In my last post, you learned the number one thing you can to do to stop further brain damage after a head injury. In this article, I will go over the 5 root causes of concussion. By understanding these causes you will be empowered to take control of your own health and begin the most important step in the healing process – knowing the root cause.
After many years of seeing patients with head injuries and dealing with the consequences of several concussions myself, I began to investigate the root cause so I could relieve myself and my patients of suffering. I studied neurology, biochemistry and biomechanics as well as nutrition and traditional Chinese medicine. Through the course of my research a big picture began to emerge and I developed a deep understanding of the core mechanisms underlying Post-Concussion Syndrome. Here is what I found:
When someone sustains a head injury, an immune response is launched inside the brain that if left unchecked can lead to a wide range of neurological, cognitive and emotional symptoms:
Sensitivity to light and sound
If these symptoms last for more than a few days, I give them the diagnosis of Post-Concussion Syndrome. But all a diagnosis is, is a fancy label for a collection of symptoms. So in order to come up with the best treatment for PCS we have to go a step further and look beyond the symptoms and diagnosis to get to the root cause.
SYMPTOMS VS ROOTS
Symptoms are like the leaves on a tree. If your tree has a bunch of leaves that are brown or shriveled up and you want your tree looking healthy and vibrant again you have several options. One option is to go out and buy some paint and paint the leaves a pretty gold or green or red color. It might look nice at first, but since the cause isn't being addressed the leaves continue to get sicker and sicker and eventually fall off and die. The solution is temporary and cosmetic.
Another option is to figure out why the leaves are sick to begin with. Most of the time it's because there are underlying imbalances buried deep underground and lurking in the roots of the tree, hidden from plain sight. It's at this level we need to focus our energy and attention if we want solid and long-lasting results.
The same goes for our brains. When we experience a symptom like headache, fatigue, brain fog, memory problems or irritability – it's just your body's way of telling you that there's something wrong. That there's an underlying imbalance – a root cause – somewhere in your nervous system that needs care and attention. We can mask the symptom with pain killers or medications but in addition to unwanted side effects this approach doesn't deal with the root at all and in many cases can actually cause further damage.
So the first step in any healing process is to uncover the root cause for your symptoms. To help you in your journey I've compiled a list of the five most common root causes of concussion.
Root Cause #1: Unchecked inflammation
When you sustain a head injury, your immune system launches a powerful inflammatory response inside your brain. Although this process is necessary for healing, if left unchecked can cause massive destruction of brain cells. If this happens in an area of your brain called the frontal lobe, you may experience anxiety, depression, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and problems maintaining your focus.
Root Cause #2: Rampant excitotoxicity
When your brain cells are healthy, they use chemical messengers called neurotransmitters to communicate with one another. This happens in a very controlled and precise manner. But after a concussion the cells lose this control and dump all their contents out into the surrounding area flooding cells that are nearby with extremely powerful excitatory neurotransmitters such as glutamate. This ends up overwhelming your system. And since the cells are already weak from inflammation, they can't handle all of the excitement and start to go haywire. This process is called excitotoxicity. If this becomes rampant in an area of your nervous system called the brainstem, you may experience sensitivity to light and sound, irritability, headaches and insomnia.
Root Cause #3: Free radical overload
Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that your brain and body produce naturally. People with Post-Concussion Syndrome tend to have much higher levels of free radicals in their brain than people who haven't suffered a head injury. Too many free radicals can damage your brain cells. If this happens in an area of your nervous system called the cerebellum, you may experience balance problems, motion sickness or headaches when reading or looking at a screen for too long.
Root Cause #4: Sick mitochondria
The mitochondria are the energy producing cells of your brain and body. Without them we simply would not survive let alone thrive. They are very susceptible to damage caused by free radicals that are unleashed in a concussed person's brain, making the mitochondria unable to supply your brain and body with enough energy. This is why people with concussion experience high levels of fatigue and brain fog.
Root Cause #5: Functional brain imbalance
Functional brain imbalance lies at the heart of why so many people still suffer from PCS weeks, months and even years after their original trauma. It is the most commonly overlooked root of Post-Concussion Syndrome. Every single patient that I've worked with who has suffered a concussion has showed signs of a functional brain imbalance. These signs served as clues that helped me pinpoint the subtle areas of their brain that weren't functioning optimally. By doing so, we were able to uncover the root cause for their symptoms and create a highly-personalized BrainSAVE! Recovery Program that helped them to regain the health, vibrancy and strength of their brains and bodies.
So there you have it! The 5 Root Causes of Concussion. Now I'd love to hear from you – if you or someone you know has suffered a concussion, what has your journey to recovery looked like?
To Your Total Health,
Dr. Titus Chiu
p.s. Do you know someone who is suffering from Post-Concussion Syndrome? Share this article with them and let them know that there is hope and a lot they can do to take back their life!