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Sjogrens Topics => Living With Sjogren's => Topic started by: Sooki on February 17, 2019, 09:57:41 AM

Title: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: Sooki on February 17, 2019, 09:57:41 AM
I'm reading a very interesting book called The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk, a psychiatrist. He's the medical director of the Trauma Center in Brookline, MA.  He relates connections found between biology of the body, including the immune system, and trauma of all kinds, including PTSD and incest.  The book isn't directly looking at autoimmune disease, although it's mentioned at times.

For instance, he relates the results of a study showing that the immune system can become hypersensitized in response to childhood incest.  The ratio of the CD45 RA cells (those that have been activated by past exposure to toxins) to the CD 45 RO cells (those in reserve for future challenges) was higher than normal in incest survivors.  "This makes the immune system oversensitive to threat, so that it is prone to mount a defense when none is needed, even when this means attacking the body's own cells".

Many of us have noticed that stress greatly increases our symptoms.  This book gives some insights into how that happens.  The last part of the book (which I'm just starting) has various treatment options to quiet the body's response to these stresses, including breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, etc.
Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: bluegardenia on February 17, 2019, 04:29:25 PM
i am sure about this.  after my son's death I worked for an European association that made a big study  about how the  family reacted to a fatal car accident occurred to their beloved and there was a huge per cent who had cancer or autoimmune disease
Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: Carolina on February 18, 2019, 06:58:55 AM
Our bodies are not just 'sick' or 'well'. 

At all times we have conditions that can become illness or infection, and our bodies' defenses are usually strong enough to stop the illness/infection from developing.  Most of the time we don't even know this happening.   

Our immune system is able to stop cancer cells, to prevent infections from becoming septic, etc. when we have the energy to make this happen.

When we are under attack by a virus, a one-time trauma, or ongoing demands on our energy (high stress) our bodies may not have the defenses needed to fight infection or disease.

In addition, we are all born with different levels of 'energy'.   I was born with a less than ideal immune system.  From birth I had severe eczema and boils, and other conditions developed as I got older. 

It was always just a great deal harder for me to 'keep up' physically, but I made the effort and led a reasonably normal life.   And I'm thankful I had all those good years, even tho' I was always struggling.

And then in 1999 I had the trauma of a surgery that developed a hidden massive infection (not diagnosed and treated until 6 months after the surgery!), shoulder surgery to protect my rotator cuff from damage, and the sudden diagnosis of severe Coronary Artery Disease, with three angioplasties and two stents.  I went into the OR 6 times in 10 months.

I took early retirement after this horrible year.

So it's no wonder that I then developed all the symptoms of Sjogren's, and then anemia, Interstitial Cystitis, Meniere's Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy, Primary Antibody Deficiency, Small Fiber Neuropathy and gastrointestinal neuropathy in the next 15 years. 

My Immune System was never strong, and then it was overwhelmed and could not protect me, and now I have weekly episodes of Inflammation when my 'rogue' Immune System is actually attacking my own body. 

No amount of rest and freedom from stress can bring my Immune System back from this 'crash'. 

So we know why things go wrong when trauma, loss and illness strike....but this IS LIFE.  Things go wrong, and we do the best we can.

Regards, Elaine

Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: Joe S. on February 18, 2019, 02:07:03 PM
In the original "Holographic Medicine" by Dr. Gerber, he reported that the Japanese had a device that could read all of the insults that your body received and when. It could also predict the ailments that you could face in the future.
Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: Livia on February 19, 2019, 02:15:32 PM
does he mention anything about difficulty of some bodies to heal?? i'm one of takes me longer than usual to heal from injuries...but i dont think i was ever like that way b4 all this autoimmune stuff popped up in my life...
Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: Sharon on February 19, 2019, 03:21:11 PM
Do the treatment options mentioned include any use of supplements or medications?
Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: Nomad on February 19, 2019, 05:17:50 PM
Well, I recall a psychologist once told me that there is a study that a disproportionate number of people with lupus had traumatic childhoods...and I think the main thought was abuse.

I had a rough childhood and have Lupus.

Before I was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome (as I have mentioned before), I had the year from "you know where." Death of a parent, a crazy job with a crazy boss, bad dental work that ended up causing big time facial nerve name it...and things were going haywire.  The next thing I knew, I was thirsty all the time and badly fatigued. I went to the rheumatologist because I thought my lupus was active again.  BUT, after blood work, he told me I had Sjogrens Syndrome. Say what?

To this day, if I have too much body does a back flip.

I don't think excessive stress is good for anyone and might negatively influence our health.

I do wonder if trauma in childhood, might be a great contributor to  autoimmune illnesses.

