Hi, This Is Yvette’s husband, Allan. I’m recording this week’s podcast because she hit her head on a bookshelf late last week. She has a concussion, and too much screen time causes her to have headaches and to stutter. She’s stuttering pretty intensely right now, and asked me to record this for her.
So, let’s talk about concussion.
What is a concussion?
Most people understand that if you hit your head you can get a concussion. Concussion is probably mostly associated with sports injuries and car accidents. But, anyone can get a concussion if you hit your head. It doesn’t take a hard blow to the head. A concussion can happen anytime your brain gets jostled around in your head. Most medical professionals use the terms concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) interchangeably.
Mild concussions usually heal on their own in about 14 days to a month. Although some people have symptoms for months and even years after the injury.
Proper care and brain rest are critical to healing from a concussion.
Symptoms of a concussion include:
Loss of consciousness at the time of the injury
If you experience the symptoms listed below, go to your local emergency room:
Things to help your body heal from concussion:
Cognitive rest — Rest your brain by avoiding mentally difficult tasks. Avoid driving, screen usage and work or studying for a few days to let your brain heal. Limit bright lights and lound sounds. Resume your normal activities slowly, with an eye to symptoms. If symptoms increase while you’re doing something, stop and rest. You wouldn’t walk on a broken ankle because you know that ankle needs rest in order to heal properly. Your injured brain is the same way. If you don’t let it rest it won’t recover.
Physical rest – don’t do any heavy exercise. Don’t do anything that might jar your head and neck.
Sleep — your brain needs enough sleep to heal properly. Sleep is considered the most important thing you can do to aid in healing from a concussion.
Drinking enough water. If you’re dehydrated your body can’t heal properly. If you have a concussion, you should drink a lot of water –at least half your body weight in ounces. So, I you weigh 180 lbs, aim for at least 60 ounces of water each day while you recover.
Avoid alcohol in all forms. Alcohol is a neurotoxin. That means it damages brain cells. Your brain is already trying to heal from an injury, don’t add to the stress by drinking alcohol.
Eat healthy. Healthy foods promote healing in the brain and throughout the body. Avoid sugar, eat lots of veggies, and naturally raised meats. Avoid fast food. Focus on foods that are high in antioxidants, and omega 3 fatty acids, and foods that are considered anti-inflammatory.
Some studies have shown that reducing overall calorie intake has the effect of protecting the brain,
Moderate, low impact exercise. Moving your body improves brain health, and will help your brain heal from concussion.
Foods to focus on after a concussion.
High protein foods
Salmon and other fatty fish
Foods to avoid when you have a concussion
Alcohol. Drinking alcohol can increase symptoms of concussion. Plus it’s a known neurotoxin. Anytime you drink alcohol you’re damaging your brain. When you have a concussion you don’t want to stress your brain any further.
Sugar — Sugar in all forms reduces neuorplasticity, and slows down healing in all parts of the body. Especially the brain.
There are some herbs and supplements you can take that will help your body heal.
Tumeric contains curcumin which is known to help reduce oxidative stress, and improve the stability or cell membranes.
Green tea is a broad spectrum antioxidant, and has anti inflammatory effects in the brain. Drinking green tea regularly helps protect the brain.
Omega 3 fatty acids. If you have a concussion you should take a good omega 3 supplement while you recover. Omega 3s help improve brain function, increases nerve repair, and reduces nerve swelling.
Vitamin E reduces nerve damage and improves cognitive performance.
Creatine has been shown to reduce symptoms of concussion.
Magnesium reduces inflammation and helps repair and rebuild neurons.
Zinc improves mood and mental processes