Friday, June 11, 2010

Menstrual disorders and Homeopathy!

As we all know, all women have to go through many milestones in their life. Health-wise and otherwise too! This journey is not that easy, considering the various steps they have to go through their entire life. The reproductive phase of women is considered as one of the healthiest period on all planes. Physically, mentally, and even emotionally, they have their bodily hormones protecting them during this period. This is the period between the onset of menses to the onset of menopause.

But during this phase also, they may suffer from one or the other problems for which high doses of hormones may be prescribed by conventional medicine. But considering their deep action, many of us worry about the possible side effects due to these hormones. On the contrary, homeopathic treatment enables them to find a balanced menstrual cycle without having undue pressure on any other organ. Let’s see in details which menstrual disorders can be treated with homeopathy-

(1) Late menarche- It means nothing but delayed onset of menstrual cycle. In some feeble constitutions, the onset of menses may be delayed due to unknown reasons. There are also some familial traits in which the menstrual cycle may be delayed. If late menses run in family, there is little need to do anything. But if such history is not there and the girl is of weak feeble constitution, our homeopathic medicines can help her acquire her normal periods sooner. But it is advised that it is better to wait till 16th year at least before starting the treatment. Also better seek the help of ultrasonography expert to rule out any anatomical errors.

(2) Irregular menses- (Metrorrhagia) - Some girls and women suffer from too late or too early periods. In some they are regularly irregular and in others irregularly irregular. It has been seen that in women who have regularly irregular periods, menses are mostly ovulatory but in girls who have irregularly irregular menses for long period of time, one has to rule out anovulatory cycles. Here you can take help from ovulatory studies to comprehend the exact pattern of menses. Homeopathic constitutional medicine sets this cycle straight in most case. Certain acute remedies like Senecio aureus, Pulsatilla, etc may be helpful in case of late onset of menses.

(3) Profuse menses- (menorrhagia) - This is quite common in elderly women approaching menopause too. It can occur in young age as well. The heavy menstrual bleeding may occur in some feeble constitutions and hypertensive patients too. Firstly one has to thoroughly examine the patient for any high blood pressures or thyroid problems. Also rule out any psychological problems which are making patient think she is bleeding heavily (mind it, it’s quite common in urban population). The menses may also occur twice or even thrice in the same month (polymenorrhea) and the patient may loose excess blood, leading to anemia. Remember here apt homeopathic management can help patient have monthly period but the homeopathic doctor should also prescribe hematinic (iron and folic acid + vitamin B12) supplementation if necessary. As with any other disease, ruling out the causative factor and finalizing your choice of medicine depending on that is of utmost importance. While selecting homeopathic medicine, the type of menses, the bleeding character, knotty or dilute discharges are all important to direct to a particular remedy.

(4) Scanty menses- In many patients this is a finding many doctors often miss. Firstly, in developing countries and rural populations, anemia may be the sole cause of scanty menses. So, correcting the anemia with aptly chosen homeopathic medicines (and iron supplementations if needed) is necessary. But in women with normal hemoglobin and scanty menses, one has to rule out certain problems like polycystic ovarian disease. In most women with PCOD, they have scanty menses that are irregularly placed. An ovulatory study as well as abdominal ultrasonography is advised especially when the woman fails to conceive because of this problem. Homeopathic constitutional medicine chosen depending upon the physical, mental, and emotional characteristics of the patient helps her alleviate her all menstrual problems and even she can conceive properly without any aid of interventional procedure.

(5) Dysmenorrhea- Painful menses is quite common especially in teenage girls. They are often told that once they conceive and deliver a child, the pain will go away. No doubt, it is true but why to keep them suffering till then? There are good homeopathic remedies that treat dysmenorrhea mildly. The medicines are chosen depending upon the type of dysmenorrhea too (congestive or spasmodic), type of pain, the modalities by which the girl feels better or gets worse. Certain characteristic symptoms point to the perfect remedy. The remedies like Mag phos, Viburnum opulus, Chamomilla, Ignatia, etc are useful for acute attacks as well. With constitutional remedy, the girls are relieved completely without any recurrence.

