07 Jan 6 Warning Signs of a Leaky Brain
- What is a leaky brain?
- The top 6 warning signs you might have this common yet hidden brain issue
- One simple thing you can do now to tighten a leaky brain
[The following is the full transcript of this video blog. Please note that this video, like all of Dr. Chiu’s blog videos, features Dr. Chiu speaking extemporaneously– he is unscripted for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!]
Hello, my friends! I’m Dr. Titus Chiu and this is the Modern Brain.
In this video, you will learn the six warning signs that your brain is leaky.
Your brain is the most precious organ that you have… and don’t just take my word for it.
Just take a look: it’s protected by this hard bony skull as well as a series of three tissues we call your meninges.
And finally, it’s also protected by a thin, very selective border of cells that we call the blood-brain barrier.
This barrier is the star of this short video.
The Blood-Brain Barrier
You can think of your blood-brain barrier as a strong wall that prevents things from getting into your nervous system that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Things such as pathogens like bacteria or viruses, or even things such as undigested food particles that could trigger inflammation don’t reach your brain because of this barrier.
But when you have a breach of your blood-brain barrier (which can happen after a concussion, a head injury, or a bad car accident), your blood-brain barrier becomes permeable allowing those things that shouldn’t get in there to enter your nervous system.
When that happens, it triggers a very powerful inflammatory reaction inside your brain.
Damaged Barrier = Brain in HIGH ALERT!
What this means is your brain goes into high alert and if the blood-brain barrier doesn’t recover, it could put you at risk for a multitude of different neurodegenerative conditions and symptoms like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, depression, and the more common brain fog and brain fatigue.
All of these can be due to the permeability of your blood-brain barrier.
This problem is otherwise known as a leaky brain.
Clues That You May Have a Leaky Brain
So how do you know if you have a leaky brain outside of running advanced lab testing, especially after noticing signs and symptoms that your brain is leaky?
Let me give you the top six signs of a leaky brain:
- Brain fog
- A history of a concussion and, more importantly, a long drawn out recovery from that concussion.
- Hypersensitivity. This can mean being emotionally sensitive but it can also mean physically sensitive. You can be very sensitive to lights, sounds, or noises that will make you feel anxious, overstimulated and/or overwhelmed.
- Poor memory. Your memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be.
- Anxiety, depression, or seizures. You have a history with or have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or seizures.
So there you have it: The TOP SIX warning signs that your brain is leaky.
If you can relate to one or more of the six warning signs, it’s very likely that your brain problems aren’t improving because you have an undetected leaky brain.
The great news is that there are so many things you can do about it no matter how leaky your brain is.
One simple thing you can start to do is physical exercise.
In a 2015 study published in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers found that when mice with leaky brains exercised, it helped prevent further leakiness of their blood-brain barrier.
- increases your antioxidant capacities
- decreases brain inflammation, and
- strengthens brain activity.
All of these are crucial foundations for stabilizing your blood-brain barrier.
If you suspect that you have a leaky brain, physical exercise is a simple thing that you can do to help strengthen your blood-brain barrier.
If you already struggle with a leaky brain and it’s hard for you to exercise, you might want to take it one step at a time.
Start Where You Are Now
One simple thing you can do is meet yourself wherever you’re at.
If you’re not able to go running, jog, or even go walking for long periods, just start wherever you’re at and build from there one step at a time.
By doing so, you will be laying the bricks and building up the strength of your blood-brain barrier. This will help you fix your brain faster.
No Alternative to the Root Cause
Even if you start exercising and you start to strengthen your blood-brain barrier, it is still VERY IMPORTANT to get to the root causes of why you have a leaky brain in the first place.
Without identifying the root cause for your leaky brain, your anxiety, your depression, or your prolonged recovery from a concussion can be an uphill battle for you especially in figuring out ways in which you can fix your brain faster.