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    Recent studies show that men are more likely to suffer severe symptoms of COVID-19 compared to women. They are also three times more likely to die from the disease. Some researchers are looking at estrogen to help solve this mystery.

    In addition to differences between men and women with COVID-19, there are some other differences that may point toward estrogen’s role in COVID-19 protection. Menopausal women who use estrogen hormone therapy are less likely to have severe symptoms compared to women who don’t use HRT. In fact, in Stony Brook, New York, researchers noticed that they didn’t have any pre-menopausal women or women on hormone therapy in their intensive care unit. Therefore, estrogen may offer some protection against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

    Hormone Therapy – HerKare

    Hormone therapy with estrogen may help make your immune system more efficient at fighting infections.

    As scientists work to understand many of the different implications of COVID-19, a common theme is that men and women are different. While men and women contact the virus approximately at equal rates, women seem to be experiencing fewer complications. They’re also less likely to die of COVID-19 compared to men. Also, because women on estrogen hormone therapy are less likely to have severe symptoms, scientists suspect hormones may impact how the infection affects people.

    Women on Hormone Therapy May Have Better Immune Responses to COVID-19

    Researchers are now looking toward estrogen to learn if it has potential protective effects against SARS-CoV-3, the virus that causes COVID-19. Many scientists suggest this hormone may help the immune system fight the infection with less severe effects. This may be why women are experiencing fewer complications from the novel coronavirus.

    During menopause, your hormone levels start to decline. However, many women turn to hormone therapy to help bring estrogen levels back into baseline ranges to help reduce menopausal symptoms. Now, some researchers suggest that HRT may also help with COVID-19 during menopause.

    Estrogen’s Role in the Immune System

    Why might pre-menopausal women and menopausal women on hormone therapy experience less severe symptoms of COVID-19? This may be due to estrogen’s role in the immune system, as women with low estrogen levels also tend to have more severe symptoms from COVID-19. There is still much to learn about estrogen and COVID-19. However, many studies show that estrogen may help your body respond to infections.
     
    Those with healthy estrogen levels may experience more efficient immune responses to viruses like COVID-19. For example, pre-menopausal women and women on hormone replacement treatment. Estrogen may influence the number of immune cells your body produces, like interferons and antibodies. Interferons help turn on the immune cells that help fight infections. Antibodies attack the germs that make you sick. Therefore, estrogen may help your immune system respond to COVID-19 and other infections.
    In addition, estrogen may also offer anti-inflammatory benefits. This may help with lung inflammation with COVID-19. This inflammation may cause the difficulty breathing and lung damage associated with the infection. The cells that help produce inflammatory responses are called cytokines. Estrogen has been shown to help reduce the number of cytokines in your body. Pre-menopausal women and those on estrogen hormone therapy may experience less inflammation during COVID-19 because of this.

    In a recent study, researchers decided to test how estrogen affected female mice with SARS, a viral infection similar to COVID-19. The mice with lower estrogen levels had fewer inflammatory cells in their lungs. Therefore, estrogen hormone therapy may help reduce the risk of serious lung inflammation.

    Common Conditions During Menopause That May Worsen the Effects of COVID-19

    Also, several conditions can increase your risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. Your risk for many of these conditions increases with menopause. For example, obesity and diabetes. During menopause, declining hormone levels can affect how your body distributes fat. Many women notice that they have more belly fat, also called visceral fat, during menopause. Visceral fat increases your risk for diabetes and many other serious conditions. Diabetes and obesity are also both associated with inflammation. This may explain why these conditions are often linked with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

    Hormone therapy during menopause, however, may help fight belly fat and help you maintain a healthy weight. This can help reduce your risk for the health complications often associated with severe COVID-19 symptomsEstrogen hormone replacement treatment can help your body redistribute fat. Also, it can help reduce menopause symptoms that make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. For example, hot flashes can make it hard to keep to an exercise regimen. Additionally, it can help improve mood changes that may affect your motivation with diet and exercise. Therefore, HRT may also help you improve your overall health. This may, in turn, help your body fight COVID-19 if you become infected.

    Hormone Therapy for Menopause Symptoms

    In addition, many of the symptoms of menopause may also increase your risk for complications from COVID-19. For example, you might experience higher levels of stress or sleep difficulties. These common issues can affect your life and sense of wellbeing. They can also negatively impact your immune system.

    Studies show that stress and sleep deprivation can lower your immune response. They can also increase the number of cytokines your body produces, which are often responsible for lung inflammation during COVID-19. Many women experience heightened stress and anxiety during menopause, as well as difficulty sleeping.

    However, hormone replacement treatment may help reduce these symptoms of menopause. For example, night sweats are a common reason women have difficulty sleeping during menopause. Estrogen hormone therapy can also help with mood changes and other factors that may affect your immune system.

    Therefore, it’s important to take care of your overall health during these uncertain times, as even elevated stress levels may affect your immune system. If you have menopause symptoms like hot flashes or mood changes, our provider may recommend hormone therapy to help you feel better. Additionally, our team can help you develop healthy habits for diet and exercise to help you maintain your health during menopause.

    At HerKare, we’re dedicated to helping women feel their best. Our providers listen and offer personalized solutions to help you improve your health and wellbeing. Whether you’re experiencing menopause symptoms or you need help with other conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or allergies, we are here for you. Schedule an appointment today to talk to our team about your health concerns and learn how we may be able to help. We are here for you.