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Homoeopathic Management of Common Summer Ailments

By Dr. Swapan Paul, BHMS, MD (Hom.)

Among all the seasons of nature, the summer season causes most discomfort to the human race and also to the animal planet either by causing physical ailments or by setting loose disasters upon the environment. This season is conducive to the break-out of many epidemics. Discussed here are common ailments prevalent in the summer season.


Introduction
During summer season there is extreme heat causing hyperthermia to the body. There are a variety of heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion, heat cramps etc. which develop in the summer season. Other heat-related health problems include heat rash and sunburn, gastrointestinal disorders (e.g. diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, vomiting etc). Summer can bring heat waves with unusually high temperatures that last for days and sometimes weeks. High temperatures put people at risk of disease. The common ailments which develop during summer season are described with their management and homoeopathic treatment.

The people who are at greatest risk of heat-related illness:
  • Infants and children up to four years of age.
  • People 65 years of age or older.
  • People who are overweight.
  • People who overexert during work or exercise.
  • People who are ill or on certain medications.
Infants and children up to four years of age are very sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids. People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently, and are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. Overweight people may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat. The people, who are at risk, should drink plenty of fluids, avoid overexertion, and get the advice from doctor. The advice being taken for: High blood pressure, Depression, Nervousness, Mental illness, Insomnia, or Poor circulation.

Summer Diarrhoea
Diarrhea is characterized by frequent loose or liquid evacuation from bowel. Acute diarrhea is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause severe dehydration which is one of the cause of death in diarrhea sufferers. Along with water, sufferers also lose dangerous amounts of important salts, electrolytes, and other nutrients. Diarrhea commonly results from gastroenteritis caused by viral infections, parasites or bacterial toxins. However, for ill or malnourished individuals diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration and can become life-threatening without treatment.

Diarrhea can also be a symptom of more serious diseases, such as dysentery, cholera, or botulism, and can also be indicative of a chronic syndrome such as Crohn’s disease or severe mushroom poisoning syndromes. Diarrhea can also be caused by dairy intake in those who are lactose intolerant. Symptomatic treatment for diarrhea involves the patient consuming adequate amounts of water to replace that loss, preferably mixed with electrolytes to provide essential salts and some amount of nutients. Medical supervision is required for the following types of diarrhea:
  • Diarrhea in infants.
  • Moderate or severe diarrhea in young children.
  • Diarrhea associated with blood.
  • Diarrhea that continues for more than two days.
  • Diarrhea that is associated with more general illness such as non-cramping abdomianl pain, fever, weight loss etc.
  • Diarrhoea in travelers, since they are more likely to have exotic infections such as parasites.
  • Diarrhea in food handlers, because of the potential to infect others.
  • Diarrhea in institutions such as hospitals, child care centers, or geriatric and convalescent homes.

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