10 Jan Shattered by illness! PTSD and CTSD in Lyme disease and Chronic Illness.
When a person’s life and dreams are shattered due to chronic illness it almost always sets up a Chronic Traumatic Stress Disorder (CTSD). Much like our wounded warriors and others who have suffered through prolonged stressful events and have the predictable physical and emotional problems we know as PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, people who have been through the life devastation brought on by illnesses, such as Lyme disease, cancer, multiple chemical sensitivity, and the wide array of other degenerative illnesses also suffer predictable physical and emotional consequences of the severe trauma from the devastation of their life from their illness.
A person with CTSD does not have to look like the woman pictured with this article. They might look perfectly calm, cool, and collected. They might indeed have no overt emotional issues associated with their CTSD, yet the stress placed upon their body by the illness and the treatments is still causing predictable functional problems from adrenal fatigue that can drag the person down for years after the illness is resolved.
At the Biologix Center for Optimum health, our doctors have treated tens of thousands of chronically ill people. I would say that the majority of the people had received their diagnosis elsewhere and their previous doctors had just pounded their body with antibiotics, in the case of Lyme disease, and hammered their body with various prescriptions, with little thought given to supporting the rest of the body, and definitely no thought of how these medicines act as a stressor to the body, and the illness itself is a physical and emotional stressor, and life issues while sick is a stressor…all of which drag down the primary stress-regulating glands of the body…the adrenal glands.
Just like what we are seeing with our returning wounded military soldiers, the fighting is over, the stressful war is behind them, yet their bodies and minds are ravaged by the effects of chronic stress.
In chronic illness, so much time and energy…and money…is spent in efforts to “kill the bugs” and to detoxify the body, chasing one symptom after another. One of the most important issues to address in people who have had prolonged infections is to rebuild and heal the tissues that have been damaged by these infections. Infections are often like having termites damaging the wood in your house. You can use toxic chemicals to kill the bugs, but even when successful, these toxic substances are now lodged in your house, and they do nothing to correct the wood damage the termites caused. Any stiff wind will damage your house further…you are more susceptible and sensitive to challenges.
Very often because a person had infections, such as the ones associated with Lyme disease, the person has many symptoms that have been increasing for years. The myth they were sold by their doctor and the Lyme disease community was that they would be well when every bacteria was killed. Like the termite analogy, often the assumption is that the body can heal itself after all the toxic drugs and die-off toxins. The reality is that almost every system of the body has been damaged by the illness and the treatments and killing the bugs and detoxifying the die-off are just half of the healing process for those who had the illness for years.
The adrenal glands are our stress-response regulating glands of the body. The adrenal glands sit atop both kidneys like melting scoops of ice cream. They motivate the rest of the body to prepare for battle against whatever perceived attack is present. You might say they are our body’s security alarm system. The adrenal glands are one of the first glands to fatigue when a person is stuck in the “Fight or flight” mode of the sympathetic nervous system. Read more about the predictable symptoms of adrenal fatigue: Adrenal Symptoms
Every case of CTSD and PTSD has adrenal problems that must be addressed before the person can regain the functional integrity and optimum health they seek.
If you feel that you have internal vibration in your body, like you cannot get your hormones balanced, if you feel your are not the same even after your doctor proclaimed you “cured,” if you have no energy, no motivation, no ability to deal with stressful situations, if you are suffering from sleeplessness at night and fatigue all day…ask your doctor to do a saliva cortisol and DHEA test at the least. My favorite lab for this testing is www.diagnostechs.com. The best is to do a 24 hour saliva cortisol test where you collect four saliva samples that day, and test also the DHEA level.
This is what your test result will look like with adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands produce both DHEA and Cortisol. In this chart you can see that both are very low.
This saliva test is done at home and you would mail the test kit back to the lab with the provided box and mailing label. Below is what the test results would look like for someone suffering from adrenal fatigue, due to CTSD or PTSD.
The doctors at the Biologix Center have used this test for many years to help determine not just adrenal function, but we can add on other tests to your saliva collection that will show what is going on at the cellular level regarding all of the male and female hormones and even gluten, casein, soy, egg allergies.
You are your own best health advocate. If you doctor has not done this testing then ask him/her to order it for you. Your doctor cannot fix what they don’t know is messed up!