Post-traumatic stress disorder: how to contain its "shock wave"?
War is a powerful stress that manifests itself in the moment of experience and echoes even more in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder. No one is ready for it, the body's natural forces are not programmed for it, words of support may be late or not accepted. What will help the body withstand the destructive effects of PTSD, says Honored Doctor of Ukraine, Doctor of Medicine, Professor Halyna Anokhina
Time does not always heal
Stress always accompanies a person's life. However, in most cases, their severity and negative effects decrease and eventually disappear. Even the longing for the loss of a loved one is gradually extinguished, transforming into a bright memory of her. As they say, "time heals". However, this does not always happen. Unlike ordinary stress, post-traumatic stress disorder haunts a person throughout life, often arising or worsening his psycho-emotional state, even many years after the experience. That is, it manifests itself as a long-term response to stress, at least four weeks after the traumatic event.
Post-traumatic stress disorder was first discovered in the United States in the military (known as "Vietnamese syndrome", "Afghan syndrome", "Eastern syndrome"). However, it also applies to civilians who have suffered or witnessed hostilities or disasters.
During 2005–2015, the problem of PTSD in the military medicine of Western countries took one of the leading places. Recently, it has become much more relevant in Ukraine. As of 2016, the prevalence of PTSD among servicemen as a result of hostilities in Donbass was 10-15%, according to the prosecutor's office, 500 people committed suicide after returning from the war zone. Current events exacerbate this problem, as they have affected a significant number of our population, including children.
Types of post-traumatic stress
• Acute stress reaction from the first minutes after injury to two days;
• acute stress for up to four days;
• acute stress disorder from two days to one month;
• acute form of PTSD from one to three months; • chronic form of PTSD for more than 3 months; • Delayed PTSD symptoms appear 6 months and several years after the injury.
The most common are chronic forms of PTSD, which significantly impair the quality of life of patients.
Who is threatened by the "chronic war"
The main criteria that affect the development of PTSD are:
- direct participation in hostilities,
- living in a zone of hostilities or disasters,
- life-threatening injury,
- sexual violence,
- death threats,
- strong fear for the lives of loved ones,
There are a number of signs that a person can be diagnosed with PTSD:
- she can not quickly forget the traumatic event, constantly experiencing it again,
- memories of the past cause psycho-emotional distress,
- there are obsessive thoughts, nightmares,
- there is a desire to avoid memories,
- a person blames himself or others for the development of traumatic events,
- there are negative thoughts about yourself and others, a sense of hopelessness,
- Decreased interest in activities,
- there is overexcitation, excessive vigilance or depression,
- disturbed sleep,
- emotional state is chronically negative, a person loses the ability to feel positive emotions,
- there is a feeling of alienation.
How PTSD In Children
Traumatic situations in young children can affect various areas. Some children stop talking, others have urinary incontinence during sleep, even if they have already learned to use the toilet. A child can play a terrible event. Or she has a strong attachment to her parents or caregivers who are afraid to break away from them. Older children and adolescents are more likely to have symptoms similar to those of adults. They may also develop destructive or defiant behavior, may have thoughts of revenge.
Stress resistance is not nurtured, but "accumulated"
The body's response to stress depends on several factors: the strength and duration of the stressful situation, age and sex, baseline health. Older people who have a variety of illnesses are more vulnerable to stress. However, of particular importance is the level of human stress resistance, which is determined by the state of adaptive capacity of the organism to the action of negative factors. The latter depends on the nutritional supply of organs and systems.
To understand the importance of proper nutrition in PTSD should consider the main stages of stress.
1. Run or attack?
At the heart of the development of stress is an evolutionary mechanism - to run away or fight. To make that decision, the brain must assess the level of threat in a matter of seconds, prepare the heart and muscles for a high-energy resistance response. At this stage, the need for oxygen, glucose, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, which are involved in energy production, increases sharply. At the beginning of the stress factor, regardless of the type and severity of stress, the brain stimulates the release of stress hormones - adrenaline, catecholamines, cortisol, prolactin. Their level in the blood can increase tenfold, leading to increased blood pressure, increased respiratory rate, tachycardia, increased blood glucose, fatty acids due to the breakdown of liver glycogen, destruction of immune cells, mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause stress ulcers, immunodeficiency, adrenal depletion, deterioration of the structural and functional state of other organs up to the development of myocardial infarction, stroke.
2. Phoenix Revival
When you get out of stress, the stage of catabolism, ie the destruction of tissues, is replaced by the stage of anabolism (recovery). During this period, the body's needs for plastic substances increase - amino acids, peptides, vitamins, minerals and other food micronutrients. Therefore, in the diet of patients with PTSD during this period should increase the use of protein, which is the main plastic component of all tissues, as well as all necessary for the recovery of substances and regulatory factors involved in activating enzyme processes. Where to find the balance of essential nutrients
To date, about 25,000 nutrients found in natural foods have been discovered. However, it should be noted that even a well-adjusted diet of modern products, often grown in artificial conditions, or with the use of growth stimulants, dramatically increases fruit weight, but minimizes the content of vitamins and antioxidants, causes mineral imbalance.
