The group, led by Dr Jessica Schnieders from Rijnstate Hospital in Arnham, The Netherlands, looked at vitamin D and hormone levels in 90 fatigued and non-fatigued subjects. They also systematically evaluated pituitary hormones and factors such as sleep, attention, emotional well-being, quality of life, coping style, and daily activity. They found that 51% of TBI patients were severely fatigued 10 years after the trauma. Vitamin D deficiency was present in 65% of post TBI patients and significantly related with fatigue (P<0.05), with patients who suffered from fatigue more likely to be vitamin D deficient. The group also found a higher incidence of growth hormone and sex hormone deficiency in the fatigued group, but they found no evidence that these deficiencies contributed to the fatigue.
This work opens the possibility that correcting the vitamin D deficiency might help to reduce some of the chronic fatigue in TBI patients. However, as vitamin D levels in the body are affected by diet and time spent in the sunshine, further studies are now needed to confirm whether low vitamin D levels are a cause of the fatigue or whether they are a consequence of altered lifestyle led due to suffering from fatigue.
Lead researcher, Dr Jessica Schnieders said: “In the Netherlands we have 30,000 people every year who suffer a traumatic brain injury and many of these go on to suffer from chronic fatigue. This is early work, so we need to confirm that vitamin D is the cause of this fatigue, and if so to see if taking vitamin D, perhaps coupled with improved sleep patterns, can alleviate some of the symptoms. “We looked at patients around 10 years after their trauma. Fatigued post traumatic brain injury patients are less active, and generally experience a reduced quality of life. They have difficulties in maintaining relationships and keeping jobs, and are less independent than people who have not had to cope with such trauma.”
“As would be expected, a nutritionally optimized individual will undoubtedly benefit more from stem cell therapies than a poorly nourished one. Patients who eat a variety of whole foods, adequate protein, omega-3 and other healthy fats, as well as nutrient dense vegetables and leafy greens increase a favorable outcome with stem cell therapies. Dietary protein allows for increased amino acids as well as zinc in the body to aide in the efforts of collagen deposition. Vitamin C from food sources also improve collagen status. Dietary collagen ingestion from animal sources is highly encouraged for aiding in collagen and cartilage synthesis. Diets high in refined carbohydrates and sugar hinder healing and the immune system. Patients with impaired blood sugar handling do not respond as well to treatment. Impaired wound healing and increased infection risk are well known in diabetics. These patients do not do as well clinically with regenerative injection therapies as a whole. As a good portion of Americans are dealing with some level of obesity and blood sugar dysregulation, nutritional intervention can go a long way in helping these patients not only manage their musculoskeletal pain but improve their outcomes with regenerative and stem cell therapies. A varied diet of nutritionally dense whole foods, high in protein and healthy fats, and low in refined carbohydrates and other inflammatory grains will ensure that optimal tissue and blood status is achieved by supplying the body with necessary macro and micronutrients for best clinical outcomes.” Cited from Dr. Tyna Moore’s Newsletter. Read her published article in The Pain Practitioner.
European Society of Endocrinology. (2010, April 28). Vitamin D deficiency associated with chronic fatigue in brain injured patients.ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427182609.htm
Learn more about how TBI Therapy can help with vitamin deficiencies here.