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Paediatrics and Homeopathy

Child care with Homeopathy

Treatment of recurrent infections or illnesses in children is best done with the constitutional medication given in Homeopathy. This treatment is aimed at boosting the child’s immune system to fight infections. With treatment the frequency and intensity of the problem comes down, allowing the natural immunity of the body to take over. The associated problems of low appetite, slow weight gain; crankiness etc comes down automatically, ensuring a healthy and normal growth.

Asthma
Allergies
Recurrent Tonsillitis
Eczema
Allergic dermatitis
Vitiligo
Constipation
Diarrhoea
Vomiting
Bedwetting
Infertility
ADHD
Autism(ASD)


ASTHMA

 Asthma is a chronic condition involving the respiratory system in which the airway occasionally constricts and becomes inflamed, with excessive amounts of mucus collecting in the air passages. An acute episode is the attack of wheezing, cough and breathlessness.

With the level of pollution, dust, pollens and smoke in the cities asthma i s one of the most common respiratory conditions in the cities today. Homeopathy addresses the immunity and improves resistance to disease, making Homeopathy the most effective treatment to cure asthma.

Causes:
A family history of asthma, allergies or tuberculosis may be a causative factor. Low immunity and frequent respiratory infections is one of the major causative factors for repeated infections that could lead to asthma.

Triggering factors:
In children, Asthmamay be precipitated after the suppression of a skin disease like eczema that has been treated by a steroid, or where recurrent respiratory infections have been treated with repeated strong medication.

D ust mites, smoke, cockroaches, cats and dog’s fur, certain foods, cold drinks, respiratory infections, changes in weather and exercise are also triggers of asthma

Symptoms:

  • Cough, wheezing and mucous production are the main symptoms of asthma.
  • Wheezing usually begins suddenly and comes in episodes which may be worse at night or in the early morning; and gets worse with cold air and physical activity
  • Cough with or without sputum (phlegm) production
Symptoms during a severe acute attack- Extreme difficulty in breathing; Severe anxiety due to shortness of breath; Decreased level of alertness.

General measures:
  • The cleaning of the house or the surroundings should be done by wet mopping rather than sweeping, wherever possible. This avoids the generation of allergen aerosols which could act as a triggering factor.
  • Steaming with plain warm water daily acts as a preventive. In dry climates, keep an open vessel of water in the room at night. This improves the moisture levels and decreases the bronchial irritation.
  • Common food allergens that tend to trigger an asthma attack include eggs, fish, shellfish, milk, chocolate, food preservatives and coloring.
  • Foods that tend to produce mucous are milk and diary products, rice, fried food and fats are best avoided.
  • Ginger juice mixed with fenugreek decoction and honey helps in reducing the mucous.
  • Dinner should preferably be finished at least three hours before bedtime, as lying down immediately after eating can cause irritation of the respiratory tract and precipitate an attack.
  • Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke.
  • Avoid close contact with pets, as animal dander is a trigger to asthma.

Homeopathic Treatment:
Children recover very well with short term Homeopathic medication, and the use of inhalers can be totally avoided. The treatment also effectively addresses the appetite and growth issues in asthmatic children.

Immunity based constitutional treatment can reduce and cure the tendency to attacks of asthma. This combined with medication to strengthen the respiratory system, can show very significant improvement within a short period of time.


Allergies

Allergy is caused by an oversensitive immune system, which leads to a misdirected immune response. The immune system normally protects the body against harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses.

Causes
Allergies are also generally worse in dry cold climates, and are typically better in humid or coastal climates. With low humidity and increasing pollution aggravates the condition.

Specific allergens can be pollen, dust mites, animal fur/hair- from dogs or cats. Cigarette smoke is another big trigger. Strong smell of perfume, or flowers; smoke from agarbathis or crackers; and paint or turpentine are strong triggers.

Symptoms:
This may be typically allergic rhinitis, or allergic bronchitis.
  • Frequent and continuous sneezing
  • Watery nasal discharge
  • Nasal obstruction or block
  • Itching and watering of the eyes
  • Swelling of eyelids
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Throat irritation and dryness, with constant clearing of the throat
  • Dark rings around the eyes
  • Dry cough with wheezing
  • These symptoms may be accompanied by Fatigue, sleeplessness and headaches.
When left untreated, the local irritation to the respiratory system, can lead to chronic conditions like nasal polyps, chronic bronchitis and asthma.

