Do you know menopause can weaken your immune system? Explore simple steps to give your immunity a boost during this life-changing journey!
Menopause is a normal and expected part of a woman’s life, but it also causes several physical and emotional changes that can impact the immune system and other aspects of health. Our blog will discuss how manopause affects immunity and tips for supporting your immune system.
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We’ll look at a holistic approach to help you pass this transition with vigour and well-being, from nourishing your body with the right foods to finding relaxation techniques.
What is Menopause?
According to NHS, menopause occurs when periods stop due to declining hormone levels. Although it can happen earlier, it typically affects women between 45 and 55. Hot flashes, mood shifts, and changes in bone density are just a few of the many physical and psychological effects of menopause. While it is a natural phase, its symptoms and results can vary widely among individuals.
How does Menopause Affect the Immune System?
Research in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology identifies that reduced oestrogen and progesterone levels can weaken the immune system in females during menopause. Additionally, the decline in oestrogen levels can impact the balance of immune cells and cytokines that control immune responses. This modification may affect inflammatory responses and increase the risk of developing certain autoimmune diseases.
Menopause and the immune system have a complex and individualised relationship. Some women may notice immune-related symptoms, such as an increase in the potential for infections, while others may observe shifts in pre-existing autoimmune conditions.
Strategies To Boost Immune System
Tackling physical and emotional changes during menopause can be exhausting. But if you implement some practical strategies, you can ease your challenges in this phase. Let’s have a look at some:
1. Switch to Nutrient-Rich Diet
Consume a variety of whole foods that are high in antioxidants, vitamins (like C, D, and E), and minerals (like zinc and selenium). Include fresh produce, lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables to supply your immune system with proper nutrients.
2. Be Physically Active
Regular physical activity will improve immune reactions. Try for a balance between flexibility, strength training, and aerobic exercise. Regular exercise increases immune cells and circulation throughout the body.
3. Manage Stress
Use relaxation methods such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation to reduce stress. As chronic stress can harm the immune system, finding effective stress management techniques is crucial for maintaining your immune health.
4. Sleep Well
Hormone imbalances during menopause may disturb your sleep patterns, eventually affecting your immunity. It is essential to give your body the time and space it needs for restorative sleep. For this purpose, set a sleep schedule of 7-9 hours. Sleep supports immune function by controlling immune cell activity and enhancing general health.
5. Stay Hydrated
To support immune responses and maintain bodily functions, drink plenty of water. A healthy immune system is supported by water’s ability to transport nutrients, remove waste, and control body temperature.
6. Limit Intake of Sugary & Processed Foods
Sugary and highly processed foods may worsen inflammation and impair the immune system. Therefore, limit what you eat while focusing on whole, unprocessed foods to nourish the body.
7. Promote Gut Health
Improved immune function is also associated with a balanced gut microbiome. So, consume probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables to support a healthy gut microbiome.
8. Stay Hygenic
To avoid infections, practise good hygiene. Maintaining personal hygiene and regularly washing your hands is crucial in lowering your risk of getting sick.
9. Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Limit your alcohol consumption because excessive consumption may harm immune function. If you decide to drink, do so sparingly.
10. Be Active In Outdoors
Get some sun exposure by spending time outside; this will aid in producing vitamin D in your body. Your immune system and bone health depend on vitamin D.
11. Herbal Supplements
Consider taking herbal supplements like echinacea, elderberry, and astragalus, known to have immune-boosting potential. Before incorporating supplements into your routine, speak with a medical professional.
12. Limit Toxin Exposure
Use natural cleaning products and avoid dangerous chemicals whenever possible to reduce exposure to toxins and improve immunity.
13. Stay Up-to-Date with Vaccinations
As menopause can reduce your immunity, ensure you’re up to date on any recommended vaccinations by staying informed about them. Because taking immunity booster shots is necessary to increase protection against specific diseases.
14. Go for Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT may be able to help some women control the menopausal hormone changes. Immune control is influenced by oestrogen, a hormone that is found in HRT. HRT may positively impact your immune responses and function by restoring hormonal balance. To get clear insight, you can also take the HRT quiz.
15. Consult Healthcare Professionals
Consulting healthcare professionals is crucial to improve your immunity during menopause. They can provide individualised guidance on diet, exercise, stress reduction, and possible interventions like hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Their knowledge ensures that your immune-boosting efforts align with your medical background, present health condition, and any pre-existing conditions.
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Maintaining immune health while navigating menopause requires self-care and empowerment. You can strengthen your immune system during this profound phase by adopting a holistic approach that includes nutrition, exercise, stress management, and professional guidance.
Minor lifestyle adjustments, like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and controlling stress, can significantly impact over time. Implementing these strategies allows you to enjoy the best possible health and vitality in the coming years.
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Can menopause cause a weak immune system?
Although hormonal changes associated with menopause have the potential to affect immune function, menopause does not always result in weakened immune systems in women.
What can a woman use to boost her immune system?
A woman can strengthen her immune system by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing her stress, getting enough sleep, and talking to medical professionals.
What hormone boosts the immune system?
Oestrogen can restore hormonal imbalance and is known to impact the immune system.
What vitamin deficiencies occur during menopause?
Vitamin D deficiency is common during menopause due to decreased sunlight exposure and hormonal changes, affecting bone health and immune function.