Down sydrome

Down Syndrome and Role of Homeopathy

Down Syndrome and Role of Homeopathy

down syndrome

Issued in Public Interest by

Vivid Homeopathy

On

world down syndrome day

Contributors

Dr Saurav AroraDr. Saurav Arora, BHMS (Gold Medalist), Founder: Vivid Homeopathy 

Dr Bharti Arora

Dr. Bharti Arora, MD (Hom.), BHMS (Silver Medalist), Co-Founder: Vivid Homeopathy 

Read Online Below or Download PDF here

In This Issue

  • Down syndrome
  • Presentation
  • Characteristics
  • How to Diagnose?
  • Aim of treatment
  • Management
  • Self Help – Support Groups
  • Organizations
  • Some Important Points
  • Role of Homeopathy in Down syndrome

Down syndrome

Also known as trisomy 21 (presence of a copy of the third chromosome), it represents an incurable, one of the most common genetic alterations, reflected through variable learning disabilities and certain physical characteristics. The term was coined by John Langon Down in 1866 and the cause (extra chromosome) was identified in 1959.
In developing countries and where prenatal screening is not carried, it is usually diagnosed after childbirth. However, prenatal screening can also help us in detecting the trisomy 21 or Down syndrome, if found suspected, further tests are advised to find the risk of developing Down syndrome.  The Down syndrome child is usually born to genetically normal parents, and no clear mechanism has been found out to explain the presence of three chromosomes in genes in place of two.

Presentation

Individuals with Down syndrome have characteristic physical and intellectual variations. But the most common struggling issues with which they suffer are:

  1. Poor immune function
  2. Delayed milestones
  3. Increased risk of a number of health problems like autoimmune diseases, heart problems, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, blood disorders and mental disorders, etc.

Characteristics

The characteristics of Down syndrome present variably in each and every case. The prominent and common characteristics may be:

  • Mental impairment
  • Stunted growth (short stature)
  • Slanted eyes
  • Abnormal teeth
  • Shortened hands
  • Short neck
  • Protruding tongue
  • Proportionally large tongue
  • Flathead
  • Abnormal outer ears
  • Flexible ligaments
  • Extra space between big toe and second toe
  • Low muscle tone
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • The narrow roof of the mouth
  • Bent fifth fingertip
  • Single transverse palmar crease
  • Flattened nose
  • Strabismus
  • Separation of first and second toes
  • Etc.

These characteristics are commonly associated with other anomalies like hypothyroidism, congenital heart disease, autoimmunity, epilepsy etc.

The intelligence quotient (IQ) may vary from person to person. It may be good, poor or low depending upon the presentation thus the neurological disability may be mild, moderate or poor respectively.

In Down syndrome, an individual usually has better understanding skills rather than speech skills, due to which he may do fairly well in society and improve their social skills over the time, but as there may be vocal impairment the coordination and active communication may become troublesome.

The behavior problems are not as great as other neurological disorders, however, mental illness and autism occur in a fairly good number of individuals. Since, a neurological as well psychological disturbance depends upon genetics, environment, and learnings, Down syndrome individual may develop some symptoms when they approach adulthood because by that time they are active interaction with the society and are exposed actively to social environment.

How to Diagnose?

The diagnosis can be pre-birth and post-birth. If a pregnant female is suspected to have trisomy 21 (on ultrasound or blood tests), invasive diagnostic tests like amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling are performed. But these techniques usually have some false positive reporting and an increased risk of miscarriage, therefore, the diagnosis is not simple during pregnancy. When found positive the rate of elected abortion varies widely.
Diagnosis at birth can also be suspected on the basis of the physical appearance of the new-born. When suspected chromosome mapping may be advised.

Aim of treatment

  • The aim of treatment is improving the quality of life and intellectual capabilities of the individual, and decreasing the incurable disease burden.
  • It is seen that not every child needs special school, but every child needs special attention.

Management

Management of Down syndrome is a relative term. The management has certain goals which can be enlisted as:

Educate: The education plays an important role in understanding the pathophysiology of Down syndrome and thus it can prepare an individual, parent or a guardian to accept the reality. A well-educated parent, guardian and an individual know the limits and treatability of the case. Education programs not only aim at imparting short-term knowledge but regularly sensitizing regarding various important aspects of Down syndrome.

Treat – Manage: In Down syndrome, along with the characteristic features, there are certain conditions which can be treated medically and with the aid of therapies. For example,

  • Milestones achievement may be improved.
  • Immunity may be strengthened so that the individual is less exposed to disease burden.
  • Acute conditions can be treated satisfactorily.
  • Chronic conditions are treated holistically.
  • Behavioral and mental illnesses can be resolved with the help of right medications.

