Women are more prone to autoimmune diseases than men

22 May 2023

Autoimmune diseases are a group of conditions in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases, including lupus, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, and celiac disease. While these diseases can affect anyone, it is notable that autoimmune diseases are more common in women than in men.

Of all the people diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in the US, 78% are women. These statistics show that these diseases affect women much more than men. This unequal distribution can be partially explained by women having a more robust immune system than men.

The immune system of women is naturally more robust than men's because women respond better to infections and viruses. This is partly due to the female sex hormone estrogen, which positively influences immune function. Estrogen stimulates the production of antibodies, an essential part of the immune response.

While a robust immune system is essential for health, it can also lead to immune system overactivity, which can result in autoimmune diseases. When the immune system is overactive, the body can attack healthy cells and tissues, leading to inflammation and damage to organs and tissues.

Several factors contribute to women's risk of developing autoimmune diseases, including hormonal fluctuations, stress, and genetic predisposition. Read more here about the impact of stress on the development of autoimmune diseases.Hormonal changes, such as those during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause, may affect the onset and exacerbation of autoimmune diseases in women.

Although the reasons why women are more prone to autoimmune diseases than men are not yet fully understood, it is clear that there is a link between the female immune system and the risk of autoimmune diseases.

As an individual with symptoms of an autoimmune disease, the AIP diet can help reduce your symptoms and support your immune system. The diet focuses on foods that reduce inflammation and support the immune system, such as fresh vegetables, meat, fish, and fruit. In addition, foods that can cause inflammation, such as grains, dairy, legumes, and processed foods, are avoided.

Following the AIP diet can reduce inflammation, support your immune system, and improve your overall health. However, it's important to remember that everybody is different, and the effects of the diet may vary from person to person. It's always wise to consult with a doctor or nutritionist before starting a new diet, especially if you already have an autoimmune disease.