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Headaches Tips

Anemia - What Causes It?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Internal Medicine Specialist, Secunderabad
Anemia - What Causes It?

Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count or hemoglobin is less than normal. Haemoglobin is the main part of red blood cells and it binds oxygen. If you have few or abnormal red blood cells, or your hemoglobin is low, the cells in your body will not get enough oxygen. Anemia can last temporarily or for a long-term, and it can range from mild to severe. If you suspect you have anemia, see your doctor immediately because it can be a warning sign of a serious illness. A person who has anemia is called anemic.

Sign and symptoms of anemia: Because a low blood cell count decreases oxygen delivery to every tissue in the body, anemia can cause a variety of signs and symptoms. It can also worsen the state of any other underlying medical condition. If anemia is mild, it may not cause any symptoms. If anemia is chronic, the body may adapt and compensate for the change. In this case, there may not be any symptoms until anemia becomes more severe. Anemia signs and symptoms may vary depending on the cause of the condition. These may include fatigue, weakness, pale or yellowish skin, irregular heartbeats, breathlessness, dizziness, chest pain, cold hands and feet, and headache.

Causes of anemia: Anemia occurs when your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells. This can happen if:

  1. Your body doesn’t make enough red blood cells: The bone marrow is essential for the creation of red blood cells. A number of diseases can affect the bone marrow, including leukemia, where too many abnormal white blood cells are produced. This disrupts normal production of red blood cells.
  2. Bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced: Iron deficient anemia is the most common type of anemia which often falls into this category. It is caused by a shortage of iron, which most often results due to blood loss. Blood loss can be acute and rapid or chronic. Rapid blood loss can happen at the time of surgery, childbirth, trauma, or a ruptured blood vessel.
  3. Your body destroys red blood cells: Red blood cells have a lifespan of 120 days in the bloodstream but they can be destroyed or removed beforehand. In one type of anemia, the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies its own red blood cells as a foreign substance and attacks them. Excessive red blood cell breakdown can also occur due to infections, the use of certain drugs, snake or spider venom, severe hypertension, and in the case of clotting disorders.

Treatment of anemia: The treatment of anemia varies greatly. First, the underlying cause of anemia needs to be identified and corrected. Most of the times, iron supplements will be needed to correct iron deficiency. In severe anemia, blood transfusions may be necessary. Vitamin B12 injections are necessary in some cases who are suffering from a specific type of anemia.

Prevention of anemia: Many types of anemia can’t be prevented. But iron deficient anemia and vitamin deficient anemia can be avoided by having a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including iron, folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin C.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

Headache - 5 Types Which Are Most Common!

Dr. Rohini Dhillon 91% (482 ratings)
PGDMCH, MBA( CHA) , MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon
Headache - 5 Types Which Are Most Common!

Headaches are a big headache. While it is okay to have a one-off pain in the head, a constant nagging headache is not good. It is, however, one of the most common medical problems and can affect a person’s social life, school/office work, and overall quality of life. The pain in the head is caused by a problem in the nerve supply, blood supply, muscles, or other tissues in the brain/head region.

There are various reasons for a headache and the most common ones are listed below along with some measures that you make take to cure a headache.

  1. Sinus headaches: Sinusitis of any of the 4 sinuses in the head region is accompanied by a headache. The exact location of the headache can depend on the sinus affected, but there is also fever, heaviness in the head, shortness of breath and congestion. During an attack, the patient is usually given antibiotics to get rid of the infection along with decongestants to clear up the airway.
  2. Migraines: Usually running in families, migraines are characteristic in being one-sided, throbbing pain that is associated with sensitivity to light and noise, nausea and vomiting. These can last from 4 to 72 hours and can be preceded by an aura. People with migraines, after some trial and error, identify the best medication that works for them and use it when the aura sets in. They should also avoid light and sound if they are sensitive.
  3. Tension headaches: There is a feeling of tension or pressure around the head in the area of the head and neck. The discomfort is not as disabling as migraines and there are no associated symptoms. Regular pain killers like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen are usually effective.
  4. Cluster headaches: These headaches occur in cycles or clusters and hence the name. Often one-sided, the patient will also have congestion, watery eyes, and runny nose on the same side as the pain. Regular pain medications are again the most commonly used mode of management.
  5. Rebound headaches: When a person uses too much painkillers to manage aches and pains, they can rebound and cause headache. This can be a withdrawal symptom as the dose of the medicine level drops and subsides over a period of time.

There are multiple other forms of headaches caused by spinal disorders, caffeine intake, menstrual cycles, chronic cough, hangovers, tumors of the head/face/neck, encephalitis, meningitis, post traumatic episodes, temporal arteritis, etc.

