Category Archives: Allergies

This category covers topics related to allergy and their homeopathic treatment

ANAEMIA

Anaemia can be defined as decreased haemoglobin counts or reduced red blood cell counts or reduced oxygen carrying capacity of blood, due to “loss of” or “abnormality of” red blood cells or haemoglobin.

Normal Heamoglobin Counts

  • 6 months to 5 years of age > 11g/dl
  • 5 years to 12 years of age > 11.5g/dl
  • 12years to 16 years of age > 12g/dl
  • Adult Females (non-pregnant) > 12g/dl
  • Adult Females (pregnant) > 11gm/dl
  • Adult Males > 13g/dl

CAUSES OF ANAEMIA

  • Blood losss
  • Excessive Red Blood Cell destruction
  • Heamoglobinopathies
  • Hypovitaminosis B12
  • Hypoferremia
  • Anaemia of Chronic diseases
  • Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia
  • Inflamatory bowel diseases
  • Hypervolemia or water retention due to sodium or other salts.
  • Genetic hereditary conditions like Thalasemia
  • Certain cancers
  • Kidney diseases
  • Reduced erythropoetin production
  • Excessive RBC destruction
  • Impaired RBC production
  • Certain infections like malaria which causes RBC destruction.
  • Certain drugs which causes RBC destruction eg. Quinine causes chinchonism.
  • Bone Marrow lesions and pathologies
  • Etc.

CLASSIFICATION OF ANAEMIA

There are many types of anaemias. It can be broadly classified into 7 categories depending upon their causes

Anaemia due to

  1. Blood Loss
  2. Hemolysis
  3. Impaired or abnormal Erythropoesis
  4. Hypervolemia
  5. Chronic Diseases
  6. Nutritional deficiency

Based on RBC morphology it can be classified into 3 groups

  • Microcytic
  • Macrocytic
  • Normocytic

FEW COMMON and RARE TYPES OF ANAEMIA

  • Iron Deficiency Anaemia
  • Aplastic Anaemia
  • Megaloblastic Anaemia
  • Pernicious Anaemia
  • Sideroblastic Anaemia
  • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anaemia
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome
  • Thalasemia
  • Fanconi Anaemia
  • Congenital Dyserythropoetic Anaemia
  • Daimond-Blacfan Anaemia
  • Myelopthisis
  • Anaemia of Prematurity
  • Erythroblastopenia or Pure Red Cell Aplasia
  • Hereditary Spherocytosis
  • Hereditary Elliptocytosis

SYMPTOMS

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • In children it affects growth in general
  • Somnolence, Drowziness in day time
  • Disturbed sleep at night
  • Pallor, general pale appearance of skin, mucous membranes and eyes.
  • Dyspnoea on Exertion.
  • Reduced Immunity, tendency to catch infections and slow recovery and healing.
  • Bodyaches
  • Cyanosis in severe cases
  • Palpitations
  • Tachycardia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Depression
  • Craving for indigestible things , PICA
  • Cold clammy extremities
  • Oedematous swelling of extremities, dependent oedema
  • Angina or cardiac failure in severe cases
  • Will impact general growth and repair of all the vital organs and tissue of the body.

HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES FOR ANAEMIA

Depending upon the cause of anaemia and general constitution of the patient, one of the following medicines may be called for duty by a homeopathic physician.

  • Ferrum Metallicum
  • Ferrum Phosphoricum
  • Cinchonna Officinalis
  • Natrum Muriatic um
  • Arsenicum Album
  • Abrotanum
  • Hamamelis Verginiana
  • Pulsatilla Nigricans
  • Janosia Ashoka
  • Crotalus Horridus
  • Lachesis
  • Acidum Phosphoricum

COUGH AND COLD -Not Only Climate But Also Doctors Making It Worse!

Cough and Cold – Not only Climate But Also Doctors Making Cough and Cold Even Worse!

Cough and Cold – As dry cold climate approaches so does dust, smog and other pollutants along with subjecting organism to unusual insults of polluted atmosphere especially in urban areas where vehicles construction activity,  crackers of festive season pollute the air so much so that majority of the population who breathes here is suffering from respiratory allergy and things become worse for Asthma patients.

In India, winter is season of fruits where many hybrid fruits come to market to which the sellers further chemically  ripen, inject sweetners, artificially colour and glisten to make it attractive and easily saleable, also many fruits like grapes have lots of pesticides and insecticides sprinkled on it.

