How Stress May Trigger Psoriasis (A Naturopathic View)

What is the largest organ of your body? Yes, (cha-ching!) your skin.

Psoriasis, for example, is a result of an overactive immune system that manifest through the skin. The skin, besides protecting us, gives us insight on the performance of key organs.

Check out Srushti’s article “What is Psoriasis” for an explanation of causes and symptoms.

The liver and colon are two main contributors to maintaining health. Your liver keeps your blood clean and clear while your colon eliminates toxins and byproducts out of your system. Do not get me wrong, the heart and other major organs are a vital component as well.

The condition of your skin is closely related to what is happening inside your body.  The body is resilient. It may take months or years before you see a visible change is seen on lab results or imaging.  The body talks in a variety of ways, it’s time we listen.

In this series, we are going to discuss three possible triggers or aggravates psoriasis, from a Naturopathic perspective. Let’s start with Stress.


Stressed Woman

Stress has a big impact on the body. What we think, feel, and how we react to those thoughts, feelings, and situations are key to our health. Remember, small bursts of stress are normal. Our body has its normal “fiight or flight” response. Chronic stress is damaging to our body. It can suppress the immune system, distract your focus, and have a direct effect on your health.

  • Physical: trauma, physical ailment (High blood pressure, diabetes, etc.)
  • Mental : Anxiety, Depression, Type A personality
  • Emotional stress : loss of loved one, excitement, worrying about your cat or dog, a big exam or project due soon

Caveat for emotional stress: The experience of emotion is a gift. We are hard wired to feel and react to situations yet the key is the duration of those emotions and understanding how our perspective influences the outcome psychically and mentally.

The body reacts, in the same manner, to all categories of stress.  It produces cortisol, a hormone, that prepares body to “fight or flight” by increasing glucose levels, breaking down fats, carbohydrates and protein, shunting blood away from organs to periphery all in the name of energy.  Yet we do not run or fight, we sit down at our desk or couch… how ironic.

Next time you feel stressed:  acknowledge it, take a deep breath, take a walk (i.e. exercise) and do not freak out! Your body and skin will thank you for it.

In my next article, we will discuss Psoriasis and Food.

Leave a comment below sharing your thoughts!

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