It is recommended that early screening and apt therapy helps a child to grow at a satisfactory pace. Therapies like speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, etc. must be adopted at right time.

Screen: The most important aspect always remains alertness. The more alert an individual is, easier things can go. Down syndrome individuals must be screened for all possible alterations in health at regular intervals of time. For example, starting from the birth the screening schedule may be:

  • Thyroid function tests at birth and if normal once in a year.
  • Coeliac disease at 2 – 3 years of age or earlier if the symptoms occur.
  • Diabetes at 4 – 5 years of age and then routine blood sugar levels annually.
  • Alopecia areata – parents need to closely examine any usual or abrupt hair loss.
  • Screening for congenital heart diseases at birth.
  • Ultrasonography at birth.
  • Hearing test at 6 months and then annually.
  • Routine eye examination annually.
  • Sleep study if the symptoms of sleep apnea occur.
  • X-ray neck between 3 – 5 years of age.
  • GENERAL PHYSICAL EXAMINATION annually.

Follow: Follow the footsteps. A doctor’s/physician/therapist advice is to be followed regularly to counter the Down syndrome effects on life.

Differentiate: A very important aspect of Down syndrome is the differentiation from other neurological/psychological conditions. As an individual with this condition may have other co-morbid similar conditions, the responsibility lies in the identification and right treatment of the condition. For example, if a child is suffering from autism and depression, it is advisable to treat that condition first.

Access to a good healthcare is a fundamental right of everyone.

Self Help – Support Groups

The concept of self-help and support group has boomed with the increasing awareness regarding Down syndrome. These groups aim at exchanging knowledge and ideas to deal with Down syndrome and to live a better life. Broadly, we can extract that groups:

  • Gives access to the exchange of knowledge regarding the disease.
  • Platform for discussions amongst peers.
  • Common home-based therapeutic tips for minor ailments.
  • Counseling related to education, work, health and social interactions.
  • Job opportunities. Employee – Employer interaction.
  • Schooling tips – strategies to deal with individuals especially kids.
  • How to channelize burden of parents to raise their kids.
  • Improving cognitive capabilities – sign language, reading skills, speech etc.
  • Mutual respect and acceptance.

Organizations

Below are some of the organization for Down syndrome help groups:

*Please check the credentials of an organization before visiting their website or office. Not related to Vivid Homeopathy in any form.

Some Important Points

  • Down syndrome is a genetic anomaly and not a disability.
  • An individual with Down syndrome deserve equal respect and position in the society
  • It is our responsibility to teach society the right perspective to Down syndrome. Therefore, “Each one – Teach one” concept needs to be applied.
  • There are many medical conditions associated with Down syndrome which can be treated successfully with medical interventions.
  • If we come across any self-help group it is our responsibility to support them in our own way.

Role of Homeopathy in Down syndrome

Homeopathy heals holistically!

Identify the Cause: In the homeopathic system of medicine, prime importance is given to the underlying cause of the dis-ease, symptoms, and signs. Through a holistic approach, the aim is to find out the deviations from health. As in case of Down syndrome, because of the presence of an extra gene, the characteristic physical and mental symptoms appear. Now, this genetic makeup can’t be altered but the expressions can! The identification of cause can be of great help. Homeopathically in such cases, the prenatal and family history is very important. There are many medicines in homeopathy which are prescribed according to the prenatal, natal, past and family history. Therefore, if your homeopath asks you in-depth questions you should provide the best information to your knowledge.

Constitutional – Individualized Medicine: The term constitutional and individualized medicines are commonly used in homeopathy. The aim of constitutional treatment is to find out the best possible individualized remedy for a case. The aim of such treatment is to improve the immune system as a whole so that a person with Down syndrome doesn’t catch the infection, allergies and other diseases easily and also the recurrent tendency to a particular disease can also be reduced.

Acute – Chronic Diseases: In Down syndrome, there may be acute diseases, acute exacerbation of chronic disease and recurrent presentation of chronic diseases. Therefore, if we study the in-depth of a case we know the difference between an acute condition and acute presentation of a chronic disease.

Treat – Manage – Palliate: This concept is very easy to understand. With a thorough knowledge of disease and homeopathy, we categorize patients according to treatable, manageable and cases where palliation is the only option categories. For example, recurrent tendency to catch a cough and cold is treatable, delayed milestones can be treated to some extent, coeliac disease can only be managed and cretinism needs only replacement therapy (palliation).