(6) Menopausal Blues- This has aroused lot of interest in recent years. As I said earlier, menses are women’s protecting weapon. It’s been seen that even the cardiac health risk equals that of a man when woman attains menopause. Therefore, due to hormonal variations during this period, every woman goes through much physical, mental, and emotional turmoil. In some it’s more, in some less! Hot flushes, leucorrhea, headaches, excess irritability, absent mindedness, etc and many more can happen during this period. Woman needs consistent support and apt homeopathic treatment to relieve her menopausal blues. The constitutional medicines like Pulsatilla, Graphites, Lachesis, Calcarea carb, etc help her find a balance and lead a healthier life even after menopause.

(7) Leucorrhea- The nasty white discharge in women can be due to variety of reasons. The fungal and/or bacteria infections, trichomonal infections, hormonal variations, bad hygiene, pelvic inflammatory disease, etc are some of the causative factors for leucorrhea. There are very potent homeopathic medicines like Borax, Alumina, Natrum mur, etc that cater the white discharge successfully to impart permanent relief to the patient.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Discipline or No Discipline?

Recently heard of a boy in United States filing a suit against his father who punished him for not doing the homework! There are many cases where the children in their teenage do things that are unacceptable to society, least to their parents. Why is this happening? Well, compared to developed nations, the developing nations have less cases of such childhood or teenage rage; or who knows they might just lack the sufficient statistical data!

“The children are the nation’s wealth!” “The children are the messengers of God!” Are these idioms mere idioms? Certainly not. They are facts, but we do not comprehend the meaning of these idioms; between the words, between the letters perhaps. Lot has been written about how to develop ‘good’ children or how to cultivate better adults (!) But still such above mentioned incidences are on rise. When some noted child psychologists and knowledgeable people are questioned, they have something common to tell us all—let’s see what it is-

(1) I was perplexed when I asked one of the elderly child psychologists about the reason for such disharmonious children. Her answer was intriguing (her question rather) She asked me immediately, “What ideal you people have in front of your kids?” Well, difficult rather ‘face-reddening’ question indeed. Her further clarification was stupendously unquestionable. She said, “You all know that child learns by imitation since he is in crib. How many of mothers today give sufficient time for their young ones so that he or she can learn by imitation? The child starts learning something when the entire chain of events breaks due to unavailability of time on part of parents.” Child lives within the four walls of the house and till he is exposed to outer world, he hasn’t learnt what he should learn within these walls.

(2) One of my favorite authors and noted cardiologist Dr H. V. Sardesai says in his book, “The 80% or more of the child’s brain is developed within first 5 to 6 years of age. How many parents take efforts to imbibe correct values and right disciplines at this age group? Most of us argue that such a young child is incapable of doing and understanding anything and we wait for the “right” time to arrive. And the time when we feel ‘now is the right time’, we have already missed the bus too badly!”

(3) About imbibing right disciplinary rules for the child, Dr Sardesai has some real tough words, which might sound little harsh for today’s so-called child-lovers. He says, “Where you have to be tough, you must be! If you keep cuddling your child irrespective of his misdeeds and give him an impression that he is loved let what happen, how will he understand the difference between right and wrong? Certainly, the way to make him understand the right thing should be gentle yet pin-pointing the mistake.” Further he ridicules the parents that consider the child shouldn’t be burdened with learning at young age. He says, if you want your child capable of comprehending minute details in his knowledge books later, start teaching him in simple language when he still cannot read or write. The parents who consider that the child should be left on his own to learn the things are the parents that are lazy to take efforts for the child. This is the excuse they give boasting their so called affection for the freedom of the child!

(4) Disciplining the children starts at home, rather along with their parents. First discipline yourself, then the child will learn automatically. Follow the manners in public yourself, so that the child will do the same. Stop comparing your child with other children and your child will respect your attitude towards his disciplining. Stop lying when one of the unwelcome guests arrives at home, and you will never have to tell your child “don’t lie!”

Well, these seem to be quite eye-openers for the parents than children. Certainly every child is different and has some innate traits. But with apt grooming of these traits, it is possible to develop our own children into responsible adults someday. Just we as parents have to make our children our priority and keep all our other duties revolving around our children’s interests. Well, remember how ecstatic we were when we first saw our newborn after birth? With little effort on our behalf, we can be more ecstatic in future to find our child happy, responsible, and a caring human being!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Skin diseases and homeopathic application:

Skin is known as mirror of mind and that is the reasons why many people attribute skin maladies to imbalance on mental and/or psychological plane. There is lot of awareness about treatment of skin maladies these days. Many people believe that for permanent cure of skin problems, homeopathy can offer wide hope without suppressing the skin diseases. There are certain principles while treating skin diseases in homeopathy. Let’s see-

(1) Skin diseases are ought to be due to internal disturbances and therefore should be treated from inside out.

