The old cliché of where there is smoke there is fire is seen when we feel well while beneath the surface subtle disruptions are happening that affect the delicate balances of our internal systems.
In a healthy body, the major systems including the endocrine, central nervous, digestive and cardiovascular/respiratory communicate with each other, however with chronic inflammation, this communication becomes distorted.
Using the Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal function (HAP) as a communication system example, we observe a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions taking place among the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenals.
The Hypothalamus which is located in your brain regulates blood pressure, blood volume, temperature, appetite, libido and a number of different hormones in our body by the Pituitary gland.
The Pituitary gland stimulates messenger hormones such as Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) or Growth Hormone which tells your adrenals to make cortisol or aldosterone. The Hypothalamus will receive this information from various parts of your body.
The hypothalamus receives two types of information. One type is hormone based and the amount of hormones in the body and the other is the information from the nervous system such as dopamine, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or information from our immune system.
Cytokines ad neurotransmitters
Most tissue in our bodies makes immune molecules such as cytokines. Cytokines, hormones and neurotransmitter information is analysed in the Hypothalamus, which makes decisions based on the received data input.
Actions of the Hypothalamus
The Hypothalamus for example makes Corticotrophin Releasing Hormone (CRH) and sends it to the Pituitary gland. The Pituitary gland receives CRH and then makes ACTH and this hormone binds onto the receptors on the Adrenal cortex and makes cortisol, known as the stress hormone and necessary in a time of stress when extra blood sugar requirements are needed in a stress response.
What happens when this is inhibited
If the Hypothalamus inhibits CRH and the Pituitary does not make ACTH the end result is the adrenals will not make cortisol as the adrenal glands will do as they are instructed by the messenger sent to the receptor, receiver.
Although the adrenal glands have ACTH receptors, they also have receptors that will receive immune system molecules such as Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha, (TNFa).
Communication breaks down
If the TNF alpha bind to these ACTH receptor sites themselves then ACTH is inhibited from binding to the Adrenal Cortex receptors and the adrenals will not receive the information to make cortisol. One of the main reasons this occurs is due to toxins, inflammation and disease.
The stimulus that starts the communication breakdown can come from various structures. For example a multitude of free radicals launched every day when we eat foods made with processed vegetable oils – French fries, fried food, non-fat dried milk, powdered coffee creamer, salad dressings, crackers, cookies, chips, or it could be an allergy to wheat, gluten which inflames the gut. Or a low-grade lingering infection or a growing body burden of heavy metals, pesticides and chemicals. There is a lot of opportunity to irritate the body’s normal functions.
Gut and skin considerations
Epidemiological evidence shows a clear association between gut problems and skin disorders. SIBO is 10 times more prevalent in people with acne rosacea. Intestinal permeability or leaky gut causes both systemic and local inflammation. This then contributes to skin disease and acne which has been proven through research.
The gut flora influences the skin, the brain and every other part of our internal system including the small intestine, the largest immune organ in our bodies and with as many neurotransmitters as the brain communication impairment will affect other systems including the skin.
We know that inflammation disrupts cell-to-cell communication, receptors receiving messages and instructions for the cell to conduct a certain task and inflammation contributes issues to the bodies natural detoxification systems.
Therefore if we have an overwhelmed natural detoxification system and chronic inflammation, it will affect other body systems including the skin and therefore issues will present themselves on the skin. Collagen degeneration and elastin degradation are two common issues.
It is within the scope of an Aesthetic Practitioner to combine internal cleansing with skin treatments and there are a number of therapies and products that support internal cleansing. Simply avoiding sugar and processed foods and offering a pre and probiotic is one way to support treatment regimes and wellbeing for the skin.