First – Aid Kit: Likewise the educative material, individuals, parents, and guardians can keep a homeopathic first aid kit at their home to treat the minor symptoms and ailments homeopathically. The homeopathic medicines are safe, effective, affordable and easier to administer. Therefore, these kits can be used in consultation with the physician at odd hours also.

Improvement is the Keyword: Homeopathic medicines aims to improve the immunity and nervous system, therefore, these help in improving the cognitive and intellectual abilities of an individual suffering from Down syndrome.

Add-on: Many times it is commonly mistaken that homeopathic medicines cannot be opted along with other medicines or therapies. It is now well understood that homeopathic medicines can be safely taken along with other medicines or therapies. The patient is asked to maintain a gap of approx. 30 mins between different medications.

Following medicines are commonly used in homeopathy as constitutional or specific or both in Down syndrome individuals:

  • Baryta carb
  • Calcarea carb
  • Calcarea phos
  • Causticum
  • Phosphorus
  • Silicea
  • Syphilinum
  • Thuja occidentalis
  • Tuberculinum
  • Etc.

Dose – Potency: The dose and potency are dependent upon symptoms, chronicity of the case, age, and other factors. Usually, low potencies (x, 6, 30) are commonly used in acute conditions and high potencies (200, 1000, CM etc.) are used in neurological/psychological and irreversible conditions.

There are also few homeopathic remedies called as nosodes which are used as intercurrent remedies to improve the immunity.

Disclaimer

This article does not intend to replace the in-person consultation. The facts are for general purpose and public awareness only, and must not be taken as Medical Consultation in any form. For a consultation, treatment and specific queries, you need to contact your healthcare professional.

Not for Medico-legal purposes.

© Vivid Homeopathy & Arora’s Homeopathic Clinic 2018.

For reprint and collaborations please contact Dr. Saurav Arora at vividhomeopathy@gmail.com

PCOS, PHHA Series

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome & Role of Homeopathy in PCOS

By

Dr Saurav AroraDr. Saurav Arora, BHMS (Gold Medalist), Founder: Vivid Homeopathy 

Dr Bharti Arora

Dr. Bharti Arora, MD (Hom.), BHMS (Silver Medalist), Co-Founder: Vivid Homeopathy 

Issued in Public Interest by

Vivid Homeopathy

www.vividhomeopathy.com | vividhomeopathy@gmail.com | +91 9811425214

Read Online Below or Download PDF here

In This Issue

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (=PCOS or PCOD)
  • Common Age of Onset
  • What is PCOS
  • Important terms
  • How it happens
  • Clinical Presentation
  • Types of PCOS
  • Prevalence
  • Diagnosis
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Complications
  • Some Important facts
  • Management
  • Role of Homeopathy in PCOS
  • Recommended Scientific Reading

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (=PCOS or PCOD)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or commonly called PCOS or PCOD (disease) is one of the rising endocrine disorders affecting millions of reproductive age group females. It is not only a disease which affects ovaries but may result in reproductive, metabolic, and psychological consequences.

Common Age of Onset

  • Common age of onset is adolescence.
  • Common time of diagnosis: 2nd to 4th decade of life.
  • Some symptoms may appear starting at menarche or post menopause.

What is PCOS

The first consensus definition of PCOS arose from the proceedings of an expert meeting in April 1990 in USA (1990 NIH criteria). It defines PCOS as the combined presence of:

  1. Hyperandrogenism,
  2. Oligoovulation and
  3. Exclusion of related disorders such as Cushing’s syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

However, in today’s scenario, an increasing awareness about PCOS suggests that the clinical expression of PCOS are broader than that specified by the 1990 NIH criteria.

Important terms

  • Hyperandrogenism = Androgen excess = excessive levels of androgens (male sex hormones such as testosterone).
  • Oligoovulation: Infrequent or irregular ovulation (usually defined as cycles of ≥36 days or <8 cycles a year).
  • Anovulation: is absence of ovulation when it would be normally expected (in a post-menarchal, premenopausal woman).

How it happens

The exact cause of PCOS is still unknown. It is believed that the hormonal imbalances and genetics play important role in its pathogenesis.

  • Females with PCOS often struggle with higher-than-normal production of androgens.
  • This affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation.
  • In many cases excess serum insulin may cause high androgen levels.

