Ever wonder if stress, trauma or adverse childhood experiences affected your risk of developing a chronic illness or other health condition? Or if events in your parents’ or grandparents’ lives has played a role? Do you struggle with side effects or the inability to find a treatment that helps for any length of time?
It’s long been thought adverse life events (ALEs) imply that a symptom or disease must be all in our heads. The research and emerging science, however, demonstrate how such views are out of date and inaccurate.
The Chronic Illness Trauma Connection Series
I left my practice as a family physician and my job as an assistant professor of medicine because I wanted to better understand what actually causes chronic illness. And I wanted to find better tools for addressing symptoms.
This series on the chronic illness trauma connection introduces research I’ve since discovered and that I have been gradually pulling together over the past 15 years. It shows how ALEs increase risk for chronic conditions of all kinds.
The science has also helped make sense of my own chronic illnesses of chronic fatigue (ME/CFS), asthma, and IBS and begin to heal.
There are currently 3 free downloadable ebooks in the chronic illness trauma connection series. I’ll be adding more over time.
Beneath these ebooks are free excerpts from a published book chapter on asthma and type 1 diabetes.
Book 1: Overview of The Chronic Illness Trauma Connection
It introduces 5 types of ordinary, everyday traumas known to increase risk for chronic illness. And shares some of my story and summarizes what I’ve learned from many years of scouring the research.
This overview can help you make sense of your chronic health conditions and gain insights to guide you in finding new tools and resources for working with your symptoms.
Book 1 includes references, helpful books to read, and examples of therapies that can be helpful for working with chronic illness
Book 2: Recognizing Symptoms Linked to Adverse Life Events
If your symptoms reflect a chronic illness trauma connection this book gives you ideas on what you can do about it.
The good news is that the effects of ALEs can be healed, even if they happened years or decades in the past or in your ancestors’ lives.
Book 3: Why the Chronic Illness Trauma Connection is Not In Your Head
You’ll learn why having a history of such experiences does not mean your chronic illnesses are psychosomatic.
Here’s support for what you already know but may struggle to find validation for: the fact that it’s NOT all in your head.
It’s about how life events alter our genes.
Published Book Chapter
This academic paper introduces a broad base of research from child development, embryology, perinatology, breast feeding, cesarean sections, brain development, stress and trauma, and much more, explaining how life events shape long term health.
This chapter describes research showing adverse life events increase risk for type 1 diabetes (T1D), asthma and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis). It also introduces similar findings for type 2 diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis and more. After years of examining the studies specifically in T1D, seeing just how much similar research existed linking serious events with risk for other diseases changed my thinking about chronic disease.
The risk factors presented here have helped make sense of my own disease of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
You can download excerpts using the links below.
Download Excerpt on Early Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes (no email required)
Download Excerpt Early Risk Factors for Asthma (no email required)