Micronutrient testing could reveal a deficiency in vitamin B12 or other major wellness markers essential for brain injury recovery and long-term health.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in adults and the elderly. Yet, after a concussion or traumatic brain injury, B12 levels and many other micronutrients could plummet, worsening immune and overall cognitive health if not addressed.

Conventional laboratory blood tests measure the current serum level of vitamin B12 and recent micronutrient consumption from foods or supplements. Although that information is useful, traditional testing results do not show the absorption of micronutrients within our white blood cells circulating throughout our bodies. Understanding how micronutrients influence our long-term health after a TBI should help patients consider testing a significant component of the yearly post-injury protocol.

For example, one patient’s conventional lab test for vitamin B12 showed an unusually elevated level. Concerned about the high number, the patient sought a second opinion from a functional health wellness center. She quickly learned about micronutrient testing offered by SpectraCell Laboratories. Her doctor explained how conventional blood testing differed and how her micronutrient tests revealed a vitamin B12 deficiency. Because the patient had suffered a mild traumatic brain injury a few years back, her overall health had continued to worsen. The tests revealed information on antioxidants, metabolites, carbohydrate metabolism, amino acids, and essential vitamins and minerals associated with improving immune health.

Her micronutrient deficiencies prompted an additional recommendation for genetic testing. The results from both tests provided valuable information needed for her doctor to prescribe the correct form of B12 and address other immune factors and genetic polymorphisms. The study of DNA and genetic activation after brain injury is a work in progress; however, patients who take the initiative right after a head injury by looking into a functional view of their overall health can potentially prevent the progression of various brain injury health conditions.

Vitamin B12 is essential for our immunity, cognitive health, and entire nervous system. Some patients may have the inability to absorb vitamin b12 from food sources. Other patients may have a genetic tendency toward poor methylation or malabsorption. It is highly probable that many of us may have a deficiency for years and never know.

A traumatic brain injury in any form could launch an immune attack on our entire system. Finding and addressing any essential micronutrient deficiencies for traumatic brain injury patients, whether early on or at any stage of recovery, could improve long-term health. Physicians, practitioners, and wellness centers who understand the importance of micronutrient testing are slowly expanding. Traumatic brain injury patients will need to take a pro-active approach by asking their doctor for information or contacting laboratories who offer micronutrient testing to find a local provider.