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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) an immunological disorder?


There is a HUGE connection between immune dysfunction, inflammation, and PTSD.  Recent emerging research has shown increased inflammatory markers in the blood of people suffering from PTSD.   These studies have also shown changes in cytokine (proteins involved in regulating inflammation and immune activation) levels.

To break it down into non-doctor language, those findings basically mean that PTSD causes changes in the immune system that promote a pro-inflammatory state and over-reactive  immune response.

This immune over-activation and high inflammatory state makes it very common for people with a history of significant trauma or PTSD to develop autoimmune conditions.  PTSD has also been linked with the development of autoimmune thyroid conditions, inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis), multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and even unexplained hives and allergic reactions.   

inflammation and immune dysregulation actually play a big role in many mental health conditions

This might sound surprising to a lot of people, but inflammation and immune dysregulation actually play a big role in many mental health conditions. PTSD is not any different.  This is the main reason why psychiatric medications are not effective for some people. Psych meds are not addressing the underlying causes of symptoms or treating the whole person.  This is especially true when it comes to complex disorders such as PTSD.

The good news is, naturopathic medicine can address all of those underlying causes and imbalances that occur with PTSD.  Proper diet, lifestyle modifications, nutritional supplementation, and stress reduction can help decrease inflammation in the body.  (see more detailed information about diet and inflammation here: These treatments will also help to regulate the body’s immune response, therefore decreasing the risk of developing an autoimmune condition.  

It is also vital to treat the underlying trauma as well.  Homeopathic medicine is one of the best treatments for this as it takes into account an individual’s unique response to trauma and stimulates true healing in the body.  (To learn more about the homeopathic treatment of trauma, check out the link here:

If you’d like to learn more about how naturopathic medicine can help you in your recovery from PTSD, check out our What to Expect Page and give us a call to set up your free consultation.   


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Dr. Rachel Rozelle

Dr. Rachel Rozelle

Associate Doctor at Resilience Naturopathic