“Many people do not realize the toll stress can have on their lives. Caring for mind and body leads to a healthier, happier and more productive life.” Cynthia Wainscott

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January 4, 2021

Women with PTSD more likely to be Obese

Women who suffer from post-traumatic stress (PTSD) gain weight more rapidly than women who do not.  Women with PTSD are more likely to be overweight or obese.

Researchers observed that it was not the trauma itself, but the symptoms of PTSD that seemed to be behind the weight gain.  It appears that when the PTSD symptoms were treated effectively, the risk of becoming obese is also significantly reduced.

What we know about PTSD is that

  • 1 in 9 women will develop the disorder over the course of their lifetime, twice as many as men
  • PTSD affects your mental health but also increases your risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus
  • Despite the evidence of far-reaching problems associated with PTSD, only approximately 1/2 of women in the United States are ever treated. Wider recognition that PTSD is a risk factor for physical health could lead to better screening and treatment, including those to prevent obesity.*

Health Psychology Sacramento offers a specialty program for women who have a trauma history.  We know from the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) Study that Kaiser did, that trauma affects mental and physical health and it can compromise our ability to heal.  

As you create goals for 2021 you may want to consider getting relieve from trauma memories and their effects on your health.  

*This study was reported in JAMA Psychiatry; Nov. 20th, 2013

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