A concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a very serious matter and needs to be treated as such. Yet traditional medical doctors and medicine often views post concussion treatment as bandaid fixes versus a long term approach. Your doctor may ask you if you have any common concussion or TBI such as
If you don't have any of those common symptoms then they assume you're healed yet we know that symptoms of concussion have long reaching effects.I'm going to present multiple ways to heal the brain after a concussion so that you can hopefully return to your athletic events or resume a good quality of life.
The Hormonal Conseqeunces Of Concussions
Did you know that even one concussion can have long term effects on hormone health in both men and women? One concussion can interrupt the messaging between the brain and testes in men and overaries in women and cause impaired signaling effects. Not only does this impact libidio and fertility but it can impair muscle recovery and your ability to burn bodyfat.
Gut health is also negatively effected by concussion. 75% of your brain neurotranmitters are created in your gut and any trauma to your brain can alter the production of these critical neurotransmitters.
Think that's enough? Your hypothalamus, which is the certain for all your hormonal production, is extremely sensitive to stress. So imagine what a blow to the head does to you!
There are lingering effects of post concussive syndrome on testosterone and growth hormone. For testosterone production in particular conussion and trauma to the brain can be problematic. Your pituitary gland tells your testes to increase testosterone productive via your luetenizing hormone (LH). There seems to be an issue with the communication between your brain and your LH hormone after a concussion which leads to decreases testosterone production.
Natural Treatments For Concussions & TBI
When we look at natural potential treatments for concussions and TBI, you must address your diet, sleep and supplementation. If you can cover your grounds on all three areas then you can truly make progress and help to prevent some long term issues with concussions.
Nutrition For Concussions & Traumatic Brain Injuries
The main emphasis and focus of your diet after a concussion should be to lower brain and gut inflammation as much as possible. In order to do this you must lower or completely remove immunogenic foods-gluten, corn, soy and diary from your diet. While you may be able to consume these foods at a later date, they are indicated in a variety of gut inflammatory conditions including leaky gut. As your gut becomes irritated, inflammation as well as bacteria, increases in your digestive tract.
This further increases the stress hormone cortisol which increase your insulin levels. This makes it harder to burn body fat and also increases inflammation in your brain. It's a vicious cycle.
So what we want to do is a follow a paleo based approach. I favor a moderate healthy fat level of foods such as wild caught fish, omega-3 fish oil and monounsaturated fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil) that support brain health.
In addition, by consuming higher quantities of a variety of vegetables and fruits provide your body with various antioxidants that drive your biochemical pathways.
Repairing Your Gut-Brain Recovery After A Concussion
There really is only one post concussion diet that I use for CTE and TBI treatment. Much of the online literature points to the numerous benefits of the ketogenic diet, a low carb, high fat diet, that emphasizes the use of fatty foods such as grass fed butter, coconut oil, medium chain triglycerides (and other ketone supplements), avocado and plenty of nuts and oils. There are a lot of benefits of a keto diet particularly reduced inflammation in the brain that occurs when you eat these good foods for TBI.
My issue is that many people that come to me live an active life or are athletes and while I know they may or may not return to competition soon, traumatic brain injury recovery must be personalized for the individual. Thats why I favor a degree of carbohydrates, 100-150 grams, during the course of the day for an active individual.
First you remove foods that cause potential issues then you add back in foods that repair the lining of your gut which plays a role in your concussion recovery. These foods include
You also want to remove artificial sweeteners, added sugar and any other fillers or additives in processed foods.You're not getting any benefits in concussion recovery by consuming these artificial additives so why not remove them?
Sleep and concussions-How to repair the brain after a concussion
Traumatic brain injury and concussions lead to increased inflammation in the brain and a build up of amyloid plague in the brain. This plague is very problematic as it is hard to remove or "wash" from your brain. Do you know the best way to clean up that plague? Sleep. During restful sleep our brain "washes" itself clean and breaks down and removes that plague.
Yet it's extremely easy for everyone to cut their sleep cycle short or just ignore it in general. Sleep is also when your body produces proper growth hormone levels to aid in repair of muscles.
Most people don't have a proper sleep routine however. What you want to do is stop looking at your devices or any tech about 30 minutes before bed as the blue light from devices causes your body to deplete melatonin, an essential natural sleep hormone. In addition, you want to set your thermostat to between 65-67 degrees as this temperature will allow the most hormonal recovery.
If you have trouble getting to sleep I suggest you hop on the Physique Formula Magnesium Glycinate to calm down your muscular and central nervous system
Supplements For Concussion & TBI
There are a few select natural supplements for brain trauma that are backed by research and are shown to support reducing brain inflammation and increasing recovery after a concussion.
Omega-3 fish oil: Just like I want you to consume wild caught fish it's a good food for tbi but I also want you to take 6 grams of omega-3 fish oil since they can reduce brain inflammation in addition to their ability to improve gut health and improve muscle tissue insulin sensitivity.
Curcumin: An extract of the spice Turmeric, curcumin inhibits the major inflammatory pathway, NK Kappa B. There is also studies that show it may reduce amyloid plagues. This is a natural herb that can not only help with head injuries but can also reduce overall inflammation for greater muscle recovery.
Creatine: Not just a muscle building supplement, creatine is used in the treatment of parkinson and alzheimers as well as other neurodegenerative diseases.I suggest you take 5 grams per day. This is a nutrient that should be in every individuals brain trauma recovery program.
Melatonin: Primarily known as a sleep support supplement, this natural hormone is often depleted in times of stress as the opposing hormone, cortisol, rises. A bonus, melatonin will help you sleep better which is also essential in any diet after a concussion.
Multi Probiotic: Your gut is where 75% of your hormones are produced and now you’re dealt two blows, one to your head and the other to your gut. Not to mention that most people don’t have a healthy gut to begin with and you see the need for adding healthy bacteria back in. Physique Formula Ultra Probiotic 10 contains 10 strains of healthy bacteria at a 25 billion potency.
Branched Chain Amino Acids: A recent research study has examined the use of BCAAS, branched chain amino acids, on recovery from severe TBI and have found some positive benefits. The Physique Formula BCAAS are 100% artificial sweetener free and also continue the gut boosting amino acid glutamine.
If you follow this CTE treatment program for healing your brain after a concussion you will set yourself up for success both hormonally and metabolically.