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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Homeopathy Approach to Epilepsy (seizure )

Homeopathy Approach to Epilepsy


Are you surviving an eternal fear of having an Epileptic seizure anytime, anywhere, dissuading you from appreciating a normal life, affecting your relationships, job, interfering with your recreational choices and freedom to drive, then Homeopathy is your answer. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can strike at any age when normal electrical activity of the brain is temporarily interrupted, stirring various mental & physical functions, resulting in seizures, that is, hysterical paroxysms of muscle twitching, along with changes in attention or behavior. Epilepsy is not elicited by mental illness or retardation, people with Epilepsy can have average or above average intelligence. Aberrant brain development, Illness, brain damage, or any other trigger that interrupts the normal pattern of neuron activity in the brain can lead to seizures either Epileptic or Non-epileptic. Epileptic seizures can vary in category depending on the part and size of the brain affected. Non-epileptic seizures are not recurrent and can be engendered by a drug reaction or withdrawal, toxicity, high fevers espcialy in children, stress, psychiatric conditions, pregnancy eclampsia, sudden rise in blood pressure, metabolic disturbances, electrolyte imbalances, etc. In this article, I will talk about Epileptic seizures.

many time patients walk in our clinic and ask about FIT OR Mirgii .

Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures (convulsions) over time. Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain activity that cause changes in attention or behavior.


Causes of Epilepsy:


Epilepsy occurs when permanent changes in brain tissue cause the brain to be too excitable or jumpy. The brain sends out abnormal signals. This results in repeated, unpredictable seizures. (A single seizure that does not happen again is not epilepsy.Epilepsy is a disorder with many possible causes. Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of neuron activity -- from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development -- can lead to seizures.The main causes of Epilepsy and resultant seizures include Meningitis, head injury or trauma, stroke, brain tumour, high fever (Febrile Seizure), and parasite infection Neuro-cysticercosis. The main triggering factors include light, noise, sleep loss, alcohol intake and cigarette smoking.
  • Unknown.
  • Family history of Seizures.
  • Congenital brain deformity due to prenatal injury if pregnant mother is malnourished, has an infection, abuses drugs, tobacco or alcohol.
  • Low oxygen levels to the brain as in stroke, drowning, heart attack, etc.
  • Structural brain impairment from head injury, stroke, brain disease, tumor, intracranial hemorrhage, etc.
  • Alzheimer’s disease, Liver disease, Autism, Cerebral palsy, Developmental and Metabolic disorders.
  • Infections like Encephalitis, Syphilis, Abscess, Meningitis etc.
  • Exposure to environmental toxins like lead, carbon monoxide, etc.
  • Abuse or withdrawal of certain drugs like anti depressants, alcohol, etc.
  • Stress.
Types of Epileptic Seizures:



 Epileptic seizures vary in intensity and symptoms depending on what part of the brain is involved. In partial seizures, the most common form of seizure in adults, only one area of the brain is involved. Partial seizures are classified as simple partial, complex partial (also known as psychomotor), and absence (also known as myoclonic or petit mal) seizures.
 Focal (Partial Seizure): When the seizures occur due to involvement of one area of brain, they are known as Focal Seizures. These are of two types: Simple Partial and Complex Partial. In Simple Partial cases, the person remains conscious, has a sudden emotional experience (feeling of joy, sadness, fear, sexual arousal), has hallucinations of hearing, taste, smell or vision, and there may also be an involuntary jerking of body parts. In Complex Partial Seizure, the person’s consciousness is altered or lost. The symptoms include staring, automatism (repeated rhythmic, purposeless movements) like eye blinking, hand rubbing, walking in circle, mouth movements, smacking movement of lips, picking at bed clothes. After a few minutes, consciousness is regained and the drowsy feeling may remain
People who have simple partial seizures may experience unusual sensations such as uncontrollable jerky motions of a body part, sight or hearing impairment, sudden sweating or flushing, nausea, and feelings of fear.
Complex partial seizures, also called temporal lobe epilepsy, last for only one or two minutes. The individual may appear to be in a trance and moves randomly with no control over body movements. The individual's activity does not cease during the seizure, but behavior is random and totally unrelated to the individual's surroundings. This form of seizure may be preceded by an aura (a warning sensation characterized by feelings of fear, abdominal discomfort, dizziness, or strange odors and sensations) Generalised Seizure: When all areas of brain are involved, then generalised seizures occur. These are of the following types:
Tonic Clonic (Grand Mal Seizures): The symptoms are loss of consciousness, and stiffness or rigidity of body with falling down. Respiration arrest and blueness of body also occur. This is followed by relaxation resulting in jerking of body. The jerking is followed by regaining of consciousness but confusion, impaired memory, headache and sleepiness. Loss of bladder control and tongue biting are common in these types of seizures. Aura precedes the attack. Aura is a subjective feeling experienced by a patient whereby he or she becomes aware that an attack is about to begin.
Tonic seizures: In these seizures, muscle stiffness mainly of back, arms and legs occurs.
Clonic seizures: These seizures cause muscle jerking.
Absence (Petit Mal/Minor Seizure): The symptoms are minor like mainly staring or just a slight tilt in head, and brief alteration of consciousness usually for seconds. There is no fall or muscle contraction. A person may have more than 20 episodes per day. It is common in childhood. The person gets normal without any confusion when the seizure is over.Absence seizures, rare in adults, are characterized by a sudden, momentary loss or impairment of consciousness. Overt symptoms are often as slight as an upward staring of the eyes, a staggering gait, or a twitching of the facial muscles. No aura occurs and the person often resumes activity without realizing that the seizure has occurred.

 In a second type of epilepsy, known as generalized seizure, tonic clonic, grand mal, or convulsion, the whole brain is involved. This type of seizure is often signaled by an involuntary scream, caused by contraction of the muscles that control breathing. As loss of consciousness sets in, the entire body is gripped by a jerking muscular contraction. The face reddens, breathing stops, and the back arches. Subsequently, alternate contractions and relaxations of the muscles throw the body into sometimes violent agitation such that the person may be subject to serious injury. After the convulsion subsides, the person is exhausted and may sleep heavily. Confusion, nausea, and sore muscles are often experienced upon awakening, and the individual may have no memory of the seizure. Attacks occur at varying intervals, in some people as seldom as once a year and in others as frequently as several times a day. About 8 percent of those subject to generalized seizures may have status epilepticus, in which seizures occur successively with no intervening periods of consciousness. These attacks may be fatal unless treated promptly with the drug diazepam.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from person to person. Some people may have simple staring spells, while others have violent shaking and loss of alertness. The type of seizure depends on the part of the brain affected and cause of epilepsySymptoms of Epilepsy:
  • Behavioral changes, aura or visual hallucinations before a seizure attack.
  • Wild, monotonous bodily movements.
  • Blackouts, disorientation and periods of unresponsiveness.
  • Sudden fear.
  • Tongue biting.
  • Speech arrest.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Loss of bladder and rectum control.
  • Aspiration Pneumonia.
  • Headache, muscular pains and temporary weakness post seizure.
  • Difficulty learning.
  • Poor self esteem, depression and suicidal thoughts.

 DIAGNOSIS
 • Obtaining authentic history from the patient and the witness
• Establishment of the cause
• Past medical history or family history
• Blood glucose both fasting and post-food
• CBC
• Calcium and phosphorus levels
• Imaging: CT scan, and MRI (also MRI angiography) is indicated to evaluate the structural changes in brain
• Electroencephalogram (EEG) is suggested for non conclusive status.
In persons suffering from epilepsy, the brain waves, electrical activity in the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, have a characteristically abnormal rhythm produced by excessive electrical discharges in the nerve cells. Because these wave patterns differ markedly according to their specific source, a recording of the brain waves, known as an electroencephalogram (EEG) is important in the diagnosis and study of the disorder. Diagnosis also requires a thorough medical history describing seizure characteristics and frequency
Epilepsy may develop because of an abnormality in brain wiring, an imbalance of nerve signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, or some combination of these factors. Researchers believe that some people with epilepsy have an abnormally high level of excitatory neurotransmitters that increase neuronal activity, while others have an abnormally low level of inhibitory neurotransmitters that decrease neuronal activity in the brain. Either situation can result in too much neuronal activity and cause epilepsy. One of the most-studied neurotransmitters that plays a role in epilepsy is GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Research on GABA has led to drugs that alter the amount of this neurotransmitter in the brain or change how the brain responds to it. Researchers also are studying excitatory neurotransmitters such as glutamate.

