What Stress Does in the Body

How Stress and Trauma Cause Autoimmune Illnesses

Book Review: The Missing “First Domino” In Autoimmune Conditions: Nervous System Dysregulation

stress, trauma, PTSD, autoimmune disorders, Larry Kessler, helphealingtrauma, thecausesofstress, anxiety, Peter Levine

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This eBook by Dr. Lori A. Parker is an excellent resource for understanding how the body reacts to stress. She uses simple language, clear graphics, and concise metaphors to enhance her  discussions of the biology of stress and trauma.

Although this book can be read by anyone wishing to understand the mechanisms of stress and trauma, Dr. Parker focuses on the roles stress and trauma play in the formation of autoimmune disorders and syndromes, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, etc.

While Dr. Parker acknowledges that the etiology of syndromes is complex, at the beginning of the book she ponders two questions: “What causes the body to produce an immune response against itself?   What are the circumstances, mechanisms, and triggers?” These questions set her off on her quest to find the “First Domino” in the sequence of syndrome formation.

What then follows is a Sherlock Holmes-like investigation into the role genetics may play, the nature of trauma, the interplay of hormones and body chemistry, the dance of the autonomic nervous system, and the sequence of internal events that occur in stress and trauma that lead to autoimmune illnesses.

This book is simple enough for the lay reader (I plan to suggest it to my clients) and thorough enough for a medical researcher. I can’t recommend it enough.


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