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How could you offend women and mislead the public with this archaic article blaming ICE on emotional disturbances?

Posted by NurseJesseRN

As a nurse certified diabetes and health educator, I find the archaic article on the Idiopathic Cyclic Edema syndrome appalling, and you are irresponsible in providing it as current information!. Dating back to 1975, it implies that ICE is basically a psychological problem marked by the inability to attain orgasm into mid-life, "bitchiness" (I quote), being a "difficult" patient, and that it may be what triggers Type 2 diabetes in genetically vulnerable women.

The article stresses psychotherapy, savvy on the part of the physician (to avoid unproductive speculation on real medical causes!), and therapy for orgasmic difficulties. He goes on to claim that attaining orgasm often fixes or greatly helps the problem. Geez...where have I heard this before about women--that a good sexual release will cure a host of seemingly medical ills?

If emotionality is seen more often in these women (a highly subjective observation), then it may be one manifestation of a physiological exaggerated response to ordinary stress. The ICE fluid retention and mineral imbalances AS WELL AS the labile mood may be due to excessive production of "fight-or-flight" hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, both of which affect fluid balance, blood sugar and pressure, and capillary permeability.These are the current areas of investigation, among others.

This outdated article demonstrates the ignorance of women's health prevalent in 1975, and, unfortunately, even today. (Though attitudes and awareness have increased quite a bit, thankfully.)

I often see a similar question in evaluating high blood pressure seen mostly in the doctor's office, what used to be termed "white coat syndrome", and ignored as a problem because it was attributed to anxiety and presumed to be present only in that situation.

Actually, common sense should lead to the conclusion that these same people might be no more anxious than those who don't have "white coat syndrome"; may simply have "fight-or-flight" bodily over-reactions to stress. This IS dangerous if untreated (whether with stress management or medications--probably both, since life will continue to be at least mildly stressful most days, regardless).

It is dangerous because it likely means that while they may have normal or even low-normal blood pressure at rest, they may be in the danger zone during relatively minor and frequent life stressors such as traffic jams, minor arguments, being rushed to meet a work deadline, etc. Ignoring this likelihood without checking could be deadly over many years.

Similar observation led to the understanding of the "Type A Personality", which is a similarly over-reactive to stress and may be seen as overly aggressive, demanding, perfectionist, and difficult. ("Bitchy"? ) Research has shown that this response is linked to more frequent heart disease in men and women.

It is also known that, even today, heart disease (closely linked to diabetes) is still under-diagnosed in women, and chest pain in women mistakenly treated as anxiety. Women have died because of this unintentional biased thinking, and men with anxiety disorders go undiagnosed, too, and continue to suffer.

Archaic, sexist articles such as the one provided to the naive public are not only appallingly ignorant, they encourage this kind of tunnel vision and armchair psychology. (Never mind the total lack of adequate training for medical doctors --other than psychiatrists--to even attempt therapy, as the article recommends!)

By fostering such inaccurate and misogynist ideas, you add to the health risk, not enlighten and lower risk. Shame on you for posting it here. I can't recommend your site to my patients unless you remove it.

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