Indian women are deemed to be the caretakers of their family. In today’s world more women than men have both, a job outside the home and traditional responsibilities after work hours. Over 70% of married women with children are employed outside the home. Sociologists describe women as struggling to achieve the “male standard” at work, while trying to maintain the perfect wife and mother standards at home. Women often find it harder to say ‘no’ to others’ requests and feel guilty if they can’t fulfill their responsibilities. In addition, as women progress through different life stages, hormonal imbalances associated with premenstrual, post-partum and menopausal changes can affect chemical vulnerability leading to stress, depression and even migraine. Yes, it’s not easy being a woman!
As per reports, one out of every three women suffers from migraine. Migraine refers to a primary headache disorder, which results in recurrent headaches that could be moderate or severe. Migraines are often accompanied by sensory warning signs such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.
Not only the real life stress but according to a new study, women are biologically different than men and possess more chances of carrying stress-related cells. A study conducted at Michigan State University, females are more vulnerable to certain stress-related and allergic diseases such as migraines because of distinct differences found in mast cells, a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system. Mast cells are an important category of immune cells because they play a key role in stress-related health issues that are typically more common in women such as allergic disorders, auto-immune diseases, migraines and irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.
“Over 8,000 differentially expressed genes were found in female mast cells compared to male mast cells,” said lead researcher Adam Moeser, Associate Professor at Michigan State University. “While male and female mast cells have the same sets of genes on their chromosomes, with the exception of the XY sex chromosomes, the way the genes act vary immensely between the sexes,” noted Moeser.
An increase in activity that is linked to the production and storage of inflammatory substances was revealed after a further in-depth analysis of the genes within the RNA genome – a primary building block in all forms of life – according to the study published in the Journal Biology of Sex Differences. These substances can create a more aggressive response in the body and result in disease.
“This could explain why women, or men, are more or less vulnerable to certain types of diseases,” said Moeser. With this new understanding of how different genes act, scientists could eventually start developing new sex-specific treatments that target these immune cells and stop the onset of disease.
The study explains why women are usually more stressed and prone to stress-related diseases than men. It can be a stepping stone to biologically advance women in order to make them less prone to migraine and other stress related diseases.