Autoimmune diseases are gender biased too! Compared to men number of women who are likely to be affected by autoimmune disease are more. It is estimated that 80% of the autoimmune diseases are in women causing disability in young girls and, death and disability of those over age 65. This could be due to fluctuation in women hormonal level and childbearing years etc. In addition, diet, environmental factors, stress in life are also responsible for evoking autoimmune response in women’s body.
An autoimmune disease is a condition where our own immune system mistakenly attacks our own body. Instead of guarding and protecting body from germs like bacteria and viruses, immune system attacks mistakes part of the body like skin, organ, tissue, cells, or joint as foreign invader. In the process it releases proteins called autoantibodies and attacks healthy cells.
In the past 30 years, rate of autoimmune diseases has been steadily climbing. There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases are known. Some conditions are mild, and some are severe life threatening.
Why women exhibit autoimmune disease more than men? There is no proper explanation for autoimmune diseases – apart from hormones and other factors explained above, some researchers believe that it could be due to complexity of women’s immune system. In women there is a stronger response to inflammation compared to men. Other theory is that fetal cells left behind may be the culprit behind the development of certain autoimmune conditions. It is important to understand and note the symptoms of any conditions. How long the symptoms lost, what is the body reaction and when to see a specialist – these things matters when we feel there is something going on in our body for longtime.
The six common autoimmune conditions in women are explained in next few slides. Some symptoms might be common for all conditions.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: March 8, 2022