Monthly Newsletter April 2008
HOMOEOPATHY IN HEAT STROKE
Dr. Varsha Sharma MD (Hom)
Prolonged exposure to high atmospheric temperature or a brief exposure to very high atmospheric temperature (direct exposure to sun is not necessary) or working in high temperature, high humidity causes loss of body fluids and a rise in body temperature which leads to heat stroke or heat exhaustion. This may occur at any age but is most common in babies and elderly people.
In a hot environment, the body loses heat by diverting blood to the skin and by sweating. Profuse sweating leads to excessive loss of fluids and salts, resulting in heat exhaustion. If exposure to heat continues, the body’s normal cooling mechanism breaks down and the temperature of the body rises further, resulting in a heat stroke. Heat stroke can prove to be a life-threatening emergency. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke most commonly occur above 104 degree F (40 degree C).
Painful involuntary contractions of large voluntary muscles of the arms, legs and trunk are known as Heat Cramps. They appear in men who work in hot, humid places, lose much water by copious sweating (normal response of body to environment) and drink water to replace that lost in perspiration. These patients are NOT dehydrated but have electrolyte deficiency. Oral fluids and electrolyte replacement will be sufficient.
Heat Exhaustion is caused by low levels of body fluid and salts resulting from exposure to intense heat or the inability to adjust to heat. Body temperature is near normal. The patient is dehydrated who usually recovers with rest and replacement of water and salt.
Heat Stroke is sometimes a fatal condition that results from the failure of the body to regulate to the temperature. This is caused by prolonged exposure to the sun or to high temperatures. Body temperature rises to 105 degree Fahrenheit or higher developing heat stroke. The patient may have fluid and body sodium depletion.
Of Heat Exhaustion:-
1. Profuse Sweating.
3. Muscle cramps.
4. Nausea and vomiting.
5. Faintness and unsteadiness.
Of Heat Stroke:-
1. Cessation of sweating.
2. Body temperature of 105 degree Fahrenheit or higher.
3. Rapid and shallow breathing.
4. Rapid heartbeat and pulse rate.
5. Elevated or lowered blood pressure.
6. Confusion and disorientation.
9. Hot and dry skin.
If left untreated, heat stroke may progress to coma. Death may result due to kidney failure, acute heart failure, or heat induced damage to the brain.
The affected person should be moved to a cool or shaded place, ideally in an air- conditioned room. The clothing is to be removed. Should be given cool, salty drinks until he or she feels comfortable. Patient should be made to lie down with feet elevated, if possible. The skin should be sponged with cool water. If heat stroke is suspected, then the patient should be admitted to the hospital as soon as possible.
HOMOEOPATHIC APPROACH -
The following homoeopathic medicines can be given according to the totality of symptoms.
Heat Cramps: Belladonna, Natrum mur., Colocynth, Cuprum met. & China
Heat Exhaustion: Natrum carb., Selenium, Gelsemium & Lachesis
Sun (Heat) Stroke: Glonine, Natrum carb., Belladonna, Lachesis,
Below mentioned are some of the indications:
1. Aconite: Useful in sunstroke where the great heat seems to have a paralyzing influence on the circulation. It is the best remedy when the cause is lying with head exposed to the direct rays of sun. Patient < after sleep. There is faintness and dizziness.
2. Antimonium crud - All symptoms seem to center around the mind and the stomach, < from the heat of sun, warm air, hot drinks, motion, and bodily exertion > rest, air, hot bath or applied heat.
3. Belladonna: Violent shooting pains in head which come and go suddenly making the patient scream. Cold feet with heat about the head. Blood shot eyes and visible throbbing of the carotids. There is drowsiness, loss of consciousness, whizzing in the ears and constriction of the chest.
4. Bryonia: Great thirst for large quantity of water, amelioration from rest.
5. Carbo veg: Lower vitality and great foulness of all the secretions. Flatulence in the upper abdomen and constant desire to be fanned.
6. Gelsemium: Useful in sunstroke, with cerebral congestion, delirium, drowsiness, thirstlessness, headache, high temperature and tendency to coma.
7. Glonine: A most valuable remedy for effects of sun- stroke, great remedy for congestive headaches, hyperaemia of the brain from excess of heat. The indications for its use will be pale face, fixed eyes, white tongue, full, round pulse, labored respiration, cerebral vomiting and sinking at the pit of the stomach. The temperature is high and oftentimes there is unconsciousness. It is also suitable for the after-effects of sunstroke.
8. Lachesis: One of our best remedies for sun-headaches. The sun's heat makes the patient dizzy and faint; hot weather greatly fatigues. Effects of hot weather, patient < after sleep, faintness, dizziness.
9. Lycopodium: Flatulence or heaviness immediately after eating < towards evening, summer complaints, > uncovering and on getting cold.
10. Natrum carb: Chronic effects of sun- stroke, with return of hot weather, suffers from headache. Excellent for debility and exhaustion caused by heat of summer; for headache caused by sun, gas-light and from slightest mental exertion; chronic effects of sun-stroke like headache etc
11. Natrum mur: This tissue remedy in the 6x potency proves excellent in sun-stroke and other summer complaints.
12. Nux Mosch: Tendency to faint, drowsiness, great dryness without thirst.
© DR. VARSHA V SHARMA MD (Hom)
139/B, Sindhi Society,
Opp. Bhakti Bhavan Bus Stop,
Chembur, Mumbai- 71
Tel: 9869047078/ 9967647078