why more women are prone to autoimmune disorders

why more women are prone to autoimmune disorders

Autoimmune disorders are tricky to diagnose because the body’s defense system mistakenly attacks its own parts instead of fighting off infections. Since there’s no specific or defined way these disorders show up on the body, it’s hard to spot and treat the symptoms. The symptoms are often dismissed even by the doctors and left undiagnosed and untreated. We spoke to Anindita Rungta, who, driven by her own personal struggles, delved into understanding autoimmune disorders, especially in women. During the process, she came across functional medicine and developed the ‘Body Wise Healing Framework’ to help people in addressing their autoimmune conditions in a holistic manner. Here’s a lowdown of our chat. Do women have a higher chance of getting autoimmune disorders? Yes, women have a higher incidence of autoimmune disorders compared to men. According to research, approximately 75% of autoimmune diseases occur in women but the exact mechanism for this autoimmune gender bias is not completely understood yet. Research suggests that hormonal differences, especially the impact of estrogen, may contribute to this increased susceptibility. There is also research around several contributory factors – including sex hormones, genetic architecture, epigenetics, gut microbiome, and immune pathways – that underlie the overall 4:1 female to male ratio of autoimmune disease risk. What difficulties do you feel people face in the correct diagnosis of autoimmune conditions? There are several reasons for this but I have found that these are the most common ones: -Early symptoms of autoimmune diseases are often nonspecific such as fever, headache and fatigue. These symptoms are common to many illnesses, making it hard to pinpoint an autoimmune disease as the cause. At the same time, symptoms are not the first manifestation of an underlying problem, it’s the last straw when the body can’t compensate any more. So many of these symptoms get ignored and valuable time gets wasted as the disease continues to progress unabated. – With more than 100 different autoimmune diseases, many autoimmune conditions share similar symptoms or can have overlapping features with other diseases. This makes it really difficult to make an accurate diagnosis. For instance, Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can mimic each other and other medical conditions. – There can be a significant delay between onset of symptoms and diagnosis due to the complexity of these conditions. This means that in most countries, it may take several years for patients to receive an accurate diagnosis. What are some symptoms of autoimmune disorders that people might not notice? Some common symptoms of autoimmune disorders might go unnoticed or be overlooked because they are often subtle at first and are often overlooked, ignored or suppressed with medications or even mistaken for symptoms of a stressful and busy life. These include symptoms such as: – Fatigue that persists and doesn’t improve with sleep and is not necessarily linked to excessive activity – Low-grade fevers without any other symptoms that can be an indication of a chronic inflammatory process happening in the body. – Aches and pains in the joints and muscles that are unexplained and persistent, which can also include stiffness, tightness, and sensitivity to minor pressure or injury – Skin conditions such as unexplained rashes, redness, or patches which can get dismissed as allergic reactions or eczema – Neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet can be a sign of nerve involvement in an autoimmune response. – Persistent digestive symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, or blood in the stool can be symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, which includes autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. These symptoms can be subtle and easily attributed to other less severe causes, leading individuals to overlook the possibility of an autoimmune disease. Why did you choose to focus on autoimmune disorders in women? My own daughter had severe eczema for a long time which is associated with an imbalanced immune system. She was on immunosuppressive medications and oral steroids for many years. She also went through a severe health crisis and that’s when I realised that conventional medicine had no solution for her condition. It was only when I focused on her gut health that we were able to address the root causes of her immune dysregulation and bring her eczema under control. This experience of dealing with immune dysregulation combined with the fact that more and more people are getting diagnosed with this condition led me to focus on this condition over time. The other thing is that I strongly believe that the healing of women extends beyond the individual, that it has a wider healing ripple effect. Women, when they are empowered with their own health, extend their influence nurturing their own families, their communities and ultimately contribute to a more peaceful, balanced world. In this way, I like to think that I am contributing to healing the world in my own way, one woman at a time. Can you explain what functional medicine is in a way that’s easy to understand? A Functional Medicine approach, much like the traditional healing systems like Ayurveda and TCM focuses on finding and addressing the root cause and treating the “whole” person. It is a science-based approach to tackling diseases that views the body as an interconnected system and recognizes that one area of imbalance can lead to problems in other areas. Unlike conventional medicine that often uses a one-size-fits-all protocol, Functional Medicine tailors the treatment to each person and supports the normal healing powers of the body rather than just attacking the disease itself. So while conventional medicine excels at acute care, functional medicine shines at understanding chronic, complex illness. What simple things can both men and women do to prevent autoimmune disorders? There are many different ways you can support your body so that your immune system stays healthy and balanced. Some of the first steps that you can take are simple and basic but very effective. Indeed, creating a strong foundation is to key to supporting a healthy immune function Some key areas to focus on are- 1. Eat real foods versus processed foods: Processed foods contain chemicals such as preservatives and colours that can confuse your immune system. Avoiding these foods will help you to support a balanced immune function. 2. Nurture and protect gut health: More than 80% of your immune system resides in your gut and the health of your immune system is intricately linked to that of your gut. Protect your gut health through an anti-inflammatory, whole food diet and include fermented foods to optimize gut microbiome. Avoid inflammatory and allergenic foods. 3. Manage stress: Maintain a balanced immune system by prioritizing stress relief practices like meditation, yoga, journaling, and spending time in nature. High stress disrupts immune modulation. 4. Sweat, move and stretch: Promote circulation and lymphatic drainage through activities that make you sweat like brisk walking, rebounding and infrared sauna. You can also support your body through gentle stretching like restorative yoga poses. Movement and sweating helps your body eliminate toxins while stretching facilitates blood and lymph flow. 5. Get good sleep: And finally, one thing that is most overlooked- getting good quality sleep! Ensure you get 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night by having a proper routine and schedule for going to bed. Poor and inadequate sleep is linked to inflammation and autoimmunity.Tell us about your podcast and book that will be launching on Monday? I’m launching a podcast for women with autoimmune conditions who want to navigate their healing journey and find relief without the fear of isolation and uncertainty that comes from living with a chronic condition. It’s called “Embrace your healing journey” and you can find it everywhere you listen to podcasts. Tune in weekly to get practical tools around mindset, nutrition, lifestyle, and stress management—each an essential compass for your unique path to wellness. I will also be sharing insights, case studies and personal stories around my own journey of healing her daughter’s severe health issues through Functional Medicine so that you feel uplifted and energised to create a new reality guided by your own body. Alongside the podcast, I’m releasing my complimentary ebook “The autoimmune symptom relief guide”. Drawing from my training and experience in Functional Medicine as well as my own personal experiences, I’ve compiled my top non-medical tips and techniques for managing flare ups and minimizing their impact as you pursue long-term healing. “Get Guided by Your Own body”

https://www.timesnownews.com/health/why-more-women-get-autoimmune-disorders-and-why-many-stay-undiagnosed-article-105829974

Recommended For You