Why Women Get More Harassed By Autoimmune Diseases Than Men?
Autoimmune diseases are a topic that is in the focus of attention of millions of people, which is why there is a category about them in WOMEN HEALTH TOPICS. It is a ubiquitous theme, and I personally have/have a hard experience.
Some data on how autoimmune diseases harass women:
- It is one of the top 10 causes of death in women and girls.
- They affect more women than heart disease and breast cancer combined.
- 50 million Americans have an autoimmune disease – And 78% of them are women!
- In some autoimmune diseases like Lupus, the numbers are even worse – 9 out of 10 are women!
- Autoimmune diseases represent the fourth leading cause of disability among women in the United States.
- It is the underlying cause of more than 100 serious chronic diseases.
Table of Contents
- 1 Malpractice in the health system
- 2 What is an autoimmune disease?
Malpractice in the health system
Despite the number of women who are affected, the United States is in the rear in relation to other countries in the investigation. Not only is that, but the amount that is invested abysmal. Research funding is below 3% of the budget of the national health institutes.
Many doctors and specialists have very little education and little training in autoimmune diseases.
Let’s not think about reversing an autoimmune disease.
If you begin to notice strange symptoms, you will find that the journey through the medical system can be very discouraging, demeaning and demoralizing. These diseases are difficult to diagnose, so doctors tend to consider patients as chronic complainants. In addition, it takes up to 4.6 years and almost 5 doctors before receiving a correct diagnosis.
Symptoms can affect many different organs or parts of the body. This is a problem because our health system is divided into specialties. So if you have a thyroid disease, you go to someone specializing in the thyroid.
If you have a digestive disorder you go to the digestive specialist. What happens when symptoms are all over the body? That is why it is so difficult to diagnose.
The really scary thing is…
… Autoimmune diseases have tripled in the last decades and the tendency is to increase. There are more than 80 – 100 different autoimmune diseases and researchers suspect at least 40 more. These diseases are chronic and can put life in danger of death, not to mention the enormous impact on the quality of life of women.
What is an autoimmune disease?
Most people, including the medical community, do not really know the 100 or more diseases that fall under the autoimmune umbrella. For example, if someone says they have cancer, do you have an exact idea of what you are talking about?
Can you tell if the tumor is benign or malignant? Then you can find out exactly what type of cancer: Cervical Cancer, colon cancer, thyroid cancer, etc. If you look at the following list, did you know that all these diseases are autoimmune?
A small sample of autoimmune diseases:
- Celiac Disease
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Crohn’s disease
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Juvenile arthritis
- Diabetes type 1
- Lichen sclerosis
- Chronic Lyme Disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Meniere’s disease
- Raynaud Phenomenon
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Rheumatic fever
- Rigid person syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
And much more. You can find the complete list on AARDA.com
Although each of these diseases has very different symptoms and signs, they all come from the same root: a confused immune system that attacks your own body. But that does not make sense! How the heck does it explain that the immune system itself turns against you and attacks you?
It’s supposed to be our first defensive line!
Good question. Genetics can play a role. Approximately 25% of these diseases have a genetic component or family history. However, since these diseases have tripled in the last decades, there is much more than genetics at play here.
Other factors that affect the development of autoimmune diseases
- Our foods: We evolve from a paleo diet of meat, viscera, vegetables and small amounts of fruit. Now we eat refined foods with a high sugar content, loaded with carbohydrates, chemical additives and dyes (reminiscent of the pink slime in the meat), which wreak havoc on our body.
- Toxins: Toxins in the water, pesticides in our food, genetically modified organisms, and more. Toxins totally stress our immune system.
- Stress: Includes physical, emotional and spiritual stress. The level of stress we experience daily is unprecedented.
- Hidden viral or bacterial infections.
The perfect Storm
These factors combine to make a “perfect storm” capable of confusing, overwhelming and losing the ability of the immune system to distinguish an invader from its own body. You know, it’s like when you’re overworked and overexcited with no solution in sight. You make bad decisions, you do not think clearly, you slow down at work, which increases stress until you finally fall down.
Exactly the same thing happens with the immune system!
Why are women more harassed by autoimmune diseases than men?
Is it fair? The reality is that we do not know why autoimmune diseases choose women.
One likely theory is that women have a better immune system compared to men. This increases your resistance to many types of infections, but also makes them more susceptible to, for example, rheumatoid arthritis, which as you know is an autoimmune disease.
So what do you do if you already have an autoimmune disease?
Or what can you do to protect yourself?
What you can do is:
- Improve diet: Eat nutrient-rich foods, which means eating foods prepared with meat from animals that have been fed with grass (beef, chicken, eggs), caught in their natural habitat (fish) and organic fruits and vegetables. You should stay away from the antibiotics that apply to corn-fed cattle, and pesticides to fruits and vegetables. These things confuse the immune system and add toxins to the body.
- Try to eliminate gluten and dairy products from the diet: They are molecules that can look a lot like our own tissues. If the immune system is confused and struggling it can react excessively and attack.
- Eliminate toxins: Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to stay away from all toxins, so taking supplements and eating foods that help eliminate toxins is important. Foods like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets and green leaves, are excellent allies to eliminate toxins.
- Stress: You need 8 to 10 hours of sleep to rest and repair your body. Meditation, gentle exercise, deep breathing are ideal for maintaining/recovering peace, living better and healthy relationships, as well as support, make a big difference.
- Supplements: Omega 3, vitamin D, niacin (B3, riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, L-glutamine, glutathione, and probiotics. Work with autoimmune diseases to tune in a protocol for your body.
- Acupuncture: Helps the immune system to regain balance.
Last words around why women are harassed by autoimmune disease
The immune system was designed to protect the body from viruses, bacteria, parasites and other pathogenic invaders.
It is on our side and so it has been during the millions of years that we have been evolving on this planet. We have changed both our lifestyle and our planet in such a short time, and that has caused tremendous stress on the immune system.
You can nullify the harassment of autoimmune disease, helping the immune system to regain balance and learn to recognize the difference between foreign invaders of the body itself.
Remember, the body wants to stay healthy and can do wonders when given what it needs!
So tell me, do you suffer from an autoimmune disease or do you have friends or family members who suffer from one? What advice would you give to others who are struggling with an autoimmune disease?
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The most important thing… Your health.