Tag Archives: Hydrocortisone

Immune System: Is It A Guard Dog Or Wolf?

Without an immune system, we wouldn’t be here. Even the simplest creature, like bacteria, have types of defensive systems.

However, as we learned with Covid, the immune system can become mistimed, and be a detriment. Covid retards the innate immune system, and unleashes it later on when it no longer serves a useful purpose and actually damages tissue. In certain illnesses, like the common cold, most of the symptoms are actually CAUSED by the immune system.

in the case of allergies, symptoms are caused by the operation of our th2 immune system against a harmless entity, like pollen. With organ transplantation, our immune system recognizes the transplant as foreign; it has no reasoning capacity to realize that the transplanted tissue is necessary for us to live, and  to proceeds to reject the transplant.

In the case of the previous post, hydrocortisone, the prototypical shotgun that tamps down the immune system, benefited severe pneumonia.

With public health, immunizations, and a clean environment, infection is no longer the big killer is once was. Our immune system, designed to defend against a much more infectious world, is currently a real source of danger and disease.

Just like our coagulation system, once critical to stop the more frequent blood flowing in a violent world, Is now a bigger danger than ever because of our development of atherosclerotic blood vessel disease as we live longer.

Anticoagulants and anti-immunity treatments, some of them very expensive, are finding increased utility.

Please press the magnifying glass on the green field, and type in “immune system”. There are a number of previous posts of a more specific and detailed nature.

— Dr. C

Reviews: Hydrocortisone Use In Severe Pneumonia

NEJM Group (May 25, 2023) – Glucocorticoids can help mitigate the adverse consequences of pneumonia, but whether they can reduce mortality in severe community-acquired pneumonia is unknown. New research findings are summarized in a short video.


Among patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia being treated in the ICU, those who received hydrocortisone had a lower risk of death by day 28 than those who received placebo.

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DR. C’S JOURNAL: Stress & The Effects Of Cortisol

Cortisol (hydrocortisone, 17-OH-corticosterone) is produced by stress, and is a bad word these days. When I was a practicing allergist, Cortisol worked wonders with asthma, and as a salve helped my patients with eczema.

It functions in the body as a key part of the stress reaction, which preparers the animal body for “Fight or flight”.  Cortisone raises the blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar, and shuts down The immune system, which is not as necessary in times of emergency. It is this last function which helped my patients with asthma and eczema, which are diseases of excessive immune reactivity. You may have heard of the use of dexamethasone( A relative of cortisol ) in severe Covid, which is made worse by an excessive immune response.

Modern life is a pressure cooker, requiring continuous activity and deadlines. The blood Cortisone level, which is raised by stress, is helpful in the short term, but deleterious when persisting over the long term. The prolonged elevation of blood Pressure, blood sugar and heart rate, coupled with a decrease in bone and collagen formation can lead to all kinds of problems including weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis and mental decline.

Although  cortisol in the short term can enhance memory (think of flash – bulb memory), in the long run it decreases hippocampal function, impacting memory.

For these and other reasons, Modern Life makes it desirable to reduce stress and the accompanying elevation of cortisol . Our old friends, Proper sleep, diet and exercise are critical, and help activities such as laughter and yoga to reduce stress. The following reference will cover this in more detail.

—Dr. C.