Its seen that people have increased appetite during winter days, they feel hungry too often, so processed and packaged food like chips, choclates, soft drinks, packaged farsan, biscuits and other bakery products ,etc. comes handy. Its seen that there is huge surge in sales of all these products during cold climate of monsoon and winter, now not to forget its full of artificial colours, artificial flavours, chemical preservatives, artificial dough conditioners, artificial leavening agents, baking powders and what not, eating such thing makes the health scenerio in winter even more worse with cases of respiratory allergies shooting up even further.

It starts with mild damages to mucosa of respiratory system where the superficial mucosal epithelial lining is subjected to pollutants and the epithelial cells gets damaged and the immune system comes into role to fight out the foreign particles but because of excess quantity of allergens and excess toxicity of few of these allergens the immune system is unable to cope up which the basic primary innate immunity, so it startes to call in for more work force and immunoglobulins which makes our body a battle field causing damage even further till it fights allergen off and im this process patient has symptoms of cold, cough, malaise headache. bodyache, fever etc. In most of the cases where the dose of allergen or infectious agent is not high and immunity is strong enough or in patient, who are taking proper primary first aid care and avoiding triggering and maintaining factor of the condition, should not have complications and the bodyfight it out. Also body will form new memory against many new antigens in this process, improving one’s immunity.

But in some case where the outside organism are more virulent or the allergens are more toxic then the damage is greater. Now this damages tissue and damaged tissue becomes fertile ground for microbes like bacteria, virus, fungus etc to grow and they are ample not only in environment but also within our own body. Now with such an opportunity they start growing and making case even more difficult and severe. In cases with pre-existing allergic conditions and atopy, things get even worse causing chest congestion, breathlessness.

Patient suffers from sleepless nights due to cough, sneezing blocked nose,  irritating nose and throat malaise bodyaches and lack of energy. This causes patient to apprehend and anticipate grave condition like swine flu bird flu or Tuberculosis(TB) or severe bronchitis or asthma which drives patient to the allopathic doctor for instant relief.

Now unlike in India and other developing countries, the developed countries like USA UK and other European nations, dispensing of medicines like anti-tussives, anti-allergics, cough syrups with mix of all, antibiotics, broncho-dilators, cortico-steriods for case of uncomplicated cough and cold is strictly discouraged and the medical doctors are strictly guided not to give any of these medicines for such uncomplicated cases.As its usually a self-limiting condition and regresses on its own, medicines only weakens subject’s immunity even further, causing recurrent spells of such cough and cold every few weeks making condition persistent. But in India where almost all the doctor promotes and dispenses mix of these 4-5 harmful medicines at a time from their clinic in all cough and cold patients, regardless of wether patient’s condition requires such medicines or not, ant that is just to give symptomatic relief to patient at cost of his health. When asked to such doctors, they simply answer – “If I will not give quick relief to the patient, with help of such harmful medicines, then the doctor practicing next to me will give relief to the patient with those harmful medicines, then why shouldnt I give and retain my patient!”  . Now its role of health authorities to keep check on dispensing of such harmful cough syrup preparations and corticosteroids. So that every doctor doesnt use it in every case like what the scenerio is right now!

Knowing the well established fact that cough and cold are body’s response to fight out Antigens (foreign particles living or non living) and other external insults on body. Now suppressing it only interferes normal body functioning and weakens immunity even further and such medicines also damages other systems of body and permanently damaging one’s constitution for ever.

Medicines dispensed by allopathic doctors for cough and cold also have antihistaminics, immunosupressants. Now histamin ,we can say,  is the basic reception point of our immune system, supressing it causes less of the molecular expression signals corresponding to the antigen being sent to immune system and the organism as a whole. The result is no proper immune response being established, so patient will have no symptoms (no cough no cold pt feels good) and feel good but also no new immune memory allocation for that particular antigenis being properly developed due to supression as I explained above, so next time again when the same antigen enters our body again we will suffer from same condition. and the recurrency of cold and cold will persist almost every few weeks as we have to stay in same environment.

Most of the viral respiratory infections recover on its own and there are no medicines specific for viruses that cause cough and cold in allopathy so its not advisable to take multiple heavy allopathic medicines untill there are complications due to it.

