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Addiction not only includes physical things we consume, such as drugs or alcohol, but also includes virtually anything, such abstract things as gambling to seemingly harmless products, such as chocolate, etc. In other words, addiction may refer to a substance dependence (e.g. drug addiction) or behavioral addiction (e.g. gambling addiction).
Causes: There is a link between the repeated uses of an addictive substance and how the human brain experience pleasure, its use has a nice reward, leading to further and more frequent use. The addictive substance, be it nicotine, alcohol or some drug actually causes physical changes in some nerve cells in the brain. After a while, the user of the potentially addictive substance does not get the same pleasure and has to increase the dose, as his/her body's tolerance to it increases. Eventually, the user no longer experiences pleasure from the substance and takes it simply to prevent withdrawal symptoms taking the substance just makes them feel normal. When tolerance increases, the risk of addiction is much greater.
Signs and Symptoms: A person starts to show symptoms when a person takes the substance, such as nicotine , alcohol etc. and has given a serious attempt to stop, but is unable to do so because of the withdrawal symptoms. The body of an addict will go in withdrawal state when once the level of the substance abused is below a certain level. When a person goes in withdrawal state it will show signs, such as craving, bouts of moodiness, bad temper, poor focus, extreme temperament, poor focus, continuous feeling of depression, emptiness, frustration, anger, bitterness and resentment. Apart from these the addict will also display symptoms such as increased appetite, insomnia, constipation,and diarrhea. Withdrawal caused by some substances can also trigger signs like violence, seizures, hallucination, sweating and trembling, etc. However, the addiction continues despite health problem awareness. An addicted person commonly feels they need their drug in order to deal with their problems.
Investigation of Addiction: Blood test is advised to determine whether the substance is still in the blood (whether the substance has been taken recently). DSM criteria for substance dependence that is a patient diagnosed with substance dependence (an addiction) must meet criteria laid out in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association.
What you can do?: Acknowledge the problem and consult for help from an expert. Family members must be supportive in creating a congenial environment for the addicted person.
Role of Homeopathy in Management of Addiction: The first step for the addicted person is to acknowledge that there is a substance dependency problem (addiction problem). The next step is to get help. In most of the world there are several support groups and professional services available. Treatment options for addiction depend on several factors, including what type of substance it is and how it affects the patients. Typically, treatment includes a combination of inpatient and outpatient programs, counselling (psychotherapy), self-help groups, pairing with individual sponsors, and medication.
Talking of medication, Homoeopathy definitely has a major role to play in the de-addiction journey of a 'patient'. Over the years it has been seen that homeopathy has produced tremendous results in such cases. People have approached for quitting alcohol, smoking, drugs, etc. and majority of them have been wonderfully helped by Homoeopathy. Those who haven't achieved desirable results have either lacked willingness or conviction on their own part, or have had a non-congenial and non-co-operative environment at home and work place. For any de-addiction plan to be successful for a patient these 2 factors are the most important. A willing person with a co-operative and supportive environment is much more receptive and responsive to the medical treatment.
The commonest attacking area for any addictive substance is the Central Nervous System (CNS). The substance inhibits the release of neurotransmitters, which are responsible for carrying nerve impulses. Once these neurotransmitters are inhibited in their normal functioning, a person develops delayed nervous responses and irregular nerve impulses leading to addiction. It is a vicious circle. So, as the centre of attack is the CNS, a medical system that boosts and strengthens the CNS would automatically prove beneficial in such dreadful cases. Homoeopathy is that very medical science! The homoeopathic medicines are absorbed through the nerve root endings of the tongue and directly hit the CNS. There are some very powerful Homoeopathic medicines, which have the ability to shake up the CNS and work in a normal manner as it is used to be. These Homoeopathic medicines, thus have the ability to develop control and also the power to abstain from the substance in later stages of the treatment.
