Brain Injury: Overview, Symptoms, Causes, Natural Treatments, and Medicine

Have you ever had a concussion? Been in a bad car accident? Suffered a sports-related head injury? Many of us have experienced some kind of brain injury in our lives. What you should know is that a head injury may have contributed to your chronic illness. Chronic conditions can be a direct result of brain trauma.

Some of us have thicker skulls than others, both literally and figuratively. So it’s not likely you have spent much time thinking about how fragile the brain really is. For instance, we understand that extreme traumatic brain injury (TBI) is serious because it obviously results in visible physical impairment. However, in mild or moderate injury, the trauma is not so obvious.

For this reason, most people (including some medical practitioners) consider non-extreme or mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) as inconsequential in the long run because they see no symptoms proportional to those in TBI.[2]

To understand why brain injury can lead to chronic conditions, we need to introduce you some areas of the brain: the hypothalamus, pituitary glands, and the adrenal glands. [3]

The Hypothalamus

The hypothalamus is part of the HPA axis, which consists of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands. These glands all work together and rely on one another. When one is malfunctioning, all are compromised and our health pays the price.

According to Medline Plus, the hypothalamus is an area of the brain that produces hormones that control thirst, hunger, body temperature, sleep, moods, sex drive, and the release of hormones from various glands, primarily the pituitary gland. [4]

The hypothalamus regulates homeostasis in the human body. In other words, it is in charge of making sure that everything in our bodies is always in balance, no matter what state we are in. It plays the key role in numerous functions and is a major link to the endocrine (hormone) and nervous systems. Damage to this structure results in disturbances in the production and regulation of our hormones, and can have a negative yet, initially, subtle effect on our health.

The Pituitary

Since the hypothalamus secretes hormones to stimulate hormone release from the pituitary gland, it is not surprising that functions related to this gland are negatively affected by a brain injury as well. The full impact of brain trauma on the pituitary gland has been under-identified and under-researched until rather recently, but it has now been fairly well established. [2,6]

The Adrenals

Since the hypothalamus and pituitary glands control the adrenal glands, it is also important to look at how insufficiencies in these can contribute to chronic illness. The adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys and are chiefly responsible for regulating the body’s stress response. They do this by secreting cortisol and adrenaline, or in other words, by stimulating our fight or flight response. When these glands are malfunctioning there are many things that can be negatively affected. [3]

SPECT and the Amen Clinic

Probably the best way to determine whether you have experienced brain trauma is be evaluated by the Amen Clinic. The Amen Clinic uses SPECT scans (single photon emission computed tomography) to image the metabolism of the brain. Brain trauma and other brain conditions can be readily diagnosed using SPECT scans. SPECT is one of the best tools for evaluating functional deficits from head trauma that are often not seen by other studies, leading to more understanding and more effective treatments for patients. [7] While it is still rather expensive, your results may serve as an excellent, tangible resource.

Additional Information about Brain Injury

  1. Common symptoms of brain injury
  2. Common causes of brain injury
  3. Help me choose a natural and alternative treatment for brain injury
  4. Dietary and lifestyle recommendations that may help in the treatment of brain injury
  5. Conventional or prescription medications used in the treatment of brian injury
  6. Additional reading for brain injury

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