Signs of complications:

  • Fever persisting for more than 2-3 days secondary bacterial or in immunocompromised fungal infection may be present and specific treatment is required for infection and underlying condition.
  • Pain in ear along with Cough and Cold or fever indicates that there is congestion of eustachian tube due to eustachian catarrah and may damage ear and hearing ;also infection due to this in middle ear is an unwanted complication as it may not only damage ear permanantly but can also progress retrograde into cranium and infect brain to cause meningitis which is a fatal condition.
  • Cough Cold lasting for more than 15-20days not always  but few cases turns out to be because of tuberculosis and specific TB treatment is required and not cough and cold medication
  • Blood in sputum due to violent coughing or sneezing minor capillary rupture may have occurred; now that may provide microbes an entry point for infection
  • Pain in Chest may be due to muscular fatigue due to coughing which is not a major complication but if the pain in chest is due to some other reasons like infective or inflamatory focus in the lung etc then immediate medical attention and specific treatment for tht reason is required
  • Efforts in Breathing if patient has make an effort on breathing like heaviness in breathing suffocative feeling short breaths ; in small children it is noticed by short small fast breath fan like motion of alea of nose unusual excessive movement of abdomen while breathing along with abnormal sound vibrations from chest.
  • Abnormal sounds from chest while breathing like crepitation and wheezing heard on auscultation  ; in children it is easily felt by keeping hand on chest or can be heard by keeping ear on chest.
  • Headache severe persisting after violent coughing may be due to increased intracranial pressure that may have caused damaged and may need immefiate attention
  • Any other chronic disease in in individual
  • Other coexisting infection
  • Immunocompromised Individual

So what to do, so as to get yourself a proper medical observation and yet to be sure that you will not be medicated unnecessarily, for that first of all your doctor should be experienced enough that he doesnt panic unnecessarily on listening to complaints and  should know how to treat patient without help of any unnecessary medication also he should be competent enough to estimate,  evaluate and treat condition and its complications with minimal medication, also  you need to speak to your doctor first that you are not willing to take any heavy medication and you  are ready to bear with the condition till it recovers and you have visited him just to be under proper medical observation so that no complication arise and if at all, it can be addressed and tackled soon. Now that should give your doctor comfort, confidence free hand in treating you successfully with minimal medication and that too only if required making your body less prone to side effects and also boosting your immunity.

In Homoeopathy, unlike Allopathy, we try to boost immune system by enhancing the immune response and helping organism further to develop permenant immunity, so pt initially may have mild aggravations, we call it homoeopathic aggravations, which are favourable for the case and holds good prognsosis.

There are many homoeopathic medicines that can cure the respiratory allergies and viral respiratory infections, not by suppressing, but by enhancing immune expression and developing permanant immunity against it. Homoeopathy works even faster than allopathy in such acute conditions.

Few of the good homoeopathic medicines that can be used in viral respiratory tract infection or other acute or chronic respiratory tract allergies are:

  1. Spigelia constant bland discharge from posterior nares dropping into nasopharynx and anterior portion of nose always remains dry, severe boring pain in orbits as if eyes weee pushed in, severe paraorbital sinusitis.
  2. Allium Cepa have you ever chopped onion?? Then recollect how it feels in your nose and eyes and if you have similar symptoms in cold this medicine is for you,  copious acrid nasal discharge and bland lachrymation(discharge from eyes) with photo phobia with much burning and smarting in eyes with conjunctival hyperaemia causing red suffused looks of eyes , also mild redness of eyelids,much photophobia,  nasal discharge excoriates nose and upper lip, sore raw sensation at bifurcation of trachea, frontal headache due to cold, patient feels better in open air and cold climate and his complaints becomes worse in closed room and warm climate.
  3. Euphrasia Officinalis Copious Bland nasal discharge and acrid lachrymation better in open room, much mucosal discharge from throat need to bring up too frequently which smells too offensive. Patient suffers from bursting headache due to coryza. Copious thick sticky yellowish discharg from eyes causing eye lids to agglutinate in morning ,eye discharge acrid in nature causing excoriation of surface it touches causing redness and ulceration on inner canthus of eyes , eyelids and cheeks, Blisters in eyes and ulceration in cornea with much photophobia. Good remedy for autoimmune or allergic or infective conjunctivitis accompanying cough and cold.
  4. Arsenicum Iodatum acrid fetid profuse thin watery discharge with much sneezing and redness of all mucous membranes, nasal polyps , eustachian catarrah, hypertrophy of eustachian tube causin g hearing problems and deafness, chronic nassal catarrah
  5. Ammonium Carbonicum Morning sneezing, this medicine works well in patient complaining severe violent bouts of sneezing early in the morning soon after waking up of touching feet to ground or soon after morning bath. typically suited to stout women with tendency to catch cold easily. Can’t tolerate cold climate or  cold food and drink , thirstless and doesnt like water much aversion, lympohmegaly (enlarged lymphnodes), sharp burning watery discharge that continues whale day and stops with nose block at night. slow stertorous opressed breathing. burning in throat and chest , Pneumonia , emphysema, ulcerative tonsilitis, purulent, supurative and gangreneous condition of tonsils,
  6. Spongia Tosta constant tickling and irritation in throat pt has to clear throat too frequently, stitching stinging burning pain in chest, dryness of nasal mucosa alternates with thin fluent watery discharge.
  7. Senega burning and scrapping sensation as if mucosa has abrassions bursting cough, copious thich tough tenacious mucous difficult to bring up, hacking cough, thorax feels as if shrunk and is too narrow, hoarseness of voice.
  8. Occimum Sanctum generaly used in lower potencies for hay fever , otitis media with throbbing pain due to eustachian catarrah, epistaxis with much running nose and violent sneezing, too restless cant lie in bed sits with hands on head and elbow on knee this position gives him some relief , warm drink relieves complaints.
  9. Sabadilla lachrymation with hyperaemic congestion of conjunctiva with much burning, thick tough mucous adhered within throat giving sensation as if skin is hanging within, urging patient to swallow constantly, empty swallowing pains a lot, tongue has sensation as if its burnt.
  10. Rumex Crispus mucous membranes too sensitive causing tickling sensation in pharynx going down deep to bronchus which triggers cough, pain below clavicle , cold starts with copious thin watery nasal discharg soon followed by thick stringy discharge so is with mucous discharge from throat. Urticaria accompanies with or alternates cough and cold with intense itching, early morning diarrhoea accompanies cough.