But the first and foremost attempt is made to manage the withdrawal symptoms. It is the fear of the withdrawal symptoms only that a patient may lose conviction and confidence in him and give in to the indulgence once again. This is where the role of family and friends also comes in. when the struggle of 1 man becomes fight for the whole team; chances are very high of coming out victorious. There are brilliant medicines in Homoeopathic science, which can help the person in managing and fighting with the withdrawal symptoms with ease. Medicines like Nux vomica, Kali phos., Arsenic Album, Coffea cruda, Aconite, Gelsemium, Argentum nitricum, Ipecac, Acid sulphurosum, Caladium, Daphna indica, Quercus, etc. have proved to be extremely effective in helping a person wean off completely of the addictive substances.
Mind the Mind: Over the past two issues, we took up the burning problem of addiction as a mental illness, explored its, nature and probable causes that go into the making of an addict. The current issue is aimed at spreading awareness about the available evidence based psychological treatments for de-addiction.
- Psychotherapy: Also called as 'talk therapy', is aimed at helping the patient to understand the link between their thoughts, feelings and behaviour so that the maladaptive ones can be replaced with more adaptive and productive processes. Interventions in terms of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Motivation Enhancement Therapy (MET) and Behaviour Therapy are efficient in the treatment of addiction behaviour.
- Craving control: Use of certain medicines and behavioural techniques can help a person deal with the intense feelings of craving when it seems too much to bear. It gives a sense of greater control to the person over the substance, which in turn motivates him/her to stay away from using the substance. Many people report that they tend to continue the abuse the substance since they are unable to handle the period of intense craving, which can come all of a sudden.
- Relapse prevention: Arguably it is the most important component of de-addiction program. Leaving the substance is not that hard, but staying away from it is the most difficult part as reported by many patients with addiction. To ensure that the person stays clean and healthy without the substance, they are taught some techniques like asking for help whenever they feel the need to do the substance or staying away from potentially, dangerous situations, like going to party where alcohol is available. With therapy, the individual gains more confidence in his/her own abilities rather than depending on the substance for facing life situations. In addition to this, they also start enjoying their life without the substance. Both the patient and his/her family play an important part in this process hence they are educated about it and are advised regarding appropriate ways of ensuring sobriety for the patient.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): It is a self-hellp group in which ex-alcoholics come together and share their experiences, for instance how they got into drinking, how it affected their life and now how they are maintaining their sobriety. These are mostly weekly sessions and have been found to be very effective in supporting the recovery of alcoholics to stay motivated and be clean without the use of alcohol. Similar to AA, there is NA (Narcotics Anonymous for drug addicts) and Al-Anon (for the family members and friends of problem drinkers).
- Yoga and exercise: A healthy daily routine with yoga or regular exercise promotes feelings of general well-being and ensures healthy mind and body. It detoxifies the body faster and even helps in recovering from the damage caused due to excessive substance use.
- Social skill training: An important aspect for being away from drugs/alcohol is the ability to say NO to such offers from others. Assertive behaviour, healthy communication pattern and good problem solving ability are skills that are taught to assist the person to stay healthy without feeling the need to take the substance.
One of the simplest, yet very powerful principles of staying healthy is 'ONE DAY AT A TIME'! Instead of making any long-term plans for staying sober, which might seem over-whelming and extremely difficult, just plan for that very day and DECIDE to be clean without the substance.
My girlfriend she is suffering in a painful situation. Her breasts is giving pain when the breast touched. She is 19+
My wife is in her 4th months of her pregnancy. But her belly hasn't swelled much, may be just a little swelled. Is it OK or serious.
After intrauterine death at 32 weeks delivered by cesarean. We will plan to conceive within 6 month after cesarean? is it okay?
Chilies have always been known as ingredients that add spice to indian food. Without chilies, any indian food cuisine is incomplete. Both have distinct tastes and also have different health benefits. Here's a comparison between the two:
Red Chilli: Red chilies are dried and then used in food a preparation. It is spicier or hotter than green chilies.
- Source of iron absorption - Red chilies contain a good proportion of iron which is very good for blood health. They also have a lot of vitamin c that helps the body in absorbing iron
- Burns calories - They produce heat in the body that directly burns down calories, just like heat generated due to exercise
- Relieves from congestion - In india red chilies are provided to a person for consumption when he is suffering from cold. It relieves congestion and helps is better respiration
- Reduces blockage in arteries - They are very powerful antioxidants that clear any blockages in the arteries or blood vessels.
