How Long Can Concussions Last?

When someone suffers a concussion, their focus is on getting better and back to themselves as quickly as possible. However, many people are surprised to learn just how long concussions last.

Questions About Car Accident Concussions?

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How Long Concussions Last

A lot of times, people who have suffered a concussion in a car crash will tell me even a month or two months or three months or even longer after that car crash, they still feel like they’re just not themselves. Either with cognition or memory or word-finding or mood or other fatigue other things.

So, we are just recently learning how much damage a traumatic brain injury and concussion can do to the endocrine system. I’ve talked before about sex hormones, progesterone and how that could affect fertility, pregnancies, menstrual cycles, things like that.

But concussions and traumatic brain injuries can affect the rest of the endocrine system.

Effects on the Endocrine System

So the endocrine system is other hormones. So at the bottom inside the brain is a little thing called a hypothalamus that releases that controls the release of hormones by the pituitary gland.

The pituitary gland is a teeny little, teeny, 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 all the other glands, what kinds of hormones and how much to produce and release.

Underneath the pituitary gland is a thyroid right at the bottom of your voice box. And the thyroid, probably has the biggest awareness because people talk about hypothyroidism. And if you have hypothyroidism, your thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone, and that can lead to fatigue and weight gain and cognition changes and other problems.

And then above your kidneys on each kidney is a little adrenal gland. And the adrenal gland is what releases cortisol, and cortisol is what helps us with stress and fight or flight.

All of those systems can be disrupted if you have sustained a traumatic brain injury and your brain injury.

These different parts of the endocrine system need to be evaluated so that you know what was injured and how to treat it.

So there are treatments out there that can help you if you’re suffering from any of these problems in the endocrine system: hormone replacement, a few other things.

Diagnosing the Problems

There’s a specific type of MRI that can look just at the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, and there’s other tests.

So, the takeaway, as is always the case, is to get evaluated. Talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor all the things that you’re feeling.

So, like I said at the beginning, you know I have clients who tell me months after a car crash that they’re still, they still don’t feel like they’re the same person. And that might be a result of hormonal changes, damage that was resulted from a brain injury.

So talk to your doctor, don’t ignore the symptoms. Get it evaluated, get it diagnosis and get treatment.

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