TREATMENT 

There is no cure for epilepsy but symptoms of the disorder may be treated with drugs, surgery, or a special diet. Drug therapy is the most common treatment-seizures can be prevented or their frequency lessened in 80 to 85 percent of cases by drugs known as anticonvulsants or antiepileptics. Surgery is used when drug treatments fail and the brain tissue causing the seizures is confined to one area and can safely be removed. A special high-fat diet known as a ketogenic diet produces a chemical condition in the body called ketosis that helps prevent seizures in young children. Like any medical condition, epilepsy is affected by general health. Regular exercise, plenty of rest, and efforts to reduce stress can all have a positive effect on a person with a seizure disorder.
First aid for generalized seizures involves protecting the individual by clearing the area of sharp or hard objects, providing soft cushioning for the head, such as a pillow or folded jacket and, if necessary, turning the individual on the side to keep his or her airway clear. The individual having a seizure should not be restrained and the mouth should not be forced open-it is not true that a person having a seizure can swallow the tongue. If the individual having the seizure is known to have epilepsy or is wearing epilepsy identification jewelry, an ambulance should only be called if the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, another seizure closely follows the first, or the person cannot be awakened after the jerking movements subside.

Homeopathic Treatment 
Homeopathy offers a cure in 2-5 years depending on the severity of the case. We have many complete cures where the patient remains seizure free after being slowly weaned off the conventional drugs.The return of EEG readings to normal confirms the success of Homeopathic treatment.
Homeopathy is a favorable supportive line of modus operandi for Epilepsy, along with conventional treatment. Homeopathic approach stabilizes the Central nervous system after taking into account the physical symptoms, emotional and genetic make up that individualizes a person, together with focussing on the electrical activity of their brain. Homeopathic constitutional treatment will vitalize the patient and release their jitteriness, heal any emotional or physical trauma, detoxify the patient from the effects of toxins and drugs, work on any existing ailments, and prevent relapses. The holistic modus operandi of Homeopathy manages the various manifestations of Epilepsy impressively in adults and children with natural, safe, potent, non-addictive and inexpensive remedies. Early intervention with Homeopathy can assist in preventing further progress of the disease.Below, I have noted some Homeopathic remedies that are commonly used in the treatment of Epilepsy. These are just a few of the commonly used Homeopathic remedies and are mentioned only to create awareness about the effectiveness of Homeopathic medicines in Epilepsy, It is not advisable to resort to self medication for any disease.
Calcarea carbonica. 
The treatment of epilepsy should be directed to the underlying dyscrasia, as this is at fault in most, if not all, cases. Calcarea carbonica, with its rickety, tuberculous, scrofulous and flabby symptoms, its characteristic deficiency of lime assimilation, as shown in children by the open fontanelles and backward dentition, will frequently be the remedy with which to commence the treatment. The characteristic relaxation on falling asleep and the sweating of the head and neck are fine indications for its use. It has an excellent clinical record. A epileptic suffering continually from the dread of an attack will withdraw himself as much as possible from the outside world, brood over his affliction and become melancholic,and there is no other remedy so well adapted to this condition as Calcarea. Its anxiety, palpitation, apprehensive mood despondency, fretfulness and irritability, its weakness of memory, its loss of consciousness, its vertigo and convulsions are prominent and characteristic indications for its use in epilepsy. If epilepsy be caused by fright, suppression of some long standing eruption, onanism or venereal excess it will probably be one of the remedies to use in the course of the treatment, and here it would follow Sulphur well. The aura may begin in the solar plexus and pass upwards like a wave, or go from the epigastric region down to the uterus and limbs. Like Sulphur it has a sensation as if a mouse were running up the arm previous to the attacks. Causticum, too, is closely allied to Calcarea, and is indicated in epilepsy connected with menstrual irregularities and also in epilepsy occurring at the age of puberty.


