Respiratory system

ASTHMA
Allergies
Sinusitis
Nasal polyps
Tonsillitis
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder)
Frequent Colds
Bronchitis

 ASTHMA Top

Asthma is a chronic condition involving the respiratory system in which the airway occasionally constricts and becomes inflamed, with excessive amounts of mucus collecting in the air passages. An acute episode is the attack of wheezing, cough and breathlessness.
With the level of pollution, dust, pollens and smoke in the cities asthma i s one of the most common respiratory conditions in the cities today. Homeopathy addresses the immunity and improves resistance to disease, making Homeopathy the most effective treatment to cure asthma.

Causes:
A family history of asthma, allergies or tuberculosis may be a causative factor. Low immunity and frequent respiratory infections is one of the major causative factors for repeated infections that could lead to asthma.

Triggering factors:
In children, Asthma may be precipitated after the suppression of a skin disease like eczema that has been treated by a steroid, or where recurrent respiratory infections have been treated with repeated strong medication.

Dust mites, smoke, cockroaches, cats and dog’s fur, certain foods, cold drinks, respiratory infections, changes in weather and exercise are also triggers of asthma

Symptoms:
• Cough, wheezing and mucous production are the main symptoms of asthma.
• Wheezing usually begins suddenly and comes in episodes which may be worse at night or in the early morning; and gets worse with cold air and physical activity
• Cough with or without sputum (phlegm) production
Symptoms during a severe acute attack- Extreme difficulty in breathing; Severe anxiety due to shortness of breath; Decreased level of alertness.

General measures:
• The cleaning of the house or the surroundings should be done by wet mopping rather than sweeping, wherever possible. This avoids the generation of allergen aerosols which could act as a triggering factor.
• Steaming with plain warm water daily acts as a preventive. In dry climates, keep an open vessel of water in the room at night. This improves the moisture levels and decreases the bronchial irritation.
• Common food allergens that tend to trigger an asthma attack include eggs, fish, shellfish, milk, chocolate, food preservatives and coloring.
• Foods that tend to produce mucous are milk and diary products, rice, fried food and fats are best avoided.
• Ginger juice mixed with fenugreek decoction and honey helps in reducing the mucous.
• Dinner should preferably be finished at least three hours before bedtime, as lying down immediately after eating can cause irritation of the respiratory tract and precipitate an attack.
• Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke.
• Avoid close contact with pets, as animal dander is a trigger to asthma.

Homeopathic Treatment:
Adult and Children recover very well with short term Homeopathic medication, and the use of inhalers can be totally avoided. The treatment also effectively addresses the appetite and growth issues in asthmatic patient.
Immunity based constitutional treatment can reduce and cure the tendency to attacks of asthma. This combined with medication to strengthen the respiratory system, can show very significant improvement within a short period of time.

 
Allergies Top
Allergy is caused by an oversensitive immune system, which leads to a misdirected immune response. The immune system normally protects the body against harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses. Histamine and its related substances are responsible for mediating the allergic response and causing the characteristic symptoms of allergy, by reacting to substances or allergens that are generally harmless and in most people do not cause a problem.

Causes
Generally allergies can be classified as seasonal allergies and perennial allergies.
Seasonal allergies occur during certain seasons of the year. They are caused by inhaling microscopic particles in the air and substances like pollen released by plants, grasses and weeds.

Perennial allergies occur throughout the year. They occur due to mould, fungi and dust found indoors also by fur from cats and dogs and other pets.

Identifying the specific allergen- or the substance which triggers the allergy is of help in certain cases, where the substance can be avoided. In most cases though, the substance is a part of the air and the general environment, and are unavoidable without major changes in lifestyle, like moving out of a city to a different place. Specific allergens can be pollen, dust mites, animal fur/hair- from dogs or cats. Cigarette smoke is another big trigger. Strong smell of perfume, or flowers; smoke from agarbathis or crackers; and paint or turpentine are strong triggers.

Allergies are also generally worse in dry cold climates, and are typically better in humid or coastal climates. With low humidity, the constant dryness can lead to chronic respiratory conditions. Added to this the increasing pollution and dust in most cities only aggravates the condition.

Allergies- the symptoms
This may be typically allergic rhinitis, or allergic bronchitis.
• Frequent and continuous sneezing
• Watery nasal discharge
• Nasal obstruction or block
• Itching and watering of the eyes
• Swelling of eyelids
• Loss of sense of smell
• Throat irritation and dryness, with constant clearing of the throat
• Dark rings around the eyes
• Dry cough with wheezing
• These symptoms may be accompanied by Fatigue, sleeplessness and headaches.
When left untreated, the local irritation to the respiratory system, can lead to chronic conditions like nasal polyps, chronic bronchitis and asthma.

