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Brain injuries are life-changing and can cause a range of long-term health issues. Here, this article by medical negligence solicitors, Blackwater Law discusses the impact of brain injury and how hormonal imbalances may be a side effect.
What is a hormonal imbalance?
There are small structures at the base of the brain called the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland which are responsible for regulating the bodies hormones. Damage to these areas through a brain injury can result in either an insufficient or increased release of one or more hormones. This can have a huge impact on the body’s ability to maintain a stable internal environment – also called homeostasis. When damage occurs to the pituitary gland that causes a reduction in hormone production the condition is known as hypopituitarism.
Diagnosing hormonal imbalance
Often after a brain injury the hormone levels can be affected which makes it hard to diagnose a longer term condition or hypopituitarism and there are currently no guidelines in place to assist with the diagnosis of such condition meaning the care and testing provided by different healthcare providers can vary significantly. In addition, the symptoms can vary significantly due the large amount of hormones that can be affected. Nevertheless a diagnosis is important in ensuring the patient stands the best chance of recovery and therefore in instances where active steps have not been taken despite clear signs or indicators of a hormone imbalance following a brain injury it may be possible to pursue a delayed diagnosis claim in order to seek compensation for any suffering that has occurred as a result.
Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance as a result of a brain injury
Many of the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance or hypopituitarism are similar in nature to those experienced with a brain injury. However, these include headaches, fatigue and mood swings. In addition, the following symptoms may be experienced:
Symptoms can vary significantly depending on the patients’ individual circumstances.
When a hormone imbalance or hypopituitarism is diagnosed, there are a couple of treatment options. This includes hormone replacement therapy which helps to restore and replace the missing hormone levels. However, the exact treatment will depend on the extent of the brain injury and treatment should consider all factors of a patients recovery. In instances where treatment has not been sufficient or did not fully consider the individual circumstances of a patient it may be possible to pursue a brain injury claim.
Brain injuries can have a long lasting impact on both the patient and their families and loved ones. Hormonal imbalances are a common occurrence following a traumatic brain injury. Given the lasting consequences and long term treatment that is often required following a brain injury, it may be possible to seek compensation though a car accident claim or personal injury claim should the injury have occurred as a result of one of those.