In today’s world, change is the only constant. The world is fast changing- be it population, be it technology, facilities and amenities or even the unmentionables such as transport and commuting, means of communication and even diet…
Where on one hand, global urbanization has had innumerable positive outcomes such as introduction of modern facilities and advanced technology, its impact upon the health status of people has been rather negative. The upcoming of newer technologies and improved facilities have made life convenient and comfortable which has given birth to a huge pile of diseases, popularly called ‘Lifestyle Diseases’. This term means those diseases which are born out of faulty lifestyles. Factors like occupation, living conditions, dietary and sanitary habits, physical activity and stress contribute to development of these diseases. While research shows that lifestyle diseases are affecting the entire world, they have certainly generated a host of challenges in the developing nations. Narrowing our vision and focusing only on India, we realize that there has been an enormous rise in the incidence of lifestyle diseases in urban India in the past ten years. Common lifestyle ailments which have shown an upward trend include Coronary Artery Disease, hypertension, COPD, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, insomnia, infertility, arthritis, obesity, asthma, chronic liver disease, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis . In a still developing country like India, such lifestyle diseases either remain undiagnosed or unmonitored which is one of the reasons for unbridled rise in their incidence as well as severity. In such a scenario homoeopathy plays a major role in the management of severe forms of lifestyle diseases and to a some extent- their treatment. Homoeopathy is a holistic science which takes an individualistic approach to treat a patient. High quality medicines if used judiciously i.e on the basis of law of similia can effect cure or effectively manage the presenting complaints of the patient ( depending upon the case being treated) in the most gentle manner. Homoeopathic medicines are prepared from varied sources like plant kingdom, animal kingdom, minerals and energy sources and work in accordance with the nature thus posing no harm (side effects) to the patient. A number of lifestyle diseases are being treated solely with homoeopathy and others with homoeopathy coupled with allopathy, Ayurveda, unani etc. Following are common lifestyle diseases frequently encountered in a homoeopath’s practice:-
Coronary Artery Disease
India ranks number one in the prevalence of heart diseases. Major symptoms include- an increased heartbeat, restlessness and fatigue, pain in neck which may radiate down the arm, shortness of breath, nausea, pain in legs and swelling in ankles. Homoeopathic medicines for coronary artery diseases include Digitalis, Iberis amara, Gelsimium, Aurum metallicum, Adonis vernalis, Amyl nitrosum, Rauvolfia serpentina
Blood pressure is the measure of the perpendicular pressure exerted by a column of blood on the wall of an artery. It is considered high when the systolic pressure rises beyond 120mmhg and diastolic rises above 80mmhg. Chronic hypertension is often asymptomatic but acute rise in blood pressure may cause headaches, vertigo, fatigue and photophobia or other visual disturbances. A persistent high blood pressure may lead to renal failure in the long run. Homoeopathy helps controlling hypertension when used in combination with allopathic antihypertensives. Medicines commonly prescribed are- Rauvolfia serpentine, Belladonna, Baryta muriaticum, Natrium muriaticum, Carduus mar
Symptoms like low mood, frequent mood swings and aversion to work, fatigue, weight gain or loss beyond normal range, somnambulism, drowsiness, difficulty in concentration, loss of appetite, negative and suicidal thoughts and apathy are collectively placed under this term. Homoeopathic treatment is done with medicines like Ignatia amara, Passiflora, Gelsimium, Pulsatilla, Natrium muriaticum,
Both insulin dependent and non insulin dependent as well as gestational diabetes can be effectively managed with homoeopathic medicines like cephalandra indica, syzygium jambolanum, gymnema sylvestre, abroma augusta, prunus spinosa, Cina maritima, Equesetum hymnale
A BMI ranging between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. Beyond 30 the patient can be conveniently categorized as Obese. Obesity may be an aftereffect of certain steroids, certain genetic conditions like Cushings syndrome, endocrinal ailments like hypothyroidism and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Medicines most frequently used in homoeopathy to treat obesity depend upon the cause of the disease. They include Calcarea carbonica, Fucus vesiculosis, Chimaphila, Silicea, Thyroidinum, Oophorinum,
Both osteoarthritis (normal wear and tear of joint cartilage) and rheumatoid arthritis ( inflammation of joints caused by body’s own immune system) can be dealt with effectively in homoeopathy. Both these conditions show phases of relapse and remission which can be managed with homoeopathic medicines like Rhus toxicodendron, Rhododendron, Actea spicata, Angustura vera, Phytolacca, Bryonia alba, Ruta graveolens, Formica rufa. However, homoeopathy in these cases is only effective if the patient has not been put on HCQS and has not developed deformities yet.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
One of the major causes of secondary infertility in women is PCOD. Frequently used homoepathic medicines in such cases include Pulsatilla, Syphilinum, Thuja, Lycopodium, OOphorinum, Apis mellifica
Lifestyle diseases are a major cause of morbidity in India and are on the rise of late. The scenario needs focus so that lifestyle diseases do not become an epidemic. Homoeopathy offers a gentle solution to this problem though besides medicines, a general awareness about healthy lifestyle and the ability to differentiate the daily habits which would foster health from those which would cause sickness in the long run need to be imparted to people.