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Archive for the ‘Other Diseases’ Category

Dermatitis

In Other Diseases on December 7, 2007 at 2:25 am

Dermatitis refers to an inflammation of the skin, both external and internal. It is characterised by redness, swelling, heat and pain or itching. Any part of the body may be affected by this disease.

The genital areas and the exposed areas such as the eyelids, forearms, face and neck are more prone to it.

The cells of the epidermis ( the surface layer of the skin ) are normally protected from damage by the tightly packed squamae of keratin of the horny layer. The elasticity of keratin varies with its water content. This water content can be reduced by evaporation or by removal of the lipid with which it retains moisture. Substances which produce inflammation of the epidermis or dermatitis by mechanical or chemical disruption of the horny layer are called irritants.

Degreasing agents like soaps, if used too frequently over a short time, will cause dryness, redness, fissuring and irritation of the skin in almost everyone.

Symptoms

The appearance of dermatitis varies according to its severity and the stage of its evolution. The first symptom is erythema or redness. This is usually followed by swelling of the skin due to oedema ( excessive fluid retention ). Vesicle may appear thereafter .In case of their rupture, their bases exude serum. This condition is known as weeping dermatitis. Later, the serum dries up to form crusts. IN some people the disease seems to come and go without any great change in the skin itself.

Causes                  

Chemical substances usually give rise to dermatitis. They may reach the skin from outside or from inside through the blood-stream. About 100 different plants are known to be capable of causing dermatitis in susuceptible persons. The onset is usually acute and begins an hour or two after contact. Dermatitis may be caused by external contact with mineral irritants. This includes most cases of industrial dermatitis which arise on the hands or forearms which actually come in contact with the irritant.

Certain drugs applied externally such as atropine, belladona, carbolic acid, iodine, mercury, penicillin, sulphonamides, sulphurs, tars and turpentine sometimes cause dermatitis. Other substances causing this disease include hair dyes, bleaches, skin tonics, nail polish, perfume, wool , silk, nylon, floor-wax and various detergents. Other causes of this disease are indiscretion in diet, deficiency of vitamin A and pantothenic acid , and nervous and emotional stress.

Treatment

As dermatitis may appear due to varied causes, treatment also varies accordingly. If, however, the trouble is constitutional arising from internal causes, the patient should commence the treatment by adopting an all-fruit diet for at least a week. In this regimen, he should take three meals a day of juicy fruits such as orange, grapes, apple, pineapple and papaya at five hourly intervals.

After an exclusive fruit diet, patient may adopt a restricted diet for ten days. In this regimen, breakfast may consist of orange juice or grapefruit. Raw salad, consisting of vegetables available in season, with raisins, figs or dates may be taken for lunch and dinner may consist of steamed vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, carrots, turnips, cauliflower, along with a few nuts or fresh fruit. Mild puddings and desserts such as jellies, jams and pastries, all condiments, spices, white sugar, and white flour and products made from them, tea, coffee and other stimulating drinks should all be avoided.

After the restricted diet, the patient should gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. The emphasis should be on fresh fruits and raw vegetables. IN case of a severe condition, the patient should undertake a fast on fruit or vegetable juices for three to five days. This may be followed by a restricted diet for ten to fifteen days. Further fasts and a period on restricted diet at intervals may be adopted after the resumption of a normal diet.

The warm water enema should be used daily to cleanse the bowels during the first week of treatment and thereafter as necessary. Epsom-salts baths may be taken two or three times a week. The affected areas may also be bathed twice daily in hot water with Epsom salts. About 100 grams of Epsom salts should be added to a bowlful of hot water for this purpose. A little olive oil should be applied after Epsom-salt bathing.

The patient should avoid white sugar, refined carbohydrates, tea, coffee, and other denatured foods. He should make liberal use of fruits and vegetable juices. The combined juice from apple,

carrot and celery is especially beneficial in the treatment of dermatitis. About 175 ml. each of these juices should be mixed to prepare 525 ml. of combined juice.

No medicines of any kind should be used. In case of trouble due to external causes, the most effective treatment consists of applying a mixture of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda ) and olive oil. The alkaline sodium neutralises the poisonous acids formed in the sores and oil keeps the flesh in a softened condition.

The patient should undertake moderate physical exercise, preferably simple yoga asanas after the fast is completed and the start of the restricted diet. Exercise is one of the most valuable means for purifying the blood and for preventing toxaemia. The patient should also have

adequate physical and mental rest and fresh air. He should avoid exposure to cold, and adopt regular hours of eating sleeping.

