Concussions are caused by mechanical forces, usually from trauma to the head and brain. Concussions are usually from blunt force and or rotational forces. Surprisingly, various lifestyle modifications can be made to either minimize the incidence of concussion or the severity of concussion.
To learn how we treat concussion at absolute health and Wellness, please click here .
After the Impact
Beyond the initial injury, neuron regeneration is crucial for the recovery phase. It’s important to focus reducing inflammation and oxidation within the brain. We must focus on all reducing all pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative factors and increasing anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative factors. Our focus lies on cytokines, chemokines, interferons, nitric oxide, and prostaglandins .
Before the Impact: Reduce Risk
As you’ll see, there are actually ways to potentially reduce the risk of concussion (onset) or reduce the severity of concussion. Below are a few aspects which have plenty of research.
Cut out Aluminum
Aluminum is a trace heavy metal which is found to have strong effects in post concussion syndrome. It’s known to be a neurotoxicant , and we as humans have one major source of exposure: diet and lifestyle. University of Kentucky researchers have recommended avoiding aluminum when practical .
Aluminum is thought to promote formation of plaques, increase iron induced oxidation, and disrupt inositol phosphate and calcium regulation – all of these have some role to play in onset and recovery of concussion.
The following are major sources of aluminum, and hence we want to avoid the following:
- Food additives
- Aluminum containers/utensils
- Aluminum cans
- Drying agent often used in cocoa, salt and baking powders often contain aluminum
- High sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreens
- Cosmetics (aluminum used in base)
Focus on Reducing Inflammation
One of the mechanisms of post-concussion syndrome involves inflammation. The damage occurring throughout the brain are inflammatory and oxidative. There are many lifestyle factors which can affect inflammation, including:
- Eating more anti-inflammatory foods (veggies are a good start!)
- Avoiding packaged foods (they tend to have a lot of pro-inflammatory oils in them) 
Focusing on anti-inflammatories are known to help protect your brain against damage and helpful after potential impact.
Achieve Optimal Nutrition
Recent findings have shown that nutrient functional deficiencies are one of the main reasons we see some complications long term after a concussion.
Eat more Sulfur Containing Foods
Sulfur is important for melatonin supply, recycling debris and optimizing DHA in cell membranes. All of these factors are very important for brain health and post-concussion therapy. Sulfur deficiencies associated with increasing susceptibility of concussion and treatment thereafter .
The following are good sources of sulfur, and therefore should be incorporated into your diet; before, during or after concussion:
- Meat: chicken, beef, pork
- brussel sprouts
- wheat germ
- B vitamins (B1 and biotin)
Eat GMO-free and Organic When possible
Genetically modified corn, soy, canola oil and sugar beets have been shown to disrupt the gut-brain axis, which has been directly implicated in increased sensitivity to brain trauma . That means genetically modified organisms can leave a person slightly more susceptible to head trauma leading to concussion.
Supplements for Concussion
There are various supplements helpful for post-concussion syndrome. Likewise, there are a few that have actually been researched to improve outcomes in a preventative medicine. Please book in with your naturopath to discuss.
Interested in learning more?
Read on in our series of articles on Concussions!
About the Author - Dr. Johann de Chickera
Dr. Johann is a fully licensed Naturopathic Doctor. His approach emphasizes the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and improving one’s health naturally. Dr. Johann obtained a Doctor of Naturopathy at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). Education at CCNM is a vigorous four years, with a curriculum involving biomedical sciences, physical diagnosis, clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, botanical (herbal) medicine, physical medicine, homeopathy and lifestyle management.
While Dr. Johann has a general practice, he focuses on fertility, hormonal imbalances, gut health, and autoimmune disease.
To book in please call us at (519) 442-2206 or click here.