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Why women are 75% more likely to get autoimmune diseases plus five tips to reduce your risk

by , 29 November 2016
Why women are 75% more likely to get autoimmune diseases plus five tips to reduce your risk
Did you know that autoimmune diseases are far more prevalent in women? Considering 75% of autoimmune conditions affect women and only 25% affect men, it seems as though oestrogen is involved in one way or another…

You already know that oestrogen plays a role in your immunity because all of your immune cells have oestrogen receptors. These hormones also encourage your immune cells to produce too many antibodies. But what about the role of oestrogen in autoimmune diseases?

Research has proven that oestrogen plays a role in autoimmune diseases

The role of oestrogen in autoimmune diseases has been well studied in women with lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage your skin, joints or internal organs.
 
Research reveals that birth control pills and post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy – both of which boost oestrogen levels – can increase a woman’s risk of lupus, a common autoimmune disease.
 
Plus, women are less likely to get lupus after menopause, when oestrogen levels are low. When oestrogen levels begin to elevate, such as during pregnancy or a menstrual cycle, lupus symptoms worsen.
 
Researchers are now starting to understand that there are different types of oestrogens in the body, and that each one has a different effect on cells and overall health. The notion that toxic oestrogen metabolites made in the liver could trigger or worsen lupus has been supported by a body of animal studies as well as human clinical observation studies.
 
So how can you help your liver produce good oestrogens? Here are a few tips…

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Five tips to help your body make good oestrogen

#1: Get plenty of cruciferous vegetables in your diet
Some great choices include kale, bok choy, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
 
#2: Start eating ground flax seeds
Aim to consume one or two tablespoons of ground flax seed each day. You can add the seeds to a smoothie or sprinkle on top of granola, yoghurt or a smoothie bowl.
 
#3: Avoid pesticides!
Pesticides contain a chemical known as xenoestrogens that acts like toxic oestrogen when they enter your body. So eat organic produce only and don’t use pesticides in your home or garden.
 
#4: Take a liver-enhancing supplement
Indole-3-Carbinole (I-3-C) and Diindolylmethane (DIM) are two good examples of supplements that will help your liver make good oestrogen.
 
#5: Go for a urine test
A simple urine test will determine your different oestrogen metabolites. You can then change your diet or supplements to improve your levels. This won’t only help you prevent autoimmune diseases, but breast cancer, too.
 
PS: Go here for twelve must-know facts about the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis.

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