Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury that can have little to far reaching complications.
It is estimated that in 2006, 46,000 children in the U.S. were taken to the hospital as a result of traumatic brain injuries.
Each year, in the US, it’s estimated 1.7 million adults will sustain a TBI.
It occurs when an external force or blow is sustained to the skull.
It may be a single episode or a cumulative result of several. It can happen at the playground, contact sports, motor vehicle collision of both low and high velocity and abrupt acceleration and deceleration type injury to the head.
It is a major cause of death and disability worldwide.
Symptoms can include headache, vomiting, nausea, lack of motor coordination, dizziness, difficulty balancing, light-headedness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, and changes in sleep patterns.
Cognitive and emotional symptoms include behavioural or mood changes, confusion, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking abnormalities.
At present, I have 11 patients in my clinic who suffer from TBI; six from motor vehicle collisions, three from falls on the ice and two from snowboarding.
Dr. Mark Gordon, a U.S. interventional endocrinologist, is seen as one of the world experts on traumatic brain injury.
In his review of more than 35,000 articles and his research in addition to his clinical experience, he has come up with a different yet, evidence-based treatment for traumatic brain injuries. The solution is in hormonal regulation.
He has stated that closed head injuries have a direct effect on the pituitary gland, a gland found in the very base of our brain safely nestled within the skull.
It is shaped much like an inverted light bulb.
When one has sustained a closed head injury or a TBI, the pituitary gland becomes compromised.
In fact he has found that when the pituitary gland is injured from such an injury, it has a direct effect on a hormonal cascade which can have these deleterious effects.
He has found four hormones, that as a result of injury to the pituitary gland, are also altered.
The first hormone that is affected is usually growth hormone, followed by testosterone, then thyroid and finally, in the most extreme cases, cortisol. He feels that this aberrant behaviour in these hormones is responsible for the sustained effects of the closed head injury.
Conversely, treatment to this effect, proves to be most efficient.
In the journal, Brain Injury, it was stated in an article that TBI poses significant risk to the pituitary gland, leading to elevated risks of diabetes, hypopituitarism and other endocrinopathies.
Signs and symptoms associated with hypopituitarism often mimic the sequela of TBI, although the severity of symptoms is not necessarily related to the severity of the injury.
Patients with TBI-induced hypopituitarism may benefit both physically and psychologically from appropriate hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Further, it recommends that systematic screening of pituitary function is recommended for all patients with moderate-to-severe TBI at risk of developing pituitary deficits.
If you or someone you know has sustained a traumatic brain injury or reports of such symptoms, have your health practitioner take a good look at the possibility of hormonal imbalances and treat appropriately.