PS I had a small eppisode of increased symptoms just today. I simply did too much. I took two Tylenol, had an herbal tea and forced myself to rest two hours. It helped. If I had pushed just a tiny bit more, I would of been in trouble. For me, rest, tylenol and hydration are helpful (assuming I"m not in deep trouble). I also try to think positive and avoid any negative self talk. Assuming I'm not in severe pain and catch the problem early...these types of things are helpful.
I also get a tiny bit of energy from a green drink I enjoy making. I was just thinking today that I need to make this perhaps 3-4 mornings a week. My husband who has Hashimoto's swears it helps him too. You need a juicer...not a blender. I juice: celery, kale, spinach, pineapple and apple. It tastes WONDERFUL. It is very hydrating and seems to give me a little energy too.
Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: Judie P on February 22, 2019, 01:54:53 PM
Sooki, here is a book that is one step further than Bessel Van der Kolk, by Mark Wolynn.  In fact, this book is the next step in Van der Kolk's work.  You, or others, might be interested in this as well.  The description reads, " It Didn’t Start with You builds on the work of leading experts in post-traumatic stress, including Mount Sinai School of Medicine neuroscientist Rachel Yehuda and psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score. Even if the person who suffered the original trauma has died, or the story has been forgotten or silenced, memory and feelings can live on. These emotional legacies are often hidden, encoded in everything from gene expression to everyday language, and they play a far greater role in our emotional and physical health than has ever before been understood."

One of our practitioners just got her doctorate in Psychology and is looking to introduce Mark's work into our alternative healing business.  I am one of those SJS patients that seem to have no other family member in history with the disease.  Scientifically, our emotions run every organ in our body and enters each cell of our body.  Trauma, experienced as negative, places damage to the cells of our body, which can affect our immune system.

All of this is very interested.  Thanks for posting.
Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: SjoGirl on February 26, 2019, 04:58:55 PM
Thanks for sharing. I just heard about this book and am curious about it but trying to decide if I want to read it. One one hand I work as a consultant which serves people who live through trauma and I know from that work that it can have lifelong effects so the book would be helpful.

However, I also know what traumas I have suffered but figure I can't do much to change it. I have worked very hard to reframe how I see those traumas and that has made me more peaceful and the less stress that I have the better.

That said I see Elaine's point and I am quite sure that my disease is as much a result of trauma (loss of two sisters and a brother-in-law within a four-month time frame plus lots of other stuff) as from going through the change, having the Norovirus, stopping hormone use, etc.

Thanks again for sharing, good to hear the perspectives.

Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: Joe S. on February 27, 2019, 03:30:06 AM
Sorry about being so late in getting back here. The Japanese machine used a frequency injection for treatment. The doctors would recommend supplements and/or medications. In Dr Gerber's first book on "Holographic Medicine", he covered a lot of alternative treatments and therapies. He provided a chart of when certain organs were functioning during a 24 hour day. Another chart that the Chinese had shows how the body deteriorates and how it heals. 

David Burns in his book, "Feeling Good" addresses the need for a positive mental attitude. His sudy found that those who read the bible improved faster than those that did not. The best improvements were from those that repeated a simple phrase/aphorism: "Every day, in every way, I am getting better, better, and better".
Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: Sooki on April 19, 2019, 09:56:03 AM
I'm sorry about being so long in responding; I have been offline for awhile.  Thank you for all interesting responses.

Sjogirl - The Body Keeps the Score has a lot of compassionate case studies of the beginning of healing from trauma that you might find interesting. 

The remedies described (but not taught) include cognitive-behavorial, neurofeedback, mindfulness, theater, and more.  The bookjacket says it offers a new paradigm for healing and that's probably more accurate.

I had some childhood traumas that I locked away and only started remembering when my daughter was at the corresponding ages.  One was assault and the other was an sudden injustice and loss.  I've wondered what my young self concluded from these and what resolutions I made about my body and my life.  And how those might have affected how I interact with the world.   And now, I also wonder what affects it may have had on my immune responses. 

I do think that our bodies try their best to do what we ask of them.  That negative thoughts towards ourselves can be taken literally.  And it seems that positive thoughts should have correspondingly good effects on our health.

Nomad - I had a similar sequence as you - childhood trauma and then Lupus and Sjogrens arriving after 6 highly stressful years of caregiving for an out-of-state relative with hepatic encephalopathy (crazy) who was slowly dying. I sympathize with your stress.  I'll try your green drink!

Carolina - I have followed your seemingly nonstop onslaught of health setbacks over the years with great sympathy.  You've been heroic in not only dealing with them but also still being there for all of us.

And thanks for the book suggestions Joe S. and Judie P!  I'll check them out.
Title: Re: autoimmune disease and trauma
Post by: irish on April 19, 2019, 06:48:58 PM
I have also noted that people who accept their lot in life seem to do better even if they do have chronic illness. I think if a person is resentful and struggles or fights their health peplums they are more apt to have more bad days.

With that being said, I don't know what I am as I sure have had a lot health issues over the years that were all diagnosed as autoimmune. I managed to make it through the raising of a family and caring for a hubby for years prior to his death. The stress of my hubbies illness really did a job on me. My husband would always tell me to sit down and rest and I did. By the time he passed aways I could hardly get out of my recliner I was so exhausted and done in with autoimmune symptoms. Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and keep on while at the same time trying to treat our bodies well. Irish