Home remedies
- Gargle with warm- hot water. Even if there is no throat irritation, the steam that rises up from the throat while gargling, will help with the nose irritation and nose block.

If the child is too young to gargle, give plain warm water to drink especially at bedtime, and wash the face before dinner with warm water. This relieves the congestion and clears any dust or irritant in the throat.

- Steam inhalation every night at bedtime, will clear the nose block. This when done regularly, will help cut down on the use of inhalers.

- At night, keep an open vessel or bowl of hot water close to where the child sleeps. The moisture level in the room will combat the excess dryness and the resultant irritation.

-Give a citrous fruit or its fresh juice daily. The vitamin C in citrous fruits is very good for this condition. Adding a few grains of pepper and salt to the juice will prevent it from affecting the throat.

- Make a decoction of honey, ginger and turmeric, and give with milk once a day.

Homeopathic treatment
Homeopathic medicines are the one effective cure for allergies, where the abnormal immune reactions are brought down, and the over reaction or the allergic reactions to normal substances are reduced.

The immunity treatment is done for a few months, where the problem is chronic. When the immunity is improved, the allergic reactions to the environment are drastically reduced. Exposure to the allergens or the weather change should not lead to symptoms. This can be achieved with homeopathic treatment.



Tonsillitis

The tonsils are masses of lymph tissue that act as two guards located on the right and left at the back of the throat. Tonsils act as a filter and prevent the spread of infections in the throat, mouth and sinuses from spreading to other parts of the body. The tonsils produce antibodies or cells that fight disease, when they are first encountered at the throat . Inflammation of the tonsils due to infection is called tonsillitis.

Causes:
Tonsillitis is mainly caused due to bacterial infections. When the general immunity is low, there is a tendency to develop sensitivity so that tonsillitis may be triggered due to cold food and drink, cold weather, change of weather, certain foods like package food which contain artificial coloring agents and preservatives etc.

In children who are prone to tonsillitis, repeated exposures to the triggers lower the immunity of the child and tonsils become chronically inflamed.

Symptoms:
  • Sore throat, irritation in the throat with hoarseness of voice
  • Difficulty and pain while swallowing
  • High fever and Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of neck glands
  • Fatigue or body pain

When the infection becomes chronic, the tonsils swell and block the airway and make breathing and swallowing difficult.

Home remedies:
Gargle with warm water and salt
Drink ginger and honey tea
Hot soups and beverages can soothe the throat

Homeopathic treatment:
Homeopathic treatment is the best way to treat a case of tonsillitis esp. in children. The medicines help cut down the frequency and severity of attacks and improve the immunity so that external factors like food and temperature do not bring on tonsillitis.

It is also very convenient to administer the medication to young children. Surgery can be avoided by curing the condition with Homeopathic medicines.


Eczema

Eczema is an inflammatory response of the skin, also known as dermatitis. There is a localized or widespread eruption on the skin with itching, and this can be complicated by secondary infections.

It is common in infants and children. Prolonged use of strong medication can suppress this condition as long as the medicines are given and the condition recurs seasonally, and can continue up to early or late teens.

Symptoms:

  • There are dry or oozing eruptions, which begin as small reddish eruptions or a patch with lot of itching.
  • Most commonly seen in flexures or bend of the elbow, face and neck, wrists and ankles.
  • Dryness of the skin
  • Continuous intolerable itching, which may or may not be relieved by scratching
  • Redness of the affected part
  • Swelling or bleeding of the part after scratching

Types of eczema:
Atopic dermatitis-This is characterized by the typical symptoms of eczema, the dryness, redness, itching.

Contact dermatitis-This type of eczema is seen only when the skin comes into contact with some allergens like detergents, acids, clothing, nickel, perfume, fabrics, jewelry etc.

Childhood eczema-The child skin is very delicate and doesn’t provide a proper barrier for infections. This is because there is more loss of water from their skin and hence they are more prone to eczemas.