Cystitis

In Other Diseases on December 6, 2007 at 5:37 am

The term ‘Cystitis’ refers to ‘inflammation of the bladder’. It is a most common complaint in women. Escherichia coli infections are considered the primary culprit in cystitis. The female anatomy makes it more convenient for e.coli bacteria, which normally inhabit the colon., to travel from the rectum to the vagina, up the urethra and into the bladder. This condition is rarely dangerous but it is generally a forerunner to more serious troubles. The reoccurrence of cystitis may in some cases be associated with kidney troubles.

The kidney and bladder are the principal strikers in the urinary system. The kidneys are situated on the back of the abdomen, one on each side of the spine at about the level of the lowest rib.

The bladder is situated in the lower abdomen, in the pelvis. The body is relieved of the greater part of the waste matter, resulting from the complex working of the whole body’s vital processes by means of these two organs.

Symptoms

Cystitis is characterised by symptoms which may cause great discomfort. The patient complains of frequency and burning on urination as well as an almost continual urge to void. There may be a feeling of pain in the pelvis and lower abdomen. The urine may become thick, dark and stingy.

It may have an unpleasant smell and may contain blood or pus. The ‘scalding’ sensation on passing urine indicates that the inflammation has spread to the urethra. Some pain in the lower back may also be felt in certain cases. In an acute stage there may be a rise in body temperature. In the chronic form of cystitis, the symptoms are similar but generally less several and without the rise in temperature. The persistence of the chronic form of the disease indicates a process of deterioration, almost invariably due to wrong treatment of the acute form by suppressive drugs.

Causes

Cystitis may result from infections in other parts adjacent to the bladder such as the kidneys, the urethra, and the vagina. Local irritation and inflammation of the bladder may be caused if urine is retained there for an unduly long time. It may also result from severe constipation.

Continual draining of pus and germs from an infected kidney may injure the epithelial lining of the bladder. Trouble may also arise from the presence of a stone in either bladder or kidney.

Childbirth injuries and major surgical procedures within the pelvis may also lower the resistance of the bladder-wall and predispose to the development of the cystitis. There is also the problem of new brides who sometimes suffer from so-called honeymoon cystitis. The bladder wall may become swollen and ulcerated so that the bladder cannot hold the normal amount of urine.

Germs may then find their way into the bladder and bring about chemical changes in the urine.

Calcium or lime may thus be deposited in the walls of the bladder, increasing the patient’s discomfort.

Treatment

At the onset of acute cystitis, it is essential to withhold all solid food immediately. If there is fever,

the patient should fast either on water or tender coconut water for three or four days. If there is

no fever, raw vegetable juices, especially carrot juice diluted with water, should be taken every

two or three hours. By so doing the biochemical energy needed for digestion and metabolism of

food is diverted to the process of eliminating toxins and promoting healing and repair. It is

advisable to rest and keep warm at this time.

Pain can be relieved by immersing the pelvis in hot water or alternatively by applying heat to the abdomen, using a towel wrung out in hot water, covering it with dry towel to retain warmth. Care should be taken to avoid scalding. A little vegetable oil gently rubbed into the skin , will avoid too much reddening. This treatment may be continued for three or four days, by which time the inflammation should have subsided and the temperature returned to normal.

For the next two or three days, only ripe sub-acid fruits may be taken three or four times daily.

These fruits may include grapes, pears, peaches,apples, and melon, as available.

While the hot compresses are intended to relieve pain, the use of cold water compresses to the abdomen is most valuable, if correctly applied, in relieving pelvic congestion and increasing the activity of the skin. Care should, however, be taken to ensure that compresses do not cause chilling.

After the all-fruit diet, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. The patient should avoid refined carbohydrates and salt, both at table and in cooking. Salt disturbs the balance of electrolytes and tends to raise blood pressure, which is frequently already raised in kidney troubles.

The prescribed dietary should exclude meat, fish and poultry. They produce uric acid. Most cases of food poisoning and infections, which may lead to gastritis and colitis, are also caused by the flesh foods.

In case of chronic cystitis, the patient should commence the treatment of strict adherence to the dietary programme, designed to cleanse the blood and other tissues and at the same time provide a rich source of natural vitamins and minerals in balanced proportions. The patient may adopt the following restricted diet for seven to ten days.

