Currently, in the United States, it is estimated that over 70% of the population has experienced a traumatic event that resulted in traumatic stress (Sidran Institute, 2012). Of that 70%, approximately 67% have or will develop symptoms of PTSD. At present 7.7 million people have been diagnosed with PTSD in the United States; with approximately 31.3 million more suffering from traumatic stress and comorbid disorders.
The impact and burden of undiagnosed, untreated, and unmitigated traumatic stress on self and society can be identified through in a variety of ways, not the least of which is economic impact (Kessler, 2000). The National Institute of Mental Health identifies pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions as the most effective treatments for traumatic stress and PTSD (National Institute of Mental Health, 2012). Both of which can be costly and not necessarily ultimately sustainable for the health and well being of the individual. Incorporating the concept of food as medicine; this paper suggests it could be beneficial to analyze the impact that dietary intervention could have on managing and mitigating traumatic stress and PTSD. Specifically, by identifying a trauma-specific diet and implementing this dietary strategy could individuals recover more quickly from traumatic stress and/or manage the symptoms of PTSD more effectively and holistically?
Keywords: Traumatic stress, nutrition, dietary intervention, ptsd,