SAVE THE DATE
Laboratory, Endocrine, & Neurotransmitter Symposium
October 4 - 6, 2019
CMES will be available
Gain additional clinical insight and treatment considerations to evaluate some of the most prevalent and challenging conditions that patients present with, including depression, anxiety, altered mental focus and stamina, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, addictions and dependencies, weight management, and chronic disease. Click the button below to be the first to know when registration for LENS 2019 opens.
Topic: Neurotransmitter Primer
By: Laura Neville, ND
June 5, 2019
Join Labrix clinical staff and special guests on the first Wednesday of every month at 9:30 AM and 12:00 PM PST. This free, live webinar series will cover a variety of neuroendocrine topics that will enhance your knowledge, with clinically applicable testing and treatment considerations. 1 CE credit available upon attendee request.
Orlando, FL: May 17-18, 2019
Come visit our booth at the A4M conference in Orlando, FL, this weekend.
San Antonio, TX:
May 30 - June 1, 2019
Make sure to visit our booth at IFM (AIC) in San Antonio later this month. Chat with our booth representatives to learn what's new.
Monitoring HPA axis when treating inflammatory conditions
By Ruth Hobson, ND | May 14, 2019
A strong relationship exists between the Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis (HPA) and inflammatory signaling. Glucocorticoids, produced by the adrenal gland, are the body’s most potent endogenous anti-inflammatory agents. The mechanism by which glucocorticoids down-regulate inflammation has led to the development of synthetic glucocorticoids for a wide range of inflammatory conditions. Similarly to synthetic glucocorticoids, endogenous cortisol down-regulates inflammatory pathways within tissues and immune cells. In fact, the inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-1, and TNF-α are powerful activators of the HPA axis leading to an increase in cortisol output during times of acute inflammation.
Unfortunately, the protective aspect of cortisol can go awry during periods of long-term stress. Continued stimulation of cortisol production via cytokines, especially IL-1, interferes with HPA axis signaling and feedback via the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). These changes lead to alterations in GR’s sensitivity, or cortisol resistance, which impairs the HPA feedback loop contributing to hyperactivity of the HPA axis. Over time, this resistance can blunt the anti-inflammatory effects of cortisol, leading to a hypo-cortisol state.
HPA axis dysregulation has been observed in many inflammatory and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease. It’s even found in inflammatory metabolic conditions such as type 1 and 2 diabetes; and in psychological disorders such as depression, major depressive disorder, and PTSD. In fact, HPA axis dysregulation caused by chronic stress is now considered an important link between stress and inflammatory mediated diseases. This concept was demonstrated via an adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) study where prolonged unmitigated stress during childhood, or “toxic stress,” led to metabolic diseases as well as mood and attention issues.
Image courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Permanente. The ACE Study Survey Data [Unpublished Data]. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2016.
Even inflammation as a result of high-fat diets, food intolerance, excess body fat, smoking, and long-term psychological stress can cause HPA axis dysregulation, leading to decreased cortisol output which contributes to more inflammation, and the cycle continues. Measuring HPA axis function via salivary cortisol testing can be a helpful tool for both preventing inflammatory disease in patients under chronic stress, and treating it in those who are already diagnosed with chronic inflammatory conditions.
Duque GA, Descoteaux A. Macrophage Cytokines: Involvement in Immunity and Infectious Diseases. Frontiers in Immunology. 2014;5. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00491
Guilliams TG. The Role of Stress and the HPA Axis in Chronic Disease Management. Stevens Point, WI: Point Institute; 2015.
Pariante CM. Why are depressed patients inflamed? A reflection on 20 years of research on depression, glucocorticoid resistance and inflammation. European Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017;27:554-559.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/index.html. Accessed May 13, 2019.