Also read for associated complaints and their medicines:

Best HOMOEOPATHIC Medicines indicated in ASTHMA

ASTHMA

Best HEADACHE Medicines in Homoeopathy

HEADACHE

Also read

NIPAH VIRUS on Killing Spree In India – Its Homoeopathic Medicines

H7N4 TYPE BIRD FLU First Ever Human Case in China

HONG KONG FLU Epidemic 2018 The Virus That Killed Million In A Year

URTICARIA HIVES

URTICARIA HIVES HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT GUIDE

Urticaria or Hives is a condition which presents itself on skin with welts and weals (red elevated bumps) typically lasting for few hours to days and then changing location, which are usually( not necessarily always) itchy burning and stinging in nature.

Hives can be Allergic or Non Allergic in nature that is Hives with Immunoglobin involvement(allergic) and Hives without Immunoglobulin involvement (non allergic) that is no allergen-antibody interaction.
It is  caused due to response of immune system to certain stimulus in susceptible individuals. Such stimulus can be of various types and nature.

CAUSATIVE FACTORS

FOOD – Allergy to food item is one of the common cause to urticaria. Food items commonly known to cause urticaria are Nuts, Shell Fish, Brinjal, Tamrind, Tomato, Channa dal, Wheat, Soyabean.

ENVIRONMENTAL AGENTS – Individuals allergic to certain environmental agents of the place they reside or work if comes in to inhalation or in contact to skin may cause urticaria or hives. Some are even sensitive to photons or solar light and heat where as some individuals to water and cause aquanergic urticaria which in most cases is not histamine mediated

MEDICINES – Allergies to certain medicines especially Penicillin, Clotrimazole, Codiene, Dextroamphetamine, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Sulphonamide, Sulphonylurea, cefclor, Piracetam.

INFECTIONS – Viral, Bacterial, Parasites, Protozoal, Fungal, Dermatophytes etc infection can cause urticaria during the course of infection or post infection. Worms, Lice, Dental Carries and Ear Infections may also  urticaria cause urticaria.

THERMAL – Its observed that many individuals develop urticarial rash with 20 hours after exposure to excess of heat or cold

CHOLINERGIC – Triggered on perspiration due to exercise, hot bathing, hot climate, emotional stress etc.

PROPRIOCEPTIVE – There are two types in this, one is pressure induced and other is dermographic urticaria, in pressure induced the wheal are more thicker and elevated and appear few hours after the pressure and lasts for 6hrs to 3 days whereas indermographic urticaria it appears much sooner is not much elevated or thick compared to former.

EXERCISE – Induced after intense Exercise may result into death in some severe cases who shos respiratory and cardiac sptoms along with, its different from cholinergic as individauls suffering from it has no relation to perspiration pattern and is not induced due to hot bath emotional stress like in cholinergic type.

EMOTIONAL – Triggers purely due to emotional stress with no relation to perspiration like in cholinergic.

SCOMBROID – Ingestion of Excess of histamine through food eg diseased fish with excess of histamine in it.

IDIOPATHIC – Cause most of the cases of urticaria remains unknown.

