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Concussions and Constipation

Concussions and Constipation
December 9, 2018 Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Constipation is one of the most common ailments experienced by individuals, both young and old. The excessive retention of stool can be extremely uncomfortable, and a wide variety of remedies deal with the discomfort of poor elimination.

Many people consume more fiber or prunes, drink more water, or take a laxative such as magnesium to improve their daily elimination of stool.  But what they have not been told by their physicians is that constipation is a neurological problem.

The autonomic nervous system is major part of the central nervous system that regulates our hormones, immune system, emotions, blood pressure, and our organs including the intestinal track.  The autonomics can be injured with trauma to the head, emotional trauma, or inflammatory damage from the immune system.

The symptoms that occur from the autonomic damage may be either low blood pressure and oxygen delivery to the brain (headaches, neck tightness, poor concentration/focus or fatigue) or a slowing of the intestine conveyor belt (i.e. intestinal tract).

When the intestinal track slows, each segment of the intestine will develop particular symptoms. If the stomach does not push its contents forward efficiently a person can experience heartburn, reflux, nausea, and bloating.  Slow motility of the small intestine results in cramping and is referred to as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) if excessive.

Whereas, constipation is the direct result of the inadequacy of the nervous system to create the proper muscular contractions to propel the contents forward.  In other words, constipation is first and foremost the result of the brain not working properly.

Symptom surveys performed after concussion injuries in soldiers and athletes reveal that anywhere from 50-70% experience some level of constipation within the first week after their injury (and heartburn occurs in about 30%).

Although changes in diet and the use of OTC laxative agents can be useful when the constipation is uncomfortable, you can also work on improving autonomic nervous system function with high doses of fish oil, olive oil (certified by the COOC), and the use of a prebiotic plant fiber called inulin to help balance your intestinal bacteria and lower inflammation.

With time, those dietary additions stand a good chance of putting your constipation into remission.

© 2018.  Nemechek Consultative Medicine.  All Rights Reserved.


  1. Tin Onato 6 days ago

    Hi Doctor! I am constipated ever since, i don’t poop well, I am currently breastfeeding (g6pd baby) Can i take inulin?? does it have any effect on breastmilk and on her?? Hoping for your help.. Thank You from Philippines.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 4 days ago

      Yes, inulin is safe during breast-feeding

  2. Rockie 1 week ago

    My daughter had a hypoxic brain injury at birth resulting in athetoid cerebral palsy (injury to basal ganglia). She has been constipated since infancy due to feeding difficulties (as in many kids with CP) and GI suspects she now has megacolon.. We got her up to full doses on the protocol this week. Haven’t been seeing any big changes. She does not have any behavioral issues. Do you think the protocol will be helpful for either her brain injury or the constipation eventually? When might we expect to see some changes?

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 1 week ago

      I think there is a good chance you will see some specific things improve.

      Remeber, you’ve only just started and constipation is an autonomic disorder and often doesn’t significantly improve right away.

  3. Ash 3 weeks ago

    Hello Doctor nemecheck my daughter is 7 year old not asd. She have a mood problem and she is not gaining weight. My question is does protocol will help her. Also I have a son he is 3 year old asd. On protocol for month and half doing really good. I am already seeing small gain thank you so much. I have your book I loved it. It makes so much sense.thank you thank you you are helping so many people. Happy new year.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 weeks ago

      Yes, the protocol can greatly help with mood disorders and many children who are below their necessary weight will readily gain weight and catch up with their peers.

  4. Anne Zaika 1 month ago

    My 12 year old Son diagnosed with Asd has been on the protocol for almost 3 months… we are seeing nice growth and a little bit more language but more tics than usual . My question is about ketotofin. He is taking a Prescription antihistamine Called ketotofin 1 mg daily to help as needed.
    Could it be interfering with his healing on this protocol?
    The antihistamine helps him sleep better but I can use it as needed as per our doctor.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 1 month ago

      Ketofofen is much more than an antihistamine in the sense of diphenhydramine. It might interfere with recovery.

      You might consider stopping it for a while to see if this improves the recovery. Ask the prescribing physician before stopping this in case they are treating a potentially dangerous allergic condition (peanut allergies, etc.)

  5. Anonymous 1 month ago

    Your protocol was the only thing that fixed my daughter’s decade long battle with constipation! We tried everything twice – more fiber, eliminate dairy, probiotics, more water, medications on and on and nothing worked. Finally we have resolved the issue once and for all! Thank you!!

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 1 month ago

      You’re very welcome.

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