While most headaches are self-limiting, if there are associated symptoms like increased frequency, blurring of vision, seizures, stiff neck, fainting, coordination issues, then further investigation is immediately warranted. These could be indicative of a more serious condition like a stroke or internal hemorrhage and need immediate attention.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
 

3360 people found this helpful

Headaches & Eyes - Are They Related?

Dr. Pradeep M Sheth 90% (342 ratings)
M.S. Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Vadodara
Headaches & Eyes - Are They Related?

Headaches are very commonly experienced by humans. They arise from many causes across many systems of our body and also mind. The causes may range from trivial to grave in their seriousness. Following are common causes of headaches arising from Eye Problems

  1. Refractive Errors ( having glasses): Headaches can occur when people don’t use glasses which they may be having or using wrong glasses ( undercorrected or overcorrected glasses). Typically such headaches are not present after rest as in waking up after a night’s sleep. As the day progresses, the headache builds up and may be worst by the evening. It may also worsen on reading or watching TV. It is usually relieved by rest or after night’s sleep. Such type of headache should prompt a person to get an eye check up for glasses and use appropriate glasses. Often, glasses got from optical shops directly may also be inaccurate and cause headaches. So it is better to get tested by an eye doctor or an optometrist.

  2. Glaucoma - Rise of Intraocular Pressure (IOP): Eye pressure rises can be Acute ( sudden) or Chronic (persistent). Sudden rise of Eye pressure occurs in Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma in which, typically in evening hours there occurs a headache and accompanied by an eye ache on one side ( Right or Left eye) which may be associated with seeing rainbow colored haloes from that eye, redness of eye and reduction of vision. This may occur for a short while with low intensity and also disappear on its own as night comes on ( Intermittent Angle Closure). Or it may persist, intensify and cause a worst kind of headache and eye pain (like an attack) associated with vomiting or nausea ( Acute angle closure). Earliest assessment/ treatment by Eye doctor is required. The pressure rise in chronic type (Open Angle Glaucoma) is usually painless but sometimes vague headaches for no reason occurring in middle age or later may point to its presence.

  3. Muscle Imbalance: The two eyes normally work together. Some problems in this binocular harmony ( Technically called Phorias, convergence insufficiency, accommodative insufficiency, don’t worry if you can’t understand these terms) may cause headaches, especially in children and young adults. Your eye doctor will help.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2652 people found this helpful

Headache & Facial Pain - How To Deal With It?

Dr. K J Choudhury 83% (26 ratings)
MBBS, MD, M.N.A.M.S(Anaesthesiology), FWACS
Pain Management Specialist, Delhi
Headache & Facial Pain - How To Deal With It?

Nagging headaches or facial pain is a common issue faced by many. They can be mild or severe that and can disrupt your routine to a significant extent. If you are experiencing a disturbed vision, an upset stomach, feeling nauseous or vomiting along with the pain, you must consult your physician to identify the cause and avail proper treatment. 

What are the factors that cause the issue?
Several underlying problems can be the reason for a facial pain including oral infections, a toothache, facial injuries, a skin abscess, nerve disorder or even an open sore. Sometimes constantly annoying headaches or sinusitis may also lead to facial pain. And some of the more commons issues that result in a headache are tension, anxiety, excessive stress, sleeplessness, migraines and sinus problems. A headache can also occur due to more severe causes such as tumor or cancer in the brain, neck issues, abnormalities of any kind in the blood vessels and muscles of the brain, etc.

When to seek medical help?
The symptoms of facial pain may vary depending on the factor that's triggering the pain. From swelling to open sores, redness, rashes on the skin, etc. are often associated with facial pain symptoms. People usually describe the facial pain to be an achy feeling or stabbing or cramp-like sensation on the different facial parts.

Headaches usually occur alone. However, some of its associated symptoms are blurry vision, difficulty in walking straight, confusion, trouble in speaking correctly, excessive sleepiness, neck pain, and neck stiffness. Sometimes, developing increased sensitivity to noise or light is also a symptom of headaches. Headaches can be mild to moderate to very excruciating. When the pain in the head becomes severe, it leads to vomiting and nausea.

What are the pain management strategies for this issue?
When it comes to headaches and facial pain management, the treatment options also vary depending on the causes of such pain. From stress reduction to, pain managing medications, elimination of particular foods from one's daily diet and biofeedback training are some of the most common ways of pain management. Regular exercise can also help in dealing with pain in some cases. However, if the cause of a face pain or headaches lies in some severe health diseases, prompt medical attention may be required for treating them first.

Remember, the moment you think that your quality of life is in some way impacted by head pain and facial pain, don't hesitate to look for medical assistance. Because, until unless, you do not consider undertaking proper methods of pain management suggested by a doctor, getting back to a healthy pain-free life and concentrating on your daily works may be impossible.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4210 people found this helpful

When To See A Doctor For Your Headache?