General measures:

  • Wash with a very mild soap and warm water. Do not rub the area vigorously; instead just remove the excess water on the surface.
  • Olive oil is very good for eczema. It moisturizes the skin and helps to retain the natural oils in the skin. It can be applied soon after taking a bath, or added to the bath water
  • Avoid using woolen, silk and leather clothes. Thin cotton clothes would be the perfect choice.
  • Avoid giving the child cocoa products, and packaged food.

Homeopathic treatment:
Eczema is curable by Homeopathy. The acute condition is treated to bring down the inflammation of the skin. Itching is first relieved followed by decrease of the rashes.

Infants and children- It is commonly seen that when a steroidal application is used for the skin, and the eruptions disappear, the child develops a cold or a cough. When this is treated with strong medicines, the eruptions reappear. These children end up being on medication continuously either for the skin or the cough.

The Homeopathic medication is very effective for this condition, without having side effects, and avoiding the suppression of the symptoms.


ALLERGIC/ CONTACT DERMATITIS

Allergic contact dermatitis is an eczematous rash that develops after contact with an agent to which delayed or late reaction is developed in the form of hypersensitivity.

The most common allergens that precipitate this condition can be Nickel, Rubber, Lanolin and chemical Dyes.

Infants or children have a very delicate skin and are therefore prone to get allergic skin reactions very easily. This happens as kids lose water from the skin very frequently and becomes dry.

Symptoms:
A rash develops on the skin after it comes into contact with the allergens
This rash may occasionally spread outside the area of contact.
Itching is noticed at first and then the area involved becomes red, swollen and vesicular or with small eruptions.
Later the area becomes scaly and fissured.
The intensity and the speed of the reaction vary in different kids.

Examples of contact dermatitis:

  • Rashes develop after using some new or colorful clothes or dyes used in it.
  • Sometimes the rash is confined to sun exposed areas even though the allergen may have been in contact with covered areas. This is called photo contact dermatitis and this happens due to the action of ultraviolet areas.
  • In kids who use strong soaps, may develop dermatitis of face, neck, arms and hands due to antiseptic present in it.

Homoeopathic treatment:
Infants or children have immunity which is weak compared to adults. Hence they are prone to skin infections very easily.

Homoeopathic treatment strengthens the immunity and so this allergic hypersensitivity reaction in kids is very well treated by these medications. It can bring down the allergic reaction to the allergen. And in most cases the allergic tendency towards the allergen is reduced, so that even on exposure to the same allergen, the condition does not show up.



VITILIGO

Vitiligo also called as Leucoderma is a skin disorder in which there is focal failure of pigmentation due to destruction of melanocytes (cells associated with pigment formation). And this condition is very commonly seen in children nowadays.

Symptoms:
White patches or spots (de pigmentation) are first noticed on the skin.
The skin remains in the normal texture without itching or dryness usually.
These patches are more obviously seen in sun-exposed areas, like face, lips, hands, arms, feet and legs. Sometimes it can also be seen in the armpits and groin and around the mouth, eyes, nostrils, and navel.

The patches may develop only in one area of the body; or on one side of the body. But for most children who have vitiligo, depigmentation occurs on different parts of the body; generalised vitiligo, often similar on each side of the body.

Causes:
In children the cause is unknown, but it happens due to the immunological involvement.

Sometimes a rash, sunburn, or other skin trauma at the site of vitiligo 2 to 3 months before de pigmentation started can be seen. Any physical illness in the child can also be one factor. Worm infestation can lead to white patches of discoloration similar to Vitiligo.

Homoeopathic treatment:
In this condition while external therapies can show some improvement, the internal medication is very effective. The immunity based medication is also very effective in the treatment of this condition especially in children.


Constipation

Some children are prone to constipation. They may pass stools once in a 2- 3 days or less frequently. The stool may be hard and difficult to pass and may need straining.

In older children, one of the main causes is eating habits; eating less fiber and more junk food.

Symptoms:

  • Hard stools and straining to pass stools
  • Stools passed every alternate day or every 3 days
  • There may be burping, flatulence or passing gas
  • Sometimes odor from the breath.
  • There is an accompanying loss of appetite.

