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Here Is What You Must Know About Nutritional Therapy For PTSD!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Neeraj Raj B 89% (20 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Bangalore  •  7 years experience
Here Is What You Must Know About Nutritional Therapy For PTSD!

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is regarded as an extremely distressing condition arising after experiencing a traumatic event. It affects about 3 percent of the population around the globe and the symptoms affecting the individuals are more or less similar.

Many people affected by this psychological disorder are also vulnerable to developing various mental illnesses such as drug and alcohol abuse, phobias, and sleep and eating disorders. Since the patients often have a tendency to develop nutritional habits, nutritional therapy for PTSD can have proven to be very helpful in relieving the symptoms.

§ Having the right diet
It has been pointed out by the experts that dietary changes are crucial for managing the symptoms of PTSD since the anti-inflammatory diet, such as a Mediterranean diet inhibits the intake of processed and refined foods. Patients are encouraged to take good amounts of legumes, vegetables, olive oil, unrefined cereals, and lean meat along with a moderate amount of dairy products. It is suggested that they should have locally produced food and organic food so that it can reduce a person’s exposure to agricultural as well as environmental toxins.

During the 1940s, research has been carried out to find out about the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet for reducing the effects of PTSD. It is shown to improve the quality of life of an affected individual. It is worthwhile to mention here that the modernization of the food industry has exposed it to various types of processing and refining techniques which incorporate toxins and snatch away the inherent goodness of different foods. Thus, it has become difficult for a person to have an anti-inflammatory diet in the true sense of the term. However, a nutritionist can guide a patient in adopting the fundamental principles of the Mediterranean diet along with a more active lifestyle to reduce inflammation and symptoms of PTSD.

 Importance of specific anti-inflammatory nutrients
Individuals suffering from PTSD are prone to have chemical imbalances and therefore, it is important to point out that the areas where immediate additional or intensive support is needed. Most nutritionists focus on the significance of Omega 3 and curcumin for relieving the symptoms of PTSD.

Omega 3 fatty acids not only exhibit anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory effects but also play a critical role in monitoring neurogenesis. On the other hand, curcumin, which is a polyphenol available in turmeric root is regarded as an effective compound for PTSD owing to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, monoaminergic and neuroprotective effects which are all directly related to the disease.

To conclude, it can be said that post-traumatic stress disorder is a complicated psychological disorder which involves potential biochemical and physiological dysfunctions in numerous types of mechanistic pathways. In many cases, individuals seek dietary interventions without any formal treatment and find it helpful in offering desired results. However, it is best to consult a specialist before things go out of hand.

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