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How a TBI can cause serious problems with other organs

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2021 | personal injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to a multitude of symptoms caused by damage to this delicate and complex organ. These can include headaches, memory loss, dizziness and cognitive as well as sensory and central nervous system issues. It can also cause anxiety, depression and even personality changes.

However, a TBI can also affect other organ systems that might seem to be unrelated. This includes changes to the following systems:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Immune
  • Pulmonary

A TBI victim can be at greater risk for infection in these systems and throughout their body. Some studies have also shown a lessening in cardiac function.

How does a TBI lead to problems in other organs?

One study that looked at these changes found at least a couple of possible reasons. One is that a TBI will cause changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system. These changes affect cortisol production and disrupt the body’s ability to deal with stressors that lead to these changes.

A TBI can also cause the sympathetic nervous system to have a surge in activity that can influence how other organs function. The sympathetic nervous system is the part of this system that adjusts based on what a person is experiencing. The “fight or flight” response to danger is an example.

The importance of understanding the full extent of your injuries

What is important to know is that even if your “only” injury in a car crash or other accident is a TBI, it’s important not to ignore seemingly unrelated issues with your health. If unrecognized and untreated, they can become chronic and potentially even fatal.

That’s why it’s essential to understand the full extent of your injuries. You need to understand the treatment that will be needed and the long-term effects on your life before you reach any kind of settlement with an insurance company or the person or entity responsible for your injury. While it may be tempting to take a quick payout, you may be losing the ability to get the compensation you will need now and in the future.