Dr. Girish C Pandey 90% (72 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, DNB (Psychiatry)
Psychiatrist, Ghaziabad
When To See A Doctor For Your Headache?

A headache can be a hindrance to any person at any time. It can either occur on left or right side in case of a migraine, be isolated to a point or radiate across the entire head. The pain can be sharp, throbbing or dull. It can either develop gradually or suddenly and can last for few hours to several days. Headaches need not arise due to a factor or condition of or in the head alone, they can be triggered because of other disorders or diseases in the body.

What are the different causes of a headache?
There are different kinds of headaches. Based on the symptoms, a doctor can diagnose the causes and the best treatment option for it. Not all headaches indicate serious illness. On the other hand, some headaches can be life-threatening as well. Primarily headaches can be divided into two broad categories- a primary headache and secondary headaches.

  1. Primary headaches: A primary headache is caused due to conditions or factors associated with the pain-sensitive structures of the head. These types of headaches do not result from underlying illness. Muscles of the neck and head, blood vessels and chemical activity in and around the skull are the reason for primary headaches. Even certain genes could be responsible for triggering the pain. Some of the types of primary headaches include a cluster headache, tension headache, migraine, paroxysmal hemicrania etc. There could be primary headaches that last for a very long time such as sex headaches, cough headaches, chronic migraine, hemicranias continua etc. Typically, primary headaches are often triggered by poor posture, alcohol, lack of sleep, irregular food timings, processed meats etc.
  2. Secondary headaches: Secondary headaches are the symptoms of a disease that can activate the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. The severity of the pain varies greatly. Some of the possible causes of secondary headaches include arterial tears, acute sinusitis, brain aneurysm, brain tumour, dehydration, ear infection, carbon monoxide poisoning, dental problems, glaucoma, hangovers, flu, hypertension, stroke, panic attacks, toxoplasmosis, post-concussion syndrome, trigeminal neuralgia, monosodium glutamate, meningitis, giant cell arteritis etc. Some of the common triggers of secondary headaches include ice cream headaches, compression headaches, thunderclap headaches, sinus headaches, rebound headaches, spinal headaches etc.

When to seek emergency care for headaches?
Headaches could indicate serious disorders such as encephalitis, stroke or meningitis. It is advisable to seek immediate medical care for an unbearable headache which also includes the inability to understand speech, stiff neck, trouble in vision, vomiting accompanied with nausea, trouble in speaking, high body temperature, greater than 104°F. A doctor should be consulted if the pain occurs multiple times in a short duration, keeps one from working or performing daily activities, the pain doesn’t improve even after the consumption of over the counter medicine and disturbs sleeping.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2711 people found this helpful

Abdominal Surgery: Caring for Yourself at Home!

Dr. Aasim Anees Hussain 86% (12 ratings)
M.S, General Surgery, Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.), Medicine, Fellowship In Minimal Access Surgery, Fellowship In Laparoscopic & Robotic Onco-Surgery, FIAGES
General Surgeon, Chennai
Abdominal Surgery: Caring for Yourself at Home!

Every year, millions of people all over the world undergo abdominal surgery. If you belong to that group, you will want to get back on the feet as early as possible. But there are many aspects that patients do which can slow down the recovery process and lead to delayed and uncomfortable and sometimes, fatally dangerous complications.

In recent times, hospitals employ enhanced recovery after surgery or ERAS for pain management, pre-operation eating, and post-operation exercise. The result of this protocol is that the recovery time is reduced by one-third which indicates that you can go home a few days earlier while the rate of complication drops manifold. Regardless of whether you have undergone a hernia repair surgery or removal of gallbladder or hysterectomy or colorectal cancer, the following steps can help you heal faster.

  1. Get walking as soon as you can: When you are recovering from the abdominal surgery, you should aim for three to four walks regularly. This is because movement helps the lungs to expand which can reduce the chance of having pneumonia which is a common risk of post-surgery. It can help in the movement of blood in the extremities while decreasing the likelihood of blood clots.
  2. Cut back on narcotic painkillers: Your doctor may recommend a non-opioid pain reliever or an epidural injection which can protect bowel function. But you should try not to rely on these drugs for a longer period and strive to cut down on them since they can cause various complications. They can slow down the function of intestine which causes constipation. This is extremely troubling after undergoing the abdominal surgery and can delay recovery time.
  3. Drink a lot of liquids: You should start drinking water and other liquids as soon as your doctor allows you to do so. If you are a coffee lover, you can start drinking that as well to prevent caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches. But make sure you can drink a lot of water for avoiding dehydration.
  4. Chew gum: Once you have undergone abdominal surgery, the digestive system would become slow and may decline from the optimal function. It can be extremely uncomfortable and prolong hospital stay. When you chew gum, it makes the body feel that you are eating which will compel the digestive system to start functioning again.
  5. Spend time on a rocking chair: Most people know that sitting tends to open the lungs better than lying flat. But when you spend time in a rocking chair, the additional activity can be extremely beneficial for your body. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get up and walk.

