Air Force Vet Overcomes PTSD and Sleep Disorder With Medical Foods


Story Updated: Feb 13, 2013

(NewsUSA) - After serving four years in the Army and six in the U.S. Air Force, Christi J. Cook of Harbor Beach, Mich. left the military the same way many service members do -- proud and dutiful, yet struggling with a wrecked body and a civilian life she had never known.

For Cook, joining the military was the plan since adolescence, the desire to serve embedded in her genes dating back to her ancestors in the Revolutionary War. But she wasn't prepared to face the condition of her body once she left the military.

While in the Air Force, Cook suffered a hit from a scud missile overseas that resulted in exposure to an unidentified toxic nerve agent. The physical consequences were widespread for the young woman in her mid-twenties: heart arrhythmia, memory loss, bladder irregularity, gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, migraines, severe insomnia and unbearable muscle pain.

After years of physical therapy, antibiotics and prescription medication that provided little to no relief, Cook couldn't sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time, sit in a car for prolonged periods or enjoy a day without debilitating pain. It wasn't until a year ago that she finally found an effective way to cope with her symptoms.

"I was on a lot of antibiotics, a lot of pain killers, and none of it really worked. A lot of it masked the pain, but it was just like a boomerang. It came back and it usually came back worse," explained the 42-year-old, now a mother of two. "I tried so many things, and then when I started taking medical foods Sentra PM and AM, it was the first time in decades that I had any energy."

Sentra PM and Sentra AM are FDA-regulated, prescription-only medical foods that provide the precursors to the neurotransmitters needed for restorative sleep, while reducing fatigue and managing the increased nutritional requirements of fibromyalgia, respectively.

Medical foods, like those developed by Targeted Medical Pharma, Inc., help patients meet the increased nutritional requirements of chronic disease, including pain syndromes, peripheral neuropathy, hypertension, obesity and sleep and cognitive disorders.

By the time Cook discovered a solution, she was battling multiple diagnoses: post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), minor depression, fibromyalgia, traumatic arthritis and migraines.

"I get hyper-vigilant. I don't like to be in a crowd, I kind of panic in a crowd. Even going to church or grocery shopping was extremely difficult," Cook said, describing her PTSD symptoms, many of which only grew worse.

But Cook's insomnia was the most challenging -- until she found medical foods. In less than a week, Cook said, the tension began to ebb away. Now, it's the only thing she takes, and she recommends it to everyone. Learn more about Rx-only medical foods at

Add a comment


Comment: 250 Characters Left

WBNG and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.

Featured Professional
Featured Professionals

Cardiovascular Services

Guthrie Cardiovascular Center

Interviews with Dr. Larson
Interviews with Dr. Ashok Shah
Interviews with Dr. Marica
Interviews with Dr. Sampson
Interviews with Dr. Deshmukh
Interviews with Dr. McClintock
Interviews with Dr. Rudzinski

Guthrie Cardiovascular Center

Consistently ranked among the top 100 cardiovascular hospitals by Thomson Reuters, Guthrie cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and vascular surgeons work together to ensure patients receive the most comprehensive care possible.

Offering cardiovascular care to the Twin Tiers for more than 40 years, Guthrie’s cardiac specialists and staff have offered the people of our region the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic services possible, while earning national awards for quality and recognition for excellence.

Diagnostic & Non-Invasive Cardiology
Non-invasive cardiology includes all procedures that allow the cardiologist to obtain information about the heart without going through the skin or invading the body in any way. Many times these procedures are the first steps in evaluating a patient's condition. Guthrie provides diagnostic and non-invasive cardiology services, including multi-slice CT angiography, comprehensive mobile echocardiography services including stress echo, EKG, holter monitoring and nuclear stress testing to name a few.

Invasive & Interventional Cardiology
When non-invasive techniques don't provide all the answers, additional diagnostic procedures may be used to more clearly identify and treat cardiac problems. Within Guthrie’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, invasive and interventional cardiologists offer subspecialty diagnostic and therapeutic services to evaluate and treat cardiac conditions without traditional surgery. Guthrie interventional cardiologists perform over 100 peripheral vascular interventions, such as carotid angioplasty and stenting, each year, with a 95% technical success rate.

Electrophysiology & Pacing
The heart's conduction system, the system that controls the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat, can develop problems that interfere with the heart's ability to function properly. Electrophysiology Laboratory team offers complete electrophysiology and pacing services for treatment of arrhythmias – from palpitations and syncope to atrial fibrillation to more specialized rhythm abnormalities.

Cardiac Surgery
Surgery plays an important role in a comprehensive cardiac program. Whatever the patient's needs, they can be met by the Guthrie’s cardiac surgery team. Guthrie’s Cardiac Surgery team provides a comprehensive scope of surgical procedures for the treatment of diseases of the heart and chest. Commonly treated conditions include ischemic heart disease, ventricular aneurysms, valve dysfunction, rheumatic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, trauma, cardiac tumors and infection.

Thoracic Surgery
Providing the advanced surgical techniques and oncologic therapies, thoracic surgery at Guthrie is dedicated to the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of non-cardiac diseases of the chest. We are able to apply the modern techniques of minimally invasive procedures including video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) to many disease processes for the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and other chest diseases.

Vascular & Endovascular Surgery
Guthrie’s Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery offers a full spectrum of services – from life-saving procedures to repair ruptured aneurysms to elective procedures to prevent stroke, provide relief from claudication and address symptoms of venous disease. The latest therapies and minimally invasive endovascular treatment are offered by our experienced vascular team.

Interviews with Dr. Larson