Concussion Discussion (Part 1 of 3)

Hi, I’m Dr. Jared Nielsen. I’d like to talk to you about a very important concern that we see in our communities everywhere, and that is concussion. How do we treat that concussion once a person’s suffered or sustained a head injury? First of all, it’s asked again and again should we initiate an anti-inflammatory response on the very onset of a concussion? The answer is no.

If we start to give strong anti-inflammatories, be they herbal or any other type of a medical or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, we’re actually slowing the brain’s ability to heal. When we look at the initial stage of a concussion, there are some phases that we want to allow the brain to go through.

Let me describe this this way. During the first week of a concussion, we should reduce our caloric intake and decrease our carbohydrates, increase proteins, and fast intermittently. Meaning every other day we should encourage fasting for up to 17 hours. Every other day, someone should have their breakfast and then not eat again for 17 hours.

That intermittent fasting will allow the brain to start to look for proteins or breakdown byproducts of the cells to use as energy. The microglia in the brain are specific cells that help to clean everything up. If we stop them too soon, they don’t have the time to heal the brain.

Again, fasting 17 hours every other day. Increase our proteins in our diet. Decrease the carbohydrates and potentially even eliminate them. Decrease the caloric intake, meaning if you’re not as active you don’t need as much food. Then, increase blood flow, which equates to increasing oxygen to the brain.

When we look at increasing oxygen to the brain, a lot of people will say, “Shouldn’t I use something like L-arginine, for example, to open up the blood vessels to the brain?” While that may be helpful in some cases, it can create a pro-inflammatory response, as well. There are a couple of products that I’d like to mention at this point. They’re produced by a company called Apex Energetics.

One of these is called NeurO2, and the other is called Nitric Balance. These help to increase the oxygen to the brain. In our office, we use hyperbaric oxygen therapy, as well, in those initial stages, to encourage healing and oxygen to the brain.

After the week, post one week, we want to restore our caloric intake and start to look at allowing the brain to start to heal from another phase. We start to introduce some of the natural anti-inflammatories. Again, from Apex Energetics is a product called Neuro-PTX. This should be added at this point.

This helps to engage the brain’s anti-inflammatory responses but not until that post week. Then really encouraging decreased inflammation from days 14 through 28. Now, we’re going to use DHA to EPA, which are your fish oils, your fish body oils, algae oils, to help the brain to heal. In a DHA ratio of 20:1, we restore synaptic connections.

We use a lot of DHA/EPA ratios in the 20:1 ratio for children with developmental delays of the brain. Again, as we’re trying to heal from a concussion, these are the keys. DHA 20:1 initially, and progressively going to a 4:1 ratio. During this time, as we’re focusing on decreasing inflammation, another product from Apex is called NeuroFlam.

This is an anti-inflammatory product that helps to increase glutathione in the brain and increase glutathione levels there to restore brain function. Naturally, growth hormone is released in our brains as we sleep. A person with a concussion, post-concussion, should focus on allowing their brain the time to heal while resting.

Sleep is important, because the brain actually releases growth hormone while this sleep occurs. Therefore, the brain can heal using its own natural hormone response. The other key to this is, of course, the healing aspect of the brain. Remember, a brain injury, such as a concussion, has three components.

There’s the brain area that’s actually had the trauma, there’s the balance center, vestibular center, that’s potentially experience trauma, and, also, the pituitary that has a connecting stalk or a response that can potentially decrease mood and hormonal output. That’s on another video that you can reference again and see how that correlates.

This whole plan for concussion, again, has to do with the ability to allow the inflammatory response to occur in the first week, begin to allow that inflammatory response to start to mop things up, but don’t shut down the inflammatory response until two weeks post-concussion. I’m Dr. Nielsen. I hope that’s a help to you and your family. Thank you.

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