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

Sleep

Difficult, Disturbed or No Sleep: Homeopathy Has A Role To Play

Homeopathic Treatment of Sleep Disorders

Dr. Saurav Arora, Dr. Bharti Arora

Consultants, Arora’s Homeopathic Clinic

+919811425214 | vividhomeopathy@gmail.com | www.arorasclinic.com

Introduction

The value of sleep can’t be surpassed. Sleep is essential, sleep is vital. It is said that one’s success lies in the quality of sleep. The stress, lifestyle, and co-morbidities are making our life miserable, which is directly reflected in the quality of sleep we have. Either we sleep late or we sleep less, the outcome is reflected directly or indirectly in the work output. It is commonly urged by patients that if they have a quality sleep, everything would be fine perfectly in their life. In this situation, what should be the approach to deal sleep disorders? This article delineates the homeopathic perspective of sleep disorders and the probable/actual solution in homeopathy. And yes, if you are a patient and reading this, you must seek a homeopath to get rid of your sleep problems. Homeopathy Heals Holistically!

Commonest Sleep Problems

No sleep problem is common but every sleep problem is commonest. Lack of sleep, disturbed sleep, sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, and restless legs syndrome are some of the common presentations.

Scientifically, if we consider the International Classification of Sleep Disorders then we have the following categorizations:

DYSSOMNIA: Dyssomnia is a disturbance of the body’s natural resting and waking patterns. The sufferer is either too awake at night or too sleepy in the day. The dyssomnia may be due to:

  • Internal or Intrinsic factors such as physiological or psychological cause and the presentation may be insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.
  • Outside or Extrinsic factors such as high altitude, allergies, alcohol abuse, noises, sleep deprivation due to other commitments.
  • Circadian Rhythm Disturbances such as jet travel, work in shifts, delayed sleep phase.

PARASOMNIA:  The “parasomnia” refers to all the abnormal things that may happen during sleep such as:

  • Arousal Disorders: sleepwalking, sleep terrors, confusional arousals.
  • Sleep-Wake Transition Disorders: somniloquy, hypnic jerks, rhythmic movement disorder (pediatrics).
  • REM Parasomnias: Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behaviour Disorder (RBD), nightmares, sleep paralysis
  • Other: Bruxism, enuresis, etc.

MEDICAL-PSYCHIATRIC disorders in which sleep abnormality is a major symptom of some other medical disorder, but not the primary problem:

  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Alcoholism
  • Dementias
  • Infection

Sleep is also associated with few factors which are very common such as:

  • Shift work or overwork
  • Noise
  • New baby
  • Hunger
  • Eating late
  • Alcohol, coffee, tea or other stimulants
  • Uncomfortable bed
  • Cold
  • Insufficient exercise
  • Depression
  • Anxiety or fear
  • Excitement
  • Pain – teething, earache, colic
  • Old age

Homeopathic Aspects – Treat the Individual – Treat the Cause – Treat Holistically

In homeopathy, as we believe in treating a case holistically, we must enquire the causation and presentation from various point of views. Referring to basic homeopathic philosophy, we must see the presenting complaints and signs, causations, past history, family history, mental state, any specific illness etc. After we are done with a thorough examination of the individual and case, we draw a totality in which we must give importance to the uncommon and peculiar symptoms.

Practically, in the majority of the cases, we are struck with two major challenges – modifiable and non-modifiable causes. Sometimes it may just be the home environment of the patient which is the cause of sleep disorders. Therefore, it is not just an individual whom we should give priority, but the environment and the other factors associated with the patient as an individual. In situations where we can’t modify the factors, we must counsel patient to deal them confidently and with a positive mind.

A homeopath may play a dual role in such situations. Along with our medication, we are the great counselors. As we know the in-depth analysis of a case we can manage a patient well. In case we need to take help of an allied practitioner we must not hesitate to do so.

Moving further to homeopathic aspects, we have, in repertory the following rubrics which are worth considering in Sleep symptoms:

  • Anger, after: Coloc., Nux-v., Bry., Cham., Coff.
  • Anxiety, from:, Ars., Cocc., Bry., Caust., Cham, Kali-c. Lach
  • Excitement, from:  Hyos., Nux-v., Arg-n., Aur-m.
  • Fear, fright, from: Bry., Cham., Cimic., Cocc., Ign.
  • Grief, from: Nat-m., Ign., Kali-br., Sulph.,
  • Mental exertion, after:  Nux-v., Calc.
  • Old people: Acon, Bar-c., Phos., Ars.
  • Restlessness, from:  Apis, Ars., Merc-c., Alum., Bry.
  • Thoughts, from: Calc., Coff., Hep., Nux-v., Op.
  • Wine, after abuse of: Nux-v., Coff. Coffee; abuse of, after: Coff., Cham., Nux-v.