General measures:

  • Give a warm glass of water early in the morning with honey and lemon.
  • Give fiber rich diet; it is found in abundance in beans, oats, barley, apples and citrus fruits, and banana.
  • Give steamed vegetables daily, either to eat directly or blended into a soup form, this provides the necessary fiber to form the stools.
Homoeopathic treatment:
Constipation can be cured by homoeopathic medicines. Some dietary changes are suggested along with the medicine. The treatment is short term, and the condition responds very well to Homeopathic medicines.

Homoeopathic medicines being mild, with no side effects, are very effective both for the treatment of children.



Diarrhea

Diarrhea is increased stool frequency (more than 3 bowel movements per day) or watery stools. Frequent diarrhea can result in dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

  The most common cause of this in infants and young children is during teething. There are frequent stools and greenish in color. The child may be cranky and irritable. And homoeopathy gives a very effective remedial measure to cure this. Replacing the fluids and preventing dehydration is very important, and the medication is needed to control the problem.

General measures:

  • Fluids in the form of tender coconut and ORS have to be given.
  • Till the diarrhea subsides bland food should be given and spicy food should be avoided.
  • Pomegranate juice is advised during this condition.
  • Leafy vegetables like especially spinach to be avoided.

Homoeopathic treatment: In acute cases and in children the results of medication are very prompt; the medication being combined with fluid replacement. Even the diarrhoea during teething responds very well to Homeopathic medicines.


Vomiting

Vomiting is a very common condition. It is not a disease but a natural protective mechanism of the body to get rid of some underlying infection. It is a sign that body is trying to get rid of some abnormal harmful substance.

Children are very prone to vomiting as they often have a sensitive stomach and succumb to infections very easily. This decreases the appetite and affects the immunity and growth of the child. The loss of fluids can lead to disturbances in fluid and acid base balance.

Homoeopathic treatment:
Homoeopathic medicines certainly act very well in children having vomiting as a chronic problem. In this condition the medicines given have to be mild on the stomach and not increase the acidity; and here the homeopathic medicines are very useful.


Lactose intolerance (milk allergy)

In some children, the small intestine fails to produce enough lactase, which is essential for the digestion of lactose or milk; this results in a condition called lactose intolerance.

Symptoms:
In children there is generally vomiting after milk, or bloating, Abdominal pain, Flatulence and diarrhea is seen. These are worsened by the intake of milk, and any diary products like curd, butter, ghee, cheese etc.

and regurgitations which look like curdled milk. There may also be recurrent coughs or respiratory allergic conditions with the lactose intolerance.

Homoeopathic treatment:
Lactose intolerance is very well treated by homoeopathy. The homoeopathic medicines also correct the metabolism and absorption of the digestive system and clear the lactase deficiency. In children who throw up milk, homoeopathic medicines are very effective because they are mild in action, with no side effects.


Jaundice

Jaundice, also known as icterus, is a symptom or clinical sign, not a disease by itself. It basically indicates underlying liver disease. The yellow coloration is caused by an excess amount of the bile pigment known as bilirubin.

Bilirubin is a product of break down of red blood cells and is normally processed by the liver and excreted from the body in bile. When the liver malfunctions, bilirubin is not excreted and builds up in the body.

Causes:
Physiologic jaundice in the newborn is normal in the first week of life. It is common and unless associated with an abnormal condition clears without treatment.
In children it may be due to infection, liver dullness, and heavy medicication.

Symptoms:

  • dark yellow brown urine
  • Loss of appetite, severe weakness, vomiting, and fever may be present
  • pale stools and abdominal pain may be present
  • yellow hue or colour of the skin due to the excess pigmentation
  • eyes turn yellow initially; later the nail beds and inside of the mouth turn yellow
  • Intense itching of skin

Other symptoms usually depend on the actual cause of the jaundice.

General measures:

Have-

  • 4-5 glasses of water a day
  • Simple home made, easy to digest food
  • Brown rice and millet
  • Lot of raw fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables
  • Fresh fruit juice

Avoid-  

  • Eating out.
  • Avoid fried and oily food
  • Reduce milk, dairy products like butter and cheese
  • Processed foods like white sugar, white flour, etc.
  • Soft drinks
  • Meat and animal fats

 Homeopathic treatment:
As the intake of strong medicines can further cause a strain on the liver, Homeopathic medicines are excellent for this condition as they are very mild.
The cause of jaundice must be determined before treatment can be given. The best way to treat jaundice is to correct the underlying cause. Homeopathic medicines can also help in improving the functioning of the liver.