Artemisia Vulgaris: This is a reputable remedy for Petit Mal Epilepsy in young adults from fright, mental emotions and masturbation. The Epileptic attack transpires rapidly with patient losing consciousness for a few seconds and then resuming work as if nothing had happened. These patients wake up at night to work, then remember nothing in the morning. Their mouth is drawn to the left, head is drawn back by spasmodic twitchings, and sweat smells like garlic.


Camphora: This is another superb remedy for Epilepsy, where the patient collapses with a weak pulse, icy coldness of the whole body, sudden sinking of strength, violent convulsions with hysterical excitement. Eyes look fixed, staring with dilated pupils and all objects seem too bright and glittering. In spite of icy coldness of the body, patient does not like to be covered.

Bufo rana. 
Epilepsy arising from fright, or self-abuse, or sexual excesses, will often find its remedy in Bufo rana. The aura preceding the attacks starts from the genital organs; even during coitus the patient may be seized with violent convulsions. In another form for which Bufo is suitable the aura starts from the solar plexus. Previous to the attacks, the patient is very irritable, often talks incoherently and is easily angered. It is especially in the sexual form, that brought on by masturbation, that Bufo is signally useful. It has also proved useful in severe cases in children where the head in the convulsion is drawn backwards. Indigo has epileptiform convulsions from the irritation of worms, but the patient must be low-spirited and sad-- "blue as indigo." It is the "bluest remedy in the materia medica." Dr. Colby, of Boston, considers it superior to the bromides. Flushes of heat seem to rise from the solar plexus to the head and there is an undulating sensation in the brain similar to Cimicifuga. Bufo, like Nux vomica, is vehement and irritable. These two remedies and Silicea and Calcarea have the aura starting from the solar plexus. Stannum is also a remedy for epilepsy arising from reflex irritation, as from worms and also from sexual complications.

Cuprum Metallicum
Cuprum is a very deep-acting remedy, its well-known power of producing convulsions and spasms and its excellent clinical record make it a valuable remedy in epilepsy. We know positively that poisonous doses of Cuprum cause epileptic symptoms,and it is among the most curative remedies for epilepsy in child life. The convulsions start form the brain, though the aura, which is one of long duration,seems to center in the epigastrium. Owing to this long duration of the aura consciousness is not immediately lost, and the patient will often notice the contractions in the fingers and toes before they become unconscious. The face and lips are very blue, the eyeballs are rotated, there is frothing at the mouth and violent contractions of the flexors. The attacks is usually ushered in by a shrill cry and the cases are most violent and continued. It is also a remedy for nocturnal epilepsy when the fits occur at regular intervals, such as the menstrual periods. Epileptiform spasms during dentition or from retrocessed exanthema may indicate Cuprum. Dr. Halbert remarks that Cuprum will stop the frequency of the attacks more satisfactorily than any other remedy, it is his sheet anchor in old and obstinate cases. Butler also claims his best results from this remedy. Argentum nitricum is also a remedy for epilepsy, the strong indicating features being the dilated pupils four or five days before the attack, and the restlessness and trembling of the hands after the attack. Menstrual and fright epilepsies often call for this remedy the characteristic being the aura, which lasts a number of hours before the attack. Moral causes may lead to an attack. Patient is low spirited, easily discouraged and frightened.

