Why do more women suffer from CFID than Men?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Honora88, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Honora88

    Honora88 Member

    To me, there is no way a man can have cfid and think he is just tired and ignore it and not bother going to the doctor to look into this. It's so debilitating. There were theories that men undereport having something wrong with them.
  2. UsedtobePerkyTina

    UsedtobePerkyTina New Member

    I believe women have more hormone fluctuations and have different immune systems because they can keep a baby. These differences make women more susceptible to acquiring the circle of dysfunctions in these systems when a stressor hits.

    Studies show that the most common category to get CFIDS is women in 40s or 50s, a time of hormone transition. Second most common time is late teenage years, another time of hormone change.

    There could be other reasons, such as how women handle stress, what they worry about, etc. Mean worry about performance at the job and not doing anything to fail their wife's idea of what he should be. They worry about making enough money.

    Women worry about relationships, whose mad at them, how to improve relationships, etc.

    Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying it is a psychological illness. Studies show that some stressor, virus, operation or other physical thing can take the person's system down the spiral. But, there does seem to be a predisposition that determines who gets the CFIDS with that stressor and who doesn't. And that predisposition is more common in women.

    And one theory is that the predisposition is central nervous system flaws (dysautonomia) which happen when someone is in womb. Not noticeable until the stressor. Maybe this flaw, for some reason, is more common in women.

  3. tgeewiz

    tgeewiz Member

    ...I wish that I did not have CFIDS.

    As you correctly note, it is primarily seen as a women's disease according to statistics.

    It is really difficult for me to explain to others why I am not working, not looking for work, and why on most days I simply do not have the strength to walk through a Walmart.

    Good question - I wish I had the answer.


  4. frosty77

    frosty77 New Member

    I'd guess the difference is due to women being far more likely to go to the doctor.
  5. tansy

    tansy New Member

    to illnesses that involve immune dysfunction, including auto immune disorders, generally.

    Rich has posted about problems with oestrogen metabolism; if present this too would make women more prone to ME and CFS.

    I personally feel males are underdiagnosed with ME, CFS, and FM because the medical profession percieve them as illnesses that mostly affect females. At a grassroot level we found a considerably higher incidence of ME, CFS and FM in males than is frequently quoted.

    tc, Tansy
  6. Lichu3

    Lichu3 New Member

    just like in auto-immune diseases but perhaps not as high as the 3:1 (f:m) ratio that some have suggested.

    The latest CDC study, FWIW, showed that in urban areas the f:m ratio was high but when they studied rural areas the ration was close to 1:1 (i.e. equal).

    Because the CDC definition of CFS is vague, it could be that in the city, where docs may not know their patients as well (people switch docs a lot), lots of women get labelled with 'CFS' when they might have another illness.

    In rural areas, docs may know their patients better and not give a diagnosis of CFS as 'easily.'

    (All theory on my part.)
  7. spmom

    spmom New Member

    I feel very strongly that fibro and CFS is caused by an endocrine system/hormonal breakdown and the reason why women get it more than men is because our system is much more complex hormonally than men. Just from my experience with autoimmune diseases and hormone resistance, I think our bodies end up turning on ourselves in ways medicine has no idea, but will hopefully uncover. I've come to this conclusion since I discovered that I had thyroid hormone resistance, something 99 percent of docs have not heard of. When I take thyroid hormone that my body needs, it is rejected by my cells and instead makes me sick. Still, all of my lab work looks wonderful. This has made me seriously consider how other parts of my body may not be working. Just my opinion.
  8. erky

    erky New Member

    Well let me answer your question about men and fibro.I had this for years and did not know it like many.But worked with it ,popping pills etc.It took me 15 yrs to finally break down the man thing and pain.This is why not many men are dx with fibro.And when we are we are in a real bad flare and usually have waited to long for treatment.And develop other problems as we all do.So go ahead and ask questions about men and fibro,while i am ready to answer them .This is very hard for a man to admit.
  9. dannybex

    dannybex Member

    LIke others have posted, it may have something to due with hormonal issues, high estrogen, etc., in some cases, and also the stereotypical refusal by most men to admit they're suffering, and as a result, wait until it's unbearable before seeing a doc.

    Society has in subtle ways indoctrinated men to feel shame for ANY sort of weakness -- so that definitely may play a part.

    BUT...I'd like to offer an additional theory. My own perhaps stupid theory.

    And this may be a stereotype too, so of course I don't mean it that way, and of course it doesn't apply to everyone.

    But think about this. What do most women do, that men don't do. Wear makeup, perfume, color their hair -- all things that penetrate the skin, get into the bloodstream, and may possibly interfere with immune function or lead to liver detoxification issues?

    Certainly almost all makeup and perfumes these days are made from petrochemical or other potentially toxic compounds. In fact I wonder if ANY commercially made perfumes these days are made from actual "lavender" or "rose petals" like they were 50 years ago.

    And this toxic makeup and even makeup removers are spread and rubbed on, on a DAILY basis in most cases, right on the skin.

    Yes, men can work around chemicals, and yes wear some sort of cologne too, and color their hair, but in general, I wonder if they're less likely to come into direct contact with these chemicals -- unless they work with pesticides, or solvents, etc..

    Just a thought...


    p.s. I wish I didn't have it too!
    [This Message was Edited on 07/29/2008]
  10. frosty77

    frosty77 New Member

    Interesting Danny but I would have to respectfully disagree. I've had this DD long before I ever considered wearing makeup, wearing perfume, or coloring my hair (onset age 11). Also, since then, I've never worn makeup, perfume, or colored my hair.