Firstly, when we talk about brain injuries, we look at ways to heal the brain to fix the problem.

However, when you have a brain injury, it directly and immediately affects the gut!

As that gut function continues to be disrupted and deteriorates, it affects how much healing can happen in the brain. As a result we get a vicious cycle of brain and gut dysfunction. These gut functions affect how the brain works.

Getting treated for brain injury, often times includes physiotherapy and visual therapy. There is less computer time, less screen time and a lot of quiet time. This is meant to help the decrease inflammation in the brain. But if we don’t directly heal the gut dysfunction that has been caused by that brain injury and heal it, we’re never going to get better. That brain injury will be a long term problem.

Have you have been noticing that your gut symptoms are getting worse and worse? Maybe it is constipation? Maybe you have irritable bowel and you have a history of a previous brain injury, even a mild one? If so, this is important information for you.

intestinal permeability is one of the first things that happen in the vast majority of people with a brain injury.

After a brain injury, the tight junctions between the cells of your gut start to act dysfunctional and they open up.

This allows unwanted food particles, pathogens, other things that usually are kept inside the gut lumen into your bloodstream. Those particles then flow through your blood. They can also create a lot of issues. One of these issues being brain inflammation. This will impact your ability to heal the brain.

One of the biggest triggers of autoimmune disease is increased intestinal permeability. This is also known as leaky gut. Many research articles have come out showing that autoimmune diseases like Hashimotos (autoimmune disease of the thyroid) and multiple sclerosis, are linked to increased intestinal permeability. If autoimmunity runs in your family, you have a history of a brain injury and you’re starting to notice gut symptoms, it’s time to start working with a functional medicine expert to help you heal.

The second way that a brain injury can destroy your gut is by affecting gut motility.

The gut has wave like motions called peristalsis that helps move food down in a certain amount of time, through a gastrointestinal tract. The contractile ability of this tissue can become dysfunctional with a brain injury.

This can cause one of two things:

Increased gut motility can result in diarrhea. The end result of that is malabsorption. If you’re not absorbing your food because it’s moving through your gut too fast, you wind up nutrient and mineral deficient.

The other way that gut motility can be dysfunctional is when it’s too slow. When your gut motility is slowed down, there is stagnation and inflammation in the bowels. Now we can’t detoxify properly. If you’ve had a brain injury, have you noticed that your bowels have changed ever since? You may have diarrhea or constipation or even combination of both. It’s time to start getting a treated and heal.

Did you know that the microvilli in your gut can shrivel and die immediately following a brain injury?

Research shows that the mucosa in the intestines, can be directly affected by a big brain injury. The microvilli are the components of the mucosa, the intestinal lining, that absorb all of your vitamins and minerals. These can atrophy and die following a brain injury. This can affect your long term nutrient and mineral absorption.

If you’re eating all of the right foods, lots of fruits and vegetables, good quality protein, but still you’re finding that you have B 12 deficiencies or you’re low in iron for no reason, your prior brain injury can be causing this issue. Long term vitamin and mineral deficiencies lead to chronic health conditions.

If you have a history of a brain injury, and are noticing these nutrient deficiencies, you have to address your gut health.

You must heal your gut in order to heal your brain.

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