OEnanthe crocata
Perhaps no remedy in the materia medica more closely pictures epilepsy than OEnanthe. Its use in the disease has been mainly from clinical data, but there is ample proof from studying toxic cases that it is homoeopathic to many cases of epilepsy. The reliable and practical symptoms calling for its use may be summed up as follows: Sudden and complete loss of consciousness; swollen livid face; frothing at the mouth; dilated or irregular pupils; convulsions with locked jaws and cold exremities. Dr. S. H. Talcott, of the Middletown State Hospital, summed up his experience with the remedy as follows: 1. The fits decrease in number 40 to 50 per cent. 2. The convulsion are less severe than formerly. 3. There is less maniacal excitement before the fits. 4. Less sleeplessness, stupor and apathy after the fits and the debilitating effects of the attacks are more quickly recovered from. 5. The patients treated with OEnanthe are less irritable, less suspicious and less fault finding. 6. The patients are more easily cared for.The writer can add his testimony to the effect of OEnanthe in controlling attacks of epilepsy. It seems to act better in the 3X or 6X potency than in the tincture. Cases of cure of the disease are becoming more numerous. Artemisia vulgaris is another remedy which has been successfully used for epilepsy from fright or some mental emotion, where the attacks occur in rapid succession, and also in petit mal, where the patient is unconscious only for a few seconds and then resumes his occupation as if nothing had happened. Artemisia absinthium indicated in seizures preceded by vertigo, a warm sensation rising from the stomach, and by a slight impairment of speech, and Solanum Carolinense are also remedies which in some cases have wrought cures, the latter according to Dr.Halbert, of Chicago, also praises it. Melancholia seems to be an indication and also attacks appearing at menstrual periods. Verbena hastata is also recommended, but no special indications are to be found.

Kali bromatum
This remedy should have no place in the homoeopathic treatment of epilepsy; it is given here because it is the principal drug employed by the allopathic school, and because nearly all cases coming to us for treatment from old school hands are liable to be complicated by a previous treatment with the bromides, notable the Bromide of Potash. It is not a curative remedy, but a palliative one; it strikes at the attack and not the disease. It will often modify the attacks, and used as a prophylactic may avert the seizure, but its prolonged use works inevitable harm. It weakens the mental faculties and hastens imbecility. Camphora is useful to prevent the attacks, shorten the duration and lessen the intensity. It is indicated by all the characteristic of epilepsy and hence is a safer prophylactic than the Bromide of potash. Camphora, Nux vomica and Zincum are mentioned as antidotes for the abuse of the Bromide of Potash. Bromide acne is often present in cases coming to us from old school hands.

Silicea. 
Silicea is one of our most valuable remedies in epilepsy. It suits especially scrofulous and rickety subjects. The aura starts from the solar plexus , as in Bufo and Nux vomica. Certain phases of the moon are said to affect the attacks, which are brought on by an overstrain of the mind or emotions. Nocturnal epilepsy, feeling of coldness before an attacks is also characteristic of the drug, and the fit is followed by warm perspiration. Cuprum is also a remedy for nocturnal epilepsy and must be thought of when attacks invariably occur in the night. When Silicea is required there is an exalted susceptibility of the upper spinal cord and the medulla and an exhausted condition of the nerves. The attacks occur about the time of the new moon. It comes in after Calcarea in inveterate chronic cases, and coldness of the left side of the body preceding the attack is very characteristic.

Nux vomica
The characterizing feature of epilepsy is loss of consciousness, therefore, Nux vomica is not often a remedy in the idiopathic form. It suits cases arising from an excess of the reflex action caused, for instance,by indigestion. The aura in a case calling for Nux starts in the solar plexus, and among the most characteristic symptoms is a sensation of ants crawling over the face. The middle and higher potencies will be found more useful in the spinal form of epilepsy, and this is the form most suitable to Nux. Plumbum has caused epilepsy, and we may use it for these symptoms: the attack is preceded by a heaviness of the legs and is followed by paralysis; epileptic seizures from sclerosis, or from tumors of the brain, consciousness returning slowly after an attack is another indication and it is more suitable to the chronic forms of the disease. Constipation and abdominal pains further indicate. Secale is recommended for sudden and rapidly recurring convulsions, with rapid sinking of strength and paralysis of the spinal nerves.