Bedwetting

Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) is passage of urine without knowledge during sleep at least three times a week in a child aged 5 years or older. It is seen in both boys and girls below 16 years. It can be a distressing experience for the child and may lead to loss of self-esteem and isolation.

Causes:
It is usually caused by a combination of three factors. Over production of urine at night; hyperactivity of the bladder; lack of waking up with the urge to urinate. Other causes are stress in the early childhood and fears at night.

Homoeopathic treatment: Homoeopathy has excellent treatment for bedwetting in children. The medicines act on the immune level of the child and corrects the over activity of the bladder and also reduces the tendency to increased formation of urine. Once a constitutional treatment is started there will be a very good improvement in the state of the child. Within few courses of medicines the child can be totally cured of this condition.


ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Is a neurobiological based developmental disability resulting from chemical imbalance or deficiency in certain neurotransmitters ; which are chemicals that help brain to regulate behavior.

ADHD is characterized by

  • Inattention – The child may fail to attention to details or may make careless mistakes in school work and is unable to sustain attention in tasks and in play activities. The child does not seem to listen while being talked to, and does not follow through the instructions and so fails to finish school work, or the task at hand. The child will avoid or dislike doing anything which requires sustained mental effort. He is very easily distracted and is forgetful in daily activities
  • Hyperactivity – The child is very fidgety with his hands or feet or squirms in seat; and often leaves the seat in class room or in other situations when remaining seated is expected. The child is often ‘on the go’ or often acts as if ‘driven by a motor’, and can run about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate. The child can talk excessively, and continuously.
  • Impulsivity- The child has difficulty awaiting their turn, and often interrupts or intrudes on others, e.g., butts in to conversations or games. They often blurt out answers before questions have been completed.

Homeopathic treatment-
The homeopathic constitutional treatment helps the mental parameters that are deviated to normalize. The attention span increases to the extent of being able to do normal tasks on their own, and develop sustained interest in activity. The hyperactive state comes back to a more controllable state; and the impulsivity comes down to the extent of being able to listen completely and then respond appropriately.

The treatment has no side effects and is mild, causing no drowsiness or dullness during the treatment.


Autism

Autism is a developmental and bio-neurological disorder. Autism is a spectrum disorder, also known as ASD. A child with autism has difficulties primarily with social interaction and spoken communication.

This is first evident in children 2- 3 years of age, when age - appropriate social and communication skills, like making and sustaining eye contact, smiling in response to another person or responding when spoken to do not appear in time, or when the child has difficulties in relating to people, plays differently, or displays unusual responses to the environment.

The child may be under-reactive or over- reactive to stimulation in sensory areas of touch, light, sound etc. Children with autism play differently. Their play is more stereotypic in nature (like arranging cars in a line). A marked feature of autism is the lack of pretend play.

There is a withdrawal from social contact; and the child seems to be engrossed in a world of their own. An inability to relate to other people and to respond appropriately to stimuli in the environment can also be observed. They may insist on sameness and routines, which seem to give comfort.

Other signs include craving for or recoiling from movement, flapping hands, spinning around, uneven gross and fine motor skills, spinning objects, unusual attachment to certain objects.

Behaviors like aggression, frustration, or withdrawal, which seem inappropriate, are often due to their inability to articulate and express through spoken communication.

Some children with autism may have mental retardation or learning disabilities.

Aspergers syndrome can be identified when the child is intelligent, verbal but with marked difficulties in social communication, has a preoccupation with a particular area of interest, shows insistence on routines and has certain compulsive behaviors.

Homeopathic Treatment-With Homeopathic medicines, the aggressive behaviors can be significantly brought down. As the Homeopathic medicines are very mild and do not contain heavy drugs, there is no induced drowsiness or dullness.

A holistic approach to the issue with Homeopathic medicines, Yoga therapy, diet, sensory integration therapy, communication and holistic development are advised, based on the individual needs of the child. An assessment of the individual profile is done, which enables attention to be focused on both abilities and special needs, so that the child is enabled to function optimally.

The aim of treatment is to enable the child’s potential to develop, minimize disruptive behaviors, by attending to the underlying causes for the behavior and to include the child effectively in mainstream society.

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