Wednesday, December 30, 2009
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder characterized by abdominal pain, distention and change in bowel habits. It’s prevalence in western countries is about 15-20% in adults with female predominance. In India its prevalence is increasing due to increased psychological stress and the westernization of the diet with a male predominance.
In most of the patients psychological conditions like anxiety, depression and fear are responsible. These conditions play a causative as well as maintaining role in IBS.
Other causes include weak vitality and poor adaptability.
This syndrome can also be triggered by acute gastrointestinal infection, irregular food habits, abuse of laxatives and other medications etc.
Gastrointestinal symptoms of IBS are:
1. Abdominal Pain - It is felt in lower abdomen, dull or colicky in nature and usually relieved by defecation or passing flatus. It is usually worse after meals.
2. Abdominal distension and bloating - Sense of abdominal distention or bloating is usually complained by majority. It is usually worse throughout the day but is not due to excessive intestinal gas.
3. Variable bowel habits – Most of the patients have alternate episodes of diarrhea and constipation but it is useful to classify patients as having predominantly constipation or predominantly diarrhea. The constipated type tends to pass infrequent pellet like stools, usually in association with abdominal pain. Those with diarrhea have frequent defecation but produce low volume stools and are rarely worse at night. Mucous is commonly seen with stools and no rectal bleeding is there.
4. Other symptoms associated are nausea, headaches; Pains in back, thigh or chest; frequent urination and fatigue. Despite severe symptoms, patients do not loose weight
The diagnosis of IBS is made if the symptoms are present for more than 3 months. The various type of IBS are - Diarrhea predominant (IBS-D), Constipation predominant (IBS-C), Alternating stool pattern (IBS-A).
As it a functional problem, no structural changes are present and tests reveal nothing. Usually lab investigations are done to rule out other disease. In older patients barium enema and colonoscopy is done to exclude colorectal cancer. While younger patients with persistent diarrhea may require endoscopy to rule out ulcerative colitis.
Most of the patients have a relapsing and remitting course. Aggravation of the complaints often follow stressful life events, occupational dissatisfaction and difficulties with inter personal relationships.
Along with medicines following measures are of utmost importance in the management of IBS.
1. Diet: - Increase of fibrous diet with supplementation with bulking agents as coarse wheat bran or isaphgul husk. Intake of smaller meals at frequent intervals. Avoidance of alcohol, spices, fatty meals & dietary items that aggravate the condition.
2. Other measures include relaxation techniques for stress management, regular exercise, yoga etc.
Role of Homoeopathy
As per Homoeopathic system of medicine, Disease is a total response of a patient to adverse environmental factors, external or internal; it is conditioned by constitutional factors, inherited and acquired; and it manifests itself through symptoms in the three spheres – emotional, intellectual and physical. This response is divisible into
a) Individual response – characteristic symptoms which denote the constitutional type; which vary from person to person and
b) Group response – diagnostic symptoms.
In Homoeopathic system of medicine, the individual response of the patient is much important than the group response. So, in a set of patients having the same diagnostic symptoms (group response), the medicine given to each of them is different as the individual response of each varies. As in most of patients, the condition of the mind is responsible for IBS; homoeopathy has a much greater role to play. So, while the allopathic physician may refer such patient to the psychiatrist for treatment of mind symptoms, in homoeopathy the patient is treated as a single unit and the medicine which is suited to him for his mental as well as physical state is prescribed. Thus the patient is treated in a holistic way with homoeopathy.
With an eye on the constitution, temperament, totality of symptoms, life style and diet of the patients suffering from IBS, successful results can be obtained with homoeopathic medicines.
Homoeopathic medicines for IBS: - Medicines commonly used for IBS are Abies-nigra,
Aloes, Argentum nitricum, Arsenic Album, Asafoetida, Baptisia, Belladonna, Calcarea carb, Carbo-veg, Causticum, Chamomilla, China, Colchicum, Colocynthis, Gratiola, Ignatia, Iris v, Kali Bich, Lilium tig, Lycopodium, Merc sol, Merc cor, Natrum carb, Natrum mur, Natrum phos, Nux vomica, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Raphanus sat, Sulphur, Veratrum alb.
The indications for few of the above remedies are as follows:-
Argentum nitricum: - Digestive upsets accompanied with Anxiety and nervousness.