Cicuta virosa
The indications for cicuta are sudden rigidity followed by jerks and violent distortions, and these followed by utter prostration. The prostration is characteristic, being equaled only by that of Chininum arsenicosum. There is a tonic spasm renewed by touch simulating Strychnia; but in Cicuta there is loss of consciousness , thus resembling more the epileptiform. There is great oppression of breathing, lockjaw, face dark red, frothing at the mouth and opisthotonos. The reflex excitability under Cicuta is much less than under Strychnia. Another characteristic of Cicuta is fixed staring eyes; others are trembling before and after the spasm and strange feeling in the head preceding the attack. Bayes, however, regards muscular convulsions as a specially prominent symptom for Cuprum.

Sulphur.
Like Calcarea, Sulphur is a constitutional or basic remedy, and it will act well where there is a scrofulous taint. It is useful for the same class of cases as is Calcarea; namely, those brought on by sexual excesses or the suppression of some eruption. The convulsions are attended with great exhaustion and it is suitable to the chronic form of epilepsy in children who are typical Sulphur patients. There is perhaps a tendency to fall to the left side. Sulphur is also a useful intercurrent remedy in the course of the treatment of an epilepsy. Psorinum may also be needed as an intercurrent.

Hyoscyamus
In epileptic convulsions Hyoscyamus is a most valuable remedy. There is much twitching and jerking and hunger previous to the attack, there is frothing at the mouth and biting of the tongue. A violent fright will produce an attack that will call for Hyoscyamus. The convulsions seem to have more of a hysterical nature, and there are illusions of sight and hearing. Stramonium has epilepsy from fright, sudden loss of consciousness and jerking of the head to the right, with rotary motion of the left arm. Stramonium is the opposite of Belladonna, for whereas the Belladonna patient shuns light, fears noises and is sensitive in the highest degree, the Stramonium patient fears darkness and hates to be alone; he acts like a coward and trembles and shakes. Agaricus 30 cured a case of epilepsy of 22 years' standing for Dr.Winterburn. He was led to its prescription by the unusual symptom of "great flow of ideas and loquacity after the attack."

Belladonna. 
Belladonna is especially a remedy for acute epilepsies, when the cerebral symptoms ar prominent, where the face is flushed and the whole trouble seems to picture cerebral irritation, and more especially if the patient be young. There is an aura as if a mouse were running over an extremity, or of heat rising from the stomach. There are illusions of sight and hearing, and the convulsions are apt to commence in an upper extremity and extend to the mouth, face and eyes. The great irritability of the nervous system, the easily disturbed sleep, the startings, the tremors and twitching and the general Belladonna symptoms will render the choice easy. Atropine,the alkaloid of Belladonna, has also been used successfully in the treatment of epilepsy. Hydrocyanic acid. Another remedy is Hydrocyanic acid , to which Hughes ascribes specific powers in the disease. In recent cases it perhaps our best remedy. the cases calling for it will be characterized by loss of consciousness, clenched hands, set jaws, frothing at the mouth, inability to swallow, and the attack is followed by great drowsiness and prostration. Children are disinclined to play and take but little interest in anything. It is one of our mainstays in epilepsy and its clinical record ranks it high.

Causticum.
Causticum is useful in Petit mal, also when the patient falls while walking in the open air, but soon recovers. It is said to be useful when the attacks occur at new moon. It menstrual epilepsy and that occurring at puberty Causticum is the remedy. Kafka recommends Hepar in nocturnal epilepsy. Causticum is perhaps better suited to recent and light cases. Another preparation of potash, Kali muriaticum, is a most useful remedy in epilepsy; it has an affinity for the nerve centers and it is a slow acting remedy
 Self - Care measures of Epilepsy:
  • Relax mentally and physically.
  • If you are acquainted with your aura preceding each episode, ease yourself to the floor, loosen your clothing and avoid putting anything in your mouth.
  • Exercise regularly and take plenty of rest.
  • Always carry your medical identification about your seizure disorder, so in case of emergency people around you can help you.
  • Avoid potential danger and stressful situations.
  • Avoid being alone.
 Hence, Homeopathic constitutional approach can help reduce the frequency of Epileptic seizures, alleviate the symptoms and reduce the stress on the mind and body caused by Epilepsy.March 26 is world celebrate as purple day for epilepsy