Pathogenesis of Urticaria

HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT APPROACH IN CASE OF URTICARIA

Each and every detail of all systems and a proper history of patient to evaluate and exclude certain factors like –

1)Whether patient is on any medicines. If he is, then since how long he is on that medicine. Whether those medicines are for chronic condition or recent acute complaint. Whether there is any recent change or addition of any medicine, in those who are on long-term medicines for chronic condition. eg Glimipride in Diabetes Mellitus patient. history of drug allergy. Sometimes drug allergies presenting as mild urticaria initially, might soon trigger up, in no time and can prove fatal, even before we can treat it

2)Exclude presence of Infections in past / recent past / current, as many infections may cause urticaria during its course or after it has run its course, as a reactive response of immune system. It can be either viral, fungal, bacterial, protozoal, dermatophyte or parasite infection. Parasite infection can be external like Lice or internal worm or helminthic manifestation to which body might show urticaria as reaction. Sometimes chronic Ear Infections and Dental Carries patients show up urticaria as reaction.

3)Make a careful note of, recent Consumption or Exposure or Contact atleast from 48hrs before untill his complaint started or triggered, of the following

  • A list of food items and should be done for every subsequent episode to rule out or find out allergy to particular food items.
  • A list of thing that comes in contact of skin or respiratory and other mucous membrane should be made, Change in cosmetic and toiletries like soaps, creams, lipsticks, eyeliners, oils etc. Fabrics new garments, undergarments, bands, scarfs, bed-sheets, pillow etc. Aerosols like room fresheners, insecticidal spray, recently done pest control, perfumes, deodorants, mouth fresheners etc. Jewelries and other accessories note of various materials that comes in contact with surface of skin.
  • Presence of pets, pests or rodents, bed bugs etc in patience close surroundings .
  • Presence of flowering plants with pollen in house or in garden.
  • Exposure to pollution at work place or unusual environmental exposures.
  • A note of trigger after exposure to extremes of Heat or Cold,
  • Relation with Emotion Stress or
  • Urticaria trigger due to exercise Exercise with respiratory or cardiac symptoms frequently tends to fatal.
  • Relation to sunlight exposure should be noted
  • Any change in place of residence or work should be noted
  • Change in source of water should be noted.

Guidines as per my clinical experience of Homeopathy in cases of Urticaria in Discussion format.

Personally for me, Urticaria cases are too interesting, as these patients human-organism/ Vital force/immune-system is too sensitive to certain stimulus. Shows very quick reaction and same applies to susceptibility and reaction to well selected similimum remedies. You dont have to wait much to realise the effect of doses you have given, they will show quick aggravations even if u have reached a nearby similimum remedy and even if its a chronic case.

The human-organism and vital reactions are so much eager to express themselves from within outwards, that they come up not only on skin but also with various mental symptoms, opening up after medicine is administered. Usually when urticaria resolves with homeopathy it takes away, along with, many other psychological skin respiratory and digestive disturbances.

In homeopathy, while treating case of urticaria, we should keep in mind that its a deep seated constitutional complaint. Even if it is acute and recent we have to be cautious as we can never say wether patient will go into chronic phase or not. These patients have high susceptibility towards certain stimulus and most paients are constantly being troubled by continious stumulus so considering these two important aspect of disease pathology, accordingly the medicine and potency and repetition should be selected so that we are able to create very similar artificial medicinal disease (aggravation) in such patient.

Usually these patients wether acute or chronic are most of the time psoric in maismatic nature and doesnt require antisyphillitic or antipsycotic remedies unless they have urticaria as secondary to syphillitic or psycotic constitution type, which can be evaluated by physical generals with signs of such miasmatic presentation.

Low to medium  potency with frequent repetition initially, patient within couple of days or weeks will show aggravations moderate to severe, at this point patient should be switched to placebo. Patient should be guided to bear with it and not to succumb to anti-allergic, anti-histaminic allopathic medicines for temporary relief, as it will completely disrupt the chain of event that been set in by homeopathic medicine and bring patient to ground zero again. In such case where patient has taken allopathic medicine to relieve itching and other complaints, a physician should wait for next aggravation get new case taking done and new indicated similimum medicine delivered.

When patient are guided not to take allopathic medicines for urticarial aggravations they need to be alerted and observed that they are not developing any complications in respiratory or any other vital organ or system due to aggravation. If doubted, required measures to be taken soon.

Gradually after lasting for couple of weeks the aggravations starts subsiding. In very few cases it relapses again but every subsequent episode is milder and symptom free interval longer compared to previous *. And this is how it phases off and gets completely annihilated.

(*Acute similimum medicines to be restarted on every such subsequent episode untill symptoms aggravated and then switched to placebo.)

