Now I understand why a doctor feels he can look at you and, with no testing, no labs, no empirical data, and just say, "you have fibro, nothing more" or "you're just depressed." In an effort to save the insurance companies money, the doctors are using statistical data to gamble with our lives. since women are prone to fibro and depression, doctors are being encouraged based on statistical data to forego expensive testing and just assume that you have these supposedly common "fibro" or "depression" and nothing more. There is a big flaw in this logic, because it creates a self perpetuating cycle of discrimination against female patients or chronically ill patients. This off the cuff diagnosis skews the statistics because the statistics have no basis but the gut feeling or predjudice of the doctor and is not based on blood work.
Even giving the statistical argument a chance, a statistic is valid, (like more women get AI disease than men) the statistic must still be based on accurate diagnosis of AI disease in all individuals tested, a proper sample of the population, and totally unbiased doctors--and none of us are unbiased. While sometimes there is a biological basis for a statistic like women don't get prostate cancer because they don't have a prostate, in other cases, the decisions are relatively random.
When it comes to cancer, this is frightening.
Please take a look at my post about thyroid cancer if you feel up to it. This is very frightening and I"m going to have to start writing some things. I didn't even notice the autoimmune part on there. Basically, as a "rational" and "cost-effective" approach to, in this case thyroid cancer, a doctor is recommending that thyroid women with autoimmune disease be dx as benign to stop all the "irrational" biopsies going on.
"...brain, what is brain?"
--Kara, one of the "givers of pain and delight", aka woman of Sigma Draconis VI, "Spock's Brain" episode 56 season 3 of Star Trek--I'm not a trekkie but this one was funny!