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The Dark Truth about Autoimmune Diseases & Trauma


trauma and autoimmune disease

There is plenty of evidence to suggest a connection between autoimmune diseases and trauma, although the relationship is complex and not yet fully understood. If you have an autoimmune disease, I highly encourage you to take a second look and research.

Traumatic experiences, such as abuse, neglect, and chronic stress, can lead to changes in the brain and immune system and increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases. This means trauma can cause chronic inflammation, hypothetically triggering an autoimmune response. Trauma can also lead to changes in the HPA axis, which is involved in regulating the body’s stress response, and this can further contribute to immune dysregulation and inflammation.

If you spent years in a state of fight or flight, your body can’t keep up.

Women who have spent years under immense pressure and stress with a history of trauma are at an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

However, the relationship between trauma and autoimmune diseases is complex; not all individuals who experience trauma will develop an autoimmune disease.

Trauma results in constant dysregulation & stress, leading to physical changes in your body

Here’s the science being studied: The HPA axis (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis) is a complex feedback system between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal gland that regulates the body’s response to stress.

When the body is under stress, the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which in turn stimulates the adrenal gland to release cortisol.

Trauma can lead to changes in the HPA axis, which can cause dysregulation in the body’s stress response. Research has shown that individuals who have experienced trauma, particularly early in life, may have alterations in the HPA axis that make them more sensitive to stress and less able to cope with stress. In some cases, this can lead to chronically elevated cortisol levels, contributing to inflammation and immune dysregulation.

This leads many women to have extreme outbursts of emotion and struggle to deal with everyday stresses.

The HPA axis is a complex system regulated by various factors, including genetics, environment, and lifestyle. Trauma can be one factor that contributes to the dysregulation of the HPA axis. Still, it’s important to note that not all individuals who experience trauma will have alterations in the HPA axis.

It’s also important to note that dysregulation of the HPA axis is not unique to autoimmune diseases; it has been found in other physical and mental health conditions. However, research suggests that dysregulation of the HPA axis may contribute to the development and progression of autoimmune diseases. This is why learning to manage stress and promote healthy stress responses is crucial.

What is a healthy stress response?

A healthy stress response is a natural, adaptive response that helps the body cope with stressful situations. In response to stress, the body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which help to increase heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration and activate the immune system.

In a healthy stress response, the body can quickly and effectively respond to the stressor and then return to rest and relaxation. However, chronic or prolonged stress can lead to dysregulation of the stress response, adversely affecting physical and mental health.

A healthy stress response involves a balance between activation and relaxation. When the body is under stress, it activates the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the “fight or flight” response.

After the stressor has passed, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, which promotes relaxation and recovery.

To promote a healthy stress response, it’s essential to manage stress in a way that allows activation and relaxation. This can involve practicing stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, and establishing a healthy diet and lifestyle. Individuals can promote overall health and well-being by managing stress and supporting a healthy stress response.

This is what we teach in the Mindful Evolution Program.

Somatic healing and creating a healthy stress response

Somatic healing is an approach that focuses on the relationship between the mind and body and how the body can play a role in the healing process. It recognizes that emotional and psychological experiences can manifest in physical symptoms or sensations and aims to address these physical symptoms throughout the body.

Somatic healing can involve many techniques, including body-centered therapies, movement-based therapies, and mindfulness practices. Somatic healing aims to help individuals develop greater awareness of their physical sensations and emotional experiences and learn how to work with these experiences in a way that supports healing and well-being.

Some common techniques used in somatic healing include:

  1. Bodywork: Bodywork techniques such as massage, acupressure, and chiropractic can help to release physical tension and promote relaxation.
  2. Movement therapies: Movement-based therapies such as yoga, dance therapy, and Feldenkrais can help to increase body awareness and promote a greater sense of ease and well-being.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation and deep breathing can help individuals to develop greater awareness of their physical sensations and emotional experiences and to work with these experiences in a way that promotes healing.

By working with the body holistically, somatic healing can help individuals develop greater resilience, vitality, and well-being.

It’s important to note that autoimmune diseases are multifactorial and are caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Trauma may be one of many factors contributing to autoimmune disease development.

If you’ve been sick for most of your life and have felt lost and hopeless, I want this to give you hope. If you can address the root of your issues, you may have a strong chance of healing and thriving again.

The brain has an incredible capacity for healing and neuroplasticity, which means it can change and adapt throughout a person’s life. While childhood trauma can have lasting effects on the brain and emotional and psychological well-being, it is possible to support the brain’s healing and recovery.

Don’t let more time pass you by; take control of your life and health, and explore the Mindful Evolution Program.

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