Don’t go bananas over spironolactone and potassium

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice.

Zinnia JonesSpironolactone has recently been in the news due to apparently unfounded concerns that taking it could increase the chances of contracting pandemic coronavirus or suffering from more severe COVID-19, so this is a good time to examine one of the classic misconceptions about this medication: the potential risk of elevated levels of potassium.

While spironolactone is widely used as a part of transfeminine hormone therapy (particularly in areas such as the United States where the antiandrogen cyproterone acetate is not available) to inhibit the masculinizing action of testosterone in those who still have testes, this is not the purpose it was originally meant to serve. Instead, it’s one of a class of drugs known as potassium-sparing diuretics used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure by promoting greater excretion of water through urination, reducing blood volume and therefore reducing blood pressure; in this role, its antiandrogenic action is a side effect. Continue reading

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June COVID-19 update: Reassuring data on spironolactone and ACE2 risks

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice. Our understanding of the pandemic is evolving rapidly; this information may be superseded by later and more conclusive findings. This article was last updated on June 30, 2020.

Zinnia JonesAt the end of March, I addressed claims circulating in style and beauty publications about the medication spironolactone and its alleged connection to COVID-19 risk. Spironolactone works to block and suppress the action of testosterone and is sometimes prescribed for the hormonal treatment of acne in cis women, as well as being used to diminish the action of testosterone in trans women who still have testes. The concerns put forth by dermatologist Dr. Ellen Marmur and a handful of others posited that because spironolactone can increase the expression of the ACE2 receptor by cells of the human body, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 must make use of this ACE2 receptor to enter and infect cells, taking spironolactone could therefore place one at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 or suffering a more severe course of the disease. For these reasons, Marmur had recommended to her patients that they discontinue spironolactone and use other medications for the treatment of acne. Continue reading

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We the Mudbloods: J. K. Rowling and the Trans-Exterminationists (Book 3)

Previously: J. K. Rowling and the Trans-Exterminationists, Book 2

Zinnia JonesRowling goes on to cite her own experience with domestic violence and sexual assault as representative of “huge numbers of women” who supposedly share her views:

I’ve been in the public eye now for over twenty years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor. . . . I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.

This suggests that there is a natural progression from women experiencing abuse and assault at the hands of men, to these women opposing trans women’s access to single-sex spaces. It is unlikely that such a general effect exists. RAINN provides statistics showing that 1 in 6 American women have experienced rape or attempted rape during their lifetime, while 1 in 33 American men have experienced rape or attempted rape. More women than men are subjected to intimate partner violence as well. However, surveys consistently find that women are substantially more supportive of trans people and trans rights than men. Continue reading

Posted in Bathrooms and public accommodations, Personal, Politics and law, Replies, Sociological research, Trans youth, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

We the Mudbloods: J. K. Rowling and the Trans-Exterminationists (Book 2)

Previously: J. K. Rowling and the Trans Exterminationists, Book 1

Zinnia JonesOnce again, the reality of trans lives is exactly the opposite of what Rowling suggests. Does she have any better evidence? No – it just gets worse from here:

The same phenomenon has been seen in the US. In 2018, American physician and researcher Lisa Littman set out to explore it. In an interview, she said:

‘Parents online were describing a very unusual pattern of transgender-identification where multiple friends and even entire friend groups became transgender-identified at the same time. I would have been remiss had I not considered social contagion and peer influences as potential factors.’

Littman mentioned Tumblr, Reddit, Instagram and YouTube as contributing factors to Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, where she believes that in the realm of transgender identification ‘youth have created particularly insular echo chambers.’

Littman’s study (Littman, 2018) is a legendary example of pervasively bad anti-trans science, as if transphobia itself tore off a piece of its corrupted soul and embedded it in a paper. This is a publication containing so many egregious errors, with such thorough disregard for the entire body of literature that already exists pertaining to the topics it touches on, it is difficult to know where to begin; in the years since this study came out, I’ve published several Rowlings worth of dissections and criticism of its numerous shortcomings. What Littman created is a paper so deeply flawed from start to finish that it is practically useless and provides no credible results of any value whatsoever. Continue reading

Posted in Depersonalization, History, Hoaxes, Replies, Trans youth, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

We the Mudbloods: J. K. Rowling and the Trans-Exterminationists (Book 1)

Zinnia JonesAs a published work by perhaps the most famous author in the world, J. K. Rowling’s muddled, meandering, hastily-assembled essay on the supposed dangers posed by transgender rights and acceptance earns a solid one-star review. In the absence of a byline, there would be nothing to indicate that this was produced by the creator of a beautiful fantasy world that captured the hearts of children and adults the world over. There is not a hint of transcendence, imagination, or humanist care for the well-being of others to be found here; it is a base and shameless exhibition of the worst tendencies of fear, ignorance, and dehumanization. Harry Potter is to this essay what Aladdin is to your vulgar uncle who spends Thanksgiving dinner calling for a billion people to be bombed into glass. Continue reading

Posted in Autism, Awareness building, Health care, Regret and detransition, Replies, Sexuality, Statistics and demographics, Trans youth, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments