Please know that when I present sex and gender differences they are not absolute.
There are many health issues that have sex or gender differences that can mean the difference between the right diagnosis and the wrong diagnosis. In effect, we all want the right diagnosis. A wrong diagnosis or even working with a wrong diagnosis in mind is misleading. It can lead you down a path of expensive testing, and may cause you to question what you are actually feeling. There are instances of providers telling you that your blood work is perfectly fine and then staring at you as if you will suddenly “feel better” because of the wisdom they just bestowed upon you.
It can be argued that men and women present their health issues differently. It can boil down to communication. In other words, how do you tell your health provider how you are feeling? For example, a man goes to his doctor with a headache. (Note his best friend was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor). He is more likely to tell his doctor that he has been having headaches and that is best friend has a brain tumor OR even more likely is that his wife made him go see the doctor because he mentioned his headaches after his friend was diagnosed. Why is this?
Men have a more direct style of communication and are more likely to wait until there is an urgent issue before they access care. Stay tuned we will discuss how women communicate next week…