Diarrhea can be sudden, greenish and may come on immediately after drinking water. Patient has great craving for sugar or salt which aggravate the complaints; meat and fat are disliked. The patient who needs this remedy is impulsive, has fear of heights, claustrophobia & anxiety about health. There is distention of abdomen with rumbling and nausea. Pain is worse when lying on right side.
Asafoetida: - This remedy is suited to hysterical persons with tendency to easy fainting. Flatulence with explosive eructation that smell like garlic. It has a hysterical rising in throat, as if a ball or large body ascended from stomach to esophagus. A feeling that food moves in a wrong way i.e. instead of going down is coming upwards. Excessive abdominal distension and sensation as if everything in the abdomen would burst through the mouth. Complaints are mostly left sided.
Colocynthis: - This remedy is suited to extremely irritable & impatient individuals. Problems start or are aggravated after anger and resentment from being slighted or humiliated especially if not expressed. Agonizing, cutting pains in abdomen causing patient to bend over double and press on the abdomen for relief. Violent, cutting, gripping, grasping, clutching or radiating, colicky. Pains, come in waves, better doubling up, hard pressure, worse least food or drink, except coffee and tobacco smoking.
Gratiola: - It is an important remedy where there is a feeling of incomplete evacuation of stool. Stool is green, yellow gushing, as if water running from a hydrant. It is aggravated in summer and by drinking water. The patient feels empty after meals. Diarrhea alternates with constipation. There is a strong craving for bread and the patient wants nothing but bread.
Lycopodium: - This remedy is suited to intellectual persons with anticipatory anxiety with extreme lack of confidence. Excessive accumulation of flatulence; constant sensation of satiety; good appetite, but a few mouthfuls fill up to the throat, and he feels bloated; fermentation in abdomen, with loud grumbling, croaking, especially lower abdomen. Rumbling with sensation as if everything turns into gas. Warm food and drinks ameliorate. Pains: aching-pressure, drawing; chiefly right-sided, worse four to eight p.m.
Natrum carbonicum: This remedy is suited to persons who are gentle and ready to serve selflessly. They have a cheerful expression even when sad. They are oversensitive to external atmospheric impressions & dietetic errors. Diarrhea from milk. Empty, gnawing, hungry sensation in stomach at 5 a.m.; must leave bed and have some biscuits. Emptiness and hungry feeling also at 10-11 a.m. and 10-11 p.m..Greedy, always nibbling.
Natrum muriaticum: This remedy is suited to persons who are vulnerable to emotional injury especially disappointment in love and do not express their emotions easily. Abdomen is hard to the touch, cramps up, and is accompanied by severe pain as if the colon were being grasped and squeezed by a tight fist. Those afflicted are compelled to double up with this acute attack, which is followed by the passage of flatus and eventually stool. The pains are often precipitated by the abdomen becoming full of gas or by constipation. Patient craves for salty things.
Raphanus sativa – This remedy is suited to hysterical persons where sadness alternates with hopefulness and a delusion that she has an unrecognized disease. Sensation of accumulation and incarceration of gas in abdomen. Colic, griping about navel. During colic, there is a pad-like swelling and movement of the intestines. Intolerance of clothing around abdomen. Post-operative gas pains and constipation. Vomiting of faecal matter.
Homoeopathic medicines should be taken under the advice of a qualified homoeopath after a thorough case taking which includes the mental & physical causes, present at the start of the IBS. The dose, potency and the repetition of the medicines should be under the supervision of a homoeopathic physician.
Dr Dushyant Kamal Dhari
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Homoeopathy for layman
Kidney stones / Nephrolithiasis
Kidney stones, one of the most painful urologic disorders, have a history of more than 7,000-years in an Egyptian mummy. Even now, statistics indicate that more than 600,000 patients went to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems and it included more men than women.
Though most of the kidney stones pass out of the body without any intervention by a physician but a few become serious surgical concern.
What is a kidney stone?
A kidney stone is a concretion formed by the deposit of one or more of the solid constituents of the urine. It may be single or multiple. All are radiopaque except for uric acid stones and are therefore visible by routine abdominal radiography.
Normally, urine contains chemicals that prevent or inhibit the crystals from forming.
Are all kidney stones alike?
There are four major types of kidney stones. The most common are Calcium oxalate, while others are struvite, uric acid and cystine stones.
What causes kidney stones?
