Gender-Specific Medicine

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Gender-specific medicine takes into consideration that Men and women are different.

In episode 137 of the BioBalance Healthcast we are speaking about gender-specific medicine and how gender affects every area of our life, from societal roles, to hardwired neurologic differences, to the physical anatomic differences between the sexes. In social terms maleness and femaleness are believed to be variations of gender identities that run along a continuum with some males being very masculine and other coming more to center with feminine characteristics. Scientifically, each of us is quite individual, but to design medical care and medicines we must gather all the individuals into a few groups based on their biologic similarities, and the two groups gender medicine divides us into is male and female, because men and women require different medical attention, medicines and respond to treatments differently. Believe it or not, gender-specific medicine is a fairly new concept.

The primary goal of today’s podcast is to explore the topic of gender-specific medicine in research, and the differences in the needs of men and women when it comes to medical care. In medicine, the concept of one size doesn’t fit all is a new! For many years, the FDA required that women who were of child bearing age, be excluded from participating as subjects in scientific research or medical research. The presumptive reason for this is that women might be pregnant and that the research could negatively impact the health or life of the child. This led to all research being based on the doses for medicines that men need and all of medicine formulating normal ranges from men only. This began to change in the mid to late 1960’s when a Harvard scientist began to use the term trans gender. Today, research is required to include women and new data is becoming available.

What we are finding is that there is measurable difference between males and the females in terms of the way they metabolize medicines, in terms of their symptomology for heart related illnesses, and in terms of any number of other measurable physical differences. Science is finally beginning to take seriously the differences between the genders, and the results of that serious look, is that we are developing new dosage and treatment protocols based on gender. We are learning to measure and define our expectations medically in ways that are appropriate and helpful to our patients based on their individual genetic makeup rather than measuring them all against a standard of research male subjects! This breakthrough can offer great opportunities for the well being of women all over the world. We hope you will find this podcast to be thought provoking and helpful.