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Category Archives: Autoimmune General

Testosterone and Autoimmune Diseases

Testosterone and Autoimmune Diseases

This is part 4 of our 4-part series in how hormones affect autoimmune diseases.

Testosterone is an important hormone in the male and female body. It is similar to the female counterpart, progesterone. This hormone is made in the testicles and the adrenal gland. It has a lot of effects in the human body that help in reproductive growth, behavior, skin, muscles, cardiovascular, bone health and cognitive health. Reproductively, it is used to help make sperm, increase libido, and increase hair production.

Apart from its reproductive effects, testosterone also helps contribute to the cognitive, cardiovascular, muscular and immune systems. High levels can promote aggression and dominance, but also helps increase self-esteem. Low levels can cause low confidence and a lack of motivation. It can also disrupt sleep and reduce energy. It also helps to increase muscle bulk and strength and increases bone density. Men with low levels can be at risk for osteoporosis. Testosterone, and its pre-hormone, DHEA, also have an anti-inflammatory effect. It’s this effect that we are going to talk about today.

Testosterone’s Effect on the Immune System

Testosterone has a strong effect on the immune system. When levels are low, we can see an increase in the production of T-cells. This may lead to certain autoimmune diseases if left unchecked. Many different autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus have been linked to low levels of testosterone and DHEA in both men and women.

The balance between testosterone and estrogen is also important. Testosterone is often broken down into estrogen. When testosterone levels are low and estrogen levels are high, this could be because the body is converting testosterone too fast. This will make it more likely to produce an inflammatory state in the body. Raising testosterone or DHEA levels will often bring inflammatory markers down.

How to Treat Testosterone Levels

If you think that your hormone levels are off, then there are a number of ways to test them. The most common way is a blood test. Testosterone can be measured at any time for men or women. You may also want to have DHEA-S checked as well so you can see how well you are able to make testosterone. Estrogen should also be measured in men and women since there is a direct pathway between testosterone and estrogen.

If your hormone levels are too low, then there are some good ways to support this. Giving DHEA can help to make testosterone. But checking to make sure your DHEA levels are within normal limits is important. Also giving other hormone precursors like pregnenolone can help stimulate all hormone pathways. You may also want to help promote liver function if estrogen is high to help with the break down of estrogen in the body.

In any rate, you should always work with a provider that is well versed in understanding the effects of testosterone on the immune system. If you have questions about therapies that our providers use, or if you are wondering how hormones may be impacting your health, you can contact our office to schedule a phone consult with one of our providers today.

Immune Support for COVID-19

Immune Support for COVID-19

When encountering any virus, it is important to keep our immune system strong and healthy. Helping to support our immune system will help us build immunity to future viruses as well. It will also reduce spread and prevent infection.

For more specific ways to help you prevent infection and fight it when you are sick, click the link below and make sure to share with your friends and family! #covid19 #coronavirus #immunesupport #naturopathicmedicine #herbalmedicine #autoimmunity #autoimmunediseases Continue Reading

Alcohol and Autoimmune Diseases

Alcohol and Autoimmune Diseases

You can’t talk about health and not talk to people about alcohol consumption. Alcohol is as prevalent in our society as stress, hamburgers and weird looking dogs. There is a lot of controversy around drinking alcohol and whether it benefits or hinders a person’s health. And when people talk to me about their diet, oneContinue Reading

Intermittent Fasting for Autoimmune Diseases

Intermittent Fasting for Autoimmune Diseases

Intermittent Fasting is a hot topic these days. But can it be used for autoimmune diseases? Yes!

Intermittent fasting can be used to help reduce flares, improve pain and help reduce inflammation long term.

Learn more about intermittent fasting and how it can help your autoimmune symptoms in our new blog post!Continue Reading

How to Have a Low-Carb Halloween

How to Have a Low-Carb Halloween

Halloween is coming – the sugariest night of the year! But for those that are trying to stay healthy by keeping things low-carb, it can feel like a time of being left out or a time when cravings hit hard. So how can you help indulge yourself while still maintaining that low-carb diet? Simple! PrepContinue Reading

Should People with Autoimmune Diseases get the Flu Shot?

Should People with Autoimmune Diseases get the Flu Shot?

I get asked this question A LOT. But before I go on to tell you my thoughts about the flu shot, I want to be clear that I am NOT against vaccinations. I support vaccinations when they are necessary, especially when they provide herd immunity that can eradicate or greatly reduce the chances of peopleContinue Reading

Serotonin and Fibromyalgia

Serotonin and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia (fibro) is a condition that has become more common in the last 10-20 years. It used to be thought that fibro was a made-up condition.  While we don’t necessarily know exactly what causes fibro, we do know that there are several factors that can play a role in its progression. Diagnosis and symptoms CurrentlyContinue Reading

Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Alternative Therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a very destructive inflammatory arthritis that affects approximately 1-5% of the population in the US.  RA can occur at any age but occurs more common after age 50. Women are also affected 2-3x more than men. It is also a fast acting arthritis, and can cause damage to the joint spaceContinue Reading

Aloe Vera Juice May Reduce Thyroid Antibodies

Aloe Vera Juice May Reduce Thyroid Antibodies

A recent study was published that looked at the effects of Aloe Vera juice on Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  What they found was a significant reduction in thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies.  TPO antibodies are commonly elevated in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and are largely responsible for reducing thyroid function. Those with Hashimoto’s common experience symptoms such as fatigue, brainContinue Reading

Heavy Metals and Thyroid Function

Heavy Metals and Thyroid Function

The thyroid gland is a large endocrine gland in the neck that secretes two different thyroid hormones, called T3 and T4.  These hormones are responsible for several functions in the body, most of which having to do with metabolism, growth and development.  There are many conditions that result from too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) orContinue Reading