Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Boost Your Immune System?
Boost Your Immune System with HRT & Peptide Therapy
Currently, as we face this pandemic, it’s never been a worse time to find yourself sick and in need of hospitalization. By going to hot spots for COVID-19, such as hospitals, you expose yourself to the possible risk of contracting the virus. En mass where those suffering from Coronavirus find themselves hospitalized, finding yourself even in the same proximity seems an unnecessary risk. Barring grievous injuries and conditions, proactive measures should be taken towards your health so you can best avoid chancing infection.
What Happens When Your Immune System Is Compromised or Weakened?
It can’t be stressed enough why the immune system is vital in keeping us healthy. All around us are microbes and pathogens that aren’t meant to reside within us. Despite the importance of the immune system, a consequence of aging called “immune senescence” occurs where the immune system becomes less effective or strong at fighting pathogen invaders. This weakening is especially observed in older women who begin or finish menopause. Until menopause, women have a greater immune response than men (studies have looked at the role of hormones — testosterone and estrogen — and have found estrogen to be a better immunoreactive hormone than testosterone).
There are other factors the contribute to a weakened immune system like obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, HIV, etc., but hormone replacement therapy focuses on rectifying hormonal imbalances. As you get older, levels of hormones fluctuate to the point that gives rise to aging symptoms. If you ever wondered why children and the elderly are more at risk for infections, its because of their underdeveloped immune system or a weakened immune system caused by hormonal issues.
Alas, there’s still hope with HRT. By balancing the key hormone estrogen, the immune system can be jump-started back to a shade of its former glory. Read further to learn more about the immune system and how BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) can help it.
The Immune System
Your number one reliable defense against infections, viral, and bacterial, is your immune system. Comprised of a first and secondary line of defense, the immune system acts as the vanguard from harmful foreign pathogens causing systemic damage to our bodies. The skin, our largest organ, along with other physical and chemical barriers (hair, mucous membrane, cilia, lysozymes, sebum, gastric acid) act as the first line of defense, deflecting pathogens on a daily basis — from the things we consciously touch to contamination not visible to the naked eye. Despite serving as the first line of defense, pathogens make their way into the body more often than not (granted, without skin, we’d all catch something and die). Whether through a cut or abrasion on the skin or our oral-nasal cavity, pathogens still find a way in.
Once present within the body, it’s up to the second line of defense – our innate and acquired immunities. The innate immunity or nonspecific resistance encompasses a few defensive mechanisms: phagocytes, cells which ingest and destroy invading microbes in our tissue, fevers that our body employs to inhibit pathogen growth, and inflammatory responses as a result of white blood cells swarming a localized area of the body to combat the presence of pathogens.
Additionally, as we learned growing up, our body develops antibodies to pathogens we successfully dispel. Carried on foreign microbes are unique antigens; our white blood cells, T cells, and B cells learn to effectively fight these microbes once our B-cells develop antibodies to the specific antigen of a microbe. Antibodies target features of the microbe’s antigens, allowing the antibody to bind to the microbe for either neutralization or signaling for white blood cells to target the threat.
Aging, Menopause, and HRT
To reiterate, with age comes a weakened immune system response. This is directly tied to the waning presence of hormones as we age — specifically, the hormone estrogen. Comprehensive studies, research, and literature purport the critical role estrogen has on regulating and modulating immune cells. Many cells throughout our body have specific estrogen-receptors that are bound by estrogen. This binding allows for estrogen to trigger the signaling of estrogen-responsive genes. In layman, estrogen can interact with our immune cells, which have actions that can be triggered like proliferation, activation, differentiation, etc. In short, estrogen triggers cellular actions.
When women hit menopause, their levels of estrogen are 90% less of what they had premenopause. From what we know about the immune system and estrogen’s role, it makes sense why older folks are more susceptible to infection. Specific studies have looked at reduced estrogen levels and noted that the ratio of white blood cells and macrophages was reduced and that white blood cells and B-cells had reduced cellular function.
All hope is not lost, though. Fortunately for us, estrogen is a hormone that can be readily replaced and restored through hormone replacement therapy. With regular treatment, the hands of time can be turned back, revitalizing and bolstering the immune system. The restoration of estrogen consequently increases the ratio of white blood cells and macrophages (key immune system cells in the fight against pathogens) back to adequate levels.
Another important therapy that should be considered for bolstering your immune system is that of peptide therapy. This therapy entails employing amino acids to be utilized as hormones for the body’s use. These amino acids, or small chains of proteins, can emulate hormones integral in signaling various biological pathways. These pathways include metabolism, sleep, sexual function, and immune response.
The reason why peptide therapy is an additional consideration for patients looking to improve their health is the rejuvenating effects these peptides have on the immune system, specifically. Peptides have been observed as effective treatments against autoimmune diseases. Patients with autoimmune diseases are predisposed to their bodies mistakingly confusing their cells as hostile, foreign invaders. As a result, those with autoimmune disease manifest various symptoms and ailments depending on the mistaken immune responses’ severity.
The overproduction of T-cells from the thymus causes the mass targeting and confusion of cells as foreign; in response, these t-cells target healthy cells and begin eliminating them as though it was a viral or bacterial cell needing to be expunged. With the aid of peptide therapy, the peptides’ signals are relayed to the overproducing thymus, which mitigates the inflammatory response. As the attacking antibodies or T-cells are corrected, autoimmune symptoms are staunched.
Additionally, the interconnected relationship of our biological functions and physiology gives credence to peptide therapy’s effectiveness. By improving one’s sleep cycle with peptides, for example, there’s an inadvertent beneficial effect on other internal systems. One of the greatest dogmas in biology is that our bodies are in a constant and complex balancing act. When one of our biological systems is deficient, other systems feel the strain as they try to cope.
Consider peptide therapy’s efficacy — if peptides can restore or rejuvenate, say, a deficiency with our sleep cycles, then consequently, metabolism improves, which impacts the amount of readily available energy. This restored balance of energy can then be redirected to a struggling immune system to improve an autoimmune response’s effectiveness.
At Vitality Aesthetic and Regenerative Medicine, our experts can design a regiment for HRT, peptide therapy, or both to help bolster your immune system. If you’re interested in remaining healthy, getting a proactive start on your health, or looking to restore your health, wellbeing, and immune system, then consider a consultation to address your goals. Visit https://varmedicine.com for more details.