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Kickboxing Causes Damage To Hormone Producing Area In Brain

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Kickboxing Causes Damage To Hormone Producing Area In Brain



New research shows for the first time that kickboxing can cause brain damage. Head injuries in kickboxing can cause damage to an area of the brain called the pituitary, resulting in decreased production of hormones, which affect the body's metabolism and response to stress.


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13 Apr 2007

Research published in the journal; Clinical Endocrinology suggests that amateur kickboxers who have suffered head injuries should be screened to ensure their pituitary is producing enough hormones.


The pituitary is a pea-sized gland, weighing one gram or less, which is found in the brain. It produces many hormones that are involved in the body's regulation of metabolism, coping with daily stress, general wellbeing and sex drive amongst other areas. A team led by Prof. Fahrettin Kelestimur at Erciyes University Medical School in Turkey measured the levels of these hormones in 22 amateur kickboxers and compared these to sex-matched healthy controls. They found that kickboxers (27.3%) suffered more than controls from hypopituitarism, a condition where the pituitary does not produce enough hormones.


Kickboxing is one of the most popular martial arts, enjoyed by approximately one million people around the world. The head is one of the most common sites of injury for both amateur and professional kickboxers. Further studies are now needed to better understand the mechanisms of hypopituitarism in head trauma patients and to develop more effective head protection gear for kickboxers.


Researcher Prof. Kelestimur said:

"This is the first time that amateur kickboxing has been shown to cause damage to the pituitary, resulting in insufficient hormone production. Our study shows that kickboxers experience an increased risk of suffering from hypopituitarism, a condition where the pituitary fails to produce enough hormones. In healthy people, hormones produced by the pituitary fulfil a critical role in helping the body maintain a healthy metabolism and cope with daily stress.


Extrapolating from our results, potentially a quarter of a million people worldwide could be producing decreased amounts of hormones as a direct result of head injuries sustained during kickboxing. We recommend that people who take part in combative sports, like boxing or kickboxing, and are exposed to repeated head trauma should be screened to ensure their pituitary is working properly."


(Source : Clinical Endocrinology : Erciyes University Medical School, Turkey : April 2007.)

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Isn't it amazing that when you get kicked in the head, people take you seriously---when something starts up for unknown reasons, you're crazy.


This is exciting news---and perhaps doctors will be more willing to listen to us who have problems.


OK---I'm putting my kick-boxing career on hold. How about the rest of you?

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Yep, I always knew exercise was bad for you!


I've often wondered, as my symptoms really accelerated after a nasty blow to the head (at an office christmas party after too much wine, say no more) and I'm sure I've read lots of questions here asking if there could be any correlation. Didn't someone hit a cow in their car and develop symptoms too? One for the Darwin Awards!



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There was a woman on Mystery Diagnosis who developed diabetes insipidus after a car accident. Her head hit the windshield, but the doctors didn't think it caused any real damage.


There were two times I remember suffering a hit to the head---the first is when someone swung around and accidentally hit me "between the eyes"---I was about 12---and I saw "stars".


The other time is when someone knocked me from behind and I landed on the back of my head---thankfully we were on a playground of grass---but I really had a bad headache from that one. I was in high school at the time.


I didn't develop any symptoms until after I was pregnant. That's when things started going downhill for me.

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