The weather is about to change. The days will be cooler, the sun will set sooner, Labor Day is upon us, and this means our children are about to go back to school. It’s time for them to go to bed earlier, study, and compete in sports. One of the main concerns with playing sports – professional, collegiate, high school, or middle school – are concussions.
WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
A concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function. It usually is caused by a blow to the head. There could be a loss of consciousness; however, this does not happen all the time.
WHAT SPORTS CAUSE CONCUSSIONS?
Football, soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, rugby, basketball, and baseball are the main culprits for the boys. Regarding soccer, basketball, volleyball, and softball are the main culprits for the girls.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION?
According to the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons a diagnosis is made, in part, by the presence of specific symptoms where confusion is a primary symptom.
The three principal features of confusion are:
- Inability to maintain a coherent stream of thought
- A disturbance of awareness with heightened distractibility
- Inability to carry out a sequence of goal-directed movements
The following are concussion symptoms:
- Prolonged headache
- Vision disturbances
- Nausea or vomiting
- Impaired balance
- Memory loss
- Ringing ears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to light
- Loss of smell or taste
HOW CAN NUTRITION HELP?
Diet and nutrition can be part of a program of care for anyone suffering from a concussion. Taking the proper supportive nutrition can help speed the recovery process.
Let’s take a look at some nutrition that may be of benefit:
- Omega three fatty acids – In a study published in the journal Advances in Nutrition, researchers found that fish oil supplements may speed healing process. A high-quality supplement or a diet high in omega three fatty acids.
- Protein – Nutrition shake with whey or rice and pea protein with branched chain amino acids.
- Vitamin D can help reduce inflammation and edema.
- Glutathione can reduce tissue damage in the brain.
- Magnesium can reduce inflammation and raise glutathione levels.
- Curcumin can reduce cognitive impairment and improve function.
- Resveratrol improves blood flow and decreases inflammation.
- Antioxidants such as vitamin C, D, and E can hasten recovery and improve memory.
Also, a Ketogenic diet can be neuroprotective. There can be a decrease metabolic stress, increases resilience to neuronal loss, stimulates mitochondria, promotes ATP synthesis, and interferes with toxicity.
Concussions can be complicated and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Yours in health,
Dan Cardellichio DC, MS
MS, Human Nutrition
Adjunct Professor, University of Bridgeport, Nutrition Institute
Functionised Integrative Therapeutics
9 Professional Circle, Suite 110
Colts Neck, New Jersey