Upon arising : A glass of unsweetened apple juice or carrot juice

Breakfast : Fresh fruits, selected mainly from apple, pear, grapes, melon, peach and pineapple and a glass of buttermilk, sweetened with a little honey.

Mid-morning : Tender coconut water.

Lunch : A salad of raw vegetables such as carrot, beetroot and cabbage, mixed with curd and a tablespoon of honey. This may be followed by a ripe apple.

Mid-afternoon : One cup of unsweetened grape juice.

Dinner : A salad of green leafy vegetables and a fresh fruit, preferably a portion of melon sweetened with a teaspoon of honey.

Before retiring : One glass of mixed raw carrot and beetroot juice.

After the restricted diet, the patient should gradually embark on a well-balanced diet , consisting of seed, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. Even after the recovery from the chronic condition, it will be advisable for the individual to live exclusively on vegetables or on tender coconut water or raw vegetable juices for a day or two, every month. The water treatment and other health building methods should , however, be continued to the greatest extent possible, so that the patient may stay cured.

Sore Throat

In Other Diseases on December 6, 2007 at 5:36 am

Sore throat refers to the inflammation of the pharynx, or back of the throat. It occurs frequently when a person has a cold or an attack of influenza. This inflammation may also involve the tonsils and adenoids if these have not already been removed. An irritating condition of the throat may range from the harmless to the potentially serious.

Symptoms

In case of acute sore throat, the patient complains burning and dryness in the throat followed by chills, fever and some hoarseness or laryngitis. The lymph glands along the sides of the neck may become swollen and tender. The back of the throat may become very red and even covered with a greyish-white membrane. The patient may find difficulty in swallowing, especially during the acute stage. There may also be postnasal discharge if the irritation has spread to the nasal passages. The patient with sore throat, caused by ‘ Streptoccal’ germs suffers from high fever and sharp pain with swelling.

Causes                        

Sore throat is mainly caused by bacteria or a viral infection. Many different kind of ailments can give rise to this condition. The most common of these ailments are common cold and influenza.

Other diseases which can cause sore throat are tonsillitis, mumps, sinusitis, measles, and diphtheria. Even leukemia on rare occasions may lead to sore throat. Other causes of this disease are excessive smoking and talking, frequent use of voice as in certain professions like singing, acting and teaching.

Treatment

The patient suffering from sore throat should fast on orange juice and water for three to five days, depending on the severity of the condition. He should take orange juice diluted with warm water every two or three hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during this period. The bowels should be cleansed daily with warm water enema. This should be done twice daily in more serious cases.

A wet pack should be applied to the throat at two-hourly intervals during the day, and also one at night. The procedure is to wring out some linen material in cold water, wrap two or three times round the effected part, and cover with some flanner. The throat may be gargled several times with warm water mixed with a little salt. A hot Epsom-salt bath , taken daily during this period, will be highly beneficial.

When the more severe symptoms subside,the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for three or four further days, taking three meals a day of juicy fruits such as orange, apple, pineapple and papaya at five-hourly intervals. Thereafter he may gradually adopt a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on seeds, nuts and grains, raw vegetables and fresh fruits. The daily dry friction and deep breathing and other exercises should form part of the daily health regimen.

Home Remedies

Certain home remedies have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of sore throat. One such remedy is use of mango ( aam) bark which is very efficacious in sore throat and other throat disorders. Its fluid can be applied locally with beneficial results. It can also be used as a throat gargle. This gargle is treated by mixing 10 ml. of the fluid extract with 125 ml. of water.

The herb belleric myrobian ( bahera) is another valuable remedy for sore throat. A mixture of the pulp of the fruit, salt, long pepper (pipli) and honey should be administered in the treatment of this condition. The fried fruit, roasted after covering it with a wheat flour, is also a popular remedy for sore throat.

Betel leaves (pan – ka -patta) have proved beneficial in the treatment ofthis disease. The leaves should be applied locally for obtaining relief. The fruit of the betel tree, mixed with honey, can also be taken beneficially to relieve irritating throat cough.

The bishop’s weed (ajowan) is valuable in treating sore throat. An infusion of the seeds mixed with common salt can be used beneficially as a gargle in acute condition caused by colds. The spice cinnamon (dalchini) is also regarded as an effective remedy for sore throat, resulting from cold. Coarsely powdered and boiled in a glass of water with a pinch of pepper powder and honey, it can be taken as a medicine in the treatment of this condition. The oil of cinnamon, mixed with honey, also gives immense relief. A gargle prepared from fenugreek (methi) seeds has been found very effective remedy for treating sore throat. To prepare this gargle, two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be put in a litre of cold water and allowed to simmer for half an hour over a low flame. It should be allowed to cool to a bearable temperature. It should then be strained and entire quantity used as a gargle.

