5 things you should know about concussions

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 4 September 2018

Concussions are becoming big news not only in elite athletes but in high school sports as well. Increased awareness, better screening, and earlier diagnosis are all important factors in effective treatment, but what about the role of the internal milieu?

Here are 5 things you should know about prevention and treatment of concussions  from a functional and nutritional perspective:

  1. Healthy fats = a healthy brain: the fats we consume in our diet will affect the composition of fat in our brain. Think of trans fats like straw, polyunsaturated fats like wood, and omega 3 fats like brick. Which of these building materials are going to best withstand a wind storm? That is exactly what a compression injury is doing to your brain.
  2. A leaky gut = a leaky brain: the gut-brain connection had been widely documented for several years now but no one seems to think about it when it comes to concussions. If you have a leaky gut, you are at risk for a leaky brain, and therefore a concussion after a compression injury.
  3. The best diet is an anti-inflammatory one, for prevention & treatment: an anti-inflammatory diet not only ensures you are getting the right fats in your brain, it also prevents & treats a leaky gut. If you are eating a diet that is creating low level inflammation in your body, you can be sure that that inflammation is happening in your brain as well. Healing and repair of tissue cannot be effective without the resolution of inflammation.
  4. Your brain is the most nutrient dependent organ you have: nutrient dense foods, medical foods, and brain specific nutrient supplements give your brain what it needs to repair, and repair quickly. If all you are feeding your brain is sugar, you have lots of calories for repair, but none of the nutrients. All refined carbs and sugars will be detrimental for the healing process and put you at higher risk for developing a concussion in the first place.
  5. Your brain is the most toxin vulnerable organ you have: if the overall toxin load in your body is high, your brain is at risk for injury. Toxins could be coming from your food, your personal care products, cleaning products, your drinking water, or your work environment. Also consider that someone may have a low exposure but they are a slow detoxifier. They could be equally at risk as someone with high exposure who is a fast detoxifier.

Now I would love to hear from you! What surprised you the most in this article? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

4 Replies to “5 things you should know about concussions”

I found this article about concussions to be one of the most informative that I have read. I particularly took a lot from the first two points. Yet another excellent reason to be ingesting my Omega-3’s even though I do not enjoy the taste. I doubt that very few people are aware of the brain-gut connection, but it should be stressed more by the medical community. People will still make their own choices, but this article is absolutely brilliant, as far as I am concerned.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Thank-you Patricia!

Bill Beauchamp

I have been struggling with concussion issues for a lifetime and with your help, am doing quite well.

I know I don’t always follow your instructions but base my decisions on your input.

Actually, you scolded me on my last discussion with you on diet!

Thank you and have a great summer!

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You are welcome Bill!

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