SLE Lupus Disease from Hormones?

You don’t get lupus from hormones, but hormonal changes can trigger a lupus flare. Any new changes in the body can cause lupus symptoms to arise and hormones are no exception. The female body generates large quantities of the hormone estrogen, while their male counterpart generates hormones called androgens. Because estrogen is an “immunoenhancing” hormone, meaning it strengthens the immune system (for the purpose of giving birth), women have stronger immune systems than men. Normally this is a good thing. But because lupus is an autoimmune disease, having a stronger immune system works against you.

Hormones are responsible for sending messages throughout the body. They also regulate many of the body’s functions. In particular, the estrogen hormone plays a role in lupus. Men and women both produce estrogen, but estrogen production is much greater in females. Many women have more lupus symptoms before menstrual periods and/or during pregnancy, when estrogen production is high. This may indicate that estrogen somehow regulates the severity of lupus. However, it does not mean that estrogen, or any other hormone for that matter, causes lupus.

Pregnancy and Hormones

Anyone can get lupus, but 9 out of 10 lupus patients are women. Lupus develops with women usually during childbearing years (15 to 45). In fact, 8 out of 10 female lupus patients develop lupus symptoms during these ages. Many lupus patients will experience lupus symptoms during pregnancy and even while giving birth. This is due to new quantities of hormones circulating through the body. These hormones cause bodily changes and the extra stress may trigger the lupus symptoms to arise.

Lupus Prefers Female Hormones?

There is current research showing that hormones may actually be one of the determining factors that answer the “How Do You Get Lupus?” question. It is clear that some fundamental biologic mechanism is at work here and that only knowledge of the molecular mechanisms behind the action of the hormones can help us to understand the gender preference in this illness.


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