The leaves of the holy basil ( tulsi) have also been found beneficial in the treatment of this condition. The water boiled with basil leaves should be taken as a drink and also used as a gargle in sore throat.

The patient should avoid rapid changes in temperature like hot sun-shine to air conditioned rooms. He should avoid cold and sore foods which may irritate his throat. To prevent the disease, a person should avoid touching tissues, handkerchief, towels or utensils used by the patients suffering from sore throat.

Pneumonia

In Other Diseases on December 6, 2007 at 5:35 am

Pneumonia refers to the acute inflammation of the lungs. It is one of the most serious infectious disease. There are basically two types of penumonia, called lobar pneumonia and bronchopneumonia

They, however, run into each other and are treated in the same way. The disease becomes more seroious if both the lungs are affected. It is called double pneumonia in common parlance.

Symptoms

Most cases of pneumonia begin with a cold in the head or throat. The patient generally feels chill, shivering, difficulty in breathing and sharp pain in the chest. This may be followed by a cough with pinkish sputum which may later become brownish. The patient usually suffers from fever and headache. In more serious cases of pneumonia, the sputum may be of rusty colour. In your children, the disease may cause delirum and convulsions. Most patients feel very miserable and sweat profusely. The temperature may rise to 105 o F and pulse may go upto 150 beats per minutes. A common complication of all kinds of pneumonia is pleurisy.

Causes

Pneumonia is caused by various types of germs such as streptococus, staphyloccus and pneunococcus variety. At times, certain viruses are also responsible for the disease. Other causes of diseases are fungal infection, irritation by worms, inhaling foreign matter, irritant dust or noxious gases and vapours such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide or cadmium.

The real cause of pneumonia , however, is the toxic condition of the body, especially of the lungs and air passages, resulting from wrong feeding and faulty life style. Persons with healthy tissues and strong vital force are unlikely to catch pneumonia. It is only when the system is clogged with the toxic matter and the vitality is low that the germs of pneumonia invade a person.

Treatment

To begin with, the patient should be kept on a diet of raw juices for five to ten days, depending

on the severity of the disease. In this regimen he should take a glass of fruit or vegetable juice

diluted with warm water every two or three hours. Fruits such as orange, mosambi, apple, pineapple and grapes and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes may be used for juices.

After a diet of raw juices, when the fever subsides, the patient should three or four further days on an exclusive fresh fruit diet, taking three meals a day of juicy fruits such as apple, grapes, pineapple, mangoes, orange, lemon and papaya. Thereafter, he may gradually adopt a well-balanced diet of natural foods consisting of foods , seeds, and grains, vegetables and fruits with emphasis on fresh fruits and raw vegetables. The patients should be given warm warm enema daily to cleanse the bowel during the period of raw juice therapy and all fruit diet and thereafter, when necessary.

The patient should avoid strong tea, coffee , refined foods, fried foods, white sugar, white flour and all products made from them, condiments and pickles. He should also avoid all meats as well as alcoholic beverages and smoking.

To reduce temperature naturally, during the course of the fever, the procedure outlined in the chapter on malaria may be followed. Sipping of cold water has also been found beneficial in the treatment of pneumonia. The patient should sip cold water at short intervals so long as the fever continues. The cold water is cooling to the feverish blood.

Home Remedies

Certain home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of pneumonia. During the early acute stage of this disease, a herbal tea made from fenugreek seeds will help the body to produce perspiration, dispel toxicity and shorten the period of fever. In can be taken upto four cups daily. The quantity should be reduced as condition improves. To improve flavour, a few drops of lemon juice can be used. During this treatment, no other food or nourishment should be taken as fasting and fenugreek will allow the body to correct these respiratory problems in a few days.

According to Dr. F.W. Crosman, an eminent physician, garlic is a marvellous remedy for pneumonia, if given in sufficient quantities. This physician used garlic for many years in pneumonia, and said that in no instance did it fail to bring down the temperature as well as the pulse and respiration within 48 hours. Garlic juice can also be applied externally to the chest with beneficial results as it is an irritant and rubefacient.

