WHY WOMEN ARE AT RISK FOR AUTOIMMUNE
The chances of infectious diseases are higher in men than in women but the risk of autoimmune diseases remain higher in women than men. Of the 50 million people living with autoimmune disease, 80% are women. As well, women are at risk for Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome or co-occurrence of two or more autoimmune conditions. Studies suggest that up to 25% of people with an existing autoimmune condition, will develop another.
What are autoimmune diseases?
According to the Women’s Health Research Institute, “Autoimmune diseases are those where the body, for whatever reason, starts fighting its own cells with an autoimmune response”.
Why women have an increased risk?
There are not definite statements as to why autoimmune diseases are more prevalent in women but some of the reasons why they are most common in females, are stated below:
The first reason why women are at more risk for autoimmune diseases is the unique nature of a woman’s immune system. The immune system of women is more complicated than men. The female body has stronger inflammation processes which play a key role in autoimmune diseases.
Sex hormones and hormonal differences are another reason why women tend to be more at risk for autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases flare when female sex hormone fluctuations take place. These fluctuations can occur during the monthly menstrual cycle, perimenopause, menopause and when taking synthetic hormones.
Pregnancy can also trigger autoimmune disease. Significant hormonal shifts occurring during pregnancy, birth and postpartum making women more venerable. For example, Postpartum Thyroiditis is a common autoimmune condition linked to pregnancy.
It is time to reclaim your health
There are no definite reasons for as to why women are more prone to autoimmune disease than men. However, you can maintain a healthier lifestyle and a healthier you with adopting some simple habits. If your parents or anyone in your family has autoimmune diseases then avoiding things like cigarettes and alcohol and maintaining a healthier lifestyle is going to help you reduce your risk. Also, maintaining a healthy weight is essential. Don’t overlook the issues as health is wealth and autoimmune diseases are solvable, and addressing them timely is the best.