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High Cortisol / Testosterone Ratio As A Likely Cause Of PTSD

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    As the study below says the role of cortisol (C) in mood disorders has been known for more than 30 years. Cortisol's role in depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, and eating disorders is well known even in mainstream psychiatry and many of the new drugs in pharma pipeline are aimed at suppressing cortisol synthesis or its effects at the receptor. PTSD has long been a sort of an "orphan" disease since its biochemical signature was considered uncertain. The earlier studies apparently could not single out cortisol as the primary cause. This new study shows that PTSD likely develops when the cortisol/testosterone (T) ratio rises beyond a certain level. As Ray said in one of his interviews and in emails to several people, elevation of the C / T ratio is also one of the primary symptoms of hypothyroidism in males. In addition, he wrote about the direct role of suppressed thyroid function in "shellshock" of soldiers when they come back from war. So, aside from thyroid, substances like emodin, pregnenolone, progesterone, and DHEA may be viable treatment options for PTSD as they all have an effect on both cortisol and testosterone. Given the powerful anti-stress effects of T on cortisol, I think direct supplementation with physilogical T doses may also help. In fact DHT would be even better due to its more powerful anti-cortisol effects, combined with anti-estrogen and anti-prolactin effects, and inability to aromatize.

    http://www.psyneuen-journal.com/article/S0306-4530(16)30676-X/fulltext
    https://news.utexas.edu/2017/03/07/ptsd-risk-can-be-predicted-by-hormone-levels
    "...Up to 20 percent of U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan developed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder from trauma experienced during wartime, but new neuroscience research from The University of Texas at Austin suggests some soldiers might have a hormonal predisposition to experience such stress-related disorders. Cortisol — the stress hormone — is released as part of the body’s flight-or-fight response to life-threatening emergencies. Seminal research in the 1980s connected abnormal cortisol levels to an increased risk for PTSD, but three decades of subsequent research produced a mixed bag of findings, dampening enthusiasm for the role of cortisol as a primary cause of PTSD. However, new findings published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology point to cortisol’s critical role in the emergence of PTSD, but only when levels of testosterone — one of most important of the male sex hormones — are suppressed, researchers said. “Recent evidence points to testosterone’s suppression of cortisol activity, and vice versa. It is becoming clear to many researchers that you can’t understand the effects of one without simultaneously monitoring the activity of the other,” said UT Austin professor of psychology Robert Josephs, the first author of the study. “Prior attempts to link PTSD to cortisol may have failed because the powerful effect that testosterone has on the hormonal regulation of stress was not taken into account.”
     
  2. Regina

    Regina Member

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    Great finds today.
    So many people attribute soldier's PTSD with gut bugs--citing long-term off-label cipro ABX and eating shelf-life foods. But the cortisol, serotonin, estrogen, et al...... are not only more convincing but a more direct possibility to correct the situation.
     
  3. sele

    sele Member

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    Thank you for your time and research @haidut .
    Great post as always :thumbup
     
  4. GAF

    GAF Member

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    What can one learn about treating female PTSD from this thread?
     
  5. Xisca

    Xisca Member

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    Well, when you hear the word cause, look for the cause of the cause!
    What is the cause of high cortisol?
    What is the cause of disregulation in the body?
    Females will have their own unbalance, regulate the fight and fight response, and the body will reorganize itself.
    I have been sent the first known randomized controlled study evaluating SE (somatic experiencing) effectiveness in ptsd. But you have examples in Youtube, in treating veterans.
     
  6. Marg

    Marg Member

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    Speaking of female PTSD, a few years ago I listened to an interview on a talk show with a childbirth midwife who said that both the birth mother and newborn can experience trauma from a hospital birth, more so than a more tranquil home birth with a qualfied midwife, which most obstetritions oppose, because the medicalization of childbirth is a very lucrative business.

    High risk births must be in a hospital setting; but she said healthy women could have a lot less stress in a quiet, peaceful home setting rather than the loud, glaringly lit, cold, germy, stirruped enviroment with hospital staff running around the birth mother.

    Hospital births consist of:
    Forced labor inducing drugs for the convenience of the obstretrition, many unnecessary cesareans, injury inducing forceps, umbilical cord cutting way too soon, removing the newborn from mother too soon, hepatitis B vaccination (outrageous!!!), etc... The whole environment is jarring and traumatic for both mother and newborn.

    In the past century medical dogma proclaimed that newborns could't feel pain, and Ray Peat debunked that myth.
     
  7. Soren

    Soren Member

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    It is possible that the gut bugs you speak are still a contributing factor. Bacteria in the gut often lead to an increase of endotoxin which in turn can cause an increase in both serotonin and cortisol.
     
  8. Peatogenic

    Peatogenic Member

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    I find relief from CPTSD symptoms after taking Pregnenolone. I've seen this consistently over many years. I can go many months without taking it and the symptoms literally vanish overnight. But to say that this Cortisol imbalance actually *is* PTSD or the cause of it (not sure if that's being said) doesn't seem accurate. For example, I can also have thoughts or revelations that can cause the same exact effect as taking Pregnenolone.