Sesame seeds ( til ) are valuable in pneumonia . An infusion of the seeds, mixed with a tablespoon of linseed,a pinch of common salt and a desert spoon of honey, should be given in the treatment of this disease. This will help remove catarrhal matter and phelgm from the bronchial-tubes.

The pain of pneumonia can be relieved by rubbing oil of turpentine over the rib cage and wrapping warmed cotton wool over it.

Pleurisy

In Other Diseases on December 6, 2007 at 5:35 am

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, a serous membrane which envelopes the lungs and also lines the inside of the chest. It may be acute or chronic, and mild or severe, the disease may be limited to one side of the chest or it may include both the sides.

This disease can attack people of all ages, from children right through to the very elderly. Like any other viral infection, pleurisy can occur in small epidemics.

The membranes that cover the lung are called pleura. The outer membrane, known as partial pleura, is applied to the inner wall of the thorax, and the inner membrane, known as the visceral pleura, covers the substance of the lungs. There is a capillary space between the two membranes which is filled with fluid. This fluid enables the lung s to move freely in the chest.

The parietal membrane is reflected from the chest wall to cover the upper surface of the diaphragm, and in the midline, it covers the mediastinum, the partition which seperates the two sides of the chest and contains the heart, great vessels and other structures which run through the thorax.

Symptoms

The onset of pleurisy is generally marked by a sharp and stabbing pain, which may be felt in any part of the chest wall or over the diaphragm. Deep breathing or coughing increases the pain. IN many cases, the diseases begins with a chill, followed by congestion of the pleura and later by fever. The degree of the fever determines the severity of the disease. The inflammation destroys

the tissues and chokes the circulation within the tissues. Breathing becomes difficult due to the clogging of the circulation, and by pain and swelling within the chest. Later a liquid effusion escapes from the pleura, filling the open spaces in the chest cavity till the effect of the distension becomes oppressive. After absorption takes place or after the drainage of the effusion, the pressure is lowered, the pain is reduced and the patient feels relieved. It is sometimes dry pleurisy, a form where there is little or no effusion or the effusion may be circumscribed. The effusion may become gangrenous, or become mixed with blood, or be of a dirty brown colour with an offensive odour, leading to much suffering.

Causes

The most common among the immediate causes of pleurisy is that of ‘catching cold ‘ followed by

congestion and swelling of the pleural membrane. It is a disease that is not caused by germs.

There will be germs of putrefaction later in the ooze of serum from the tissue . The disease may

be a complication of pneumonia, or pneumonia may be a complication of pleurisy. In a few cases , the diseases may also occur in rheumatic fever , uraemia and other conditions.

Treatment

At the first sign of pleurisy, the patient should observe a complete fast, abstaining from all liquid and solid foods. Nothing should be taken except plain water, hot or cold, as desired. Water may have bad taste, but at least three or four glasses should be taken daily for the first few days. The quantity of water should be gradually increased to five or six or more glasses each day. It would be helpful if during this period of fasting , a full hot enema is also taken once daily.

A hot chest pack should be applied two or three times a day allowing it to remain for an hour or so each time. If the fever becomes high, the packs may be changed to cold ones. If, however, the reaction is not prompt and complete, it would be advisable to use the hot packs.

Heat is always helpful for relieving the sharp pain associated with pleurisy. This should be applied for half an hour twice daily. The patient should practice deep breathing during this period. Adequate rest and abundance of fresh air are essential.

In cases of dry pleurisy, further relief from pain can be obtained by strapping the chest. Heat is not used when the tapping is employed. A neutral immersion bath at 100 F for one hour daily has also been found beneficial in the treatment of pleurisy.

After the acute symptoms have subsided, the patient may adopt a milk diet. IN this regimen, he

should take 250 ml.of milk every two hours on the first day, every 1 1/2 hour on the second day, every hour on the third day and every three-quarters of an hour on the fourth day and onwards.

The quantity of milk should not exceed four litres daily. The patient may also take one orange daily along with the milk diet.

As soon as the patient has gained slightly in strength, he should undertake moderate exercise as a routine, avoiding fatigue. Air bath, sun bath and dry friction bath are of particular importance. If there is any particular disease, present along with the pleurisy whether as a causative or as a complicating condition, the same should also be given appropriate attention.

Chronic pleurisy should be treated in the same manner as to the diet and the application of heat.

All efforts should be made to increase the vitality, reduce toaxemia, and restore normal freedom of chest movements. Several short fasts, at regular intervals, followed by milk diet may be necessary depending on the progress for complete recovery.