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Does Menopause Affect Your Immune System

What Happens During Menopause

How does your immune system work? – Emma Bryce

Natural menopause isnât caused by any type of medical or surgical treatment. Itâs slow and has three stages:

  • Perimenopause. This phase usually begins several years before menopause, when your ovaries slowly make less estrogen. Perimenopause lasts until menopause, the point at which your ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1 to 2 years of this stage, estrogen levels fall faster. Many women have menopause symptoms.
  • Menopause. This is when it’s been a year since you had a period. Your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and making most of their estrogen.
  • Postmenopause. These are the years after menopause. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes usually ease. But health risks related to the loss of estrogen increase as you get older.

Stick To A Routine Or Establish A New One

Beyond working out to maintain weight, regular, routine workouts help stabilize hormone levels, according to Dr. Richardson. When you stay in a fitness routine, the adrenal glands, which control our stress pathways, stay calm. I know a lot of routines have been disrupted by this pandemic so you may even need to create a new routine to stay healthy.

Beyond regular movement, your routine should also include self-care and drinking loads of water, she says. Water is the fuel the body runs on. I suggest taking your body weight and dividing it in half. Thats how many ounces per day you need.”

Treatments For Early Menopause

The main treatment for early menopause is either the combined contraceptive pill or HRT to make up for your missing hormones.

A GP will probably recommend you take this treatment until at least the age of natural menopause , to give you some protection from osteoporosis and other conditions that can develop after the menopause.

If you have had certain types of cancer, such as certain types of breast cancer, you may not be able to have hormonal treatment.

The GP will talk to you about other treatment options and lifestyle changes you can make to help protect your health.

If you’re still getting symptoms, the GP can refer you to a specialist menopause centre.

Going through the menopause early can be difficult and upsetting.

Permanent early menopause will affect your ability to have children naturally.

You may still be able to have children by using IVF and donated eggs from another woman, or using your own eggs if you had some stored. Surrogacy and adoption may also be options for you.

Counselling and support groups may be helpful.

Here are some you may want to try:

Page last reviewed: 02 February 2021 Next review due: 02 February 2024

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Why Are Men More Affected By Covid

Men and women respond differently to many viral infections, including flu, SARS, and MERS. COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, also appears to affect men more severely than women.

âWe know that women have a stronger response to infections, especially viruses, compared to men, and this is because we have different immune systems,â explains Louise.

Early research has shown that men are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than women. A study in Ontario, Canada also showed that although more women were tested for the coronavirus, men were more likely to test positive, and had higher rates of hospitalization, ICU admission, and death.

“It’s very apparent from the data that we’ve seen that men are more commonly affected, more likely to be in the hospital, and also more likely to be in intensive care,” says Louise. âWhen we analysed the data from our COVID symptom study, we also found that in the UK, men are more likely than women to need respiratory support after admission to hospital with COVID-19.ââ

What Is The Immune System And How Does It Work

Does Menopause Weaken Your Immune System?

Your immune system is a large network of organs, tissues, and cells that works to keep you healthy. It defends your body against potentially harmful substances known as antigens, which include germs such as bacteria and viruses, toxins, and even damaged cells.1How? It mounts an immune response: Your immune system develops and deploys antibodies and cells to attack an antigen and keep it from causing harm. It also stores a memory of the antigen to recognize it in the future. That way when the antigen tries to invade your body again, if your immune system is working correctly, it can respond fast and efficiently, quickly sending out the right antibodies to protect you. This protection is called immunity.

There are three different types of immunity:

  • Innate immunityprotection youre born with and your bodys first line of defense against antigens this natural protection is provided by organs, tissues, and some cells
  • Active immunity protection that develops after an infection or vaccine you build up antibodies in response to the exposure, and the protection is typically long-lasting
  • Passive immunityprotection that occurs after you directly receive antibodies in this case, your body does not make them itself, and this protection is usually short-lived

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How Do You Know When Its Happening

Theres no set age when immunity decreases.

Its like gray hair — it happens for everyone at a different rate, Rubtsova says. Theres no single test that can tell you that your immune system isnt functioning optimally. There are certain immune markers we can test for, but its not the same as being tested for, say, heart disease, Glatt says.

Thats why its important to go to the doctor regularly, and get medical help if you get sick often or if youre having trouble healing after an injury or illness.

How Does Cold Weather Affect Your Health

Image: Thinkstock

Your immune system, skin, balance, and heart may be at risk.

As temperatures drop in the winter, weather-related health problems start to rise. “The cold weather brings a number of risks, especially for older adults,” says geriatrician Dr. Suzanne Salamon, an instructor at Harvard Medical School. Here are some of the ways you may be vulnerable this winter, and how to fight back.

