Dr. Lisa Rankin

Not just a combat disorder


Although most people have heard the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD) it is a misunderstood medical condition. It can occur after experiencing or witnessing a life- threatening/ potentially life-threatening event. This can include Military Combat, Natural disasters, terrorist attacks BUT can also occur after car accidents sexual/ phyical assault in childhood or adulthood or any tragic event. It can be due to repeated exposures or can happen after one incidence. The are many variables that determine who is more susceptible to developing PTSD after a particular experience.

Patients with PTSD experience a constellation of symptoms including poor sleep and nightmares, anxiety/ panic attacks and depression. They remain in a constant state of hypervigilance which puts stress on the adrenal system and is the cause of many physical symptoms. This is because the body is exposed to chronically elevated levels of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. This leads to elevated heart rate and blood pressure, weight gain, poor sleep, difficulty with focus and attention.  Remaining in this state leads to mental and physical fatigue and can weaken the immune system. If this cycle is not broken with appropriate interventions the adrenal system can lose the ability to respond and adapt as needed during additional periods of mental and physical stress. A good Biomedical plan which includes appropriate diet and supplements is a crucial part of a comprehensive treatment regimen.


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