Addressing Trauma & PTSD using Functional Medicine Part #1

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This week we are writing on trauma:

Trauma is not uncommon. One study in the US found that 74.2% of women and 81.3% of men reported experiencing at least one traumatic event in their lifetime (Mock SE, 2010).

How does trauma affect the body and how we can resolve it using Functional Medicine?

  • TRAUMA: a psychological, emotional response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event or experience. Examples are being in a serious accident, having an illness or injury, losing a loved one or going through a divorce. It includes more extreme experiences that are severely damaging, such as abuse, rape or torture.

The trauma or the incident is typically said to be ‘outside the realm of normal human experience’ and that it would be a highly distressing experience for anyone (Levine, 1997).

Three categories of TRAUMA have been established:

  • Complex trauma
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD
  • Developmental trauma disorder

SYMPTOMS of trauma are numerous and may appear at different points in time (Levine, 1997):

  • Hypervigilance or being ‘on guard’ at all times
  • Feeling helpless
  • Flashbacks
  • Extreme sensitivity to light or sound
  • Exaggerated emotional or startle responses
  • Nightmares and night terrors
  • Abrupt mood reactions including rage, fear, temper tantrums or frequent crying
  • Shame, guilt, self-blame
  • Reduced ability to cope with stress
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Panic attacks and anxiety
  • Avoidance behaviors, avoiding certain situations

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