Following these few tips, it will be easier for you to recover from abdominal surgery. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3197 people found this helpful

Homeopathy: How It Works And its Major Benefits

Dr. Bhavin Dhamsaniya 89% (49 ratings)
BHMS, Diploma In Naturopathy & Yogic Science (DNYS)
Homeopath, Rajkot
Homeopathy: How It Works And its Major Benefits

By definition homeopathy is “the treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances that in a healthy person would produce symptoms of disease.” (1) In other words, it’s an alternative medicinal practice that uses the smallest possible amount of an active ingredient in order to help treat or cure a disease, even if this same ingredient can contribute to an illness in the first place. Another way to put this concept: “like cures like”!

As of 2012, surveys showed that an estimated 5 million American adults and 1 million children used homeopathy in the previous year alone. Homeopathy dates back to the late 1700s, and today the World Health Organization recognizes it as “the second  largest therapeutic system in use in the world.” (2)

Hundreds of different homeopathic remedies are now in existence. Homeopathic medicine comes from a range of natural substances, which can either be plant, mineral or animal-based. Examples of substances that a homeopathic doctor might use to treat a patient include: fresh or dried herbs, activated charcoal, vinegar, garlic, caffeine, mountain herbs, crushed bees, white arsenic, poison ivy and stinging nettle plants. These substances are extracted or processed in another way to create tablets, skin ointments, gels, drops or creams. (3)

What are some commonly-known homeopathic remedies you might recognize? St. John’s Wort, chamomile, calcium carbonate, potassium and silica, for example.

Homeopathic medicine is considered to be a safe practice and remedies have been regulated by the FDA since the late 1980s. (4) While there’s been much debate in the medical community over the years regarding whether or not homeopathic medicines work, many patients are able to find relief from illnesses like food or seasonal allergies, insomnia, fatigue and so on using very small doses of natural, safe homeopathic solutions.


How Homeopathy Works

Wondering why it would be beneficial to use homeopathic substances to help treat an illness or health problem if the same substance seems to also contribute to illness? The idea is that this practice helps stimulate the immune system and the body’s natural ability to heal. As the School Of Homeopathy states, “that which a substance is capable of causing, it is also capable of curing.” (5)

One of the most important principles of homeopathic medicine is that treatments must be “individualized” and tailored to each person’s specific symptoms, history, body and needs. Even if two people are battling the same illness, they can receive completely different commendations from their homeopathic doctors based on their unique situation and how their body would be expected to respond.

What makes homeopathy very different from conventional medicine is that a patient’s emotions and personality are highly important. It’s common for a homeopathic doctor to talk in depth with a patient about their stress levels, relationships, personal characteristics, family and so on. Patients respond differently to a range of doses of homeopathic medicines, some needing much higher doses than others based on their current situation. Homeopathic remedies — whether adaptogen herbs, minerals, medicinal mushrooms or animal products, for example — are diluted to a certain potency depending on the patient’s needs, and the goal is to always use the minimum dose possible that will still offer benefits.

In addition to interviewing the patient, lab tests are also commonly carried out to help the homeopathic doctor learn about the patient’s condition. However, lab tests are not the end-all-be-all: they are always viewed in light of the patient’s symptoms and self-reported. Compared to simply taking blood, urine, hormone or other tests and then prescribing standard medications, the homeopathic doctor’s goal is to learn about the patient’s entire experience and expectations in order to help “holistically” in the most effective way possible.

 

Here are some key facts about homeopathy and an overview of how this system works:

  • Homeopathic doctors first evaluate a patient and identify symptoms of an illness in order to “match” them with a remedy. Symptoms are usually graded depending on their intensity and frequency, and then specific remedies are assigned.
  • Because homeopathy is a “holistic” practice, the patient’s entire lifestyle, habits and background are considered. There’s a very strong emphasis on emotional symptoms and conditions that might be contributing to an illness. For example, homeopathy takes into account that emotional stress can trigger tension headaches and a lack of sleep can contribute to digestive issues.
  • A core belief in homeopathy is that mental and emotional symptoms are so important that they even outweigh many physical symptoms. The reason for this belief is that someone’s personality, beliefs and mental/emotional symptoms are characteristic of the entire individual and affects their ability to heal.
  • Many homeopathic remedies have names written in Latin (after their animal, mineral or plant source) and are assigned a number and ratio to describe how strong the solution is.
  • It’s common for homeopathic medicines to be called “tinctures” or “mother tinctures,” which are simply solutions made from either grinding, distilling or extracting active ingredients in to some sort of carrier (usually either alcohol or water).
  • Based on the number of “potentization steps” needed, a homeopathic remedy is diluted to a certain degree and assigned based on intensity of symptoms. Decimal potency numbers or ratios are given to each remedy, in order to state the ratio of active chemical ingredients in relation to either water or alcohol.
  • In homeopathic medicine, there is an important distinction between “potency” and “strength” of a remedy. A remedy is not  always considered to be stronger or better if it’s more potent, since each person’s reaction to a potency will be different.
  • Many homeopathic substances are capable of causing toxicity, poisoning or negative reactions if taken in high enough doses (like mercury, arsenic or even snake venom, for example). Therefore, very low doses are usually administered — even doses so low that the substance itself if practically unidentifiable due to be being heavily diluted.

Who Benefits from Homeopathy the Most?

Homeopathy has been used most widely in patients suffering from: (6)

  • depression
  • allergies
  • asthma
  • migraines and tension headaches
  • anxiety disorders
  • dermatitis and other skin disorders
  • arthritis
  • fatigue
  • thyroid or autoimmune disorders
  • digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Effectiveness of homeopathy: wondering if homeopathy really works?

  • At least 142 trials have been published in scientific journals regarding homeopathy. The School of Homeopathy has found that up to 85 percent of random-controlled trials demonstrate that homeopathy is more effective than placebo. (7)
  •  There have been five meta-analyses reviewing homeopathy trials to date, including one that appeared in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2005. (8) Four analyses showed that overall homeopathy worked better than placebos.
  • A six-year study released in 2005 from Bristol Homeopathic Hospital reported that 70 percent of 6,500 follow-up patients experienced improvement in their health after receiving homeopathic treatments.

Some speculate that homeopathy medicines are so diluted with water that they are incapable of having any effects. However, these remedies have been used for centuries and decades of anecdotal evidence shows that many people’s symptoms do, in fact, improve after receiving homeopathic medicines. It is true that because homeopathic treatments address many aspects of a patient’s life (emotional health, personality, eating habits and medical history), it can be very hard to measure progress and improvements.

Studies that have been done investigating homeopathy’s effects have been mixed overall: Some show effectiveness and reductions in symptoms, but others do not. According to a report published by Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, several challenges exist regarding studies of homeopathy. One challenge is that to date there haven’t been many long-term, well-controlled clinical trials conducted investigating the effects of homeopathic treatments, especially compared to how many have been funded to study more traditional “Western medicines” — like antibiotics, vaccines and prescription drugs that the modern medical establishment advocates its patients take for illness rather than try any “alternative” medicine. Because of this, many homeopathic doctors claim that there isn’t enough evidence to rule out these remedies’ effectiveness without more well-controlled studies. (9)

One theory that’s presented by homeopathic doctors in response to the claim that homeopathic remedies are too diluted to even work is this: Even when a homeopathic remedy is very low in strength, it’s still possible for even a slight amount of the active ingredient to remain present and to have an effect on the patient. Homeopathic experts point to studies showing that water molecules can take on a physical form where extremely small particles of an active chemical, gas or certain types of light can become embedded and have an effect on the patient. This theory has not been fully proven, but some studies using methods like microscopy and spectroscopy have shown that active ingredients do remain even after much dilution.


5 Benefits of Homeopathy

 1. All Aspects of an Individual Patient Are Considered

Homeopathy does not view an illness as just a collection of symptoms, but rather a reaction to a unique patient’s situation. Homeopathy treats all symptoms experienced by a patient including those that are “spiritual, emotional, mental and physical.” This means homeopathic treatments take into account things like chronic stress and beliefs about one’s ability to get better, which we now know are hugely important for overall health.

2. Low Doses of Natural Products Are Used

Homeopathic remedies are not made using man-made drugs or chemicals, but rather made from things found in nature like trace minerals and herbs. They are normally used in very low doses, and are “gentle, subtle and powerful.” Compared to prescription drugs they carry a very low risk for addiction and only very rarely cause any negative side effects.

3. Helps Treat Allergies & Asthma

Homeopathic treatment are used to treat allergies and asthma in a very similar way to conventional treatments, by giving a patient a small amount of the same substances that causes their allergies to begin with.