Clinical Presentation

The type and severity of symptoms varies from individual. Hyperandrogenism is a primary hallmark of PCOS. PCOS may cause women to develop certain characteristics, such as:

  • Abnormal growth of hair on the face, chest, stomach, thumbs, or toes (hirsutism),
  • Acne
  • Weight gain

Other symptoms/signs include:

  • Deeper voice
  • Decrease in breast size
  • Thin hair
  • Pelvic pain
  • Anxiety or
  • Infertility

Along with PCOS a female may have other concurrent health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. These are linked to the weight gain typical in PCOS patients.

Types of PCOS

PCOS may express in following subtypes:

  1. HYPERANDROGENISM, normal cycle, PCO IN ULTRASOUND.
  2. Normal androgens, OLIGO-ANOVULATION, normal
  3. HYPERANDROGENISM, OLIGO-ANOVULATION, normal
  4. HYPERANDROGENISM, OLIGO-ANOVULATION, PCO IN ULTRASOUND

Prevalence

  • It affects approximately 5-10% of the female population in developed countries
  • In India it is approximately reported in 9% of the adolescent females.
  • Between 15-35 years of age it is commonly prevalent in around 6 – 13% of females

Diagnosis

PCOS is diagnosed clinically, but certain investigations are advised to diagnose it completely, such as:

  • Androgen level: free testosterone, DHEAS and androstenedione.
  • Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG): usually low in PCOS.
  • Fasting insulin: elevated in PCOS.
  • Fasting glucose or 2-hour post-prandial glucose: elevated in PCOS.
  • LH/FSH Ratio: PCOS is associated with high LH with normal FSH. Normally, the ratio of LH: FSH is 1:1, but in PCOS, this ratio can get altered to 2:1 or even more.
  • Cholesterol levels: Impaired lipid metabolism may occur together with impaired blood sugar metabolism leading to an increase in both HDL and LDL.
  • Ultrasound to check for the presence of ovarian cysts in a typical pattern.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Pregnancy
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Androgen-producing tumor of the ovary or adrenal gland
  • Discontinuation of oral contraceptives
  • Rapid weight loss

Complications

Untreated PCOS may be associated with

  • Increased risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Dyslipidaemia
  • Infertility
  • Menstrual irregularities like amenorrhea, dysfunctional uterine bleeding
  • Permanent hirsutism
  • Persistent acne and
  • In some cases increased risk for endometrial cancer, endometrial hyperplasia and, breast cancer.

Some Important facts

  • This disorder was first identified in 1935 by Stein and Leventhal who noticed a condition in women characterized by irregular menstruation, obesity, and hirsutism, in addition to cysts on the women’s ovaries.
  • Genetic and environmental factors when combined with ovarian dysfunction, hypothalamic pituitary abnormalities, and obesity can accentuate PCOS.
  • Hormones imbalance involves estrogen, progesterone and androgens, such as testosterone.
  • The syndrome has major metabolic as well as reproductive morbidities. Reproductive problems may include infertility and various pregnancy complications and clinical signs of androgen excess.
  • Since it is reflected as hormone imbalance, there are instances where metabolic problems are also seen such as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, impaired glucose tolerance etc.
  • It is a psychological stress to a female and may result in lack of confidence, poor quality of life, poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and possibly eating disorders.

Management

The management of PCOS has four thumb rules:

  • Education: The PCOS and its causes must be taught to the patient. Many times it may be due to an underlying risk factor such obesity or stress.
  • Understanding: PCOS and its pathophysiological understanding is a must. Its present form, how much it is going to trouble a patient, what would be the probable outcome in future etc. must be understood.
  • Treat the Cause: As a thumb rule we need to identify the underlying cause of the PCOS, thus the treatment must aim at considering the root cause and not superficial symptoms only.
  • Eat Healthy Live Healthy: It is now an established fact that PCOS is related to poor life-style, stress and genetics. We can’t modify genetics but we can modify body’s expression and health status. Involment in health activities and treatment is the key rule. The patient is advised to take active interest and participation in timely medication, exercise, and dietary restrictions. Activities may include controlling cholesterol levels, reducing obesity, maintaining blood pressure etc.

Role of Homeopathy in PCOS

Homeopathy heals holistically!