Home remedies
- Gargle with warm- hot water. Even if there is no throat irritation, the steam that rises up from the throat while gargling, will help with the nose irritation and nose block.
Steam inhalation every night at bedtime, will clear the nose block. This when done regularly, will help cut down on the use of inhalers.

- Drink a glass of warm water first thing in the morning and at bedtime. Have a good water intake through the day.

- At night, keep an open vessel or bowl of hot water close to where you sleep. The moisture level in the room will combat the excess dryness and the resultant irritation.

- Eat a citrus fruit (oranges, sweet lime etc.) or drink its fresh juice daily. The vitamin C in citrus fruits is very good for this condition. Adding a few grains of pepper and salt to the juice will prevent it from affecting the throat.

- Make a decoction of pepper with ginger and turmeric, and drink once a day.

- Practicing pranayama can provide good relief. It will help prevent nasal blocks. Regular and continued practice is curative to the condition. Even simple deep breathing techniques can improve the oxygenation of the blood, and bring down the fatigue associated with the allergies.

- Regular exercise routine can help the respiratory system strengthen and the immunity to improve.

Homeopathic treatment
Homeopathic medicines are the one effective cure for allergies, where the abnormal immune reactions are brought down, and the over reaction or the allergic reactions to normal substances are reduced.

The immunity treatment is done for a few months, where the problem is chronic. When the immunity is

 
Sinusitis Top

Sinusitis is an infection of the para nasal sinuses that occurs due to obstruction or bacterial growth.
Acute sinusitis is the most common form. It lasts no longer than eight weeks or occurs less than four times a year with each attack lasting no longer than 10 days. Acute sinusitis can be successfully treated with medications, leaving no residual damage to the mucous linings.
Chronic sinusitis lasts for eight weeks or longer or occurs more than four times a year with symptoms persisting for more than 20 days. Chronic sinusitis can be long term conditions, affecting the lifestyle, and hampering everyday activity.

Causes
The cause for chronic sinusitis is sometimes unclear. Stress and exposure to cold wind can also cause the chronic inflammation. Bacteria are the most common cause of acute sinusitis, and a pre existing lowered general immunity. Structural abnormalities, like a deviated nasal septum, can lead to a chronic sinusitis.

Symptoms
• Congestion and obstruction of the nose.
• There may be a thick yellow or greenish mucous discharge from the nose.
• There is persistent heaviness of the head through the day.
• Headache in the forehead and temples which can be severe. The headache associated with sinusitis can be severe and mistaken for migraine headaches.
• Pain is generally worse in the mornings and gets worse on bending the head.
• Postnasal drip, which can cause repeated throat clearing.
• Facial tenderness or pain may be present. This is due to inflammation of the frontal sinuses which usually results in a dull, constant ache. The face may also look swollen or puffy.
• Bad breath, loss of sense of smell, or a constant bad smell internally
• Symptoms can be worse during winters or in the rainy season with relief during the summers. Direct exposure to an AC can also worsen the symptoms.

General care
Drink plenty of fluids. Water is the best fluid and helps lubricate the mucous membranes.

Avoid direct exposure to the cold wind; especially while traveling or in a vehicle, and cover the head and ears adequately.

A concoction of pepper, ginger and turmeric can help relieve the congestion of the sinuses. Hot beverages have similar soothing effects from steam. Hot soups, tea with honey and lemon can be helpful.

Inhale plain steam two to four times a day, it relieves the congestion, bringing out the mucous from the sinuses. This relieves the headache associated with the sinusitis.

Gargling with warm water or washing the face with hot water can also relieve the symptoms.

Deep breathing and pranayama can help bring the chronic condition down, by improving the air flow and preventing the congestion.

Homeopathy
Homeopathic treatment cures the problem. The acute attacks are managed with the acute medicines in Homeopathy; this unclogs the congestion of the sinuses, and brings the infection down, reducing the pain and discharge.
The constitutional medication is used to cure the chronic condition. Within few courses of treatment, there is a reduction in the frequency and intensity of the sinusitis. The chronic headache related to the sinusitis is very well cured by the Homeopathic medicines.

 
Nasal polyps Top

They are pale, swollen, mucosal covered masses commonly seen in patients with allergic rhinitis within the nose. They are freely moveable and non-tender. They may result in chronic nasal block and a loss of sense of smell.

Symptoms:
• Discharge from the nose
• Nose block constantly
• Mouth breathing
• Loss of smell (Anosmia)
• Secondary infection leading to headache and Sinusitis
• A grayish grape-like growth is seen in the nasal cavity

Causes:
Asthma; Chronic sinus infections; Hay fever (allergic rhinitis); cystic fibrosis
Homoeopathic treatment:
Homoeopathic medicines very effectively treat nasal polyps.