1. Over –saturation of urine which may be due to
Too little urinary output.
Increased amount of stone constituents excreted over a period of time such as calcium, oxalates, urates etc.
Altered urine ph: Below ph of 5.5, uric acid crystals predominate as it decreases
the solubility of uric acid.
High urinary ph favours formation of calcium phosphate & struvite stones.
a. Vitamin A & B6 deficiency predisposes for stone formation.
b. Increased intake of foods rich in calcium, oxalates & purines.
Chronic urinary tract infection.
Prolonged immobilisation from any cause.
What are the symptoms?
Many stones are asymptomatic until they begin to move down the ureter, causing pain due to obstruction. Pain is the main complaint. Typically, a person feels a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen. Some times nausea and vomiting occur. As a stone grows or moves, blood may appear in the urine. If fever and chills accompany any of these symptoms, an infection may be present.
How are kidney stones diagnosed?
They are diagnosed by their presence in the X-ray or Sonography or an IVP.
Recurring stones also warrant an investigation into possible parathyroid gland disease.
Diet for kidney stone patients:
Not- Advisable:- Palak, Tomato, Amla, Chickoo, Cashew nut, cucumber, black grapes strawberries increase oxalates.
Advisable: - Coconut water, barley, corn silk tea, pineapple juice, bananas, almonds, carrots, Karela, kulthi dal.
Other Preventive measures:-
1. Increasing fluid intake: Patients should try to drink enough liquids throughout the day to produce at least 1200 ml of urine in every 24- hour period.
2. Avoid dairy products: If you are on calcium supplements in hopes of strengthening your bones, you may actually be increasing your risk of stone formation. Dairy products are the greatest dietary source of calcium.
3. Vitamins - "B" fortified. Vitamin B6 reduces the risk of stone formation.
"C" less. People prone to kidney stones should stay away from vitamin C supplements.
Exercise: Regular exercise also lessens the risk of stone formation
Role of Homoeopathy
In homoeopathy there are many medicines which can relieve pain, break the kidney stones and flush them out side kidney also. In addition to this, homeopathy also removes the tendency of formation of kidney stones in an individual. So, homoeopathic treatment is recommended even after surgical removal of stone.
Excellent remedy for left sided renal calculi. Pains shooting, radiate from a point. Least motion aggravates. Sits over to painful side for relief. Pains run up into kidneys and down into bladder.
2. Nux vomica
It is indicated for pains caused by a stone in the ureter. It relaxes the circular fibres of ureter causing the relief in pain and passage of calculi. Indicated in renal colic when one kidney (especially the right) is the seat of the disease. Pains extend down the leg, with nausea and vomiting.
Left sided stones. Pains down the ureter, with deathly sickness and cold sweat. Nausea with burning heat in abdomen, the rest of the body being cold. Patient persists in uncovering the abdomen.
4. Benzoicum acidum
Constitutions with a predisposition to develop kidney stones. This remedy should be considered for people who are careful with their diet yet develop stones in the kidneys all the time, accompanied by frequent kidney colic. There is frequent vomiting during the kidney colic which is usually left sided. Urine deep-red, of strong odour.
5. Hydrangea arborescens
It has a traditional reputation as a "Stone-breaking" remedy. It is particularly useful for profuse deposits of white amorphous salts in the urine; and has arrested the tendency to formation of calculi; relieves distress from renal calculus, with soreness over region of kidneys and bloody urine.
6. Cantharis vesicatoria
Dull, heavy distensive pain in region of kidney, either side, no relief in any position; continued rolling and twisting of body, with groans and cries, resulting in nausea, retching and vomiting, unless the stomach is empty; no great desire to urinate. Burning pain, with intolerable urging to urinate.
7. Pareira brava
Excessive pain in kidneys shoots down left ureter; urine passes drop by drop with violent tenesmus, nausea. Constant urging to urinate: pain extorts screams. Must go down on all fours to urinate. Copious sediment of uric acid and blood.
8. Sarsaparilla officinalis
This medicine is indicated for a stone in the bladder; it so changes the character of the urine that it is no longer possible for the stone to build up and it grows smaller by continually dissolving off from the surface. Extreme pain at conclusion of urination: yells with pain
As in Homoeopathic system, each patient is regarded as a unique individual the selection of medicine, dose, potency & repetition should be under the supervision of a Homoeopathic physician so that benefit is derived at the earliest.
