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How Long Does a Concussion Last?
A lot of times, people who have suffered a concussion in a car crash will tell us, a month or two or three or even longer after the car crash, that they still feel like they’re just not themselves. Maybe they cannot find the right words, they’re moodier, more tired, and so on. Then they ask: how long does a concussion last?
Damage to the endocrine system
We have only just recently begun to learn how much damage a traumatic brain injury and a concussion can do to the endocrine system. I’ve talked before about sex hormones, progesterone and how that could affect fertility, pregnancies, menstrual cycles, and things like that.
But concussions and traumatic brain injuries can affect the rest of the endocrine system as well. The endocrine system includes all the hormones. Inside the brain is a little thing called the hypothalamus. It controls the release of hormones by the pituitary gland.
The importance of glands
The pituitary gland is a teeny, tiny little gland about the size of a pea that sits right by the brain stem. That gland is called the master gland because it makes hormones and it tells the other glands what kinds of hormones and how much to produce and release.
Underneath the pituitary gland is the thyroid, right at the bottom of your voice box. The thyroid probably gets the most awareness. People talk about hypothyroidism. And if you have hypothyroidism, your thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone and that can lead to fatigue and waking and cognition changes and other problems.
Above each kidney is a little adrenal gland. And the adrenal gland releases cortisol. Cortisol helps us with stress and our fight or flight reactions. All of those systems can be disrupted if you have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Your brain injury and these different parts of the endocrine system need to be evaluated so that you know what was injured and how to treat it.
There are tests and treatments
There are treatments out there that can help you if you’re suffering from any problems in your endocrine system. They include hormone replacement and a few other things. Also, to diagnose it, there is a specific type of MRI that can look at just the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. There are other tests as well.
How Long Does a Concussion Last? Talk to Your Doctor.
The takeaway, as always, is to get evaluated. If you’re wondering how long does a concussion last, you should always talk to your doctor.
Tell doctor all the things that you’re feeling. Like I said at the beginning, I have clients who tell me months after a car crash that they still don’t feel like they’re the same person. That might be a result of hormonal changes or damage that resulted from the brain injury.
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If you have a question about the above content or need help with your personal injury, please call us at 303-688-0944 to schedule a free, 30-minute consultation with a member of our Personal Injury Team.