hormones immune system austin

HORMONES AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

It’s no secret that we are living amongst chaos right now with the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Everyone is trying to figure out the best way to protect themselves and each other, but no one has a direct answer or solution yet. I bet many of us have done our own research on what we could be doing to help ourselves and fight this such as: vitamin supplements, masks, vigorous hand washing, etc. What many of us don’t consider is the hormones that are already naturally in our body.

HORMONES AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Let’s start with the basics, estrogen is the female sex hormone and testosterone is the male sex hormone. Of course these hormones play an essential role in sexual development and reproduction, but what studies have shown is that these hormones also play a role in the body’s immune system. In order to have a positive effect on the immune system hormone levels need to be balanced. If you’ve got too little or too much of one or the other then it may be doing more harm than good. You may be wondering why your immune system isn’t doing its job when you’ve got that minor cold…or in this case, when you’re freaking out because you think you may have caught “the virus”.

THE CONNECTION TO COVID-19

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had one huge question about COVID-19 and that is how are some people getting such severe symptoms and some people are getting no symptoms at all? Well the answer may not be as complex as we think, studies show it very well could be in part to balanced hormones.

Let’s start with females. Lucky for us, we have estrogen running through our body. With a healthy estrogen level, it has shown to help boost the body’s immune system and immune response. Estrogen helps prevent overreactions to infections like COVID-19 and prevents cytokine storms, which are widely being seen in people who get the coronavirus. Cytokines are an important immune response, but an overproduction of them-cytokine storm- can be very harmful to the body. Women with low levels of estrogen are much more likely to have very severe symptoms in the unfortunate chance that you contract the virus than women with healthy, balanced hormones.

Now let’s discuss the male side of things. Males are 3 times more likely to contract the virus and have much more severe symptoms than women. That could further support the idea that women are being naturally protected slightly more than men due to far more estrogen running through the body. For men, testosterone also helps regulate the body’s immune response, so you guys aren’t completely helpless here. The same concept applies here as it did with females, when there are low levels of testosterone your body isn’t protecting itself and fighting germs and viruses off to the best of its ability. Men also derive some estrogen from conversion from testosterone. In times like these it’s best to have our bodies prepped and ready for anything, so the next best thing aside from hand washing and social distancing would be to ensure your body has the balanced levels of hormones it needs to keep you safe and healthy!

SIGNS OF LOW SEX HORMONES

For women, some indication of low levels or out of balance hormones include:
-hot flashes/night sweats
-heavy or irregular periods
-vaginal dryness
-unexplained weight gain
-irritability/anxiety

For men, indications include:
-low energy/sleeplessness
-weight gain
-decreased sexual performance

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and want to jumpstart your health in these chaotic times contact Premier Health and Wellness by visiting the site or contacting the staff at (512) 459-4405 for more information.