Dr. Dushyant Kamal Dhari. M.D. (Hom)
Monday, December 28, 2009
Autism and its treatment in Homoeopathy
Autism is now acquiring an epidemic status around the world, rising by enormous proportions in some areas. Considering that it is a lifelong developmental disability, it leads to a kind of despair and feelings of hopelessness in the parents.
Autism, a neurological disorder, begins in early childhood (typically during the first three years of life) and affects three crucial areas of development: verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction, and creative or imaginative play. Other characteristics may include repetitive and ritualistic behavior, hand-flapping, spinning or running in circles, excessive self-stimulation, self-injury, aggression, reduced sensitivity to pain, temper tantrums, and sleeping and eating disturbances. To put it simply, autism is a term used to describe children who are socially withdrawn and preoccupied with routine; who struggle to acquire spoken language yet often possess intellectual gifts that rule out the diagnosis of mental retardation.
The world appears to be a mass of people, places and events for people with autism and this causes a considerable anxiety in them. It can be hard to create awareness of autism as people with the condition do not ‘look’ disabled; parents of children with autism often say that other people simply think their child is naughty.
The exact cause of autism is unknown. However, research suggests that a combination of factors - genetic and environmental may account for changes in brain development like vaccines, heavy metal toxicity, nutritional deficiencies/imbalances, food allergies, viruses, immune dysfunction and problems in the birthing process. “Vaccine induced autism” is under scrutiny with the hypothesis that immune response generated by MMR vaccine damages the nerve sheaths leading to this neurological disorder.
The phenomenon of early infantile autism was first observed in early 1940s, a few years after the pertussis vaccine became more widely used in United States.
Some researchers say that children have shown mild to dramatic improvements in speech and/or behavior after a gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet.
Gluten and gluten-like proteins are found in wheat and other grains, including oats, rye, barley and foods made from those grains. They are also found in food starches, semolina, malt, some vinegars, soy sauce, flavorings and artificial colors and hydrolyzed vegetable proteins.
Casein is a protein found in milk and products containing milk, such as cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, whey and even some brands of margarine.
Foods that can be eaten on a gluten-free, casein-free diet include rice, potato, buckwheat flour, soy, corn, fruits, vegetables, beans, tapioca, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, nuts, eggs, and sorghum.
Homoeopathy and other natural treatments have recently come into focus as effective treatments for autistic spectrum disorders.
The reasons as to why homoeopathic medicines are preferred for this disorder are -
- Homoeopathic medicines are safe natural non-toxic substances without side effects.
- Homoeopathy is a safe effective alternative to Drugs like Ritalin etc. which have lasting side effects.
- The positive effects seen with homoeopathic treatment are lasting.
- With Homoeopathic treatment healing takes place at Physical, mental and emotional levels.
- Homoeopathy results in growth spurts in children and does not alter or suppress normal development of the child.
Before starting homoeopathic treatment the evaluation of the child on an autism rating scale is a must. Improvements by the treatment are to be interpreted by periodical assessments.
As most of the cases are already under the allopathic treatment, the following strategy can be charted out for them -
If the allopathic medication has not shown any improvement in the child or severe side effects have resulted from them, then it is best to stop them before starting homoeopathic treatment.
In cases where there is some benefit to child with the allopathic treatment and the parents are looking for a safer and more effective treatment, homoeopathy is the best alternative. In these cases Homoeopathic treatment can be started concurrently and the allopathic medicine can be weaned off as the homoeopathic medicine begins to show positive effects. In this way, more safe and effective treatment can be provided.
Homoeopathy medicine is also compatible with other therapies such as Speech therapy, Occupational Therapy. The beneficial effects of Homoeopathy on the child will be more to the delight of his therapists and care givers who will find the child more compliant to learning.
In a study on effects of homoeopathic medicines on autism triad carried over for four years at Bangalore, the results were encouraging with improvement in behavioral issues such as hyperactivity, temper tantrums, attention span, concentration and focus. Improvement was also noted in speech, language and communication skills. The social skills /eye contact and the fine motor skills also improved substantiating the claims of homoeopathy in autistic spectrum disorders.
