How Trauma Impacts Your Physical Health


How Trauma Impacts Your Physical Health

Trauma and emotional distress can change us on a physiological level. If we are pushed too far, we may lose our ability to cope and our bodies pay the price. Fortunately, you can mitigate your trauma response and enjoy better health. Trauma especially early trauma is linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidality, and post-traumatic stress disorder. But that’s not all. Trauma, if not managed, can also impact your physical health years after it occurred. Most of us are no stranger to life’s many hardships, but the medical community hasn’t always taken a trauma-informed approach to care (trauma-informed care presupposes that all patients have some form of trauma that may be affecting their well-being). Luckily, more and more doctors are discussing the inextricable link between our mental and physical health. The mind and body are connected after all.

When we go through a traumatic experience or a series of experiences (such as being abused, a parent dying, or getting into a car accident), our bodies trigger physiological responses as a way of adapting to the event or events. These responses aren’t always up to us, of course. They’re determined by our genes, our coping responses, and how our brains regulate. These responses are important mechanisms for survival but sometimes they can work too well. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, lasting or latent trauma from events can trigger endocrine and immune problems (that a person may or may not have already been genetically predisposed to). These include chronic autoimmune illnesses, heart attack, diabetes, stroke, and even cancer. You may be asking yourself if the trauma you endured was bad enough to cause health issues. The short answer: Yes. A traumatic event itself isn’t necessarily the trigger, it’s how our bodies uniquely respond to that trauma that can cause health problems. We all respond differently to stressors.

For example, if you were abused as a child, you may experience fear, anxiety, and distress when people yell or come too close to you. Even though you know you’re safe, your body can be flooded with anxiety and stress, complete with heart palpitations and shallow, rapid breathing. This is your body’s physiological, learned response to trauma. This response can be mitigated with intentional care, though!

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Endocrinology and Metabolism: Open Access is a peer reviewed journal which focuses on the publication of current research and developments on the endocrine glands and its secretions with their coordination with metabolism and reproduction. Endocrinology and Metabolism: Open Access aims to function as the global face of endocrinology research. Subject areas: Endocrine glands and hormones, Hormone metabolism, Structure and physiochemical properties, Paediatric Endocrinology, Endocrine pharmacology, Molecular endocrinology, Gastrointestinal and Neuroendocrinology, Comparative Endocrinology, Cardiovascular endocrinology, Reproductive endocrinology, Hormonal receptors Signalling mechanisms, Hormone regulated gene expression, Intracellular steroid and lipid metabolism, Bone and mineral metabolism. The journal accepts manuscripts in the form of original research article, review article, short communication, case report, letter-to-the-Editor and Editorials for publication in an open access platform. All the articles published in the journal can be accessed online without any subscription charges and will receive the benefit of extensive worldwide visibility.

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Endocrinology and Metabolism: Open Access