We hear often about concussions in sports, but also in accidents and even everyday life, as head injuries are not uncommon occurrences. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can have a lasting impact on an individual’s cognitive and physical well-being. This blog aims to shed light on what a concussion is, its causes, symptoms, effects, and the importance of naturopathic treatment. Research indicates that repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries are associated with CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a degenerative disease all too common in professional hockey and football players. Mild concussions are also associated with an increased risk of prematurely developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion, often referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), occurs when a blow, jolt, or bump to the head causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull. This movement can result in chemical imbalances and cell damage, affecting the brain’s function. Unlike more severe brain injuries, concussions typically do not involve structural damage visible on imaging scans like CT scans or MRIs.
Causes of Concussion
Concussions can result from various scenarios, including:
- Sports Injuries: Contact sports like football, soccer, rugby, and ice hockey carry a higher risk of concussions due to the physical nature of these games.
- Accidents: Falls, automobile collisions, and other accidents can lead to head injuries and concussions.
- Assaults: Physical altercations or assaults can also result in concussions.
Symptoms of Concussion
Concussion symptoms can be immediate or develop gradually over hours or days. They may include:
- Physical Symptoms: Headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or noise, and balance problems.
- Cognitive Symptoms: Confusion, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and slowed thinking.
- Emotional Symptoms: Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
- Sleep Disturbances: Trouble falling asleep, excessive sleepiness, or changes in sleep patterns.
Effects of Concussion
While most people recover fully from a concussion within a few weeks, some individuals experience persistent symptoms known as post-concussion syndrome. Repeated concussions, especially without adequate time for recovery, can lead to cumulative and potentially severe consequences, including:
- Cognitive Impairment: Long-term issues with memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.
- Mood Disorders: An increased risk of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE): Repeated concussions, especially in contact sports, have been linked to CTE, a degenerative brain disease that can cause memory loss, cognitive decline, and mood disturbances.
Managing and Preventing Concussions
Proper management and prevention are crucial for minimizing the impact of concussions:
- Immediate Medical Attention: If a concussion is suspected, it’s essential to seek medical attention. Rest and allowing the brain to heal are vital components of recovery.
- Physical and Cognitive Rest: This includes refraining from activities that could exacerbate symptoms, both physically and mentally.
- Gradual Return to Activities: Following a doctor’s guidance, a step-by-step return to work, school, and physical activities can help prevent re-injury.
- Protective Gear: Wearing appropriate helmets and protective gear can significantly reduce the risk of concussions in sports and activities prone to head injuries. Walking poles when hiking is recommended.
- Education: Athletes, hikers, coaches, parents, and healthcare professionals should be educated about concussion signs, symptoms, and proper management.
Normally, concussion symptoms do not start straightaway; it might start several days or even a few weeks after a brain or head injury. If left untreated, concussion can trigger severe consequences and irreversible brain damage. You need to make sure to check your symptoms with doctors before applying following treatments. Natural methods can help with the recovery process and neuro degeneration and brain inflammation.
How natural medicine can help?
There are many herbs that cross blood-brain-barrier (BBB) with neuro -anti-inflammatory, and neuro-regenerative properties. In practitioners’ only supplements (POS) there are new supplements available with patented technology making herbs even more bioavailable in the brain, thus more effective.
However, natural treatment should start ASAP to prevent nerve death.
Vitamin and mineral supplementation have been shown to improve outcomes of mild concussions. Vitamin C, D, E, Zinc, fish oil, and magnesium were of benefit.
A diet rich in antioxidants
Consuming foods that have a high source of antioxidants will help recover from a concussion. It s recommended to eat fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables for positive outcomes. Thanks to such essential nutrients present in green vegetables as folic acid and calcium, those foods are extremely good for accelerating the healing process.
Citric fruits, including oranges and tangerines which are loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants aid in repairing the damage in and on the head. This is due to a high source of Vitamin C that is used to decrease the oxidative stress caused by a concussion.
Also, a daily intake of calcium-rich foods with citric fruits is necessary since vitamin C can be easily absorbed into your body. You should take nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and calcium alongside. One more option for you to choose is drinking juice that gets extracted from these above fruits for better results.
Drinking plenty of Water
Water, can be one of the most effective home remedies for concussion because they help restore the lost balance in the body and thereby ensuring that the blood is not thick. The amount of water consumed daily affects the viscosity of the blood. Also, water has been proven to help maintain potentially the consistency of the blood in order to ensure a fast healing process during a concussion.
Fish Oil Consumption
Thanks to being high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids, fish oil is reported to help repair the brain and subsequently helping with a concussion. Supplementing DHA, specifically, may reduce axonal and neuronal damage, neuronal cell death, oxidative stress, cognitive impairment, and neurotransmitter decline. It is also recommended to eat oily fish such as tuna, mackerel, sardine, or anchovies.
Taking adequate rest
When a person suffers from a concussion, it is vital for him/her to take a rest and not to make the head move around. In addition, any physical influences on the head are not allowed. Rest is a very important thing to have the brain damage repaired and to make sure that concussion patients enable to get a quick recovery.
Avoiding strenuous activity
For treatment after a concussion, it is necessary to avoid sports and some strenuous activities. Stressful situations are also not allowed. During that time, your brain needs time to recover. If you want to participate in sports activities, please ask your doctors first.
Do remember that in case your symptoms do not get improved from 7 to 10 days or become worse, contact your doctors at any time and do follow up the situation.
If you would like to know more about how the DH-Natural Medicine Clinic can help you, please call us now on
(02) 4854 0205
Danuta Hulajko is a Naturopath, international speaker and the founder & practitioner at the DH Natural Medicine Clinic and www.healingremedies.com.au in the Southern Highlands
Danuta specialises in Allergies, Anti-Aging, Auto-Immune Conditions, Cardiovascular Conditions, Female Reproductive, Long Covid, Menopause, Mould Toxicity, Skin Conditions, Stress and Insomnia and Thyroid Dysfunction.