Written by Dr. Greg Brannon | 4 min read
Treating Veterans with PTSD
It’s not news to anyone in the military community that many of our honorable veterans return from active service suffering, often in silence, from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or “PTSD.” Standard clinical protocol in V.A. hospitals across the nation for PTSD treatment includes long-term prescriptions of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) or Serotonin & Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Effexor are examples of the most commonly prescribed anti-depressants for PTSD therapy and related conditions such as depression and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Some doctors may also prescribe other types of anti-depressants, Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, Antipsychotics, Beta-blockers, or Benzodiazepines if SSRIs and SNRIs prove ineffective.
The central issue with all these medications is that they do not fundamentally address the root of the problem. They rarely resolve the disorder, but rather, “numb” the individual by temporarily masking his/her symptoms. All of these drugs come with a laundry list of unpleasant and/or dangerous side effects including drowsiness, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, diarrhea, vision problems, headaches, heart palpitations, erectile dysfunction and suicidal thoughts.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious and devastating condition resulting from emotional and/or physical trauma. About 30% of soldiers who have served in war zones are later diagnosed with PTSD. The treatment for their suffering, which can last for years, is typically limited to counseling and use of prescription drugs. Symptoms of PTSD include difficulty sleeping, nightmares, flashbacks, mental exhaustion, and significant emotional distress anytime the victim is reminded of the traumatic event(s). The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that 20 American military veterans per day commit suicide because of PTSD.
Moreover, PTSD is not limited to the military population. In fact, it is estimated that 5.2 million people in the United States are currently suffering with this debilitating condition.
Fortunately, a new and effective alternative method of PTSD treatment is available. Rather than masking the problem with drugs, some PTSD patients have discovered something that works better than anti-depressants; specifically, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which is infinitely safer, in addition to being more effective.
And here is why. The brain controls the production of hormones, and many of the symptoms of PTSD are amplified by low testosterone. Chronic anxiety and depression have been proven to lower natural hormone levels, and low levels of hormones can trigger more anxiety and depression. These two conditions, sadly, worsen over time in a negative feedback loop.
Simply balancing a person’s testosterone, estrogen and progesterone back to normal levels can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of PTSD, allowing him or her to return to a healthy, vibrant life. It is a safe, proven and effective solution.
Unlike synthetic hormones, bioidentical hormones are created from vegetables or plants, such as yams or soy. They are formulated to replace your natural hormones exactly, with an identical chemical structure. In fact, the body cannot distinguish them from the biological hormones it already produces. Because of their purity, bio-identical hormones do not cause the same unpleasant and dangerous side effects as synthetic hormones.
In addition to the reduction or elimination of the symptoms of PTSD, patients on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy experience improved strength, higher bone density, development of lean muscle mass, lower cholesterol levels, deeper sleep, greater concentration, higher levels of energy, a heightened interest in sex, and an overall sense of well-being.
Bioidentical hormones are administered in the form of tiny, subcutaneous pellets that are inserted underneath the skin, using an anesthetic, every three to four months. The pellets are placed in the upper part of the buttocks and slowly dissolve over time, which mimics the gradual secretion of the body’s natural hormones.
As a medical doctor and an expert in anti-aging medicine, I have helped thousands of men and women regain their health and happiness through the use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). For the past 7 years, my team and I have been doing pellet therapy in my North Carolina offices (and now in our Charlottesville, VA location), and the results have been phenomenal. I have had the pleasure of advising military men and women, many of whom have become my patients. It is a joy and a privilege for me to be able to restore the strength, vitality, and emotional and physical well-being of those who have made the sacrifice of serving in our armed forces.
If you would like to learn more about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for the treatment of PTSD, depression, TBI, or other adverse health conditions, please read through our website.
I look forward to scheduling a consultation with you and answering any questions you may have one-on-one for help with PTSD treatment options.