Urticaria – 10 best Homeopathic Medicines

(Only Theraputic Indications)

  1. Natrum Sulphuris – Urticaria in patients with liver affections, Hives alternates or accompanies gouty affections, Gouty diathesis, Hydrogenoid constitution, typically suited to Psycotic Maismatic backgroung with tendency towards warty overgrowth, Complaints aggravates when climate changes from dry to damp, arthritis of small joints of toes and fingers accompanies with urticarial eruptions, pruritus aggravates on undressing, lying on left side and music, patient feels better in dry climate pressure and changing position frequently.
  2. Ledum Pal Urticaria in patients with rheumatic diathesis and Gouty diathesis, sensation of severe itching burning and sticking like from insect bite, complaints aggravate from heat of bed and covering, in pt with tetanic convulsions accompanying urticarial rash, eruptions more on ankle and feet especially rt side.
  3. Urtica Urens again this remedy is good for patients with Gouty Diathesis, Hives accompanies or alternates joint affections, urticaria relapses same time every year. Hives accompanies with catarrhal conditions, Urticarial eruptions burning heat violent itching and formication, complaints arising from suppressed nettle rash, suits well in Urticaria Nodosa and Dermographic Urticaria, patients having urticaria with angio-neurotic oedema have responede well to this remedy.
  4. Apis Melifica this remedy has a special affinity towards skin and mucous membranes where there is oedematous swelling due to innate immune response, inflamation, this remedy is made from poison of honey bee sting , and it is homoeopathically used to cure any skin , mucous membrane and any other connective tissue inflamatory affections showing symptoms and sensation as of from bee sting also urticaria showing similar symptoms and has very promising symptoms; typically the symptoms have an acute onset with severe burning and stinging pain with red rosy hue. sudden puffing up of whole body worse by heat touch motion afternoon colsed warm room on sleeping affects right side more compared to left side.pt finds relief in open air cold climate on uncovering.
  5. Belladonna Smooth shinny dry and hot skin due to subcutaneous congestion and dilation of superficial blood vesseles, urticarial rashes accompanies with fever with complete thirstlessness and head perspiring.
  6. Rhus Toxicodendron red swollen with intense itching and burning, aggravates on cold damp wether , at night during sleep, better in dry warm wether.
  7. Ranunculus Bulbosus Hives with severe itching on palms, itching palms with or without eruptions, aggravates on wet stormy wether.
  8. Natrum Muriaticum Hives due to Hyperacidity and other Digestive disturbances.
  9. Kreosotum  Hives due to dental carries
  10. Santonine Hives due to worms

ASTHMA

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder associated with airway hyper-responsiveness of tracheobronchial tree to various stimuli and manifested by acute, recurrent or chronic attacks of bronchial narrowing, variable in severity and usually of brief duration.

The episodes are usually associated with widespread but variable airflow obstruction within the lung that is often reversible.

It is believed that airway reactivity is major feature of asthma and this is induced by inflammation and that inflammmation is basic abnormality present in asthma.

PATHOGENESIS OF ASTHMA

The narrowing of the airways in asthma is due to inflammation of the lining mucosa and contraction of bronchial smooth muscle.

The common denominator underlying the asthmatic diathesis is non specific hyper irritability of tracheobronchial tree.

This phenomenon is cardinal feature of asthma and is thought to be primary pathogenic event in the disease.

The pathological, physiological and clinical manifestations of asthma have their origin in complex interaction of environmental stimuli with locally resident cells including the epithelial lining and those migrating from the blood stream.

The interaction involves several mediators and cytokines that amplify the response and perpetuate it tp maintain continous disease activity.

PREDISPOSING FACTORS OR TRIGGERS FOR ASTHMA

Asthma exacerbations can be triggered by variious factors. Most of the patients have more than one precipitating factors and various triggers can cause exacerbations at different times.

ALLERGENS

Allergic asthma is dependant upon an IgE response controlled by T and B lymphocytes and activated by interaction of antigen with mast cell bound IgE molecules. Most of the allergens that provoke asthma are air borne. In allergic asthma, sensitisation to allergens occur when the macrophages and dendritic cells process the inhaled allergens and present it to T lymphocytes.
Allergic asthama is frequently seasonal and it is most often observed in children and young adults. A non seasonal form may result from allergy to various allergens in the environment.

Infections

Respiratory infections are most common of the stimuli that evoke acute exacerbations of asthma. Respiratory viruses are the major etiologic factor. In young children, the most important infectious agents are respiratory virus and parainfluenza virus. In adults and older children, rhino virus and influenza virus predominate.

ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION

Environmental causes of asthma are usually related to climatic conditions that promote the concentration of atmospheric pollutants and antigens. These conditions develop in densely populated urban areas.

