Estimates suggest chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is two to four times more common in women, than in men. While the exact cause of CFS is still not known, there are three main reasons why women are more vulnerable to CFS when compared to men.
Hormonal Changes During Menopause
A study undertaken by the North American Menopause Society revealed a link between menopause and CFS. The hormonal changes taking place in the body during menopause is one of the main reasons behind the emergence of CFS in women. Additionally, estrogen dominance in women can lead to stress, which results in greater vulnerability to CFS. On the contrary, testosterone, a ,vital male hormone, is said to protect men from CFS. For this reason, the likelihood of men getting CFS increases with age when testosterone levels start declining.
Women are More Prone to Stress
Stress is one of the contributing factors to CFS. In a study undertaken by researchers at Vall d’Hebron University, it is evident that women are more prone to stress and pain as compared to men. Additionally, studies show women are doubly prone to stress-related diseases like generalized anxiety, PTSD, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Complex Immune System in Women
Women have a complex immune system, which protects them from infections. But the same immune system can make it difficult for women to recover once they are infected, as compared to men. The higher number of women in post-infectious mononucleosis triggered-CFS suggests that men recover faster than women. A delayed recovery results in women getting more stressed, which can eventually lead to CFS.