Post Concussion – The Naturopathic Approach
Concussions are best treated in an integrative team environment. Naturopathic treatment for concussions focuses on decreasing inflammation of the brain, removing damaged tissue and feeding the brain the proper nutrients it needs to effectively heal from the traumatic brain injury. Recovering from a concussion takes time, however, with a team approach focus can be placed on aiding the brain to heal and recover.
Concussions are now better diagnosed and screened for on and off the field now compared to 30 years ago. With the increase in awareness and research we now have a better understanding of what occurs in the brain during and following a concussion. There is still much research to be done regarding concussions but the limited information we have now has given us a base for effective treatment for patients suffering from a concussion.
Inflammation of the brain is the first thing we address following a concussion. This is achieved through nutrition as well as utilizing appropriate supplements such as N-acetylcystine (NAC), curcuviva curcumin (shown to cross the blood brain barrier) and liposomal glutathione.
Once the inflammation has been reduced the focus becomes supporting the brain to heal. This is accomplished by optimized nutrition, ensuring that the patients diet contains adequate amounts of the nutrients the brain requires to heal. Brain tissue and all nerve tissue is largely composed of fat. Thus having adequate amounts of healthy fats in the diet is key to recovery. Healthy fats include avocaodos, walnuts, pecans and almonds as well as pumpkinseeds. Cooking with extra virgin olive oil and adding some MCT oil to a protein shake are great ways to increase healthy fats.
Specific supplements are often used to support post concussion recovery. These would include brain supporting supplements such as codliver oil, acetyl-L-carntine, glycerophosphocholine (GPC) as well as protein powders if the patient is having a hard time consuming adequate amounts.
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