Skin disease is one area that I haven’t covered so far, but data from three large clinical trials suggests that having psoriasis significantly raises your risk for heart disease and stroke. Looking at this issue through my sleep-breathing paradigm, it all makes sense. Not being able to achieve deep efficient sleep can cause a low-grade physiologic stress response, which does two things: It constricts blood vessels going to end organs and parts of the body that you don’t need when you’re running from a tiger. This includes the bowels, the reproductive organs, and the skin. Less blood flow in general leads to poor healing and poor functioning. Chronic low-grade stresses can also ratchet up your immune system which ends up attacking it’s own body parts. In light of these possibilities, it’s not surprising at all that people with psoriasis have increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Is it just coincidence that psoriasis is linked to cardiovascular disease, or is it part of one big picture?