In one study conducted by researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, 80 percent of asthma patients who received customized, very small “homeopathic” doses experienced significant relief and improvements in symptoms within the first week of treatment. Patients were given very small doses of substances that they were allergic to in order to stimulate the body’s immune system and help them heal. Compared to the homeopathic group, the control group receiving a placebo only experienced improvements about 38 percent of the time. (10)

4. Can Help Reduce Anxiety & Depression

Homeopathy is often used along with traditional forms of psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, to help treat symptoms of mental disorders, including  physical ailments. Many people with anxiety and depression experience problems like insomnia or trouble sleeping, fatigue, muscles aches, headaches and digestive upset. A homeopathic doctor addresses all symptoms associated with mental disorders, both physical and emotional, which can help a patient recover faster.

A 2006 meta-analysis done by the School of Integrated Health in London investigated homeopathy’s effectiveness for anxiety and found that “several observational studies reported positive results including high levels of patient satisfaction.” (11) However, these studies are not well-controlled and some lack randomization and a control group, which makes it hard for researchers to draw definitive conclusions.

Overall, surveys suggest that homeopathy is quite frequently used by people suffering from anxiety and offers many patients benefits with very little risk, but more qualitative studies are still needed to confirm this finding.

5. Helps Control Pain

Certain studies have found that people suffering from chronic pain can benefit from homeopathic treatments, without the need for risky procedures or medications.

One controlled, randomized prospective study involving 43 patients suffering from chronic lower back pain assessed symptoms at the beginning and end of an 18.5 month period. During the trial period, patients received homeopathic therapy based on their unique symptoms. The results were statistically evaluated and showed that at the end of treatment, many patients experienced a significant decrease in pain.

The conclusion of the study was that further research would need to be done to confirm these findings, but that “homeopathy was well accepted by most of the patients…nothing can be said against attempting treatment of chronic low back pain by means of homeopathy.” (12)

Homeopath Vs. Naturopath: How Are They Different?

Both homeopathy and naturopathy are complementary (or alternative) health care modalities that are practiced by thousands of trained practitioners around the world.  Today “naturopathy” is used mostly as a broader, umbrella term for many different types of natural or holistic therapies, including: acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese Medicine practices, herbal medicine, massage, nutrition, Ayurveda and also homeopathy. (13)

Like homeopathy, naturopathy is based on using nature as a source of healing. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians states that naturopathy “combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science”.  (14) Naturopaths usually give their patients dietary advice, supplement recommendations and herbal medicines to try, sometimes along with prescription medications.

Some medical doctors choose to practice both conventional medicine and homeopathy or naturopathy simultaneously. Between the two practices, naturopaths are more likely to be qualified as medical doctors and considered “General Practitioners.” Qualifications differ from state to state, but most states require that naturopaths receive a four-year degree similar to one that would be obtained through medical school. Naturopathic physicians typically work in private practices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers.

Overall, these two modalities have a lot in common and tend to overlap, but naturopaths usually use many natural treatments in their practice, while homeopaths more commonly only use homeopathic medicines.


History of Homeopathy

The practice of homeopathy has been around for more than 200 years and is still practiced in one form or another in nearly every country on earth today. The creation of homeopathy dates back to a man named Samuel Hahnemann, who in 1796 used ideas originating from Ancient Greek medicinal practitioners to form his theory of homeopathic medicine.

His philosophy and practice were based on the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself naturally, and that symptoms are its way of showing a patient what’s wrong and going on internally. Homeopathy is, therefore, different than conventional medicine because it views symptoms of illness as normal responses from the body as it attempts to regain health.

Symptoms are viewed as “messengers” and are meant to be interpreted, in addition to being treated. At the time of his original work, Hahnemann didn’t base his theory on many scientific studies or facts, but rather on his own logic, observations of patients and reasoning. The laws of homeopathy originally devised by Hahnemann are still in use by homeopaths practicing around the world today.


Precautions Regarding Homeopathy

Potential Risks & Side Effects: 

Most homeopathic remedies are highly diluted and, therefore, very low-risk, but some might be mislabeled and problematic when used in high doses. Always read directions carefully and check for the species name of the active ingredients. It’s possible that certain homeopathic products may cause side effects or drug interactions, so if you take other prescriptions consider only taking remedies under the supervision of a doctor.

According to The U.S. Department of Health & Human Service, the biggest risk seems to come from taking remedies made with heavy metals like mercury or iron. Liquid homeopathic remedies can also contain alcohol and caffeine, so shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women or those with sensitivities unless under supervision. While homeopathic remedies are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA does not evaluate the remedies for safety or effectiveness.

One thing to be aware of is that some homeopathic practitioners expect some of their patients to experience “homeopathic aggravation.” This is a temporary worsening of existing symptoms, that is usually goes away once the patient starts to heal. If you’re ever concerned that you’re having negative reactions, visit a doctor and talk about all medicines and supplements you’re taking.