     
  9. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Not my words, the study claims exactly that - i.e. that cortisol, and more accurately the cortisol/T ratio, is a primary causative factor in PTSD. See the OP, and this is one of the key sentences.
    "...new findings published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology point to cortisol’s critical role in the emergence of PTSD."
     
  10. Peatogenic

    Peatogenic Member

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    Maybe I'm missing something, but the shellshock would dysregulate cortisol/T ratio, the dysregulation wouldn't be the cause of ptsd, the shellshock would. That would be like saying anyone with dysregulated cortisol/T ratios could catch CPTSD.

    The flashbacks would dysregulate the hormones. Further, there is a psychotherapeutic practice called EMDR which can cognitively cure ptsd by realigning the two brain hemispheres.

    Unless I'm misunderstanding, this view of the body only recognizes the internal environment and ignores the external environment. With that said, I fully understand that trauma disorders would probably all have coexisting hormone dysregulation.

     
  11. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Most people with high cortisol/T ratio (especially males) easily satisfy the diagnostic criteria of at least one disorder from DSM V. Not always PTSD. Could be depression, bipolar, schizo, etc. So, while the cortisol/T ratio may not be a "specific" cause of PTSD it is usually a cause of a mental disorder. Anti-cortisol drugs like RU486 have been successfully tested for PTSD in humans, which once again implicates elevated cortisol as a causative factor.
    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/drt/2012/393251/

    The underlying cause of high cortisol/T is probably thyroid failure from the sudden and extreme shock, as Peat wrote. This also results in suppressed gonadal function. But the ensuing cortisol elevation is probably the direct cause of the PTSD symptoms.
     
  12. Peatogenic

    Peatogenic Member

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    Side note:. I have dissociation, which is considered a neurological trauma disorder. In my physical rehabilitation, I use body weights to ground my body and it allows me to smell, see, and hear differently. It also profoundly lowers my anxiety and confusion.

    That made me think of the earthing thing where people walk barefoot. Studies have shown that barefooting (grounding) reduces cortisol.

    Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has the same and many more symptoms as PTSD yet is not typically based on a single traumatic event, but many...or even trauma like childhood neglect.

    The trauma science points to an idea of Limbic system looping where people with trauma disorders exist in a primitive survival part of the brain. No doubt they have elevated Cortisol, but to say this Cortisol causes the symptoms would not be accurate....especially if the resolution of Limbic system looping via somatic psychotherapeutic modalities resolves the symptoms.

     
  13. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Did you look through the Hindawi study from my last post? I am not saying anything, the studies are. Two separate studies claim that cortisol, and more accurately high cortisol/T ratio are causative for the symptoms of PTSD. That's why in the Hindawi study they used a GR antagonist (RU486) as treatment and it worked in those people. If you have another explanation why a GR antagonist would work yet cortisol is not causative in PTSD then please explain.
     
  14. Peatogenic

    Peatogenic Member

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    I know you aren't saying it, but you posted it and are explaining it and have defended it. I am questioning the study because it doesn't make sense when compared to a lot of the trauma literature and I'm trying to understand it. The verbiage "causes PTSD" is what seems inaccurate. I feel like it's more complex than that based on my other research. I would have to see how they determined that a GR antagonist cured PTSD. What that means.

    You're misunderstanding me and don't understand the point I'm making. Just because cortisol issues definitely *are* in the picture of PTSD does not necessarily mean that they are causative of the entire issue.

    For example, I can experience (not *every* time) sometimes a dramatic drop in my symptoms of CPTSD by taking pregnenolone but they return. Similarly, a thought shift or an interaction with a friend can reduce the symptoms dramatically as well. I can be in a state of feeling cured of CPTSD, and then a *thought* in *a moment* can cause me to completely crumble for three days. The issue is more complex than you or the study give it....but that's not denying that cortisol issues are definitely a part of the knot. To say cortisol causes the issue doesn't seem very Peat-ish because it doesn't take into account the entire organism and entire environment.

     
  15. Hugh Johnson

    Hugh Johnson Member

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    You are not a machine. The biology is there to serve you, and Peat does not pretend you are a simple machine. Your biology responds to you, and your environment.

    You actually need to deal with the CPTSD, or CPTSR("response", it is not a personality disorder) which is more accurate.
     
  16. Regina

    Regina Member

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    That reminds me of Dr. Peat's answer in an interview:
    "Many people feel positive emotions in their organ nerve centers, for example the heart plexus and the solar plexus. The good feelings go with good functions. When the nerves cringe because of the presence of authoritarians, the nerve supply to the organs is impaired. Thinking of the offensive person is enough to do it. Food, activity, and feelings about your surroundings go together, and it’s important to listen to your viscera, to really participate in constructive living."

    I think breathing deep compassion for yourself into these heart and solar plexus areas can have a positive effect on the nerve centers.
    For the heart, I breathe the idea of a big and then bigger and then bigger empty circle.
     
  17. lollipop

    lollipop Guest

    This is simply fascinating. I see this in people, especially the solar plexus being tied up in people with anxiety, or an overbearing spouse, etc. Thanks for pointing this out @Regina.
     
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