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With terminal illnesses like cancer, the disease is not the only thing that requires treatment. In addition to controlling the severity and spread of the main disease, the effect it has on the other body systems including emotional, social, psychological problems and also physical issues like pain and inflammation. Though the disease has reached an advanced stage and cannot be cured, the patient can be made to be pain-free and at peace to the extent possible.
The goal of palliative care is not to cure - in fact, palliative care is in place for diseases like cancer from the time it is diagnosed and treatment is begun but becomes the major component of treatment once the cancer is identified to be in terminal stages. Therapeutic care aimed at curing the cancer is gradually reduced and palliative care assumes a bigger role. This is also called as symptomatic care, supportive care, or comfort care.
Aspects of palliative care: Once the disease is identified to be in terminal stages, then the following become considerations:
- Stay at home or hospital
- Withdraw chemotherapy and radiation?
- Withdraw feeding tube
- Spiritual discussions
- Reduce anxiety
- Good quality time with the family
- Reduce pain and suffering
As is evident, there is a huge component of social/emotional/spiritual management in addition to reducing pain and suffering:
- Physical: Pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, loss of appetite are some symptoms that need to be managed. In addition to pain killers, small exercises can be included to make them feel better, even if it is just getting a breath of fresh air.
- Social: Depression (learn the ways to handle depression), anxiety, uncertainty, fear are all looming large and they are not sure how to manage these feelings. Talking to a counselor or some close family member or friend can be a big relief - the burden is off their chest.
- Legal: There could be issues related to property, insurance, property that also need to be discussed. External help can be sought if required to provide financial counselling and legal advice.
- Spiritual: Looking into the spiritual needs and understanding the deeper meaning of life, restoring faith are some things that also can help them feel better. "Why did this happen to me?" is a question most people keep asking and while there is no answer, some solace can be provided through talks.
It is to be noted that palliative care is not just for the patient. The caretakers (family and close friends) are equally in need of some support. So, once the patient is identified to be in terminal stages, all effort is made so the final leg of the journey is peaceful and as painless as possible.
In a back to basics move of sorts, many people are turning to long forgotten ancient medicinal sciences like Ayurveda in order to cure chronic and new found problems and ailments. The efficacy of Ayurveda is something that has managed to impress many people, who swear by it for every little problem that they face. Also, while it may take longer than conventional medicines to make a difference, it offers long term solutions for many ailments.
So let us find out how to deal with hair loss the Ayurvedic way:
- Causes: To begin with, let us understand how Ayurveda looks at this problem. As per Ayurveda, hair loss is a problem that is caused due to an imbalance of the Pitta Dosha in the body which can happen due to poor diet, changing seasons, lack of immunity and other related issues. Also, excessive consumption of ingredients like meat, dairy and even alcohol can lead to hair loss because the hair gets its nourishment from the plasma contained in food, as per Ayurveda.
- Bhringaraj: This one is known as the king of herbs and is usually prescribed for thicker and more lustrous hair growth. Its rejuvenating properties can remove balding and prevent premature greying as well. The best way to use it is to grind the leaves to a paste or to massage the oil into the scalp. Leaving it on the scalp overnight can work wonders.
- Amla: When used with Bhringraj, this all purpose fruit can actually help in creating a thick mop of hair. It also prevents hair loss and gives the hair a shining quality. This fruit is also known as the Indian Gooseberry and is rich in Vitamin C which also makes it ideal for fighting dandruff. Dandruff is known to be one of the most common causes of hair fall and hair loss.
- Neem: Skin conditions and hair loss can both be fixed with Neem. One can make a tonic with Neem leaves by boiling them in water and then using the mixture to wash the hair. The concentrated liquid can also be obtained by straining and making a paste which can replace your conventional shampoo as well.
- Shikakai: Anyone who has used this ingredient will know that it foams up like soap when it comes in contact with water. Shikakai paste can be used to make a natural shampoo with warm water. You can also let it brew in herbal tea for a few hours to use as a hair rinse before you shampoo.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian life science that requires you to make various lifestyle changes along with the use of medication that is based on herbs and condiments with massages and Yogic postures. This field of medicine believes in getting to the root of the problem so as to cure it and prevent it in the future as well. Gastritis is no different and enjoys the same kind of attention when it comes to Ayurveda.
Here is everything you need to know about the Ayurvedic perspective of gastritis:
- Definition: As per Ayurveda, gastritis is known as Urdhva Amlapitta, which can lead to the occurrence of stomach ulcers when the inflammation of the stomach lining goes untreated for a prolonged period of time. This inflammation is the basic outcome of the condition.
- Causes: Problems in the Vata Dosha, one of the four Doshas in the body, can cause this condition. Also, a build up of Ama or toxins due to poor digestive health, can lead to the occurrence of this disease. As per Ayurveda, there are many reasons that may cause this toxin build up and the imbalance in the Vata Dosha. This includes eating spicy food on a regular or frequent basis and taking too many drugs like pain killers and analgesics which can lead to this condition. Also, too much of alcohol consumption and greasy food can cause gastritis. Further, one of the main causes of gastritis as per Ayurveda, is the presence of too much stress and worry, and the lack of a proper routine when it comes to eating, sleeping and exercising.
- Symptoms: The main symptoms include appetite loss and nausea, as well as discomfort and pain in the abdomen. Gastrointestinal bleeding and blood discharge may also occur for patients suffering from this condition. Headaches and vomiting are also common symptoms of this condition.
- Medication: There are various Ayurvedic medicines that can help in treating this condition. Sukumara Ghrita are ghee based preparations that can be taken every morning with a glass of warm milk in order to activate the digestive fires and improve the digestive powers. The difference can usually be seen in a matter of days. Dhatri Lauha includes amla juice which should be taken twice a day. Lemon juice, ajwain, amla and ginger are also helpful in such situations.
- Lifestyle Changes: Avoiding spicy and greasy food as well as stopping alcohol abuse and smoking can help in curing this condition. One should also stay away from excessively stressful mental and physical tasks.
Taking the right steps at the right time for a proper routine with good habits can help in treating this condition as per Ayurveda.