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The Link Between TBI and Intestinal Complications

Tracing TBI to the Gut

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect many parts of the body, including the gastrointestinal system. The link between TBI and intestinal complications stems from the close connection between the brain and the gut. The brain is in charge of controlling and regulating your gastrointestinal (GI) system, which means the GI tract can fail in a number of ways after brain injury.

Disrupting the System

The brain operates the autonomic nervous system, which controls digestive tract functions like contractions and motility. You can experience abdominal pain if your autonomic nervous system is affected by TBI and intestinal complications arise when your GI tract doesn’t function automatically.

TBI can also hinder communication between your gut and your brain. When messages between your brain and your GI tract don’t transmit properly, the lack of communication can contribute to conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Brain Injury and GI Tract Damage

TBI can also damage parts of your GI tract. For example, the mucus lining in your GI tract can degenerate and die after a trauma such as a car accident. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) can suffer physical damage as well. When that barrier is compromised, harmful chemicals can pass from your bloodstream into brain tissue, leading to numerous intestinal complications. A brain injury can also cause leaky gut syndrome, which is when the cells lining the GI tract become more permeable, allowing larger molecules and pathogens to pass through into your blood stream.

Strengthening the Connection

The link between TBI and intestinal complications means your gut—like many other parts of your body—can be affected by a brain injury. Fortunately, some of these issues, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, can be alleviated with treatment. But because of the irreparable harm TBI can potentially do to your GI tract, it’s important to treat brain injuries as soon as possible. You should seek prompt medical attention after suffering an injury or getting in an accident to help prevent further damage.

Speak with a personal injury attorney if you’ve been in an accident and suffered a brain injury. Before you settle your claim, it’s essential you know the full extent of your injuries. Because TBI can affect many parts of your body in significant ways, you need a thorough medical examination to determine your damages. An experienced Arlington Heights personal injury attorney can ensure you submit the proper evidence to the insurance company to get compensation for your present and future losses.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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