EFFICACY & SAFETY OF HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINES IN LIFESTYLE DISEASES (as published in NHI DIALOGUE- quarterly journal of National Heart Institute, Delhi)

Lifestyle diseases, also sometimes called diseases of longevity, were basically unknown in the 18th and 19th century because longevity was between 40-45 years. In today’s time when longevity has increased to above 70-75 years, these diseases have figured more prominently in day to day medical practice.

Along with this, small nuclear families, less space, less time, junk food and faulty diet, electronic gadgets have made the younger generation fall prey to diseases like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, vascular diseases etc. just like the old age group.

This proves that it is the susceptibility of the organism to the environmental factors which crosses the age barrier and affects them equally. The role of homoeopathy is therefore targeted at this susceptibility of the organism which weakens the functioning of the body in such a way that it reacts to the environment.

No two individuals react the same way to the same environment. There are subtle or gross differences in their clinical presentation and affection even though they may be suffering from the same disease. Homoeopathy considers this individual reaction to be of utmost importance and different medicines are used for different individuals suffering from the same disease. 

Homoeopathy believes in the existence of a regulatory force (vital force) which controls the day-to-day functioning of the body. The homoeopathic medicines are prepared and used in such a way that they regulate this vital force to correct the individual’s reaction to the environment.

Therefore this strengthening along with exercise, diet control specialized help like counselling and medical help is what is required for the patients suffering from lifestyle diseases. 

It is very important to understand that homoeopathy is helpful mostly when the suffering is at a functional level i.e. in the early stages. Once pathological changes set in it is very important to integrate with specialists and their medicines so that complications can be prevented.

Safety of homoeopathic medicines are assured. Their quality is strictly monitored under pharmacopoeia guidelines followed under strict government regulations.

The theory of potentization ensures that medicines are administered in such minute doses that side effects are minimized.

All medicines and treatment protocols are strictly monitored by homoeopathic physicians, registered under state boards and Central Council of Homoeopathy. It is thus important that OTC medicines be discouraged.

Efficacy of the medicines depend on the constitution of the patient as the underlying causes may act as an obstacle to cure. Sometimes due to advanced pathology or gross tissue damage, complete recovery may not be possible through homoeopathy alone. In such cases, patient must obey the specialist’s advice. It is also important that before starting the homoeopathic treatment, the homoeopath is careful that the medicines prescribed by specialists are not interfered with.