Childhood Trauma and Adrenal Health
This month as we focus on adrenal health, we wanted to touch on childhood trauma and how it can affect our overall health. Childhood trauma is an epidemic that affects people from all backgrounds. In 1996, Kaiser Permanent- CDC launched a research study called: Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACE Study). The results of this study have been replicated 1500 times in the last 20 years. What they discovered in all of this research is that two-thirds of adults in the United States had experienced Adverse Childhood Events. These include a wide variety of stressors such as: physical, sexual, emotional abuse, growing up in homes that were not emotionally supportive, and more. The research has also revealed that adults who have experienced ACEs were more likely to experience a wide range of chronic illness such as: cancer, depression, migraines, heart disease, diabetes, and irritable bowel disease.

Childhood trauma turns on the “fight, flight, or freeze” response and leaves you in a heightened state. A recent study has shown that early trauma releases stress hormones to the brain and the body of the child, and then changes their genes that respond to stress. This means they live in a chronic state of stress that has adverse affects on their physical health for years to come.

There is a lot that can be done to address and heal from trauma, even trauma that occurred decades ago. Discussing early trauma with your health-care team can be an important part of the healing journey.