Hormonal health plays an important role in overall health, and specifically in immunity. Have you noticed you are more susceptible to the cold, flu and other viral infections as you get older? While immune function naturally decreases with age, for women the decline in estrogen also plays a role.
Estrogen effectively “turns on” immune-promoting genes that increase defenses against pathogens. In essence, estrogen works on two branches of the immune system by both dampening inflammation and increasing antibody production.
The connection between estrogen and the immune system may help to explain why women are more likely to develop autoimmune disease than men. Since estrogen modulates the immune system, if estrogen levels are too high, it may drive an overactive immune system.
It’s common for women to experience fluctuations in estrogen during peri-menopause, including periods of estrogen dominance, where estrogen levels are high or high relative to progesterone. This pattern may exacerbate autoimmunity during the perimenopausal years.
When estrogen levels are low in menopause, the immune pendulum swings in the other direction making it harder for the body to mount an antibody response to a pathogen. When we understand the estrogen-immune connection, it’s not surprising why inflammatory symptoms, such as bone loss, increased weight and pain increase during this life phase.
So while it may seem sexy to offer a one-size-fits-all approach for boosting the immune system, especially during flu season and COVID, menopausal women have special considerations. Supporting hormonal health is an often-overlooked piece to improving immune health.
Top Tips for Building Immune Resilience in Menopausal Women
I prefer non-GMO fermented and minimally processed soy such as miso or tempeh.
What is your opinion of taking supplements/powders using non-GMO soy? Are there health and hormone benefits for women (and men) with this type of supplement? The data is confusing. I am just starting menopause and have found benefit from non-GMO soy, but don’t know long-term if it is the best choice. Thank you for your thoughts.
Please note that this blog forum does not allow responses to individual questions, which instead should be forwarded to customer service at 800-760-9090, or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re prohibited from providing medical advice, but will do our best to help where we can.
February 22, 2021
I started menopause early in my early 40’s. I’m 64 now and have been on vagifem for years. Is that safe ? Do you recommend a better estrogen source?