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August 4, 2022

The Racism, Misogyny, and Toxicity in The US Medical Industry: How it Affects All of Us and What You Should do

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This article alone cannot do justice in extrapolating just how toxic the Medical Industry is and will cover just a narrow scope. Anyone that loves someone who is a woman, (including trans women), a black woman, or non-binary should pay close attention. Consequently, this system affects us all, regardless of whom the recipients of proper care and privilege are. For the purpose of this article, we are going to examine the medication: estradiol, its functions, its availability, and how it is exploited and regulated for profit, all at the expense of women and trans women. For context, bear in mind how inaccessible good healthcare is, and all of the barriers associated with hormone replacement therapy.

Estradiol (Estrogen)

17-beta estradiol is a naturally occurring hormone within the human body, regardless of gender or gender identity. Although, people with ovaries produce much larger quantities to regulate the menstrual cycle. Many trans women go on HRT not just to “transition”, but to function as normal human beings. The human body needs a predominant hormone, whether that is estradiol or testosterone. Clearly, those who identify as female or on the female spectrum do not want their predominant hormone to resemble that of the gender they do not identify with. Cis women who have ovarian failure, total hysterectomies, or are menopausal also need HRT.

Estradiol is extremely important in the maintenance of the heart, cardiovascular system, brain, bone health, dental health, gum health, skin health, weight, metabolism, sleep, energy, mood, libido, GI health, vaginal health, breast health, urogenital health, vision, oral health,  etc. In layman’s terms, you need it! In fact, it significantly reduces the incidence of heart attacks, stroke, and drum roll… CANCER! All of this is conclusive and supported by endless medical sources.

Bear in mind, that its metabolites, estriol, and estrone are the byproduct of estradiol, and are much weaker in terms of their more notable effects. In fact, many sources found that estrone is carcinogenic and can increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events such as DVT, heart attack, and stroke. Cancers are also associated with long-term exposure and elevated levels of estrone.

Methods of Administration

There are many ways to administer estradiol, although the most common forms are oral tablets, patches, gels, creams, injectables, and pellets (which are becoming more common). In the US, there are only three strengths of the injectables. For estradiol valerate, there is a 40mg/ml strength and a 20 mg/ml strength. For estradiol cypionate, there is only a 5mg/ml strength. Valerate is another word for salt, which is used as an ester to aid in the stability of the drug, although estradiol valerate is not stable. Estradiol Cypionate is much more stable and lasts longer in the body, yet the manufacturers do not make a strength high enough so patients have to inject at a much higher dose.

The oral estradiol route produces excess carcinogenic and DVT triggering metabolites. Estrogel is great if a manufacturer could make a strength high enough to replicate physiological levels of estradiol as in menstruating women. If manufacturers don’t want to produce what patients need, patients should be allowed to self-treat, purchase lab supplies without persecution or restriction, or the government needs to step in and address this unmet demand.

Contradictions in Medicine

The irony is that estradiol is an amazing hormone that is potentially one of the best preventative medicines for cardiovascular events and cancer, yet is highly regulated, unlike cancer-causing and environmentally unfriendly cigarettes. Even Allegra-D is sold with an ID and signature because apparently, you can formulate cocaine from the decongestant. Estrogen should be handled the same way.

Black women are much more likely to suffer from adverse cardiovascular events and cancer than their white counterparts. Trans, intersex, and non-binary people are more likely to be turned away from proper care, especially when trying to access “pellet” therapy for HRT.

The more visits, the more money these clinics make. Most clinics are biting more than they can chew and are not properly caring for their patients unless there is money involved.

Call to Action

  1.  Contact your state and local legislators to let them know how unfairly women, POC, and trans women are treated within the medical community, especially as it pertains to HRT.
  2. Urge legislators to allow estradiol to be purchased over the counter with a valid ID if you are 18 or older, and sign a waiver of liability. (It is still advised to get medical advice from your provider if self-treating.)
  3. Hold Physicians accountable; ie if you are a journalist, getting all of the facts and bringing awareness to the toxic culture in American medicine.
  4. Advocate for better care, and call to remove sexist, discriminative, and racist physicians and clinics such as this clinic in Bloomingdale, IL that refuses to treat Transgender or intersexed patients, even when they no longer have gonads.
  5. Ask the government to get involved in manufacturing drugs of appropriate strength to meet the needs of patients.
  6. Urging legislators to get rid of restrictions that interfere with patients purchasing supplies or equipment to manufacture bio-identical hormones to self-treat.
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