How Childhood Stress leads to Autoimmune Disease in Adults

autoimmune sick

The connection between childhood trauma, inflammatory response and especially the autoimmune response is validated time and time again by ongoing research. This research suggests that there is a direct connection between childhood stress and chronic disease.

What is Autoimmune Disease?

Let’s first quickly establish what it is, followed by a list of types and symptoms.

Autoimmune Disease:

The body starts producing antibodies that attack its own tissue. Antibodies are intended for the defence against disease but in this case, the body mistakes parts like your skin or joints as ‘foreign invaders’.

Common types of Autoimmune Disease:

• Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Lupus
• Diabetes Type 1
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Crohn’s Disease
• Ulcerative Colitis
• Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
• Grave’s Disease

Symptoms of auto-immune disease:

Symptoms vary with each disease but some common ones to look out for are:

• Fatigue
• Joint & muscle pain
• Numb or weak muscles
• Sudden change in weight
• Sudden change in bowel movements
• Abdominal pain
• Skin rashes

How does hypnosis heal?

Physical approaches that play a crucial role in healing yourself from Autoimmune diseases include balancing hormones, optimising your diet, addressing gut health and decreasing any environmental exposure.

So, what can hypnosis do?

Hypnosis helps with the mental aspect of the healing process, sometimes the most challenging part. The mental aspect is concerned with:
• educating and empowering yourself to manage stress;
• learning coping mechanisms;
• addressing anxiety, depression, trauma, other mental health concerns specific to you;

The ACE – Autoimmune connection

Studies show that people with two or more Adverse Childhood Experiences were at 70-100% increased risk for hospitalizations with autoimmune-type diseases, decades into adulthood. People that were mistreated as youngsters have shown very high levels of systematic inflammation during adulthood. Sometimes, up to twenty years later.

Another interesting point is that individuals who experienced stressful childhoods have shown prominent levels of inflammation when older, regardless of whether or not they experienced high stress levels later in life.

I have put together a few questions to help identify if Adverse Childhood Experiences are making you ill, take my quiz to find out.

But how?

Some interesting points to consider:
1. The many individuals who have experienced elevated levels of stress but haven’t been diagnosed with a single autoimmune disease.
2. When an individual is exposed to stress as a child, those negative experiences are embedded into their immune system.
3. White blood cells called macrophages exhibit a magnified inflammatory response within the individual’s body.

This isn’t the full story though because the microbiome and Epigenetics play a significant role in the Autoimmune development process after Adverse Childhood Experiences too. The aspects that influence gene expression in epigenetics include:

• Hormones (this is why Autoimmune diseases are more prevalent in females than in their male counterparts)
• Diet
• Environmental toxin exposure
• Social interactions
• Smoking History

The impact:

If you’re an individual who has experienced ACEs, your long-term health effects are not limited to autoimmune disorders alone. In fact, studies show that people who have experienced ACEs run a greater risk for mental illness, substance abuse, suicidal tendencies and other health outcomes to the extent of heart attacks and diabetes.

As previously mentioned, according to, Autoimmune conditions are a lot more common in women than men, with women accounting for 57% of all diagnosed autoimmune conditions in the US, and 63% of autoimmune conditions in Brazil.

ACE victims have different risk factors to most people and therefore need to be treated differently from a medical perspective. Unfortunately, when it comes to the treatment of Autoimmune Disease, aspects like mental health and Adverse Childhood Experiences are often overlooked.


If you’d like to find out more information about how hypnosis can help you manage your Autoimmune disease, book a free discovery call with me today and we’ll tackle your issue together.