Final Thoughts On Homeopathy

  • Homeopathy dates back to the 18th century and is a holistic medicinal practice that uses low doses of natural substances to help improve the body’s natural healing abilities
  • Patients suffering from arthritis, allergies, astham, anxiety, depression and digetive issues might be able to find releif from visting a homeopath
  • Many clinical trials and studies have found that homeopathic remedies work better than placebos, but there are challenges regarding a high percentage of these studies and more research is still needed
  • Overall the risk of homeopathic remedies is very low, as these substances are considered mostly safe, are easy to use and are non-addictive like many prescriptions
5 people found this helpful

When 'Headache' is not just a 'Headache'

Dr. Sudheer Ambekar 92% (89 ratings)
M.Ch - Neuro Surgery, MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Mumbai
When 'Headache' is not just a 'Headache'

Headaches are common and almost everyone has had one during the lifetime. In majority of the people, headache is not a bad omen and occurs due to common conditions such as stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, hunger, medications and changes in weather. The three most common types of headaches are tension, migraine and sinus.

Tension Headache: It is the most common type of headache wherein there is a feeling of a tight band around the head. the pain is mild to moderate and diffuse with a sensation of tightness around the forehead or on the sides and back. Unlike migraine, tension headache is not associated with visual disturbances, nausea or vomiting and is not aggravated by physical activity.

Migraine: It is usually a severe throbbing or pulsating pain, usually on one side of the head and commonly associated with nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Warning symptoms (aura) such as flashes of light, blind spots, difficulty speaking, tingling on one side of the face, arm or leg can occur before the onset of headache. Prodromal symptoms may include constipation, mood changes, food cravings, neck stiffness, increased thirst and urination and frequent yawning. A migraine attack may last from a few hours to 3 days followed by the postdromal phase wherein confusion, moodiness, dizziness, weakness and sensitivity to light and sound may occur.

Sinus headache: This headache is caused by infection of the sinuses (sinusitis). The sinuses are small air spaces in the skull, found behind the nose, eyes and cheeks. They open out into the nose, allowing mucus and other secretions to drain and air to circulate normally. A sinus headache is a constant, throbbing pain felt in the face (around the eyes, cheeks and forehead), usually only on one side. It tends to be at its worst in the morning and may get better as the day progresses. The pain may also get worse when you move your head, strain or bend down, and when you experience extreme changes in temperature (such as going from a warm room into freezing air outside). It can also spread to your teeth, upper jaw and other parts of your head.

When should a person with headache be evaluated further?
 

  • Age - >40 years or <15 years at onset of new headache
  • First, worst or headache that is different from usual headache 
  • Progressive headache (over weeks)
  • Persistent headache precipitated by cough, sneeze, bending or exertion
  • Thunderclap headache (explosive onset)
  • Additional features - Atypical or prolonged aura (>1 hour) 
  • Aura occurring for the first time in woman on combined oral contraceptive 
  • New onset headache in a patient with a history of cancer or HIV
  • Red Eye or blurring of vision (Acute angle closure Glaucoma)
  • Concurrent systemic illness
  • Neurological signs
  • Seizures
  • Symptoms/signs of Giant Cell Arteritis (e.g. jaw claudication)
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Homeopathic Remedies for Headaches!

Dr. Prashant K Vaidya 90% (507 ratings)
Diploma in Gastroenterology, Diploma in Dermatology, BHMS
Homeopath, Hyderabad
Homeopathic Remedies for Headaches!

Headaches occur for various reasons such as tension, worry, hunger, heat or cold. It can often be accompanied by a fever too. But when headaches become regular and occur at anytime without a reason, it is known as migraine for which one needs to seek medical help. Painkillers are mostly prescribed and homeopathy as a treatment option is most often overlooked for this condition. However, one must know that painkillers only provide relief for some time, they do not cure a headache completely. Painkillers may never be needed again if one chooses homeopathic treatment.

Types of headaches
The regular headaches are mostly periodical and can last from half an hour to a week. Tension headaches are the most common types of headaches and are triggered by stress, anxiety, or muscle strain. However, in migraine the pain is much severe and various symptoms such as:

  • The pain can last for hours or days
  • The pain occurs every once in a while
  • The pain can be throbbing or pulsating
  • Nausea and vomiting could be experienced
  • Patients become sensitive to light and sound and prefer to be in the dark
  • In some cases, before the pain starts, some warning symptoms are seen such as flashes of light, temporary blindness or tingling sensation in the limbs
  • Sleep can provide relief

Few other most common headaches that people suffer from are:

  1. Cluster headaches: Occurring on one side of the head, these aches come in clusters. These headaches are often experienced periodically.
  2. Sinus headaches: One of the most commonly experienced headaches, which is often confused with a migraine. Some symptoms include cough, congestion, stuffy nose and pressure on face.
  3. Chiari headaches: This is a headache caused due to Chiari malformation which is a birth defect.
  4. Thunderclap headaches: Known to be a very severe headache, it develops in about a minute. In some cases, it may be a symptom of subarachnoid hemorrhage, this condition is serious and requires immediate attention.