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Effects Of Hormone Deprivation On The Innate Immune System In The Female Reproductive Tract

In contrast to age-related changes in systemic immune responses, age-related immune responses in FRT of postmenopausal women remain mostly unknown. Considering that several reports demonstrate a lack of correlation between peripheral blood and the mucosal tissue , characterization of local responses becomes necessary .

General Symptoms Of Allergies

How does alcohol affect your immune system? – BBC

There are a multitude of symptoms and signs that can be attributed to allergies, these can include

Headaches can often be a sign of allergies

Hayfever Symptoms

It is important to note that hay fever symptoms, which can include dry, runny or itchy eyes, sneezing, and a blocked or runny nose, is different from a cold. A virus causes colds whereas hay fever is an allergic response.

Menopause is linked to hay fever as a result of its effects on the immune system, however, whether or not menopause can actually cause hay fever, that link has not been determined as of yet.

The hormonal changes of menopause affect the nervous system, digestion and sleep causing significant fatigue. All of this leads to a weakened immune system which can make some women prone to hay fever, even if they have not previously suffered from it. While its not the menopause itself causing the hay fever, the weakening of the immune system which is a result of menopause leads to allergies.

In many cases, women become more prone to colds and flu during menopause, another result of the weakened immune system. This is where the confusion between allergic reactions and hay fever symptoms and a virus arise. Allergic rhinitis can affect some people all year round, or they will experience an increased sensitivity to perfume or other strong fumes. The skin can also become more irritable making clothing items such as woollen jumpers uncomfortable to wear.

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Top 10 Foods That Can Boost Your Immune System During Menopause

reduce your risk of getting Health Problems because of a weakened immune system by eating a healthy diet, getting good quality sleep, exercising regularly, and avoiding stress

Dr. Wen Shen, a gynecologist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine says, Were not just talking about hot flashes and night sweats and dry vaginas. Dr. Shen goes on to point out that as ovarian hormones disappear, women are more susceptible to being at an increased risk of health problems because of a weakened immune system.

You can reduce your risk by eating a healthy diet, getting good quality sleep, exercising regularly, and avoiding stress. Start by including these 10 inflammation-reducing foods for menopause.

1. Blueberries contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin that helps boost the immune system.

2. Dark chocolate contains theobromine that protects cells from free radicals.

3. Turmeric is a golden spice used in cooking that has anti-inflammatory effects.

4. Oily fish like salmon and tuna are foods for menopause that reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease.

5. Spinach boosts the immune system with flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamins C and E.

6. Broccoli contains powerful antioxidants like sulforaphane making it an excellent food for the immune system.

7. Use ginger in desserts and teas and boost the immune system.

8. Almonds contain manganese and magnesium to strengthen the immune system.

How To Support Immune Function After Menopause

If you want to reduce your risk of developing an autoimmune disease, you need to take multiple steps to strengthen your immune system. Part of this is simply staying healthy. Eating a healthy, non-inflammatory diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress are all important. You should also address your hormonal balance. Not only will hormone therapy restore the estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA you need for healthy immune function it will also relieve any menopause symptoms that are affecting your ability to make lifestyle choices that support immune health. To learn more about menopause treatment from Renew Youth, contact us today.

New You

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Can The Flu Shot Hurt My Immune Response

Q.I’ve read that getting the flu shot annually will weaken my immune system over time. Is this true?

A. A study published in the March 1, 2017, issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases investigated whether getting an annual vaccination against influenza can weaken your body’s natural ability to protect itself from the disease. Past studies have raised similar concerns. Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway followed 250 health care workers. Some of them got a flu vaccination every year from 2009 through 2013. The others only received the vaccine once in 2009 and not in the years from 2010 to 2013. The researchers then took blood samples before the influenza season , from the members of both groups and looked at different markers to gauge how well their immune systems would respond to the influenza virus. They found that getting an annual flu vaccination did not weaken the immune system. As a group, the people who got the flu shot annually appeared to have a better immune response to influenza than those vaccinated only once.

These researchers concluded that annual flu vaccination should be maintained and support the practice of rolling up your sleeve for that annual shot.

by Hope Ricciotti, M.D., and Hye-Chun Hur, M.D., M.P.H.Editors in Chief, Harvard Women’s Health Watch

Ways Menopause Can Weaken Your Immune System

Early menopause: What you need to know

Immune strength is at the top of most people’s minds at the moment, but how does menopause affect it? This week I take a look at several factors during menopause that can impact your immunity, making you more suspectable to colds, flu and even worsening allergies. Plus, I offer advice on how to lessen the impact of these factors and how to boost your immune system.

