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How Does Trauma Impact the Immune System?

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By Sofia Health Staff on June, 24 2024
How Does Trauma Impact the Immune System?

In this episode of Sofia Unfiltered, Riley talks to Dr. Zarya Rubin, Physician, Functional Medicine Health Coach, and Keynote Speaker

From Medical Traumas to Holistic Healing

Dr. Zarya Rubin, a Harvard-educated physician and functional medicine practitioner based in Portland, Oregon, shares her journey from childhood medical traumas to becoming a leading advocate for holistic health and women's empowerment. Her experience as a neurologist in a high-stress environment led her to confront unresolved traumas that were triggered throughout her medical career. Initially misinterpreted as panic attacks, these experiences propelled her towards functional medicine, where she integrates neurology, health coaching, and holistic practices to address chronic illness and burnout in high-achieving women.

Dr. Zarya emphasizes the importance of recognizing and healing from trauma, highlighting that early childhood experiences can profoundly impact adult health and coping mechanisms. Through her boutique practice, she serves as a beacon of resilience and transformation, advocating for a comprehensive approach that considers diet, sleep, stress management, and toxin exposure to uncover and address the root causes of health issues.


What Effects Does Trauma Have on the Immune System?

Trauma has a significant impact on the immune system, often leading to long-term health issues. Dr. Zarya Rubin’s journey sheds light on the profound connection between early childhood trauma and adult health, particularly autoimmune conditions. 

  • Increased Inflammation: Trauma elevates levels of inflammatory cytokines, leading to chronic inflammation.
  • Immune Suppression: Prolonged trauma reduces the effectiveness of the immune response.
  • Altered Immune Cell Function: Trauma affects the activity and distribution of various immune cells.
  • HPA Axis Dysregulation: Trauma disrupts the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, impacting stress hormone production.
  • Changes in Gene Expression: Trauma can alter the expression of genes related to immune function.
  • Increased Susceptibility to Illness: Trauma makes the body more vulnerable to infections and diseases.


Discovering How Trauma Affects Health

Initially unaware of the trauma's impact, Dr. Zarya struggled with symptoms she attributed to stress and physical health measures like diet and exercise. It wasn't until later in life, after seeking help from specialized healthcare professionals and exploring various therapies including neurofeedback, that she was diagnosed with PTSD and began to address her condition comprehensively. 

Sofia Health connects you to traditional, integrative, nutritional, holistic, and spiritual healing professionals to help you personalize your healing journey.

Empowering Women Through Holistic Health and Self-Care

She emphasizes the often-overlooked role of childhood trauma in chronic health issues, advocating for holistic approaches that include mindfulness, trauma-focused therapy, and personalized treatment plans. Dr. Zarya's journey from frontline healthcare to health coaching reflects her passion for helping women navigate burnout and prioritize self-care amidst demanding lifestyles and life transitions.


More from Sofia Health

Check out the full episode of the Sofia Unfiltered podcast, "Understanding the Trauma and Autoimmune Disease Connection with Dr. Zarya Rubin", available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Disclaimer: The Sofia Unfiltered Podcast by Sofia Health is for general informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional healthcare services, including the giving of medical advice. No doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have. For any health concerns, users should seek the assistance of their healthcare professionals.

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