Health Care

Transgender youth 4 times as susceptible to eating disorders as cis youth

Eating disorders have historically been associated with young, white women of privilege. However, this is a myth—eating disorders do not discriminate. While more research is needed in this area, we do know that the prevalence of eating disorders is similar among Non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians in the United States, with the exception that anorexia nervosa is more common among Non-Hispanic Whites.


TeenVogue Magazine has published an article investigating why trans kids are more susceptible to developing eating disorders than their cisgender, heterosexual, female peers (the latter being the poster version for eating disorders). The TeenVogue article, in a classic example of "better late than never" is based on a December essay from Broadly, which itself was based on a study published in Journal of Adolescent Health last summer.

It turns out eating disorders are most common among those who we have selectively ignored: A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health earlier this year found that transgender youth were four times more likely to report an eating disorder diagnosis than their cisgender heterosexual female peers—the next leading eating disorder group. The study involved over 200,000 heterosexual students, 5,000 who are "unsure," 15,000 who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, and 479 who are transgender.



Research: Most Endocrinologists uncomfortable treating transgender patients

 photo Caduceus1.pngThe results of a survey administered at an American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists conference have now been published. Research was lead by Michael S. Irwig, MD, of George Washington University and was published in the journal Endocrine Practice.

While endocrinologists and other providers have received more education and training on transgender care within the past decade, self-rated comfort levels with discussing gender identity and/or sexual orientation and competency to provide transgender care is still rated relatively low.

The survey, which was conducted at a meeting for endocrinologists in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. with 125 conference attendees, found that 63 percent of those surveyed were willing to provide transgender care, but the majority of providers had no current transgender patients under their care. Irwig also found that 50 percent of those surveyed had read the Endocrine Society's transgender clinical practice guidelines - with 70 percent of those under the age of 40.



The positive mental health of trans children supported in their identities

A new study shows that trans Kids supported by their families are not destined to have mental health problems.

Studies of mental health among transgender people in the United States have been consistently grim, showing higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide.

But almost nothing is known about the mental health of a new and growing generation of transgender Americans — prepubescent children who are living openly as transgender with the support of their families. How do those children fare in an environment of openness and family support? When their gender identity is affirmed, are they happy?



DC to require medical providers have LGBTQ cultural competency

 photo Caduceus1.pngThis past Tuesday the Council of the District of Columbia unanimously and with little fanfare passed B21-168, the LGBTQ Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act. When signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser, he district will be the first jurisdiction in the nation to require LGBTQ cultural competency training for all health care providers.

The bill sets a modest but needed floor for such training by requiring any health care professional who is required to receive continuing education to include at least two credits of LGBTQ-related clinical or cultural competency training.



Hormone therapy for transgender people improves mental health

Anti-transgender forces like Breitbart or Lifesite or Family Research Council like to drag out ancient transphobe Dr. Paul McHugh, the man who shut down the nation's leading gender clinic at Johns Hopkins because he thought gender non-conformity was a "lifestyle choice" or notorious ex-transwoman Walt Heyer to prove that treatment of gender dysphoria does not and cannot work.

The latest from Breitbart:

But medical students at Georgetown and other schools are being forced-marched though the post-modern, post-scientific ideological swamps of vanity politics instead of spending their precious time learning actual medicine.

You see, treatment of transgender people is not actually medicine.

Their purpose, of course, is to erase transgender people from the community of human beings. How very Christian of them.



DoD proposes new rule on transgender healthcare

Preparatory to ending the ban on transgender military service, which is expected to happen this Spring, the Department of Defense has proposed a new rule in regard to TRICARE benefit coverage.

This proposed rule seeks to comprehensively update TRICARE mental health and substance use disorder benefits, consistent with earlier Department of Defense and Institute of Medicine recommendations, current standards of practice in mental health and addiction medicine, and our governing laws. The Department of Defense remains intently focused on ensuring the mental health of our service members and their families, as this continues to be a top priority. The Department is also working to further de-stigmatize mental health treatment and expand the ways by which our beneficiaries can access authorized mental health services. This proposed regulatory action is in furtherance of these goals and imperative in order to eliminate requirements that may be viewed as barriers to medically necessary and appropriate mental health services.




Minnesota Mother sues her employer for insurance coverage of her son

 photo tovar_zpsgn5elx4b.jpgBrittany Tovar works as a nurse practitioner for Essentia Health at Essentia's hospital in Ada, MN. As such, she and her family are supposedly insured under Essentia's medical insurance provider, HealthPartners.

At least that's what she thought until she sought medical care for her transgender son, Reid Tovar Olson.

I was really disappointed with my employer. It's hard coming to work, and my employer considers my son a second-class citizen.

So Tovar has filed suit in federal court.



HHS panel finds insurance must cover sex reassignment

 photo lauderdale_zpsg0nb3z7d.jpg

Charlene Lauderdale was denied coverage for the procedures by her private insurance firm, which is funded through Medicare. But for the first time this month, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services panel found that the insurance provider must cover the procedures. 

The council finds that the vaginoplasty surgery requested in this case is covered and is the responsibility of the plan.

--Medicare Appeals Council



Helping Kids Thrive

 photo Mind_zpsrqgwhkw4.gifFrancine Russo has a suite of articles about transgender people in the January Scientific American Mind.The focus article is about transgender children: Transgender Kids: What Does It Take to Help Them Thrive?

If you've been paying attention, you might notice a severe disconnect on the part of conservative state and local legislators and the concept of transgender kids thriving.

Studies suggest that 0.3 percent of people in the U.S. feel strongly that their biological sex does not correspond to their gender identity.

Researchers have developed a multipart transition process for young trans people that begins with careful screening, then blockers at the onset of puberty and later cross-sex hormones to allow them to undergo puberty in their affirmed gender, followed by surgery.

Some parents and clinicians are pushing back against the existing guidelines, seeking a more case-by-case approach.

Those on the right consider being transgender to be a moral failing.




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