Why are women more prone to auto immune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus?

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That's a good question. And the truth of the matter is . . . we (the medical/scientific community and humanity as a whole) . . . don't exactly know.

However, it does have something to do with the fact that men's and women's bodies function differently by virtue of:

(1) genetics - women with two X chromosomes versus men with XY chromosomes, and the X and Y chromosomes do a lot more than just determine gender

(2) hormonal differences - women with estrogen/progesterone cycling every month versus men with testosterone

(3) potential gender-based immunological differences - which would be by virtue of influences of hormonal and genetic differences as described above

That's why medications and diseases are known to act differently in men vs women, and for that matter, in different races. Yet, for a long time historically speaking, medical research assumed that diseases and medications that were not obviously gender-specific would work the same in everyone and they typically used a "70 kg male" as the typical patient for testing purposes. It's been over the last few decades that research has focused more on how the same diseases act differently between gender and race, but there's a long way to go. The next step in future medical research would to discover possible gender/race specific treatments that would work better in a particular group compared to the generic treatment used for everyone.

Hope that answers your question. If you have further questions about this topic or others, feel free to contact me directly (see my profile for details).

Best wishes,
Vik Rajan, M.D.

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Thanks for a great answer, Dr. Rajan.
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Hi Dr Rajan, that means the research will make more easy to handle and discover the gender treatments.
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Thank you Dr. Rajan,
As a nurse I've studied this as I only had back pain from bulging discs in 2007. Then my husband had an accident, and I was very stressed, and had another back injury which way to proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back" I had long muscle pain.
Long story short was diagnosed with autoimmune disease from an lab test: ANA titer.
After seeing a rheumatologist in Illinois, who was very thorough, Lupus & Sclerodema were ruled out, and fibromyalgia was ruled in. I did research and women are more prone to it as they are more easily stressed than men, and are generally caretakers. Also nurses are more prone to it b/c of the stress of not enough sleep, swing shifts, back injuries, etc. Diet ( gluten/dairy free) has helped a bit, yet still have long muscle pain every day at age 57.
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Well kitty, very sorry to know that you had been ruled out with so many problems. Don't worry many researches are being made for such autoimmune diseases you will surely gonna find a way to get rid of it.
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