Registered Pharmacist Michelle Gray, owner of Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy in Kimberley.

Registered Pharmacist Michelle Gray, owner of Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy in Kimberley.

Use every tool available to help the body heal from a concussion

Dietary supplements reduce inflammation and feed the brain to help with repair and recovery

We used to think concussions only occurred when a person experienced a clear bump to the head followed by a loss of consciousness. Now we understand that the causes and symptoms are more wide ranging.

“There are various levels of concussions, and our bodies have different abilities to heal. It often takes a long time — months or even years,” says Pharmacist Michelle Gray, owner of Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy in Kimberley.

  • Concussions aren’t always caused by blunt trauma. Whiplash can also cause concussions, when the brain bumps against the inside of the cranium. Insignificant bumps can also add up over time. Concussions in sport are fairly common, but car accidents and other situations may also cause concussions.
  • Concussion symptoms change. Every person’s body will respond to a concussion differently. Concussions are also cumulative, so the symptoms of your fourth concussion will be different from the symptoms of your first.

“I’m seeing more and more patients who’ve experienced multiple concussions and have long term symptoms. They’re doing everything right — they’re working with a family doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist and other specialists, but still experiencing symptoms,” Michelle says. “It’s important to continue with those modalities, but there are other tools we can use to help with concussion recovery.”

Help the brain heal

Consult the pharmacists at Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy to find out if dietary supplements and other therapies are right for you.

“We want to reduce inflammation and promote healing in the brain by supporting the body’s natural processes,” Michelle says.

1. Wellness Essentials Brain Health from Metagenics

A collection of supplements which support cognitive function, conveniently collected in a 30-day package — great for concussion patients struggling with focus and memory loss. Each package contains five supplements:

  • Coenzyme Q10: “They’re the spark plugs for individual cells. They give energy to the cell to repair,” Michelle says.
  • Alpha-lipoic acid: “Alpha-lipoic acid is especially powerful for fatty components of the body, and the brain is 90 per cent fat. ALA reduces inflammation, promotes healthy nerve function and slows the progression of memory loss disorders,” Michelle says.
  • Magnesium Threonate: “There are many types of magnesium. This particular type is most highly absorbed, and crosses the blood-brain barrier the best,” Michelle says. “Concussions cause the brain to get stuck in hyperdrive, even if you’re feeling sluggish. Magnesium helps with mental relaxation, which is great for recovery.”
  • OmegaGenics: “This omega-3 is high in DHA, which works as an anti-inflammatory to the brain.”
  • PhytoMulti: A multivitamin, mineral and antioxidant blend which supports the body’s daily needs to promote cellular healing.

2. SPM Active from Metagenics

Our bodies produce SPM (Special pro-resolving mediators) naturally, but may not be producing enough.

“It reads like a low-dose fish oil, but it’s so much more. In our inflammatory cycle there are enzyme processes that help signal our immune system to clean up the cells at the initial injury. As we age, or after an injury, the enzyme system can be disrupted,” Michelle says. “After a concussion, the electrical neurons and connections in the brain don’t line up. SPM Active can help tell the immune system to go in and clean up that inflammation.”

3. High dose Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is a fatty oil that’s essential to our body’s immune system, acts as a neuroprotective agent, and can give the brain extra assistance for immune recovery.

“We want to tell the brain to rebuild and reinvent,” Michelle says.

4. Protein

Along with Vitamin D3, a high protein diet can fuel the brain’s repair and recovery. Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy carries a wide range of protein supplements and shakes; talk to your pharmacist to find the source of protein that will work best for your body.

5. LifeWave Patches

Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy now carries a variety of noninvasive, non-transdermal, medication-free LifeWave Patches which may stimulate stem cells and other healing systems in the body. Next month in the Cranbrook Townsman, watch for a testimonial from a Kootenay resident who found relief from migraines caused by multiple concussions by using LifeWave Patches.

6. Adrenal supplements

Living with chronic concussion symptoms is very stressful, not only for the patient but also the family. Ongoing high cortisol starts to affect the whole body and if prolonged (2 years ) can have detrimental effects.

“Additionally, 50 per cent of people with a concussion will develop Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), which causes gas pain, indigestion, and extra stress for the body,” Michelle says.

A naturopathic doctor can assess if you’ve developed SIBO. Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy offers assessments to help those with SIBO find the adrenal supplements that will best support their body’s recovery.

Call 250-427-0038 or email pharmacist@grayspharmacy.ca to learn more, or visit the store at 417B 304th St. on Highway 95 in Kimberley, open Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Find a full list of services at facebook.com/grayspharmacy.

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