Homoeopathic medicines can control and prevent the recurrence of such a condition. It is seen that even after a surgical removal of the nasal polyps there are 70% chances of recurrence. Even in cases where surgery is already done, homoeopathy helps in preventing the recurrence.

 

 
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) Top

It is a condition wherein there is a complex of diseases which give rise to airway obstruction or difficulty in breathing. The complex of diseases in this condition is made up of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Causes
• Cigarette smoking or passive smoking
• Occupational dusts and chemicals
• Outdoor air pollution
• Frequent infections and Allergies
• hereditary factors

Symptoms

It mostly affects the age group of 50 to 60 yrs
• Excessive and continuous cough
• Sputum production
• Shortness of breath
• Difficulty in breathing is seen initially only on heavy exertion, later as the disease progresses even in mild activity breathing becomes difficult.
• There might be pinkish or bluish discoloration of face
• The main sign is the recurrence and increase in the intensity of symptoms as the condition progresses

General measures
It is largely preventable through elimination of long-term exposure to tobacco smoke or pollution. Smoking an be slowly reduced if possible stopped

Homoeopathic treatment
Since this is a chronic condition it has very good treatment in homoeopathy.
A detailed case history is taken after which the treatment is started with a regular follow up.
Follow up has to be regular so as to fully recover from this condition. After the treatment is started the cough will be better and the immunity is made strong. The duration of treatment will depend on the intensity of the condition

 
Frequent Colds Top

Definition:
Frequent cold which includes allergic cold, viral cold, etc. is a major cause of human discomfort and loss of human hours in the world. Colds being the most common of the ailments that the humanity suffers from, it is called common cold!

Remarks:
Never dangerous per se, common colds cause physical discomfort with annoying symptoms such as running of the nose, blocked nose, throat irritation, fever, congestive headache, etc. with a tendency to develop chest congestion in those who are prone to it. Exposure to cold temperate, cold drinks-food, etc are known to precipitate the cold by lowering the temperature of the respiratory passage, encouraging the virus and bacteria to grow. Viruses of different strains are the major cause. Allergic cold may be due to pollen, dust, hay, etc. It is the body tendency and sensitivity that makes one prone to frequent colds of any nature. In that sense, common cold is not a local disease of the nose but that of the whole system, the immunological system.

Suggestion about homeopathic treatment:
Homeopathic treatment is extremely effective to treat frequent attacks of colds in all age groups. Homeopathy is very strongly suggested for all sorts of colds and coryza.

 
Bronchitis Top

Introduction:
Bronchitis simply means an inflammation of the bronchus, the windpipe. This is usually caused by infection (viral, bacterial, fungal, etc) or allergy or both. This condition is widely prevalent throughout the world and is a frequent cause of absenteeism from school and work.

Bronchitis seems to be slightly more common in women as compared to males though the difference is not significant. It is more common amongst the younger age-group as compared to the adult population.

Causes of bronchitis:
- Allergy (environmental and industrial pollutants, pollen, etc.)
- Tobacco
- Infections (viral, bacterial, fungus
- Immunological
- Exposure to temperature changes (extreme cold, change from cold to heat and vise versa, etc.)

Symptoms:
Cough is the most common symptom. The cough may be either dry (without mucus) or wet (with mucus), depending on the cause and severity. Allergic cough is often dry while infective cough has a tendency to have mucus production. The symptoms of Bronchitis may be listed as under:
* Cough (with or without mucus)
* Fever
* Chest pain,
* Difficulty in breathing. (dyspnea)
* Throat pain
* Nose congestion,
* Body ache, joint pain, tiredness (usually due to infection.) .

Acute, Recurrent and Chronic bronchitis:
A single episode of bronchitis which may resolve within less than three weeks may be called as an Acute Bronchitis.
If there is an underlying cause of lowered immunity, tendency to catch infection or if there are factors such as Smoking and environmental pollution; there may be a tendency to have Recurrent Bronchitis.

Those patients who have lowered immunity and / or are exposed to maintaining factors such as smoking, pollutants (pneumoconiosis, excessive alcohol consumption and exposure to cold and draught, etc.) may present with Chronic Bronchitis, whereby the patients may have symptoms of Bronchitis for long time, as long as two months to over years.

Homeopathic treatment:
Homeopathic treatment is very strongly suggested during for all forms and stages of Bronchitis.
Homeopathy has proven treatment which helps towards:
- Relieving nasty cough
- Controlling and treating the underlying tendency to catch cold and cough
- Improving immunity and general vitality
- Reducing the severity, frequency and duration in case of Recurrent bronchitis
- Helping allergic as well as infective cases of bronchitis

Homoeopathy is very strongly recommended for all stages and variants of bronchitis.

 
 
 
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