out, it’s a private matter.” And in medical history we have pointed out injuries in the silhouettes of men.
– Was your conscience born there?
“I would say it was the result of the organization of the first Congress on Women and Quality of Life, in 1990, where I asked the question: ‘Are there differences in mortality and morbidity between men and women?’
– And the answer is that there are.
– Yes, I do not blame science for being a macho. There were men in the hospitals, and medical science was born from the hospitals. They thought that what happened to men happened to women. But women’s lives go through the menstrual cycle. It enters all the systems of the female body: all the cycles of the skin, it affects the metabolism of the heart, cholesterol … From 14 to 50 years, they insist that it does not matter; But when you do not menstruate, they say you will have problems now. Let’s see, does it matter or not? There are hardly any research papers involving menstruation. And 70% of the rats used to study drugs are male.
-It is difficult to correct the course.
– Marcia Angel, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, imposed a request not to accept scientific works that do not differ by gender.
-How do you explain the conformity of women?
– When we were nomads, the woman – with eyesight – warned of the arrival of the lion, and the man – with a tunnel – stabbed the spear. There was parity, and motherhood was highly respected (they saw how the baby came out, but not how it “came in”). That ended the ownership of the land.
-Zero minutes from the patriarchate?
– The men wanted certainty that the children are theirs and concluded that whoever gave birth to them. To achieve this closeness, it was concluded that the woman is inferior. And for those who already had menstrual cramps and gave birth and were certainly anemic, it was good for them. If not, it is not understood that there has been so much domination and guilt in all cultures.
– Guilty sabotage?
– When you feel guilty, do not protest. And the stereotype was installed and extended, even to the women themselves. The Bible makes it clear that Eve was responsible for the fall. Just two centuries ago, Olympia de Guz said women should have the same rights and was guillotine. The last century has also shown that the female brain is smaller, although it was later seen that the difference was water, not neurons.
– Is inequality painful?
Yes Yes Double shift, which means that when a woman comes home, the man rests and she does not get sick from a cardiovascular point of view and causes anxiety.
-Would you dare to use the term “gender-based violence” in healthcare?
– When science for difference is lacking, it is violence. That they do not listen to you in consultation is violence. Forcing you to do treatments you do not want is violence. Doctors’ attitude towards the patient is sometimes aggressive, assertive, dictatorial.
“Women’s double shift makes them sick from a cardiovascular point of view and causes anxiety”
-On the one hand, ignored. Perfection, on the other hand, is required of them.
– That tension causes anxiety. It’s actually an imaginary conflict: you are not worth anything, but you start a race to be perfect. They project it to have a perfect house, to be a perfect mother or a “super woman” who does everything and destroys herself inside. Because it is a social and cultural problem, you can not dismiss it with “you are depressed” and treat it with psychotropic drugs.
-The girls are not so ready.
– The young women have progressed, but they are still not in the leadership. And those who are, may not have a gender perspective. Guilt in women must be removed so that they do not fall into medical malpractice.
– A study by the Galatea-CAPS Foundation researched what stressed the Catalan doctors the most. They have a higher premenstrual syndrome than in any profession, more breast cancer and more obstetric risks. We found that, to a large extent, this was due to the stress caused by their lack of decision-making capacity regarding their work. The response of the medical college was to hold an anti-stress course. No! They want a health organization that is not adapted to men, but adapted to life. More now that the pandemic has revealed that of all infected toilets, 70% are women.
– The virus attacks them more, but kills them less.
The virus includes angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) receptors, and a woman’s body has more, although it is able to produce ACE-1 and ACE-2, the last protector of inflammation.
– Do you know Fernando Simon?
-Insurance. It would be good if he gave data about the cradle by gender. And, the public exhibition to be shared with members of his team, such as Marina Polyan Santamaria, who leads the serological study throughout Spain, and Raquel Jotti, director of the Carlos III Institute.
“The symptoms of heart disease are different from the symptoms of humans. After treatment, post-infarction mortality is higher”
-What do women die from the most?
The first cause is ischemic heart disease. Because the symptoms – which are different from men – are not identified, treatment takes longer to take effect, and post-infarction mortality is higher. Patricia Healy coined the term “Gentleman syndrome”: women should go to a cardiologist dressed as men. Has progress been made? Something. 38% of cardiovascular studies now include women.
– He advises against aspirin.
– The first 50,000 people they experimented with were men. When women were included, it was seen to cause more gastrointestinal bleeding.
-Then there are creams, shampoos, colors.
-Most of breast cancers are due to excess estrogen, own or environmental. It is normal to have less than 80 cm2 of blood loss each month, and parabens in shampoos and creams – which mimic the effects of estrogen – have been shown to increase; and that the colors may cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Anything that mimics the effect of estrogen accumulates more in fat cells and women have more fat cells than men.
-We have the worst part in all fields …
– Being a woman in an androcentric society hurts us. Medicine does not see, but previously they have already given us everywhere: insults in adolescence, stress in motherhood – 25% develop autoimmune thyroiditis -; working life, where there may be toxins in the environment. They come to the consultation reporting that everything hurts, and they are given contraception or a sedative. It can not be! Covid will leave chronic fatigue syndrome in women.
“It has been seen that the cells of the female body have different proteins”
– Part of feminism is awkward to point out differences.
-Some people say that if you become too biological, you raise macho arguments. But difference does not mean unequal rights. The cells of the female body have been shown to have different proteins. And the corpus callosum, which connects the left and right brains, is three times larger. We have the right to be seen in our differences.
-The recipe is spreading to continue.
– We have to start being the way we want to be. Give back our wishes. Only people who stop being victims become protagonists of their health improve. You need to give yourself five flavors every day.
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-Which ones do you give?
– I renewed my desire trying to give back to others.