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Overcoming Traumatic Brain Injuries

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Nearly 4,000 former football players filed a lawsuit against the National Football League (NFL) claiming that they failed to protect the player’s long-term health after suffering concussions.

If you’re a football fan or if you watch the national news, you’ve probably heard about all the latest research in concussions and head injuries. Thankfully, the NFL is finally doing something to protect players by enforcing more rules and having players sit out to recover from a bad blow to the head.

What is a concussion?

According to Medical News Today, a concussion is an injury of a soft structure, like the brain, resulting from a blow or violent shaking. It can cause temporary loss of brain function which may lead to cognitive, physical or emotional symptoms – such as confusion, vomiting, headache, nausea, depression, disturbed sleep, moodiness and amnesia.

Any type of injury to the brain can change the way it functions. Even years after a concussion or injury, a person can experience concentration problems, short term memory loss, slowed ability to process information, trouble finding words, headaches, problem solving difficulties, mood swings, and more. Unfortunately for athletes, a head trauma may even lead to symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease up to 30 years later.

The brain is a complex structure. A trauma will vary from person to person and will depend on the severity of the injury. Most traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur from motor vehicle accidents, but can also be caused by a fall, sports injury, violent crime or child abuse.

Unfortunately, most TBI’s or injuries are irreversible – meaning the individual must learn to cope with these cognitive or physical changes.

Here are some things that I’ve learned as a TBI survivor:

  1. Write stuff down. Keep a memo pad or sticky notes in a convenient area or carry it with you while on-the-go. Chances are that you will try to remember something, but it won’t happen because your brain processes things differently. Try to stick with a routine for writing things down – this way you won’t forget where your memo might be. Sometimes I’ll put a sticky note on the back of my phone or in my wallet so that it’s in plain sight.
  2. Take it easy. It’s really important not to overdo it. Extra stress or obligations can cause your memory to fail and body to hurt. Try not to overextend yourself.
  3. Keep your brain sharp. Something that doctors recommend to TBI patients is to do crossword puzzles, word searches or other cognitive related activities. There is also a great app that you can get on your phone. The app is Lumosity – you can perform daily or weekly tests that help keep your brain sharp. Plus it’s always great to see improvement!
  4. Stay Organized. Sometimes it’s hard to remember where you left that important document or simply the fingernail clippers. Staying organized is key to time management and relieving frustration if you forget where something is located.
  5. Exercise regularly. I understand that this can be hard for some individuals – especially if you have chronic pain (like me). Exercise is important for keeping your body active. It helps improve sleep, activates your muscles, reduces stress and anxiety and may help you to focus. If exercise is too hard on your body, try light yoga or meditation.

It’s important to remember that if you or someone has a cognitive impairment or TBI, they will process things slower and may interact differently. Learn how to use your strengths and use them to the best of your ability. Recovery from brain trauma can be frustrating, but a normal life is possible!

If you’re looking for a natural solution to help manage your memory or concentration, check out these supplements available online from Natural Healthy Concepts.

  • Acetyl-L Carnitine by NOW: Naturally supports the brain with modified amino acids that assist cellular energy production. Basically, it may help activate or maintain brain function.
  • Memory Mental Clarity by Organic India: An herbal supplement that supports improvements in mental clarity, concentration, and long or short term memory.
  • Complete Omega by Nordic Naturals: Omega-3’s are known for supporting cognitive function and boosting brain activity. This may also improve your focus or enhance your mood.
  • Ginkgo Biloba by NOW: A well-known supplement for improving attention, memorization and quality of memory. It may also support healthy cranial blood flow.

Please feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions on natural supplements for cognitive or memory function. Let us know if you have any other tips to add for helping memory or overcoming brain injuries.

See related article from Life Extension Magazine – Broad Spectrum Protection Against Brain Aging.

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Other Resources:

http://icahn.mssm.edu/research/centers/brain-injury-research-center-of-mount-sinai/resources/faq/moderate-severe
http://cirrie.buffalo.edu/encyclopedia/en/article/338/
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/256518.php
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi/detail_tbi.htm
http://www.brain-trauma.net/
http://regressing.deadspin.com/tag/bad-brains

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2 Responses to Overcoming Traumatic Brain Injuries

  1. Cheryl January 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    I received a traumatic brain injury 8 years ago from medications prescribed by my doctor. The immediate effects were horrible, followed by sustained memory loss that has never cleared up. About 2 years ago I saw a homeopathic doc and she suggested Brain Sustain by Xymogen and Alphalipoic Acid. Those 2 supplements along with B12 have helped me a great deal. I have small amounts of memory loss, but not the devastating loss I was experiencing. An I-pod with google voice is a great help with memory as well as other apps like ever-note. I also use Luminocity. I also found out that I had 3 heavy metal toxicities. Aluminum toxicity is one of them–which causes severe memory loss. I am now going through chelation for that and am removing aluminum from my life wherever I find it.

    • Laura Miller January 9, 2014 at 8:24 am #

      Thanks for reading, Cheryl. So sorry to hear your brain injury was caused by prescription medications–it’s scary what some medications are able to do! We’ve heard good things about Luminocity and are glad you have found natural supplements to help you with your memory loss as well. Wishing you good health in 2014!

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