(2) As per homeopathic principles, the external applications should not be prescribed to these patients as far as possible, as this will mask the presenting symptoms and never will therefore lead to permanent cure.

(3) The causative factors of skin disease are of utmost importance. They might be related to mental and/or psychological imbalances pertaining to some grief, loss or mental agony.

(4) Only constitutional remedy that is chosen with the help of evaluating the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the patient will be able to impart lasting relief for the patient.

Let’s see here top 4 skin conditions find permanent cure in homeopathy-

  • Eczema: Characteristic signs and symptoms of the eczema must be considered and also the aggravating and ameliorating factors. Many times a causative factor is found in suppressed skin eruptions in childhood. So, history taking is obviously the crucial tool.

  • Acne vulgaris: This is by far the commonest skin conditions we come across in day to day practice. Almost all patients come to us after trying one or two local applications containing various harmful chemicals those further dry their skin. Well, it is true that excess of oil production by the sebaceous glands is to be blamed for acne but one cannot ignore the inherent traits and miasmatic blocks those lead to recurrent acne breakouts. Long lasting improvement can be elicited by homeopathic acne treatment and also acne scar treatment when totality of symptoms is taken into account.

  • Psoriasis: This can be called as one of the major domains of homeopathy and we daily encounter lots of patients with significant improvement with their psoriatic patches. Our stressful lives and instant lifestyles have added to increasing incidence of psoriasis, though the exact cause is not known. But there are patients who may trace it back to some instance in life like “death of husband” since when it started or “I had a severe bout of asthma when I was given high doses of steroids after which these patches started developing” etc. Also aggravating factors like winter aggravation or aggravation after eating sour food may be observed, depending upon which a homeopath formulates his prescription for complete cure. Even for psoriatic arthritis and nail changes, homeopathic remedies work marvelously to harmonize the deranged vital force.

  • Sunburns: whether it is severe sun burn or moderate type of darkening of skin due to sun exposure, homeopathic remedies will help you restore your skin complexion. No wonder homeopathy is one of the valuable tools in today’s cosmetic industry as well. Various remedies like Thuja, Causticm, cantharis, etc help a great deal in maintaining healthy glow to your skin. After the initial treatment with internal medicines, some extraordinarily beneficial ointments like Witch Hazel cream can be used for further adding to the glow.

There are many other conditions like allergic dermatitis, urticarial rash, nappy rashes, lichen planus, and vitiligo those find permanent cure in homeopathy. We will see some of them in next few articles.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Allergic Rhinitis and Homeopathy

Running nose, incessant sneezing, irritation in nose and throat, itchy eyes, and feverish sensation are some of the features of allergic rhinitis. Almost every one of us suffers from such set of symptoms once in a while. But in few people, the condition is pretty worse and stays for long duration leading to sinusitis. That is why treatment of allergic rhinitis needs to be done precisely and in time. But what causes this kind of severe allergy? Let’s see-

Causative factors of allergic rhinitis:

(1) Nasal polyps- These are small to medium sized mucosal swellings on the nasal septum. Polyps may occasionally bleed too. It has been seen that development of polyps leads to recurrent infections and allergies affecting nasal mucosa.

(2) Deviated nasal septum- Little deviation in nasal septum can be considered as the cause or effect of recurrent colds. This usually leads to nose block and if left untreated may lead to sinusitis.

(3) Excessive sensitivity to cold breeze or cold things- This may not be included in causative factors but in triggers for allergic rhinitis. Exposure to excess cold and dry air leads to lowering of susceptibility in many people. Low temperature is also favorable for viruses to grow and result in recurrent colds.

(4) Any other allergic factor may affect different people like perfume, smelling a rose, eating ice-creams or roaming in sun. The allergic triggers differ from person to person.

What can be done to avoid rhinitis? Can homeopathy help?

Certainly avoiding the triggers can help one gain control over the allergic spells. But is it possible all the while? A worker in cotton mill if suffers from rhinitis due to inhaling the minute cotton threads in his surroundings, he cannot quit job for sure! That is why homeopathy believes in innate tendencies. These triggers are mere external. But there is some internal derangement because of which the person gets susceptible to these external influences. This lack of optimum immunity is tackled by homeopathic medicines and that’s the reason why homeopathy is extremely successful in permanently providing solution to allergic rhinitis and sinusitis alike.