Identification of the pain and diagnosis:
Before prescribing any medicine, doctors need to know the category of the headache. They reach a diagnosis by checking three things-
1. Modality: It is important to know what makes the pain better or worse, light or dark, warm or cold, movement or rest.
2. Location: Where the pain occurs, on top of the head, at the back or the sides.
3. Sensation: This type of the headache causes throbbing, bursting, pounding or splitting.
Based on the type of the pain and severity of the symptoms, doctors prescribe remedies.

Homeopathy Treatment:
Homeopathy treatment does not work like painkillers or allopathic tablets. These medicines use shortcuts. Homeopathy goes deep down to the problem and cures it completely. It takes some time to show results, but the patient can live a pain-free life after the treatment.
There are lots of homeopathic remedies that can be prescribed by doctors, and patients should strictly follow them.

Rules:
There are some rules which need to be followed while taking homeopathic medicines to gain maximum effect.
• The pillules must be sucked or crushed in the mouth and must not be swallowed. If they are swallowed by mistake, then a second dose is required.
• For infants, these should be crushed between spoons and sprinkled on their tongue.
• Teeth should not be brushed 10 minutes before and after taking a remedy.
• Creams, lotions and ointments should be applied to the skin as directed.

Homeopathic medicines can not only cure a headache completely, they also trigger the immune system. So it is a good idea to give up painkillers and opt for homeopathic remedies for a headache. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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Headache - Did You Know These Facts?

Dr. Kartik Kohli 91% (11 ratings)
MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon
Headache - Did You Know These Facts?

Headache is a pain in any part of the head, including the scalp, upper neck, face (including the eye area).

A primary headache is caused by problems with or overactivity of pain-sensitive structures in your head. A primary headache isn't a symptom of an underlying disease.

What are the causes and triggers?

The three most common causes of a primary headache are:

  1. Cluster headache
  2. Tension-type headache
  3. Migraine

Some primary headaches can be triggered by lifestyle factors, including:

  • Alcohol, particularly red wine
  • Certain foods, such as processed meats that contain nitrates
  • Changes in sleep or lack of sleep
  • Poor posture
  • Skipped meals
  • Stress

Doctors focus on determining whether a headache has another cause. They also check for symptoms suggesting that a headache is caused by a serious disorder. If no cause is identified, they focus on identifying which type of a headache is present.

Tips that could help before seeking consultation:

  • Try to keep stress in check. Stay organized and prepared to minimize stressful situations. Have some fun, and don't overdo it at work.
  • Try incorporating meditation or yoga in your daily regime
  • Apply a heating pad, hot water bottle or warm compress to aching muscles. Or take a hot shower.
  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the neck.
  • Practice good posture to ease muscle strain. While standing, keep shoulders back and head level, buttocks and abdomen pulled in. While sitting, keep your head straight and thighs parallel to the floor.

When to seek consultation?

In people with headaches, certain characteristics are cause for concern; these people should immediately seek medical consultation:

  • It occurs more frequently than usual
  • Are more severe than usual
  • Worsen or don't improve with appropriate use of over-the-counter drugs
  • Prevent you from working, sleeping or participating in normal activities
  • Headaches that cause you distress, and you would like to find treatment options that enable you to control them better
  • Tenderness at the temple (as when combing hair) or jaw pain when chewing
  • The presence of cancer or a disorder that weakens the immune system
  • Use of a drug that suppresses the immune system
  • Red eyes and halos seen around lights
  • If you are experiencing certain other symptoms like- headaches that increase in frequency or severity, headaches that begin after age 50, worsening vision, weight loss

A headache can be a symptom of a serious condition, such as a stroke, meningitis or encephalitis. Go to a hospital emergency room or your local emergency number if you have the worst headache of your life, a sudden, severe headache or a headache accompanied by:    

  • Confusion or trouble understanding speech
  • Fainting, drowsiness, confusion
  • High fever, greater than 102 f to 104 f (39 c to 40 c)
  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of your body
  • Stiff neck
  • Trouble seeing, speaking or walking
  • Nausea or vomiting (if not clearly related to the flu or a hangover)

If people with none of the above symptoms or characteristics start having headaches that are different from any they have had before or if their usual headaches become unusually severe, they should call their doctor.

Doctors can usually determine the type or cause of headaches based on the medical history, symptoms, and results of a physical examination. Depending on their other symptoms, the doctor may advise taking an analgesic or ask them to come for an evaluation. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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