LUPUS UK
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Chronic illness caused by childhood trauma/chronic stress...Epigenetics and ACE studies. (Adverse childhood experiences)

OK, so I'm just learning about epigenetics and how childhood trauma can affect health across a lifetime. I'm finding it really interesting and something I will continue to research in terms of finding a treatment that will actually work.

I have just watched this TED talk on childhood trauma affecting health by Nadine Burke Harris and have been watching Youtube videos of two guys in the States called Dr Martin Rutherford and Dr Gates

who talk about autoimmune diseases and fibromyalgia being caused by trauma, childhood adversity or chronic stress..

ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_...

What I need to know are there any Consultants in the UK or USA who treat the brain and body's stress response system as a treatment for chronic illness?

In 8 years, not one of the many GP's and Rheumatologists and other health professionals I have seen have ever asked me about my childhood. They ask if I have any diseases or health complaints in my family but not about anything I may have been through while growing up that could have led to my health problems.

I am sick of all the pills and medicines they throw at the symptoms of the problem without addressing the root cause.

Has anyone come across any medical professionals who address childhood trauma as the cause of illness?

How do we treat the brain to calm down its stress response? Is regular meditation enough to remove stress and treat deep rooted trauma? What treatment is actually going to work to finally cure us of these diseases and illnesses?

Many thanks.

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Hey Annalouk Aces are a firm favourite interest of mine! They are being discussed a lot more often in clinical settings now which is awesome and there is more research being done. The is a Facebook forum Aces forum Scotland that has lots of good info you can join and there are bound to be ones set up in England Wales and Ireland. I suppose I don't know how many medics do ask about childhood trauma in relation to the bodies stress response and contribution to disease. However I do know that connectedness, compassion, CBT, mindfulness and meditation are all suitable for helping to manage a lot of the stress responses. The number of aces, severity and length of suffering can impact on what treatment may be suitable, duration of support needed and likely outcomes. But watch this space Aces are about to be on everyone's radar soon I hope.

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This is a subject dear to my heart. I have always thought that my conditions could be trauma related. The immune system can be comprised by stress and trauma so it makes sense that it then leaves us open to certain diseases. Besides UCTD I have been treated for 3 different cancers. I have none of the standard risk factors, so my own conclusions have been drawn. In fact, my first novel, Song on a Loop, is about how our ills are passed down through generations, inspired by Philip Larkin's This be the Verse. It fascinates me how we inadvertently visit our ills on our offspring. I do believe in self-improvement and have had CBT in the past which worked for me. Life is now good, despite the threats to it which I've endured. I savour it and take heart in the little things that matter. X

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Hello Annalouk,

I'm conflicted about these "functional medicine" promos. On the one hand, I trained as a child psychotherapist and worked with children who have experienced severe trauma and neglect. The evidence that early childhood trauma and neglect causes multiple problems later in life is convincing, especially in terms of chronic arousal of the flight/fight/freeze responses, and probably general inflammation processes.

On the other hand, "functional medicine" as currently represented is riddled with problems. Many of its advocates seem consistently to overclaim and misuse the science - for example, having first trained as a biologist, I've been following the research into epigenetics quite closely, and although "epigenetics" is frequently cited as part of FM, I have yet to hear any advocate cite robust evidence showing epigenetic links. In fact, I recently exchanged views with a "FM psychotherapist" who makes claims that her practice changes the epigenetic state of her clients, yet clearly - from our discussion - she does not understand epigenetic science or research at all. The privatised system of healthcare in the US seems to exacerbate the problem because clinicians need to sell their services to make a good living.

Bottom line is that I do think that most of the basic concepts - as discussed in this video - are probably sound. I agree with all of sam_wilson76 's excellent suggestions. For many people, addressing severe childhood trauma/neglect might also need some embodiment work (Dance, Play, or Music therapy, for instance), as well as cognitive techniques.

I expect more research will clarify further links between chronic and childhood trauma, microbiota, and autoimmunity (for example). x

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Totally agree. Not enough evidence to link trauma with auto - immune conditions although it's a worthy line of research.

I know a little about epigenetics and they have recently discovered a single messaganger protein that can mess with our DNA that could trigger Lupus. They don' know why this protein mis functions.

My background is anthropology and history.

Being calm and happy would help with all illness. But some of the historical origins of e.g.- anxiety / conversion disorders and hyseria being linked with undiagnosed or invalidated pain was and still is to some extent associated with some very nasty and downright freaky ideas about women.

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I've just read 'The Body Keeps the Score' by Van der Kolk which was recommended by people here. It was absolutely fascinating and absolutely felt very familiar. Towards the end of the book he goes through a variety of therapies. I wish he was in the UK but it might give you some kind of idea about how to go about recovering. x

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Thank you, I will have a look for it. What type of treatments does he mention?

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Many. Have a read though - too much to list here.

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I find this really interesting, trauma in childhood and adulthood is something I never even thought about but will now. I had a very traumatic childhood which I won't go into, then years later due to low self esteem married a man I loved who turned out to be a real control freak. Looking back this is when a lot of my health problems started, from thyroid eye disease to progressing to worse autoimmune problems. Maybe everyone should have counselling but when you're older and bought up having to be stoic it's not something you think about at all. It is a good we now live in times when people like you are far more self aware. Thanks for the food for thought, going to buy a mindfulness book now.

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I can just add that after a severe scald in 1954 when I was 8 years old I overheard the doctor on the childrens hospital ward telling my parents that "the trauma might compromise my immune system" and it stuck with me. Didnt understand exactly what that meant at such a young age but it came back to me when all the problems kicked off some years ago..plus all the other things going on...dont want to get too wordy

When the rheumatologist saw the scarring on my arm in 2005 she showed a lot of sympathy and commented on how much it must have hurt. I asked her if it was possible it might be responsible for the problems I've had and she said it was possible but too long ago to be sure

I certainly wouldnt rule out the effects of stress, pain and traumatic events on my immune system

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Hi I’ve mentioned my daughter before she my have a/s but she was told at the last physio app that it could be connected her breaking her knee and arm when she was 8 and 10 so there might be something in it

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