Video / The highest risk of cancer and heart disease starts in childhood, but how?
Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris in an early but still valid TED Talk biologically shows how childhood stress affects the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Nadine Burke Harris / In the mid-1990s the CDC and Kaiser Permanente discovered a factor that influences brain development, the immune system, the hormonal system and even the way our DNA is read and transcribed.
People who are exposed to high doses of stress are 3 times more likely to be affected by heart disease and lung cancer. They also tend to live 20 years less than others.
Doctors are still not well trained today for routine checkups and treatment of this situation.
The factor I am talking about is not a pesticide, but it is childhood traumas that are severe and very prevalent. These traumas have the ability to penetrate under our skin and change the physiology of the body. Trauma such as neglect, abuse, or growth by a parent struggling with his or her psychological problems or substance abuse are influential factors.
Early exposure to these situations affects the 'Nucleus achumbens' area (the nucleus adjacent to the septum, in the frontal area of ??the brain). So the area that is responsible for pleasure and reward. This is also a critical area for learning.
In the brain scanner we can see the differences in the amygdala (collection of cells near the base of the brain), which responds to fear. These are the neurological reasons that show that people exposed to high stress are more predisposed to engage in high-risk behaviors.
But it turns out that, even if you do not engage in high-risk behaviors, you are at higher risk of developing heart disease or cancer. This is related to the axis of the hypothalamic pituitary gland (the body and brain system) responsible for responding to the stress that you decide to fight or avoid a stressful situation.
How it works?
Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. Immediately the hypothalamus sends a signal to the pituitary gland that stimulates stress hormones, adrenaline, cortisone. The heart beats faster, the pupils of the eye enlarge, the airways push forward and you are ready to fight that gold, or run from it. This is fantastic when you encounter gold in a forest. What happens when the bear comes to your house, every night and this system is activated every day, every day and every day? Along the way, this adaptive system that serves to save lives, to survive, turns into a health hazard. Children are especially sensitive to this type of stress and activation of this mechanism. This is because their brain and body are evolving.
Citing Dr. Robert Block, former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, inappropriate childhood experiences are the biggest, unaddressed health threat the country is facing today.
The only thing we need to start with is to look the problem in the eye and face it. We must say: This is the reality that belongs to us all. Only when we have knowledge about the dynamics of a disease, then we know the path to be followed for treatment. So like doctors, it is our job to use science for prevention and treatment.
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