Could Your Hormones Be Making You Sick?

A recent study by researchers from Michigan State University shows that various differences in biological sex can determine long-term disease patterns, which may link specific hormones that were present before and after birth with a body’s immune responses as well as its long-term immunological disease growth.

The study, which was published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, discussed various reasons why females are more at risk for various common diseases that involve the immune system such as migraines, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome and asthma. The study findings by Emily Mackey, Adam Moeser and Cynthia Jordan usher in new preventatives and therapies.

Moeser stated that the research revealed that the perinatal and not the adult sex hormones, had a significant influence on the risk of growing mast cell-associated disorders in one’s lifetime.

Mast cells refer to white blood cells that play significant roles in one’s body. They set up a defense for your body against toxin exposure and infections and play a vital role in healing wounds.

However, overreactive mast cells can cause chronic inflammatory diseases, and in some cases, death. Previous research that was done by Moeser associated psychological stress with overactive immune responses and a particular mast cell receptor.

Previously, Moeser had also discovered the sex differences in mast cells. As compared with males, female mast cells release and store more inflammatory materials such as histamine, proteases and serotonin. Female mast cells are therefore more likely to stimulate aggressive immune responses. This offers females an upper hand with regard to surviving infections but it also puts females at a higher risk of contracting autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.  Irritable bowel syndrome is a good example of such a disease. The ailment affects about 25% of the U.S. population. However, women are 4 times more likely to develop this disease in comparison to men.

Mackey, Jordan and Moeser’s latest research also found out that females who were exposed to high perinatal androgen levels, like those of males while in utero, developed mast cells that behaved like those of the males. This significantly decreased their histamine levels. The females as adults also showed less severe anaphylactic responses.

So, not only does their research pave the way for better treatments for sex-biased immunological diseases but it also helps researchers understand how environmental and physiological factors that take place early in one’s life can shape their lifetime disease risk, and in particular white blood cell-mediated ailment patterns.

It is such eye-opening research that probably gives biomed entities like 180 Life Sciences Corp. the edge they have in coming up with novel treatments on a regular basis.

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