However, 1% percent of women reach menopause before 40. Referred to as premature menopause, or premature ovarian failure, menopause brings with it a host of discomforts, including allergies from various allergens present in the environment. The immune system of menopausal women goes into disarray and many become susceptible to allergies during menopause.
Menopause Allergies: What Are They
Allergens are substances, most often eaten or inhaled, which can cause an allergic reaction when recognized by the immune system. The medical world has not been able to come up with a comprehensive list of allergens, because sensitivities vary from one individual to another. To make matters worse, it is possible to be allergic to literally anything.
Menopause Allergies: Causes
The main cause of allergy in menopausal women is usually progesterone. It is very rare and difficult to treat, but occurs often enough to cause discomfort and pain. Allergies include a broad variety of symptoms and have an effect on people in different ways. The severity of allergic reactions can depend on the type of allergen, the level of exposure and each individual’s immune response.
Menopause Allergies: Symptoms
Medical research on progesterone, irrespective of its origin, whether synthetic, produced by the body or from natural supplements or application of creams, has observed and accredited progesterone with causing rare allergic reactions to the user.
The symptoms can be rashes to urticaria, better known as ‘hives,’ or life-threatening reactions like anaphylactic shock. Progesterone, produced by the body, has caused very severe allergic rashes in menopausal women is very difficult to treat.
Menopause Allergies: Effects
Allergic symptoms during menopause can result in acne, rosacea, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Some relief givers are different topical medications for the problem. Certain type of seborrhea responds well to antifungal drugs like ketoconazole cream, others respond well to sulfa-based compounds.
Some need occasional short courses of cortisone creams. Menopausal women should be careful not to overdo the cortisones. This can have damaging side effects, if used over a prolonged period, or if the medication used on thin skin is too potent.
Other menopause and allergies issues extend to inexplicable episodes of anaphylaxis due to abnormal reactivity to progesterone that tend to be pre-menopausal, but may occur anytime. The pathogenesis of this disorder is unknown, but laboratory studies indicate that progesterone may either induce histamine release from basophiles directly or make mast cells more susceptible to other mast cell degranulators.
Evidence of estrogen and progesterone hormone allergy discovered by researchers in Austin, Texas, shows that some women with menopausal allergies, like asthma and migraine headaches, might be experiencing allergies to their own estrogen and progesterone hormones.
Women patients who experienced health changes during their menstrual cycle had higher levels of IgE antibodies against progesterone and estrogen than menopausal women did. Allergies can be caused seemingly unexpected. What you are allergic today, you may not be allergic to tomorrow. Menopause and allergies is an increasing problem for the medical practitioners the world over, but efforts are on to find healthy solutions for them.
By: Cathy Taylor
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