OCCUPATIONAL FACTOR

Occupation related asthma is a significant health problem, acute and chronic airway obstruction has been reported to follow exposure to large number of compounds used in many types of industrial processes. Exposure to metal salts, industrial chemicals, biologic enzymes, various gases oxides of nitrogen,sulphur etc trigger asthma.

EMOTIONAL STRESS

Psychological factor can interact with the asthamatic diathesis to worsen the disease process. The extent to which the psychologic factor plays a role in acute exacerbation is unknown but probably varies from patient to patient.

EXERCISE

Asthma can be made worse by physical exertion. Provocation of bronchospasm by excercise is probably operative to some extent on every asthmatic patient and in some it may be only trigger mechanism that will produce symptoms.

SYMPTOMATIC REPRESENTATION OF ASTHMA.

The cardinal symptoms pf asthma consists of a triad of dyspnoea, cough and wheezing.
In its most typical form asthma is an episodic disease and all three symptoms co exist.
It is seen that the attacks often occur at night, may be due to fluctuations in airway receptor thresholds that may result from circadian variations in the circulating levels of endogenous catecholamines and histamine.
Attacks may also abruptly follow exposure to a specific allergen, physical exertion, a viral respiratory infection or
emotional excitement.

At the onset the patient experiences a sense of constriction in the chest., often with a non productive cough.
In practice we see that the frequency and severity of symptoms and exacerbation varies from patient to patient.
It is seen that the respiration becomes audibly harsh and wheezing in both phases of respiration becomes prominent, expiration usually becomes prolonged and patient presents with tachypnoea, tachycardia and mild systolic hypertension.
If the attack is severe or prolonged, the accesory muscles become visibly active and frequently a paradoxical pulse will develop. These two signs are valuable in indicating the severity of obstruction.
Termination of the episode is frequently marked by a cough producing thick stringy mucus which often takes the form of casts of the distal airways and when examined microscopically eosinophils and charcot leyden crystals are seen.
In extreme situations, wheezing may markedly lessen or even disappear completely, as exhaustion sets in the level of conciousness may decline and chest may be silent which is an omnious sign of impending respiratory arrest.

A BRIEF NOTE ON ASTHMATIC ATTACK.

Premonitory symptoms

Patient presents with Asthmatic aura, sometimes sneezing, dry irritant cough, irritability, restlessness may precede or accompany attacks of wheezing breathlessness.

Paroxysms

Paroxysms usually occurs middle of night with sense of oppression in chest, leading to respiratory distress. Patient sits up and leans forward fighting for breath or rushes for fresh air to relieve sense of suffocation.
Asoociated with anxiety, cyanosis, perspiration and cold extremities.
Wheezing is loud and audible from a distance.
On auscultation inspiration is short and high pitched, expiration is prolonged with ronchi.
Rales may be heard at the base towards end of attack. In severe airway obstruction airflow may be so reduced that the chest is almost silent.

Termination

Termination occurs spontaneously. As bronchial spasm gets less, the patient is able to cough and bring out viscid mucofibrin expectoration.

Duration of Attack

Varies from few minutes to several hours. Sometimes the paroxysms are continous leading to status asthamaticus.

HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINES FOR ASTHMA WITH INDICATIONS

Arsenicum Album

Its the first and foremost drug that comes to my mind when it comes to respiratory allergies and asthma. Since centuries Arsenic is being used by mountaineers and people living on high altitude to combat complaints of dyspnoea due to low pressure and oxygen. Recent toxicological study in real world chornic exposure to Arsenic contaminated ground water from wells and other sources  in West Bengal Chile Argentina shows that non malignant respiratory effect of arsenic is more pronounced in persons already having skin lesions; which shows that there is more susceptibility of person with skin lesions towards arsenic compared to others. So if we apply it homoeopthically in treating patients with atopic dermatitis with respiratory allergies and asthma then it will yield good results. the organism as a whole shows following keynote signs that calls for arsenicum album; Night aggravation ; aggravation on lying down especially on back; after drinking; burning relieved by heat ; very sensitive to cold; very restless keeps changing position and sensitive to touch and external impressions ; great thirst  desire for small quantity of cold water in short interval of time. dry cough aggravates after midnight with scanty frothy cough with constrictive suffocation breathlessness with wheezing aggravates at midnight with darting pain in upperlobe of rt lung (indicated in Primary tuberculosis Gohn’s Focus) causing heamoptysis accompanying with burning pain between shoulder blades.

