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Alternative Therapies for the Head Injury Survivor

Diet is important in the treatment of a TBI

By Robert Brown, M.ED

A TBI changes the way your brain and body produces important chemicals.

Many prescribed diets to treat cardiovascular disease are in the form of salt, fat, calorie and sugar/carbohydrate restriction. In the nine years that I have worked in TBI therapy, I have never seen a prescription for the use of nutrients that can help heal the brain and assist the individual in improving memory, orientation or learning. If cardiovascular disease is at the base of the TBI, the resulting prescribed diet can be ineffective in the actual healing of the cardiovascular system.

    Hyper baric oxygen is an effective alternative tool in the treatment of a TBI.
If a stroke or clogging of a blood vessel in the brain is the cause of a TBI, treatments involving nutrients are more complex. It is common for stroke victims to be prescribed anticoagulant drugs (some times called blood thinners) to help prevent further blood vessel clogging. If these drugs have been prescribed, green foods must be avoided, because these foods can facilitate clotting. Green foods such as kelp, Chlorella, alfalfa and wheat grass are also effective chelators i.e., they have a cleansing effect on the cardiovascular system and help to prevent further cardiovascular incidents. Chelators help to rid the body of excess vascular deposits of calcium, metals and pollutants that can cause the formation of plaque and the subsequent build-up of blood vessel-clogging cholesterol. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the U.S. and the incidence of cardiovascular related TBI can be dramatically reduced through the use of these basis nutrients: B-complex vitamins, greens, vitamin E, Flax Seeds, EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid) and exercise and not being fat. These basics will drastically reduce your chances of experiencing a cardiovascular disease related injury to your brain.
    Nutrients can help the brain to heal and can facilitate the return of functional and possibly "normal" cognitive functions.
Individuals with a TBI experience peripheral plasma amino acid abnormalities.

If the TBI is the result of an accident, assault or brain infection, anti-coagulatants most likely will not be prescribed; in this case alternative therapies can be used more aggressively. One of the major activities that takes place within the brain is the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the "naturally produced" chemicals that cause memory to take place, a sense of well-being, learning, cognitive energy, motivation, a sense of pleasure, facilitate muscle use, coordination and more. Neurotransmitters are biosynthesized basically from nutrients: vitamins, minerals, amino acids and cholesterol. Drugs, chemicals, neurotoxins, infections and physical damage to the brain can and do inhibit the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters.

Rid the Body of Toxins

Ridding the body of toxins and establishing good blood circulation to the brain are both important first steps in the recovery form and healing of a TBI. A knowledgeable individual who works in a health food store can help you chose a good detoxification tea. Research starting each day with a serving of a good powdered green foods combination, mixed in a large glass of water. Drink this green drink in the morning and with dinner. Two of the important functions of these green drinks are: to oxygenate the blood and act too further detoxify.

Next, research increasing the availability of basic nutrients for healing; and a good start is an amino acid complex protein drink with vitamins and minerals, blended with skim milk or rice drink, real natural yogurt, lecithin granules, acidophilus and flax seed meal and taken with a good B complex, a multivitamin/mineral, coenzyme Q10, vitamin C complex with bioflavonoids and natural vitamin E.

Nutrients in liquid form may be the best in this instance, because liquids tend to be metabolized more efficiently and because they are being taken with fiber, quick absorption is important. Breaking large tablets into smaller pieces can also help nutrients and vitamins be metabolized and absorbed more quickly; taking these together can provide the basic nutrient balance necessary for brain healing and neurotransmitter production. If the TBI victim has just left the hospital or has just been released from an acute rehabilitation program, it is important to research taking this nutrient combination twice a day for 14 days; after that, once per day in the morning may suffice. Also, after two weeks you may be able to eliminate the acidophilus.

With the noon meal research taking one B complex, one serving of trace minerals, vitamin C complex with bioflavonoids, coenzyme Q10 and natural vitamin E. Again, these proteins, vitamins, minerals are being used as the basics for nutrient-based therapy.
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