Cortisol: Its Role In Psoriasis and Chronic Inflammation
Psoriasis sufferers are not the only who might benefit from reading this article. Everybody who developed psoriasis or any other chronic health problem after a stressful period or event in his life might found following information very useful.
This article about cortisol and psoriasis will be a little bit difficult to understand completely so you may want to read it twice but I think it is worthy to understand the ideas and evidence presented here in the next lines. Therefore it is written somehow with repeating parts in order to make it easier for you to understand it.
In this article I want to explain to you why absolute high or low cortisol levels do not matter as much as you might think.
Because what really matters is how well or bad the cells respond to cortisol. You may have “low” cortisol on blood tests (or saliva tests if you want) and it may work much efficiently than “high” levels of cortisol in some other person.
The sensitivity of cells to cortisol is what really matters.
I think that unless a person has very low levels of cortisol (like in Addison’s disease) the numbers on the test results are a weak marker of the underlying problem of some chronic disease in any individual.
Psoriasis, Cortisol, Immune System and Autonomic Nervous System
- How do chronic inflammatory diseases start?
- Psoriasis, Autonomic Nervous System and Cortisol
- Is it possible to reverse chronic inflammatory diseases with high success and fast?
- Cortisol – is it bad when it is HIGH or LOW?
- Infections cause cortisol related problems
- Why probiotics do not work?
- Night sweats cause
- Yeast smelling sweat
- PTSD, hypoglycemia, inflammatory diseases, anxiety, panic attacks
I believe that most things you learned about cortisol, chronic inflammation and reversing the health issues are not so.
And I really do not know why so many people who write about the cortisol and inflammatory diseases do not do their homework and instead write incomplete or very general information in their articles.
Most articles are all about high cortisol levels, how it’s bad to have high cortisol levels and what to do to bring them down.
Sure, high cortisol is a big problem but why don’t you say also that many people who are in advanced stages of their diseases have low(er) cortisol levels or at least the body is not very responsive to it?
Would you recommend to lower the cortisol levels for them even more?
Many would disagree and say “yes, because the cortisol levels are high in chronic inflammatory diseases…”.
Well, as I said above, even if the cortisol levels were high in absolute numbers they may still be relatively low compared to something else – maybe the levels of proinflammatory cytokines? TNF-alpha, IL-1,…?
The proof of this is that people with chronic inflammatory diseases are often less prone to catch a cold.
But the research and practical medicine proved that having high levels of cortisol flowing through our bodies would be immunosuppressive.
So, why those affected by chronic inflammatory diseases and “reportedly” high cortisol levels do not catch every infection that goes around?
Sure, those who take methotrexate, ciclosporin or some immunosuppressive biologic drug are prone to serious infections but their immune systems are suppressed with those drugs not by cortisol produced by their own bodies.
The symptoms of excess cortisol
- stretch marks (striae)
- emotional instability
- bursts of anger
- weight gain
- joint pain
How do chronic inflammatory diseases start?
I would recommend you to read my previous post “Adrenal Fatigue Is Bacterial Infection” first. There you will find an explanation why is there so many people with “adrenal fatigue” and what causes it.
But if you want to continue reading this article I will tell you what causes “adrenal fatigue” – it is the endotoxins!
And it does not matter if those endotoxins come from the infected tooth (root canal) or small intestine (due to low bile flow and overall bad digestion).
Yes, the endotoxins which create the strong inflammatory response and mess up (increase) the cortisol production as well.
Bad diet, infections,…
In the beginning there is usually a long term combination of bad diet, nutritional deficiencies, drugs, vaccinations, emotional stress (relationships, job, financial issues), physical stress (sleep deprivation)…
These factors contribute to increase in cortisol production which allows the pathogens to slowly subvert the immune systems of our bodies.
As the infections progress they induce stronger and stronger immune response and inflammation.
And inflammation leads to symptoms of diseases (pain, swelling, redness…), oxidative stress, higher nutritional needs and thick blood (hypercoagulability) which is accompanied with most chronic inflammatory diseases (even though there may be some individuals with thin blood and chronic inflammation).
Inflammation is needed in order to resolve the problem and repair the tissues.
However, due to the fact that pathogens subverted the immune system already the result is usually just a *chronic inflammation* which does not address the real source of problem – usually intestinal infection.
But if the source of a problem is root canal tooth then it is almost impossible for the body to break the vicious circle of chronic inflammation.
I said “almost” impossible because there is a chance in theory (by using antioxidants and other supplements) but who would like to have a deadly rotting tooth stuck in his own jaw?
Once the chronic inflammation was initiated and you developed the symptoms (in case of psoriasis the first plaques appeared) the whole HPA axis, cortisol and Autonomic Nervous System are probably very dysregulated already.
Actually, the increased endotoxin levels in blood, increased cortisol, inflammation and Autonomic Nervous System dysfunction may be present for a long time (often up to a year) until the symptoms like psoriasis plaques appear.
After the prolonged period of leakage of endotoxins to the blood the body may become resistant to cortisol and/or HPA axis is dysregulated to the point that it does not produce enough cortisol – the body may produce less cortisol (“Adrenal Fatigue Is Bacterial Infection”) or the cortisol receptors are unresponsive to it.
This leads to inflammatory response. I am not saying an overactive inflammation because if a lot of endotoxins initiate that inflammation then it can’t be said that inflammatory response is inadequate or overactive.
This is how the body works – endotoxins cause the inflammation.
Then this inflammation leads to oxidative stress and oxidative stress drives more tissue damage and more inflammation.
So how to resolve this chronic inflammation?
- Supplementing the needed vitamins and