  • Treat the Cause: Homeopathic system of medicine is a therapeutic system of symptoms similarity which is safe, effective, affordable and within reach. It takes into account the holistic approach i.e. person as a whole. This means that we treat every patient on the basis of individualization. During this process prescription is based upon the many factors such as symptoms, sign, causation, history, family history, mental status and inherent nature of the person, likings, disliking etc. This is synonymous with term Constitutional Medicine.
  • The PCOS has been termed as a syndrome as it affects many systems of the body. Therefore, it may be considered as a constitutional problem rather than a local disease.
  • Homoeopathic intervention aims at halting the progress, providing symptomatic relief and curing the patient.
  • Homeopathic medicines stimulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis thereby strengthens the immune system and trigger the natural release of hormones.

The homeopathic treatment of PCOS is divided into three major parts:

  • Initial stages (detected early): Constitutional treatment and/or specifics to control the symptoms.
  • Developed stages: Specific medicines to control symptoms and to regularise the body’s hormonal imbalance.
  • PCOS with other morbidities: Specific medicines are repeated too often and given for longer duration. The aim is to control the situation and improve quality of life of patients.

Homeopathic medicines can be taken safely along with other/conventional medications (ADD-ON Therapy).

  • The patient is asked to maintain a gap of approx. 30 mins between different medications.
  • The key point of treating PCOS is holistic healing and not hormonal or ultrasonography normalcy only.

Following medicines are commonly used frequently in homeopathy as constitutional or specific or both:

  • Apis mellifica
  • Natrum muriaticum
  • Platina
  • Phosphorus
  • Sepia
  • Pulsatilla (both in potency and mother tincture)
  • Thuja occidentalis
  • Senecio aureus
  • Oophorinum
  • Jonesia Asoca
  • Etc.

As a common myth, mother tinctures are not always superior to potencies. The right potency may be mother tincture, trituration or a dilution depending on severity and presentation of the case.

Recommended Scientific Reading

  1. Azziz R, Carmina E, Dewailly D, Diamanti – Kandarakis E, Escobar-Morreale HF, Futterweit W, et al. The Androgen Excess and PCOS Society criteria for the polycystic ovary syndrome: the complete task force report. Fertil Steril. Feb 2009;91(2):456-88. [Medline].
  2. Stein IF, Leventhal ML. Amenorrhea associated with bilateral polycystic ovaries. AJOG 1935; 29(2):181-191.
  3. Garad, R., Teede, H. J., & Moran, L. (2011). An evidence-based guideline for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Australian Nursing Journal, 19(4): 30.
  4. Heidi A. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in urban India. Manlove University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Available from: http://bit.ly/1Dq1fbP [Last accessed on 26 April 2015].
  5. Nidhi R, Padmalatha V, Nagarathna R, Amritanshu R. Prevalence of polycystic ovarian syndrome in Indian adolescents. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol 2011;24:223‑7.
  6. Nidhi R, Padmalatha V, Nagarathna R, Amritanshu R. Prevalence of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in Indian Adolescents. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology 2011; 4: 223–27.
  7. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Current and Emerging Concepts. Springer. Lubna Pal 2014. London
  8. Burghen G.A., Givens J.R., Kitabchi A.E. (1980) Correlation of hyperandrogenism with hyperinsulinism in polycystic ovarian disease. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 50: 113–116
  9. Jeffcoate, William et al. Diabète des femmes à barbe: a classic paper reread. The Lancet , Volume 356 , Issue 9236 , 1183 – 1185
  10. Kierland RR, Lakatos I, Szijarto L. Acanthosis nigricans: An analysis of data in twenty-two cases and a study of its frequency in necropsy material. J Invest Dermatol 1947:9:299-305
  11. Brown J, Winkelmann RK. Acanthosis nigricans: a study of 90 cases. Medicine 1968 47:33-51
  12. Kahn CR, Flier JS, Bar RS, Archer JA, Gorden P, Martin MM, Roth J 1976 The syndromes of insulin resistance and acanthosis nigricans. N Engl J Med 294:739–745
  13. Hughesdon PE 1982 Morphology and morphogenesis of the stein-leventhal ovary and of so-called “hyperthecosis.” Obstet Gynecol Surv 37:59–77
  14. Roe AH, Dokras A. The Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Adolescents. Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2011;4(2):45-51.
  15. Legro RS. Polycystic ovary syndrome: current and future treatment paradigms. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998;179:S101–8.

 

Disclaimer

This article does not intend to replace the in-person consultation. The facts are for general purpose and public awareness only, and must not be taken as Medical Consultation in any form. For consultation, treatment and specific queries you need to contact your healthcare professional.

Not for Medico-legal purposes.

© Vivid Homeopathy & Arora’s Homeopathic Clinic 2017.

For reprint and collaborations please contact Dr. Saurav Arora at vividhomeopathy@gmail.com