Green Chilli: Green chilies are more subtle in taste and are used as fresh spices in various food preparations.
- Manages blood sugar levels - Green chilies tackle high blood sugar levels and control it if consumed regularly
- Promotes digestion - Owing to the various fibers found in them, they help in better digestion
- Good for skin - Green chilies being rich in vitamin e is a very good spice for a clean and healthy skin
- Very good for heart - Due to a considerable proportion of beta-carotene in green chilies the cardiovascular systems stays strong and the heart too stays healthy
- Both chilies have great benefits and consuming both in permitted quantities is only good for health.
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Hi! I took meprate on 2nd may and got my periods on 7th may. Meanwhile, I had a masturbation session on 6th May during which a little of my boyfriend's sperm stained my panty. Now after 14 days of that event, I am experiencing brown spotting. What could it mean?
After how many days of missed period can I take quantitative hcg beta test to test for pregnancy? And after how many says home pregnancy test?
Hello doctor. I got my std test and I found out my Herpes 1 is positive but I do not have any symptoms of the HSV and also the doctor told me if its 20 and the positive results is 11 and above means my body is almost curing it. Is it true? And if I kiss any girl now I will transfer the virus to her? And can the HSV 1 cause genital herpes? Thanks.
I am 17th weeks pregnant now but I am not feeling any baby movement still now. This is my first time pregnancy. I just want to know why I am not feeling baby movement? From which month I can start feel baby movement?
I had my periods on may 15 then had sex on may 20! Frm 26th may I started to bleed like my periods for 3-4 days but bleeding was bluish brown! And today it's June 25 and still I didn't have my periods! Am I pregnant.
Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) or syndrome (PCOS) is a condition where there are multiple cysts in the ovaries and as a result there are several symptoms in various body parts. One of the significant things to note is that there is a strong correlation between diet and PCOD/PCOS. Read on to understand some of the common symptoms of PCOD and also some nutritional do’s and don’t’s.
Symptoms: Understanding symptoms of PCOS helps in planning a diet in a more rational manner.
- The excessively produced male hormone (androgen) in the body promotes weight gain around the belly area. This needs to be controlled or else, can lead to increased cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
- Skin problems such as acne
- Increased insulin resistance, leading to increased sugar levels
- Hirsutism (excessive hair growth)
- Male pattern baldness
While not every problem associated with PCOD can be managed through diet, nutrition changes in a woman can have a significant effect on the overall health and well-being. Some common dietary changes to make when diagnosed with PCOD are listed below.
Higher levels of insulin make the body produce more androgens. PCOD women often have higher levels of insulin, meaning high androgen level, which increases their weight (builds muscle mass). Therefore, to control the level of insulin, high fiber diet like greens, nuts, berries, pumpkin, almonds, whole grains, etc. should be included. These ensure that digestion process is prolonged and blood sugar levels do not rise rapidly.
- Protein-rich food items like tofu, soya, and chicken are also highly beneficial for PCOD women. They do not contain fiber, but provide a full feeling and help in avoiding binge eating. They also do not pack in calories and are helpful in weight management.
- Food items which are generally anti-inflammatory including tomatoes, spinach, olive oil, fruits, and Omega-3 fatty acids are highly beneficial in controlling cholesterol and heart disease.
- Eat good fat. Reduce trans and saturated fats, increase unsaturated fats. Use vegetable and nuts oils to get these benefits.
What to avoid: Anything that can lead to increased sugar levels should be reduced.
- Avoid whites, such as pasta, rice, and bread which are made of refined flour and have absolutely no fiber content.
- Baked and processed foods should be avoided.
- Curb your intake of candies, chocolates, snacks, which are just calories and are of no nutritional value.
- Avoid salty snacks, which again are just calories and not beneficial.
- Do not consume aerated drinks and soda, which are just laden with sugar.
A diet rich in protein, N3 PUFA And MUFA can help reduce inflammation and control diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. All these are a result of chronic inflammation and can be managed through this approach as also reverse PCOD and its complications. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist.