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Allergies and asthma: women suffer more often and more violently
About every third German suffers from allergies. Pollen, animal hair, various foods: there are truly enough triggers for allergies. Some allergens appear to have more intense effects in women. According to scientists, they suffer more frequently and more violently from pollen and food allergies and thus also from asthma.
Over 20,000 different triggers of allergies
According to an older survey, around one in three adults in Germany is allergic. And every third child also suffers from an allergy, as the AOK children's report recently showed. There are enough possible causes: "Over 20,000 different triggers of allergies are known today," writes the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB) on its website. Some triggers are apparently more problematic for women than for men, as Austrian experts now report.
Women suffer more and more frequently from pollen and food allergies
Women suffer more often and more violently from pollen allergies and food allergies and thus also from asthma, reports the Medical University (MedUni) Vienna in a current release.
Accordingly, on the one hand female sex hormones increase the risk and symptoms of asthma and allergies, and on the other hand hormone preparations such as the contraceptive pill are also important.
As Erika Jensen-Jarolim from the Institute for Pathophysiology and Allergy Research at MedUni Vienna emphasized on the occasion of World Women's Day on March 8, these factors should be given more attention.
Girls become more vulnerable as they mature
According to the information, boys up to the age of ten suffer more and more from allergies and asthma. But with the onset of sexual maturity and puberty, the increased release of the sex hormone estrogen makes girls much more susceptible.
“Estrogens ensure that inflammatory cells such as mast cells are more sensitive to allergens. The male hormone testosterone, on the other hand, seems to have a kind of protective function, ”says Jensen-Jarolim.
This phenomenon accompanies women with the waves of hormone release in their respective phases of life - from the first menstrual period to the use of contraceptives, pregnancy, to hormone replacement therapy in menopause.
In addition, there is an increased sensitivity to environmental pollutants, especially smoking.
Early diagnosis of an allergy
As stated in the university's announcement, taking hormones is essential today in terms of life and family planning, also to avoid, for example, falling hormone levels, which are not insignificant in the development of osteoporosis.
"These hormones are triggers of hypersensitivity, which are also described by atypical symptoms," explained Jensen-Jarolim. Atypical symptoms include migraines, joint problems, eczema, acne intensification and breathing difficulties.
“The hormone balance is different again during pregnancy. Asthma can worsen in a third of pregnant women - and an asthmatic attack during pregnancy is a high risk for both mother and child. ”
Therefore, early diagnosis of an allergy, preferably before pregnancy, is advisable - because an untreated allergy is the first step to asthma. (ad)