How can Naturopathic Medicine support concussions?
A concussion is a potentially debilitating condition that can be caused buy a variety of
injuries. While many are mild, some can have lasting effects. Many patients can heal
from a concussion with appropriate rest, but some need more support to fully heal.
Common symptoms following a concussion include:
- Brain fog
- Mood changes
- Sleep disruption
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to smell and light
How can Naturopathic Medicine provide support?
1. Providing conditions for healing
- Acupuncture may support nerve growth and repair, increase circulation,
oxygenation of tissues, decrease inflammation, and improve cell signaling. It may
also improve sleep quality and decrease anxiety.
- Research has suggested to EAT MORE oily fish, turmeric, coconut oil, turmeric,
and eggs may support recovery from a concussion.
- Sugar and monosodium glutamate may worsen post-concussive symptoms so
Nutraceuticals that may support neurological healing
DHA promotes neurological repair and proper signaling between cells and
between cells and their environment. Meanwhile, EPA supports mood regulation
and decreases inflammation in the brain, allowing for healing.
Higher levels of this nutrient correlate to higher levels of many neurotransmitters. It supports messaging to the neuron, which promotes growth and regeneration of brain cells. This also supports our ability to handle stress, partially by decreasing cortisol production.
- Vitamin B12:
This vitamin is important for the remyelination of neural axons, which supports communication between brain cells. This nutrient may also help decrease glutamate toxicity. Glutamate can leak out of cells following injury, causing symptoms such as headaches.
2. Hormonal dysregulation
About half of people who experience a major head injury will experience a hormonal
imbalance. Why? The pituitary gland in the brain regulates most of the main hormones.
It’s anatomy leaves it vulnerable to damage during trauma.
What can be done?
Naturopathic doctors have access to a wide variety of hormonal testing to fit the
patient’s needs. This could include testing specific markers in the blood, comprehensive
urine or saliva panels.
Depending on the imbalance which needs correction, herbal support is effective for
Hormones such as progesterone may be prescribed as needed. Progesterone acts as a
neurosteroid. It calms the nervous system, which can support sleep. It can also
decrease inflammation allowing the brain to heal.
3. Providing symptomatic relief
Receiving nutrients intravenously allows for 100% absorption and higher doses to be
delivered directly to the tissues. This has the potential to speed up recovery time.
After the neurons are injured, reactive oxygen species (ROS) build up in the tissues. The prolonged presence of ROS slows recovery. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that supports the removal of ROS. It is also a key planner in the immune system of the brain. Most supplemental forms are destroyed bystomach acid, so this nutrient is frequently recommended as an IV.
If you think that we have suffered a concussion, Naturopathic Physicians cannot diagnose a concussion through brain imaging. Please contact your family physician or go to your nearest hospital. If you are recovering from a diagnosed or suspected concussion, our Naturopathic Physicians are happy to provide support through consultation and recommendation of a treatment plan. For more information, contact us at 604-929-5772.
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