Have you ever wondered why autoimmune disorders are more likely to affect women? Or why middle-aged men have more heart attacks than their female peers? Our hormones do so much more than just regulate our moods…and they might also explain why some conditions are disproportionately associated with one sex over the other.
An examination of 250 years of mortality data has found that women are more likely to survive extreme conditions like famine and disease than men. One possible reason for this is the hormone estrogen, which boosts the immune system. While that’s good news for all of us ladies out there, estrogen is a double-edged sword. The same hormone that makes women less susceptible to bacterial and viral infections also leads to autoimmune disease, which conventional medicine believes is simply the immune system attacking its own healthy tissue, otherwise known as an “overactive immune system”.
On the other side of the same coin, testosterone has its own benefits, and drawbacks. In 2018, a study of mast cells, immune cells that release histamines, produce a signaling molecule designed to tone down inflammation when exposed to the hormone. Testosterone may also play a role in combating depression, as men suffering from depression typically have low testosterone levels. But that suppressed immune response can keep the body from reacting to potential health hazards, including pathogens. This results in many men ignoring subtle immune system warnings until it’s too late.
Men are more likely to experience heart attacks earlier in life than women, and both testosterone and estrogen play a role in this. Having too much or not enough testosterone puts men at greater risk (and likely women too, though studies are scarce). And estrogen stops white blood cells from adhering to the insides of blood vessels. This prevents dangerous blockages from occurring. For women, after menopause, the risk of heart disease rises significantly as estrogen decreases.
Autoimmune Disease, Estrogen, and Candida
Studies suggest that estrogen’s ability to increase immune system response leads to an overactive immune system, a.k.a. autoimmune disease. We suspect there is much more to it than this. Candida overgrowth is largely misunderstood and typically ignored within the conventional medical community. Research shows estrogen supports the growth of Candida. Anyone with autoimmune disease has Candida overgrowth. This is why women are far more likely to live with autoimmune disease.
Hormones Matter More Than We Think
Do we truly know how our modern conveniences – processed foods, multitudes of plastics, birth control – change us hormonally? Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States for both men and women, and yet no one is treating it hormonally. Without an understanding of the body as a holistic system, we will never be able to properly address modern health concerns.
- Why Women’s Immune Systems Are Stronger Than Men’s – Discover Magazine
- Women are More Likely to Survive Famine and Disease Epidemics Because They are ‘Hardier”, Study Finds – Independent
- Testosterone may protect men from autoimmune diseases – Ars Technica
- The heart attack gender gap – Harvard Health Publishing
- Candida and Hormones – HormonesBalance.com
- The Largely Unknown Health Epidemic Affecting Almost ALL Americans – Body Ecology