Blatta Orientalis

This medicines was first proven accidentally and has an interesting story so thought to share it with you all, once upon a time back in 18th century there was an old man who used to stay alone and was suffering from asthma since many years, he used to get many asthmatic attack throughout the day, one morning he was having severe asthmatic attack and he boiled the tea and consumed it after which his asthma got relieved to great extent after drinking a cup of tea prepared by him, it was the same tea that he used to drink on daily basis, so what was so different that day that his asthma got relieved so much?? Last night he was suffering very bad episodes of breathlessness which kept him awake that night so at night he had prepared black tea for himself after which he slept and next morning boiled the same tea again that had been prepared last night and consumed again . But again what a great difference can it make to boil the same old tea again and how can it produce medicinal properties so great so that it can relieve asthma, and if it was so easy then how did not others find this curative property of that tea till date, On emptying the tea pot he had seen a dead cockroach at the bottom of the tea pot that day , he was wise enough to recollect it after few days that he had seen a cockroach in the tea pot, and attributed the reason behind the cure to the cockroach, then he started consuming that tea boiled along with the same Indian cockroach  water whenever he got the asthmatic attack, and after few days he found that it not only gave relief in acute exacerbation of asthma but also reduced the frequency and intensity of episodes. he the started giving the same to other asthma sufferers around him for free then gradually people from far off started to flock around him for the medicine and soon he was famous, he then used to prepare in large quantity and add alcohol to preserve it for longer period, gradually after it came to notice to homoeopaths that the same indian cockroack if given to healthy humans in very large quantity then it used to produce asthma in that subject , soon they realised that the cure of asthma with Blatta Orientalis was based on homoeopathic principle of “similia similibus curentur” so they incorporated it into Homoeopathic Materia Medica. IT has peculiar asthmatic symptoms Heaviness of chest as if some weight was put on chest pt feels that he is breathing in the air only till trachea and not till lungs ; short fast breaths feels lungs are not expanding completely; sensation as if shoulders were dragged downwards towards feet. general sensation of heat in whole body.

Aralea Racemosa

A very good remedy for nocturnal cough of asthmatic aggravating by lying down and at midnight after first sleep with profuse perspiration, sensation as if foreign body stuck in throat,raw and sore feeling behind the sternum,  Good remedy for hay fever, respiratory complaints aggravates in spring and during draughts,copious, watery excoriating, acrid salty nasal discharge with extreme sneezing on least irritation to nose even by air.

Antimonium Tartaricum

Lots of rattling of mucous in chest but with very small quantity of expectaration with drowziness trembling prostrating debility and sweating desires cold water in small quantity frequently, Sailors asthma and asthma due to damp cellars and damp monsoon weather, velvety sensation in chest due to cough with much burning ascending upwards to throat, dyspnoea shortness of breath with rapid breathing relieved by sitting upright or lying on rt side and on eructation, Relieves asthma and respiratory allergies aggravated due to parasitic infections by expelling parasites from body especially bilharziasis. good remedy for breathing difficulty due to paralysis of respiratory muscles. typically acts on pneumogastric nerve so it proves to be very good remedy for hiccups nausea and vomitting due to coughing or other gastric complaints or daiphragm irritation.

Balsum Peru 

It is a very good remedy for catarrahal conditions in asthmatic patients with loud ronchi, rales copious thin muco-purulent discharge.

Dulcamara

Especially suited in affections during damp cold weather, patient has sensation of tickling in throat with hoarse barking cough with rattling of mucous which is expelled only after coughing for long time which is thick yellow in character, cough aggravates after exertion. spasmodic cough with difficulty in breathing in asthmatic patients, good remedy for hay fever and whooping cough.

Justicia Adhatoda

In low potency it acts as a good expectorant in tenacious productive cough and in high potency its used for dry spasmodic cough with dyspnoea and tightness in chest dryness with pain in throat with difficulty in swallowing , aggravated in close warm room.

Drosera Rotundifolia

Crumbs-like sensation in throat feather-like sensation in larynx, asthma triggers while talking ; dry spasmodic deep hoarse cough in spells repeating in very short intervals “MASTER HAHNEMANN TERMED THIS REMEDY AS PRINCIPAL REMEDY FOR WHOOPING COUGH”. haorse cracked voice.

Aspidosperma / Quebracho 

Also known as DIGITALIS of LUNGS, stimulates respiratory centers and increase oxygenation. Indicated in Cardiac Asthma Dyspnoea on Exertion is a keynote guiding symptom of this medicine, also helpful in pulmonary thrombasis and stenosis. usually prefered in mother tincture or first decimal potency.

Eucalyptus Globulus

Moist Asthma with paplitation, white thick expectoration well indicated in mucopurulent offensive expectoration as well as it combats infections efficiently, ulcers on tonsil mouth and pharynx with supurative conditions. Enlarge ment of nodes and glands like lymphomegaly , tonsilomegaly adenoiditis etc.