Eileen Durward

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Lets Talk About Estrogen Replacement Therapy For Menopause Symptoms

At HerKare, we are here to help you address your unique health needs at every stage of life. We provide comprehensive healthcare for women in a warm, welcoming environment. Our clinic is owned and operated by women who understand and take time to help you find underlying causes of your symptoms. Whether youre experiencing uncomfortable menopause symptoms or are looking for preventative well woman care, our providers are here for you. We provide personalized treatment plans based on your lifestyle to help you feel better. Learn more about your health and how we can help you start feeling your best by booking an appointmenttoday! Our team at HerKare is here for you.

Keep Your Bedroom Cool Dark And Quiet

Menopause-related night sweats can make it tough to get a good nights rest. And, in a vicious cycle, lack of sleep can make the pain and fatigue of RA worse. Dress in light pajamas to help you stay cool and use layered bedding that can easily be removed at night. And to help you fall asleep faster:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule
  • Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol too close to bedtime.
  • Dont watch TV in the bedroom, and turn off or dim the light on your cell phone.
  • Wind down before sleep by reading a book, listening to music, or taking a warm bath.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy And Ms

Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, can be used to relieve symptoms of menopause.

Its not for everyone, and so far theres not been much research into benefits of HRT for women with MS.

One small study from 1992 found that 75% of women taking HRT felt it improved their symptoms when they were asked about it in a questionnaire. The study involved 19 women.

This is promising research. But ultimately, we need larger studies to understand if HRT can improve MS symptoms during the menopause.

If you have any questions about HRT, wed recommend you speak to your GP or MS nurse.

How To Reduce Menopausal Bloating

How COVID-19 affects your immune system

If youre getting bloated after meals, then do consider supplementing with a vegan digestive enzymes tablet. Just pop it into your mouth and swallow with a little water before proceeding to eat. Your stomach will thank you for it, and so will your waistline.

Plant-based digestive enzymes ease the passage of food through the digestive system, reducing trapped painful gas, bloating and ensuring that the wastes are disposed of the following day, if you understand my meaning. Ive always thought it ironic that at a time in our lives when we probably have the time and the disposable income to eat out more, we cant because of the after-dinner bloating.

Its good to know that there is a simple, natural solution for this issue. I carry a small supply of my Just For Tummies Digestive Enzymes tablets in my bag, in a small pill-pot, and they go everywhere with me. Certainly if Im eating late in the evening, eating a larger meal than usual, or having a rich meal with alcohol, I will be taking one, or maybe two, of my enzyme tablets before the meal.

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What Are The Foods That You Need To Avoid

Eliminating gluten and dairy may help you avoid inflammation and autoimmune diseases

Foods for menopause means more than included these 10 foods. It means eliminating foods that are counterproductive to the immune system by triggering inflammation. These include refined sugar and processed foods.

Too many refined carbohydrates may increase postmenopausal depression. Processed meats and pre-packaged foods that contain dextrose, maltose, hydrogenated oil, and trans fats are toxic and can disrupt hormonal health. Eliminating gluten and dairy may help you avoid inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

As you plan dietary changes to reduce symptoms and strengthen the immune system, keep in mind that some people can develop food sensitivities through the years. Some foods that you may consider as healthy may actually not be good for you. These include nightshade foods like eggplant and red bell peppers. The best way to decide what triggers your symptoms is to keep a food diary. Eliminate those that trigger your symptoms.

Does Menopause Weaken Your Immune System

by Health Writer

Menopause is a time of many changes. Changing hormone levels can impact everything from your skin to your mood. In fact, they can even affect your immune system. The decrease in estrogen and progesterone, particularly, can result in a reduction in your immune function, according to a 2013 review published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Here are the ways your immune system changes during this phase of life and what it means for your health.

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How To Boost Friendly Bacteria

  • Increase your intake of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. If you find this difficult, consider taking a probiotic supplement like my Just For Tummies For Women vegan and gluten-free probiotic capsules. I would add that my probiotic capsules do not contain any artificial fillers, binders or bulking agents, and are made in the UK.
  • Stay well hydrated at all times
  • Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum
  • Dont smoke
  • Get plenty of sleep

I had a relatively easy menopause compared to some women. I had the occasional hot flush and night sweat, moments of confusion and memory loss, and what my husband and I now jokingly refer to as my psychotic episode. He thought Id gone absolutely stark raving mad when I fell to the floor and proceeded to bang my fists on the carpet, much like a child having a temper tantrum.

He really did not know what to do with me at the time. I think it scared him. Without a doubt though, alcohol exacerbated my hot flushes and night sweats and made me feel really uncomfortable. I hardly drank through the menopause, but Im pleased to say Im now making up for it, in moderation of course. The occasional glass or two of a good Merlot or Malbec never did anyone any harm, did it?

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