Totally fed up with being a Phlegm Wad? Thinking of buying shares in Kleenex tissues or – worse still – toilet roll?
So you catch every cough, cold, bug and lurgy going, eh? Low immune system?
You’re blaming everything from your off-the-scale stress levels. Or the bloke that sneezed on you at the checkout? Maybe that icky no-hand-washing-after-pooping woman in the office?
Well, it may knock you sideways to know that hormones have a part to play in how strong your immunity is.
It’s true a wheezing and sneezing person may be spreading the germs BUT they might be taking hold of YOU due to hormone imbalance.
Let’s look at how that works and what you can do to help yourself.
A slug of self-care for snot prevention, if you like.
Your Thyroid Gland and Immunity
A strong immune system produces cells to fight and “kill off” attackers. Attackers like bacteria and viruses. People with balanced thyroid hormones tend to have more active “killer” cells for battling bugs.
Signs of low thyroid include tiredness, being sensitive to cold, weight gain, constipation, dry skin/hair/nails, nose-dived sex drive and irregular or heavy periods.
Low thyroid can lead to other serious health issues over time, if it’s not treated.
If you think you might have low thyroid, ask your GP for tests. The standard NHS tests in the UK are NOT a full check. Check out this article from a UK thyroid health charity. It covers the tests they suggest and why.
Your Adrenal Glands and Immunity
Adrenals – those little glands on top of your kidneys – have a BIG impact on immunity.
They produce a few hormones . It’s cortisol (the stress hormone) that is key to a healthy immune system.
Too much cortisol weakens your immune system. And why might we have too much cortisol? One of the main reasons is STRESS. Wahhhhhh.
Signs of high cortisol include sleeplessness, tiredness, weight gain around the middle, food cravings, aches and pains, digestive problems, anxiety, low mood and low sex drive.
A barrel of laughs? NOT.
Oestrogen, Progesterone and Your Immunity
High or low oestrogen levels can affect your immune system.
Too much oestrogen can suppress the thyroid. In turn, that suppresses the cells that fight off bacteria and viruses.
Too much oestrogen can also reduce the size the thymus gland behind your breast bone. Bear with here, please.
A smaller thymus mean less thymus hormone in the blood and leads to lower immunity.
Signs of too high oestrogen include blood sugar imbalances, breast tenderness, tiredness, cold hands and feet, migraines, Endometriosis, hair loss, weight gain, low libido, infertility, PMS, fibroids and much, much more.
Too little oestrogen is common in menopausal and post menopausal Misses. It also leads to lower immune function. AND increases inflammation in the body.
Whoopy do. As if hot flushes and bone health aren’t enough to worry about.
Low levels of progesterone have actually been linked to some autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are where the body starts attacking itself instead of “intruders”.
Progesterone in pregnancy helps build the immune system of the developing baby. Not a lot of people know that.
Testosterone and Immunity
When testosterone levels are low, infection-fighting cells multiply.
Great, you say. Well not really, because overproduction can lead to autoimmune disease.
Too high testosterone levels can also suppress immune activity. Boo hiss.
Self-Help For Happier Hormones and Boosting Immunity
I could write a HUMONGOUS list of ways to support hormonal health and boost immunity. But I’d get typers cramp and you’d
A) fall sleep with boredom and/or
B) get overwhelmed and unsure where to start and/or
C) your brain might explode. Messy.
So start with baby steps. My top 3 things to do to help prevent colds, bugs and lurgies are:
Scoff a variety of veggies and fruits including garlic, mushrooms, leafy greens, broccoli, sweet potatoes, seaweeds and berries …not necessarily all on the same plate!
Have quality protein at each meal and snack – think organic poultry, meat and fish, eggs, nuts (brazils, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, sesame), legumes, organic soy products, organic dairy in moderation only (it’s mucus forming).
Choose unrefined carbs in moderation like quinoa, oats, buckwheat, brown and wild rice, spelt.
Eat enough healthy fats from oily fish, nuts and seeds, avocado. Cook with good fats such as coconut oil, ghee, organic butter. Sprinkle your salads and dishes with healthy oils like hemp, olive and avocado oils.
Banish processed foods and avoid sugar, caffeine and alcohol. All health and hormone harmers rather than helpers.
2. Sleep Well
Get plenty of good quality shut-eye for good hormone balance and immune boosting. Read how hormones affect sleep and how to get a much better nights rest right here.
3. Chill Well
Identify and reduce the sources of stress in your life. Find ways to handle the stress that you have whether it be pampering, keeping a journal, exercise, meditation, yoga … it doesn’t matter as long it helps restore some calm in your life. We’re all different, so try to find what works for you. And practice consistently. Self-care isn’t selfish (my mantra!).
So there you have it – hormones CAN be linked to low immunity and lead to coughs, colds bugs and lurgies. Surprised? You may also be interested in my FREE e book below. There, you’ll find even more surprising signs of haywire hormones and over 30 hacks to help.