Slate’s Law Blog

Brain Injury and Hormonal Disorders

If you hit your head during a car accident, it might not hurt very much at the moment, but the injury could turn out to be more serious than you originally thought. You might develop a severe headache, dizziness, nausea, and other acute symptoms of concussion in the hours following the accident, and these symptoms might continue for months. If you have a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), the headaches and nausea will eventually go away, even though, while the symptoms last, they may be so bad that you are unable to work; this is as troublesome to your finances as it is to your physical and emotional well-being. Unfortunately, mild TBI or concussion can also cause hormonal disturbances, even though this only happens in a minority of cases. If you have been diagnosed with a concussion or TBI after a car accident, your doctor should monitor your symptoms closely, and you should also contact a Santa Fe car accident lawyer.

Your Systemic Symptoms Might Be the Result of a Relatively Minor Brain Injury

You probably first learned about the pituitary gland when you were in fifth grade, and your teachers explained that it was responsible for producing many of the hormones involved in puberty. You probably have not thought about it since around the time you reached your adult height. Pituitary hormones are the protagonist in puberty and in male and female fertility, but the pituitary gland also produces many other hormones that have nothing to do with reproductive health. It also produces hormones that regulate hunger, sleep, temperature perception, and so many other aspects of life that you take for granted.

The pituitary gland is not part of the brain, but it is close enough to it that a head injury that injures the brain can also injure the pituitary gland. If this happens, the result is a condition called hypopituitarism, meaning abnormally low levels of pituitary hormones. These can cause many different symptoms, including the following:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Excessive urination
  • Weight gain
  • Always feeling tired and cold
  • Low blood pressure
  • Constipation
  • Reduced body hair
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Abnormal perception of smell and taste

Treatment of hypopituitarism typically involves replacing the deficient hormones through oral or injected medications. If you have symptoms of hypopituitarism after a head injury sustained in an accident, it is important to get your hormones tested promptly so that you can get an accurate diagnosis. Concussions and TBI cause a temporary disruption to pituitary hormones in many patients, but hormone production usually returns to normal over time; a diagnosis of hypopituitarism is appropriate if yours does not. Treatment for hypopituitarism secondary to head injury counts as an accident-related medical expense in an accident-related insurance claim or lawsuit.

Contact Slate Stern About Car Accident Lawsuits

Slate Stern is a personal injury lawyer who represents plaintiffs injured in car accidents.  Contact Slate Stern in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or call (505)814-1517 to discuss your case.


Photo by Mitch on Unsplash