Prompted by the miraculous cure of her son’s autism with homoeopathy Amy lansky has written a book “Impossible Cure: The promise of homoeopathy”. In this book, she illustrates that true cure of the root causes of illness is possible with careful homeopathic treatment over months or even years. Ms Lansky effectively presents cases and arguments of how homeopathic medicines effectively stimulate a person's innate healing mechanisms to allow chronic or acute disease to be eventually resolved.
The focus of homeopathy is not to treat the isolated symptoms of Autism but to treat the child as a whole. In addition to the symptoms of Autism, the general physical and mental constitution of the patient, past medical history, medical history of parents, information about pregnancy and vaccination - are used to find the probable cause in a given case and based on the final analysis a remedy is chosen for a patient.
Dr Dushyant Kamal Dhari
Steroids – Do Homoeopaths use them ?
Steroids is a shortened term used for corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are man made drugs that closely resemble cortisol, a hormone produced by adrenal glands in our body.
When inflammation occurs due to foreign substances in our body, chemicals from the body are released to protect us from foreign bodies.
Sometimes, however, the wbc`s and the inflammatory chemicals cause damage to the body`s tissues.
How they work
Steroids work by decreasing inflammation & reducing the activity of immune system. Inflammation is a process in which the body`s white blood cells and chemicals protect us from infection and foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses.
In certain diseases, however, the body`s defense system does not work properly. This may cause inflammation to work against the body`s tissues and cause damage. Inflammation is characterized by redness, warmth, swelling & pain.
Steroids reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals in order to minimize tissue damage. Steroids also reduce the activity of immune system by affecting the function of wbc`s.
When inflammation threatens to damage critical body organs, steroids can be organ saving and in many cases life saving.
If prolonged and high doses of steroids are used; side effects may occur.
Common side effects of steroids include :-
Increased appetite, weight gain.
Sudden mood swings.
Increased growth of body hair.
Low resistance to infection.
Swollen puffy face
Osteoporosis (Brittle bones).
Water retention, swelling.
For their proper use, their dose, repetititon and withdrawal should be done properly.
“ Doctor, I have heard that homoeopaths use steroids. Do you also use them? This question is often posed by some patients during the course of a consultation with a Homoeopathic physician.
The answer to this question is a definite “NO”. Homoeopathic physicians of integrity and commitment to their profession do not use steroids.
Further more the following points also add up to clear the doubts:
If one has been on long term steroids, one would show some side effects like “MOON FACE”, Excessive Body hair, Osteoporosis, Diabetes etc.
Steroids are not all “CURE ALL” for all the ills of the world. If that had been the case then all diseases would have vanished.
There are around 4000 medicines in the homoeopathic armamentarium, each having its own sphere of action, symptomalogy & individuality. So where is the need for steroids?
Using steroids causes SUPPRESSION of disease i.e. the act of driving a disease deeper inwards so that it attacks more important organs than previously affected and in a more serious form. No conscientious physician would like to do that.
How steroids are tested in medicines?
The routine method for testing steroids is the “Calorimetric Method” using Tetrazolium Blue salts. In this test, the reaction depends upon the reduction of Tetrazolium Blue salts to a highly coloured compound known as
“Farmazan”. Under controlled conditions the amount of “Farmazan” developed is proportional to the quality of steroids or any other Reducing sugars present in the material being tested.
The dispensing materials used in homoeopathic medicines are: Lactose
(Milk sugar), Pills made of cane sugar. Both of these materials are reducing sugars, so they give a false test for steroids even when they are
Another dispensing material used is Alcohol. If the alcohol used is not completely free from Aldehyde, it will interfere with the reaction and will impart some characteristic colour in the reaction that may again give a false positive impression of steroid. So this method is not at all advisable to determine the presence of steroids in a homoeopathic medicines.
Other methods used t
UV method: This is another method for the testing of steroids. All steroids shoe UV absorption between 235 to 240 NM in dehydrated alcohol or methanol in a clear solution. This is a reliable method for testing steroids in homoeopathic medicines.
Conclusion: So, before accepting a claim that the tested medicine does contain a steroid, one must find out what testing procedures were used to eliminate the possibility of a false positive result.
If tests conclusively prove that the medicine given is indeed a steroid under the guise of a homoeopathic remedy then one must seek an explanation or complain to homoeopathic council or consumer forum so that a disciplinary action can be taken against the erring doctor.
Unsubstantiated allegations against any doctor or system of medicine are most unfair and damaging to the professional integrity and indeed to the profession.
