Inspired by Female Physiology

Inspired by Female Physiology

Mar 04, 2023Sari Eitches, MD
I came of age in a period of feminism that required women to minimize or deny our differences from men as if that was the only way to justify that we should have equal opportunity and respect. I studied (not too long ago!) in a medical education system based on how health and disease presented in men and how medications worked on men, and then sloppily applied these findings to women.

The cost of this is great- from the underdiagnosis in women of everything from a heart attack to ADHD (because these present differently in women!) to the overdosing of medications (because they were only studied in men and are sometimes metabolized differently by women!) to the higher rate of car crash deaths (because crash test dummies are modeled after the average man's body!).

We have biochemical differences in our sexes and the one that inspires me most is our biorhythms. All humans have a natural circadian rhythm that syncs our biochemistry to the sun and the 24 hour clock. Our cortisol and testosterone peaks in the mornings and our melatonin peaks at night.

Females also have a natural monthly or lunar biorhythm. We may feel that we are not the same from one day to the next in terms of our productivity or energy or moods.

But this is not a punchline, it is an effect of the rhythmic, predictable fluctuations of our hormones, metabolism and inflammatory markers.

Only once we allow and honor these rhythms can we begin to support optimal wellness in women.

-Dr Sari

More articles