N-Acetyl Cysteine(NAC) is a chemical that has shown to provide a number of benefits after a mild traumatic brain injury. Mild traumatic brain injuries result due to impacts to the brain. A common cause of shock and impacts to the brain are auto collisions.
During an auto collision, your head and body are thrown due to sudden acceleration and deceleration. Due to inertia, your brain will be thrown against the bone of the cranium. Nerves are very sensitive. If you have hit your funny bone in your elbow in the past, you may recall experiencing numbness that takes some time to improve.
Some symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include loss of consciousness even briefly, confusion, disorientation, headache, nausea with or without vomiting, tiredness, changes in sleep, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light or sound, changes in smell or taste, difficulty with memory or ability to focus, and mood changes. Mood changes can vary significantly and may include sadness, depression, irritability, confusion, or anger. These symptoms vary significantly from case to case. With stress and anxiety following an auto collision, as well as the often vague nature of the signs and symptoms, it can be difficult for a person suffering from a brain injury to realize that they in fact have one.
NAC can help decrease damage in the brain after a traumatic injury by limiting inflammation and oxidation damage, especially if taken before or soon after a traumatic injury. The result of this is that you may recover more quickly and completely from a mild traumatic brain injury than without. Oxidative damage takes time to develop, which means that damage will continue to increase following the traumatic event that caused the initial damage. Studies have shown that neurological recovery speed can be greatly enhanced by NAC following a traumatic injury.
NAC is used in the body to produce glutathione, which is a major antioxidant in the body. As a result, damage to nervous tissue including the brain is minimized.
NAC itself is not available in food, but is available as a supplement. Typical dosages are 500mg per day. Taking more than 1200mg of NAC per day can produce side effects in some people such as headache, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. People taking nitroglycerine should not use NAC without doctor supervision as they can interact and produce dangerously low blood pressure.
Cysteineis available in foods and is the active component of NAC. Protein rich foods typically contain higher levels of cysteine. Foods high in cysteine include pork, beef, chicken, fish, oatmeal, eggs, yogurt, sunflower seeds, and cheese.
Contact our chiropractic clinic in SE Portland, or Aloha, OR to consult our Chiropractic physician on nutrition that can aid your recovery. Let our Chiropractor know if you have been involved in an auto collision or are suffering from a mild traumatic brain injury.