Things that should be and should not be done in cases of allergic rhinitis according to homeopathy-

Suppression of colds by high doses of conventional medicine leads to recurrent attacks. When you use a groom to clean your room, do you push all the dust in a corner of the room or collect it and throw away? It is a common sense that if you push to the corner of the room, in due course the dust will spread in the entire room again and make it dirtier. Same is the case with the disease affecting your body. If you suppress the disease, where will it go? It will remain in dormant state inside the body and express itself again when the body meets any of the allergic triggers. The homeopathic medicines however through the principle of “like cures like” stimulate the vital force and immunity in order to enhance the body’s capacity to repel further allergies and infections.

The constitutional medicines that are found by considering the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of an individual can only lead him on the road of permanent recovery from those allergic spells. Not only these medicines cater the problem of allergy but also impart great health on all planes, as it treats the patient as a whole and not just his disease!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Renal Calculus (Kidney Stone) Pathology and Homeopathic Application:

Sudden pain from loin to groin sometimes makes people miserable. The reason behind many times may be renal calculus or in simpler terms, kidney stones. Though exact genesis of kidney stones is yet to be ascertained by the scientific community, we know today that they are the aggregates of small amounts of proteins, glycoproteins, and crystals that have potential to damage kidneys if untreated. In more than 50% of cases, the crystals consist of calcium oxalate and in fewer people the crystals may consist of calcium phosphate, magnesium ammonium phosphate, cystine, and uric acid.

Risk factors for development of kidney stones:

(1) Deficiency of vitamin A

(2) Recurrent urinary tract infection

(3) Excessive sweating

(4) Prolonged retention of urine

(5) Immobilization after surgery

(6) Improper calcium metabolism etc

How to diagnose renal calculus?

Certainly the doctors can diagnose renal calculus clinically from the symptoms depicted in a patient. On and off dull pain in loin or lumbar region that increases on movement is the usual presenting symptom of renal calculus. However, many patients also present with severe and excruciating pain from loin to groin when the stone gets lodged in the ureter. Within few minutes patient is miserable with pain and tosses in bed. Sudden pallor, sweating, and vomiting may ensue in some patients. Also hematuria (bloody urine) and dysuria (pain while urinating) may be present. X-ray of pelvic region and/or ultrasonography confirms the diagnosis and also the urine test depicting red blood cells, casts, and proteins.

How homeopathy helps in patients with renal calculus?

The conventional treatment of renal calculus consists of endoscpic removal of calculus with the help of a lithotryptor that breaks the stone into pieces and removes (called endoscopic lithotrypsy). Also analgesics for lessening the pain are given. But homeopathy is known to replace surgeon’s knife in cases of renal calculus. Wide ranges of medicines are there in Homeopathy that have to be applied individually depending upon patient’s signs and symptoms and renal pathology.

How homeopathic medicines act to impart relief?

It is a four-step action with homeopathy—

  • Relief from pain
  • Fragmentation of stone
  • Expulsion of these fragments through urine
  • Putting an end to the tendency to form recurrent kidney stones

The innate tendencies in human beings when get disturbed, such kind of nasty problems crop up. The homeopathic medicines help restore the harmony. That is why the constitutional medicines given considering the physical, mental, and emotional tendencies of patients help prevent recurrences of any disease in homeopathy. The medicines like Lycopodium, Berberis vulgaris, Sarsaparilla, Cantharis, Calcarea carb, Pariera brava, Occimum can, Hydrangia, Thuja etc are some of the top selected medicines for renal calculus.

Auxiliary Line of Treatment:

The patient should be advised certain precautions to lessen the suffering faster and prevent recurrence-

(1) Drinking at least 10 glasses of water is must every day. In our clinical practice, we observe that people those drink less water as a rule are more susceptible to acquiring kidney stones

(2) When there are calcium oxalate stones, one should minimize consumption of spinach, radish, tomatoes, mushrooms, excess tea and coffee, cheese, chocolates, etc. once the harmony is established, patient can be allowed to eat these stuffs in moderation.

(3) Avoid being over-weight. Reduction in extra pounds helps reduce tendency to acquire renal calculus. So drink enough water and exercise regularly for utmost benefit!