The curative properties of homoeopathic medicines prescribed strictly on the principles of homoeopathy extend much farther than contemporary system of medicine. This might be the reason that our contemporaries have the misconception that homoeopaths use steroids.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Vaccinations - The Darker Side
There is a wide spread assumption that vaccinations of the young children against infectious diseases are good thing both for the children themselves and the community as a whole. This leads to further assumption that the vaccination of all children would eliminate these diseases with general increase of health. However a search of medical literature on the subject indicates that there is another side of this.
THE PRINCIPLE OF VACCINATION: By injecting the vaccine directly into body an important part of usual system of building up of an immune response to a foreign material is bypassed. For example a child inhales measles virus in a droplet thrown into air by coughing or sneezing of an infected child, nothing appears to happen during the ten to fourteen day incubation period. But under the surface the virus begins to multiply first in tonsils & adenoids & then in lymph nodes before entering the blood. Hence the virus reaches the spleen, liver, thymus and bone marrow which together form a major part of the immune system. By the time first symptoms of the measles become obvious, the immune system has started to produce antibodies against the virus and these are detectable in blood. When the symptoms reach their peak and the characteristic rash has appeared, the antibodies have also reached their maximum number.
The symptoms represent the body’s efforts to clear the virus from the blood and the virus is coughed out by very route through which it entered.
In this way, the entire immune system is profoundly stimulated and not only will the child who recovers from measles remain immune to it for life but he or she will be able to respond rapidly and effectively to any subsequent infections. It has long been suggested that infectious diseases are necessary for maturation of the immune system in a healthy child.
As a result of injecting vaccine directly into the body, only the antibody response is stimulated, not he generalised inflammatory response and viral elements from the vaccine may persist in body for long afterwards. Due to this vaccinations may actually suppress the immune response in the same way that radiation, cancer, chemotherapy and corticosteroid drugs.
A link between increased incidence of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and leukemia and increase in vaccinations is also being probed.
Small Pox: - Jenner developed vaccine for small pox in 1796. There are two things of interest around this time of Jenner`s work. First is that James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy initially vaccinated by Jenner in 1796, was
re-vaccinated 20 times, died at the age of twenty.
Second Jenner`s own son, who was also vaccinated more than once, died at the age of twenty-one. Both succumbed to tuberculosis, a condition that some researchers have linked to small pox vaccination.
Another thing of importance is that small pox and other communicable diseases were declining before vaccination programs were enforced. This may be attributed to the sanitary reforms and nutritional teachings instituted around mid 1800s, as other communicable diseases for which no vaccination was available were also declining at the same time.
The interesting thing however is that incidence of small pox actually increased once vaccination programs were instituted. In Jenner`s time, there were only few cases of smallpox in England. After more than fifteen years of mandatory vaccinations, 1860-71 alone more than 23000 people died from the disease. Later, in Japan, nearly 29000 people died in just seven years under a stringent compulsory vaccination and re-vaccination program.
This increase in smallpox cases deaths was associated with a noticeable lack of protection. For example in Germany over 124000 people died of smallpox during the same epidemic. All had been vaccinated. Additionally, hospital records consistently show that about 90 percent of all smallpox cases occurred after the individual was vaccinated.
This lack of efficacy and increase in disease incidence, while other communicable diseases were on decline, led to the refusal of small pox vaccination by some countries. This resulted in drop of the incidence of the disease that is quite remarkable. In Australia, when two children died from smallpox shots, the government terminated compulsory vaccinations. As a result smallpox virtually disappeared from that country.
Polio: This is another disease for which people assume that vaccination has made a difference in incidence. From 1923 to 1953, before the Salk killed virus vaccine was introduced, the polio death rate in USA and England had already declined on its own by 47 percent and 55 percent respectively.
When vaccines became available, many European countries questioned its effectiveness and refused to systematically inoculate their citizens. Yet Polio epidemics also ended in these countries as well.
As with smallpox vaccine, the number of reported cases of polio following mass inoculations with killed virus vaccine were significantly greater than before mass vaccinations.
In 1976, Dr Jones Salk testified that the live virus vaccine, used almost exclusively in USA since early 60`s was “ the principle if not the solo cause ‘ of all reported polio cases in USA since 1960.
Few days back in a popular Indian TV show children of a village were shown. All of them got affected with polio after taking polio drops.
