I just conducted the most fascinating and informative interview with pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris, MD, author of the new book, The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity. We spoke at length about how childhood trauma—defined through the ACE study as physical, emotional and sexual abuse; neglect, parental separation or divorce; and exposure to addiction, mental illness, or domestic violence in the home—eventually plays out physically in our bodies in adulthood. Research shows there's a direct correlation between having an increased risk of developing seven out of the 10 top diseases that kill Americans, from cancer to cardiovascular disease, with higher exposure to childhood adversity. That's because chronic stress in childhood upends our bodies' normal fight-or-flight stress response; it can no longer normally regulate itself, instead bombarding us with cortisol that is too persistent, often inappropriate, and, ultimately, health-damaging. Cannot wait to share this story for WebMD. Watch this space.
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