Even in homeopathic material medica, sleep has been given prime importance. Some of the excerpts from the homeopathic literature are:

  • Aethusa Cynapium: prostration with sleepiness.
  • Aloe Socotrina: Itching and burning in anus, preventing sleep (Ind.).
  • Ambra Grisea: After business embarrassments, unable to sleep, must get up (Act., Sep.)
  • Ammonium Carbonicum: Loses breath when falling asleep, must awaken to get breath (Grind., Lach.).
  • Anacardium Orientale: Headache: relieved entirely when eating (Psor.); when lying down in bed at night, and when about falling asleep.
  • Antim tart: Great sleepiness or irresistible inclination to sleep,
  • Arsenic Album: Haemorrhoids: with stitching pain when walking or sitting, not at stool; preventing sitting or sleep;
  • Arum Triphyllum: Children refuse food and drink on account of soreness of mouth and throat (Mer.); are sleepless.
  • Caladium: Very sensitive ot noise; slightest noise startles from
  • Cantharis: Sexual desire: increased both sexes; preventing sleep;
  • Cinchona: Unrefreshing sleep or constant sopor;

Clinically, the most commonly used homeopathic remedies are:

Nux vomica 

  • Crowding of thoughts
  • Wakes early but again falls asleep
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Side effects of overwork or over-stimulation (Night shifts)

Coffea 

  • Excitement
  • Sleep disturbed by dreams.
  • Hyperactive or hypersensitive children.

Colocynthis 

  • Fit of indigestion or colic.
  • Wakefulness

Chamomilla 

  • Anguish, visions and illusions.
  • Starts with fright, cries, tosses about, is tearful, talks, raves, groans, snores and constantly separates the thighs.
  • Commonly indicated in teething children.

Also, the following serve as homeopathic Anxiolytic agents:

  • Passiflora Incarnata: Restlessness, exhaustion, and sleeplessness.
  • Kali phos: Anxiety, Prostration, Irritability, Brain-fag, Somnabulance
  • Gelsemium: Cannot get fully to sleep; delirious on falling asleep; insomnia from exhaustion; from uncontrollable thinking; tobacco; yawning; sleepless from nervous irritation. Gelsemium has also found to be an anxiolytic agent when used in mice model under experimental conditions (http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20401745)
  • Pulsatilla: 3x and 6x were used in a study on mice, and the efficacy of Puls 3x and 6x was comparable to standard drug (http://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S147549161200032X)

There are many patent medicines also, which claim to provide relief in sleep disorders, but there has been a constant demand for the evidence-based studies to establish their roles. In the following studies the role of specific/patents were studied:

2011 IJHDR 10(34):04-14 Anxiolytic and antidepressive effects of the homeopathic complex Homeo-pax® (pre-clinical study) The homeopathic complex Homeo-pax® has anxiolytic and antidepressant properties without affecting motor coordination capacity.
2009 IJHDR 8(28):91-99 Anxiolytic effect of the homeopathic complex Tepeex Results suggest that homeopathic complex Tepeex® has anxiolytic properties without affecting motor coordination.

 

Tapering anti-depressants, insomnia drugs etc.

This is perhaps the most common question asked in clinics. Some basic considerations are:

  • Side effects of “sleeping pills” may include burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs; Changes in appetite; Constipation; Diarrhea; Difficulty keeping balance; Dizziness; Drowsiness; Dry mouth or throat; Flatulence; Headache; Heartburn; Stomach pain or tenderness; Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body; Unusual dreams; Weakness
  • Is it safe to withdraw them??
  • Whenever a drug is tapered, a patient may have “Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Withdrawal symptoms are to be taken as a totality and homeopathic medicines are prescribed to:
    • Reduce their intensity
    • Make a patient at “ease”.
    • Helping him to get rid of “sleeping pills”
  • Withdrawal should be done with caution preferably under supervision of an Expert.

Potency and Repetition

  • Most common and most confusing question
  • Single dose?
  • Multiple doses?
  • Single medicine or combination?
  • At what time during a day/night?
  • Potency & Repetition
    • Low potencies in repeated doses: in cases where causative factor can be easily identified and modified.
    • Moderate potencies in few doses: where causative factor has association but cannot be easily modified
    • High potencies in infrequent doses: where there seems no causative factor(s)
  • Time of Day: Although medicines may be given at any time preferably few doses (may be placebo) should be given before sleep.
  • Single or Combination: This depends on a physician’s outlook towards a case, but clinically a bio-chemic remedy or a tincture may be given for few initial visit, where a patient develops faith and rapport with the doctor.

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