MMR: When this vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella was launched in 1988, it was implied that a single dose would provide life long protection against all three diseases. Yet if we look further at just one component of this vaccine – Rubella, there is little evidence to show that vaccine induced immunity to disease is complete or as long lasting as immunity acquired by having the disease.
Rubella is generally mild in childhood but may damage the unborn child if a woman contracts the disease in early pregnancy.
In USA, where MMR Vaccine has been available for more than 10 years, a number of studies have shown that a proportion of children have no evidence of immunity to rubella in blood tests taken four to five years after vaccination.
A Danish study has shown that when measles has been suppressed in childhood by vaccination so that the typical rash was not shown but antibodies were made, there was a predisposition to develop arthritis, dermatitis and bone diseases later in life. A 1991 study by Marvin Krober revealed that even a simple coryza could neutralize the vaccine.
The information supplied to doctors by the manufacturers of MMR Vaccine lists the following – Immediate allergic reactions, Febrile convulsions, Swelling of lymph glands, Temporary arthritic symptoms, transient disturbance of nervous system including one sided paralysis, deafness and encephalitis. Some of these symptoms may not develop until several weeks after the injection.
DPT: The major controversy over the use of Peruses (Whooping Cough) vaccine has been the possibility of Brain damage. Data published form Glasgow in 1977 showed that the vaccine offered little protection to infants under the age of six months, the most dangerous time to get this disease and the majority of the older children who suffered the disease had been fully vaccinated.
Known effects are: Sudden death of an previously completely healthy child (Sudden infant death syndrome); inconsolable crying, more or less severe brain damage appearing within a given time period after inoculation;
Localized redness, swelling, induration and pain at the site of vaccination; Exceptionally high fevers, pronounced sleepiness, strabismus, epileptic seizures, hemiplegia, paraplegia and epileptoid convulsions. These are the effects for which the children may suffer for the rest of their lives and which are remarkably resistant to therapy. A number of less obvious damages are hyperactivity beginning for the time of vaccination, learning disabilities, dyslexia, reading disorders, character flaws appearing in the aftermath.
Due to these harmful side effects the US congress passed the “National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act ” for the children who were damaged by the side effects of the vaccines.
Measles Vaccine: Measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, yet in US and
England, from 1915 to 1958, a greater than 95 percent decline in measles death rate had already occurred. In addition, the death rate from measles in Mid 1970`s i.e. several years after vaccine had been introduced remained as same as in early 1960`s i.e. several years before the vaccine was introduced.
According to a study by WHO, chances are 14 times greater that those vaccinated against the disease than those who are not vaccinated will contract measles.
It has been determined that the measles vaccine may cause ataxia, learning disabilities, retardation, aseptic meningitis, seizure disorders, paralysis and death. It has also been investigated as a possible cause for multiple sclerosis, blood clotting disorders and juvenile onset diabetes.
Another additional harmful effect is that the disease has changed form and now affects primarily a different age group. The peak incidence of measles no longer occurs in children but in adolescents and young adults.
Also before the vaccine was introduced, it was extremely rare for an infant to contract measles. However by 1993 more than 25% of all measles cases were occurring in babies under a year of age. This is attributed to the growing number of mothers who were vaccinated during the last 30 years and therefore have no natural immunity of their own to pass on to their children.
BCG: This vaccine is used as preventive against tuberculosis. Few weeks back in all major newspapers a report from Indian Council of Medical Research said that this vaccine is a failure and it has actually lead to an increase in the number of tuberculosis patients.
There is no scientific evidence so far that mass vaccination can be credited with eliminating any childhood infectious disease. The incidence of diphtheria was already declining before vaccine started in 1940`s. Some, once common diseases have become less widespread and serious through
increased standards of hygiene and nutrition. Scarlet fever is now rare disease and yet a vaccine has never been developed against it.
Where a vaccine offers only a limited protection against a disease, changed symptoms may appear causing difficulty with diagnosis and treatment.
For example, some vaccinated children have been shown to have whooping cough, although the traditional whoop was absent.
As WHO maintains, “ The best vaccine against common infectious diseases is an adequate diet”. By active promotion of good health through varied diet containing plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, a child is less susceptible to disease and when it does occur, he or she is in a good position to deal with it effectively.
Dr Dushyant Kamal Dhari
09-01-2000 Daily Excelsior.