Unusually large sizes of fish raised in artificial reservoirs, as well as chickens, turkeys and other species of animals lead to an increase in their fat mass, especially mid-cell fat and, consequently, to a decrease in protein content. If we add to this the features of industrial technologies for storage and production of food, it becomes clear that we are really in a shortage of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients.
In the modern market there is a large number of vitamin-mineral complexes, special purpose products, represented by mixtures of amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, synthesized vitamins, the use of which to some extent prevents nutrient deficiencies. However, it is known that in nature, vitamins are presented in various forms and combinations with other substances. That is, we use whole complexes of vitamins and minerals combined with other components of food in natural proportions. The most interesting multi-nutrient functional compositions "Relay Balance Pro" and "Relay Balance Mix", which contain concentrates of 54 products of plant and animal origin (without preservatives and chemical impurities). With the help of a unique technology of low-temperature (not higher than + 40 ° C), multiphase non-enzymatic processing, a concentrate containing a large number of different nutrients in their natural proportions in a bioavailable form was obtained. This technology increases the biological activity of micronutrients tenfold compared to the activity of raw materials.
Relay Balance Pro and Relave Balance Mix are regulatory amino acid-peptide complexes combined with plant bioflavonoids, polyphenols and other biologically active substances and chelated vitamin-mineral substances, the action of which is due to the synergistic effects of the components. Due to the combination of natural macromolecular organic components in the form of regulatory peptides, including glutathione, nucleic acids, amino acids, bioflavonoids, polyphenols, hesperidin, quercetin, silymarin, silibinin and others, chelated forms of vitamin C and microfole. human body. The complex promotes the repair of damaged cells and cellular organelles, including DNA and RNA. "Relay Balance" increases efficiency, promotes more efficient functioning of the immune system, endocrine organs, normalization of protein, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and liver protection. Relay Balance is safe, so it can be used for a long time to prevent PTSD.
Nutrition for the nervous system
Patients with severe psycho-emotional manifestations of PTSD are recommended Relay Balance Neuro , in which the extract concentrate of 54 products of animal and plant origin is enriched with the most important components for the nervous system - choline (400 mg) + thiamine 20 mg) + methylcobalimin (500 mcg) + magnesium citrate 200 mg) + Pyridoxal-5-phosphate (coenzyme B6) 10 mg.
Choline (vitamin B4) is a source for the synthesis of the main neurotransmitter of the central and peripheral nervous system acetylcholine, which transmits nerve impulses in the brain from one neuron to another, and in the peripheral nervous system from a neuron in the synaptic cleft to the receptor m ties. Choline is part of phospholipids, which are rich in the nervous system. It is also important for the liver, adrenal glands and other organs, belongs to lipotropic substances that normalize lipid metabolism, is a donor of methyl groups for DNA. Choline deficiency in the human body contributes to memory impairment, muscle weakness, the development of fatty infiltration of the liver and other disorders.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is an important cofactor in glucose and fat metabolism enzymes, as well as the synthesis from choline of the main neurotransmitter of the nervous system, acetylcholine. Vitamin B1 is needed for the proper functioning of the central and peripheral nervous systems, because it is the neurons that use glucose as a source of energy and vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to their death. Thiamine deficiency leads to short-term memory and coordination disorders. Vitamin B1 is also a cofactor in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and is very important for the myocardium. Vitamin B1 deficiency contributes to the development of cardiomyopathy.
Vitamin B6 coenzyme (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) is required for normal CNS and peripheral nervous system function. It is a coenzyme of metabolism of most amino acids, including neurotransmitters of the nervous system: synthesis of GABA, serotonin, melatonin, histamine metabolism. It has neuro-, hepato- and cardioprotective effects, has an anti-ischemic effect, reduces the level of homocysteine in the blood, enhances the effect of magnesium.
Methylkibalamin (vitamin B12) . Vitamin B12 comes in several forms and methylcobalamin is important for the nervous system. It is necessary for the preservation of the myelin sheath around neurons and for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, reduces the level of homocysteine in the blood, increases the level of cyanocobalamin.
Magnesium is one of the most important macronutrients involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions. Magnesium is involved in the metabolism of all neurotransmitters in the nervous system, helps counteract stress, reduces depression, deviant behaviors in adolescents, seizures, reduces the number and severity of angina attacks, has a vasodilating effect, reduces the likelihood of myocardial infarction. Thus, the appointment of a complete diet enriched with natural components of plant and animal origin is the basis for improving the effectiveness of other rehabilitation measures in patients with PTSD.