Modern Homoeopathy

Monthly Newsletter June 2008

Influenza & its Homoeopathic Approach

by

Dr. Pawan S. Chandak.

Influenza:

Influenza, commonly known as flu, is an infectious disease of birds and mammals caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses).

In humans, common symptoms of the disease are the chills, then fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort.

 

[1] In more serious cases, influenza causes pneumonia, which can be fatal, particularly in young children and the elderly. Although it is sometimes confused with the common cold, influenza is a much more severe disease and is caused by a different type of virus.

[2] Influenza can produce nausea and vomiting, especially in children,[1] but these symptoms are more characteristic of the unrelated gastroenteritis, which is sometimes called "stomach flu" or "24-hour flu".[

 

Mode of Transmission:

Typically influenza is transmitted from infected mammals through the air by coughs or sneezes, creating aerosols containing the virus, and from infected birds through their droppings. Influenza can also be transmitted by saliva, nasal secretions, faeces and blood. Infections also occur through contact with these body fluids or with contaminated surfaces. Flu viruses can remain infectious for about one week at human body temperature, over 30 days at 0 C (32 F), and for much longer periods at very low temperatures.[4][5] Most influenza strains can be inactivated easily by disinfectants and detergents.

 

Microbiology

Types of influenza virus

Genus Influenzavirus A, Influenzavirus B &  Influenzavirus C

Species Influenza A,  virus Influenza B,  virus Influenza C virus

 

Symptoms and diagnosis:

Influenza spreads by aerosols created by coughs or sneezes.

In humans, influenza's effects are much more severe and last longer than those of the common cold. Recovery takes about one to two weeks. Influenza, however, can be deadly, especially for the weak, old or chronically ill. The flu can worsen chronic health problems. People with emphysema, chronic bronchitis or asthma may experience shortness of breath while they have the flu, and influenza may cause worsening of coronary heart disease or congestive heart failure. Smoking is another risk factor associated with more serious disease and increased mortality from influenza.

 

Symptoms:

Symptoms of influenza can start quite suddenly one to two days after infection. Usually the first symptoms are chills or a chilly sensation, but fever is also common early in the infection, with body temperatures as high as 39 C (approximately 103 F). Many people are so ill that they are confined to bed for several days, with aches and pains throughout their bodies, which are worst in their backs and legs.

 

Symptoms of influenza may include:

 

It can be difficult to distinguish between the common cold and influenza in the early stages of these infections, but usually the symptoms of the flu are more severe than their common cold equivalents.

Seasonal variations: Influenza reaches peak prevalence in winter

Treatment: People with the flu are advised to get plenty of rest, drink a lot of liquids, avoid using alcohol and tobacco and, if necessary, take medications to relieve the fever and muscle aches associated with the flu.

Homoeopathic Therapeutics of Influenza:

Aconite: Sudden onset of fever, with chilliness, throbbing pulses and great restlessness from anxiety. It is a remedy of cold, dry weather, bitter winds.

Gelsemium: There is heaviness and tiredness of body and limbs. Head heavy; eyelids heavy, limbs heavy. Useful for cold & fevers of mild winters.

Chills in back. Dr. Tylor says "Chills and heat chase one another." There bursting type of headachae from neck, over head to eyes and forehead; relieved by copious urination. Thirstless remedy.

 

Eupatorium Perfoliatum: There is intense aching in limbs and back as if bones were broken. Patient dare not move for pain. There is aching in all bones with soreness of flesh. There is bursting type of headachae as if patient dare not move for pain. There is shivering chills in back. Chill begins at 7 to 9 am. Eyeballs sore. There may be vomiting of bile. Useful for 'Break-bone fever' i.e. Dengue.

 

Pyrogenum: It is useful for the fever of violent pulsations and intense restlessness. Pulse are very rapid, ratio between pulse and temperature disturbed. High temperature with slow pulse or the reverse.

Chilliness so intense that no fire can warm. Creeping chills in back, with thumping heart. Bursting headachae, with intense restlessness. Patient has hard bed sensation, feels beaten, bruised.

 > better by beginning to move, has to keep on moving, rocking, wriggling for momentary relief.

Copious urination of clear water with fever.

 

Kali phos: It is useful for General weakness and gloom.

 

Arsenic Album: Chilliness, restlessness, anxiety, fear of death, prostration. Burning relived by heat. Patient is oversensitive, fastidious. Red- hot - needle like pains. Sensation of ice water running through veins or boiling water going through veins. Patient has thirst for sips of cold water at frequent interval.

< midnight.

 

Pulsatilla: Useful for Influenza with flitting chilliness: Chills in spots. Cold creeps in back. Chilliness < warm room. Profuse morning sweat. Heat as if hot water thrown over him. One sided chilliness - heat - sweat. External warmth is intolerable. < close room. Palpitation and anxiety, must throw off clothes. Better out of doors. Better for slow motion. Dry cough < at night, goes on sitting up, returns on lying down down again. Patient is thirstless, no hunger, Tearful, peevish.

 

Sulphur: Useful for Fever which partially recovers and then relapses. Frequent flushing of heat. Uneasiness in blood. Patient is very sensitive to open air, to darughts < washing and bath. Patient feels oppresssion, burning, stitchers and congestion in chest. Patient feels heat of crown of head with cold feet. There is burning of soles at night, must be put out of bed. Patient feels hungry - starving at 11 a.m. Patient feels drowsy by day, restless at night. Starts from frightful dreams.

 

Baptisia: Useful for rapid onset of fever. Patient sinks rapidly into a stupid typhoid state. There is dull, red face, drugged, besotted apperarence. High temperature: red, dusky & comatose appearence. Patient drops asleep while answering. It is useful medicine for Fever with Gastrointestinal complaints: sudden attacks of violent diarrhoea and vomiting. Great prostration. In worst cases mouth and throat are foul, and discharges very offensive. Patient feels that he is scattered into parts and can't get himself together.

 

Bryonia: Useful for Influenza with white tongue, thirst for much cold fluid. Symptoms worse from every movement, every noise, attacked with dry heat. Patient wants to lie quite still and be let alone. Also useful for Pleurisy, Pleuro-pnemonia. Headachae and pain all better by pressure and worse by movement. The anxiety, dream and delirium of Bryonia are of buissness, in delirium he wants to go home. Pain in head < coughing. Patient is irritable.

 

Rhus Tox: Patient feels stiff, lame and bruised on first motion . by continued motion till he becomes weak and must rest then restlessness and uneasiness drive him to move again.

Ailments from cold, damp weather, from cold damp when perspiring. Anxiety, fear < at night. Restlessness, intense fever, thirst, great prostration. Patient weeps without knowing why.

Indicated for Typhoid form of fever. Severe aching in bones.

 

Nux Vomica: Useful for Fever with Chilliness on the slightest movement. Chilliness < after drinking, on slightest exposure to the open air. He cannot get warm. Great coldness not removed by heat of stove, or by bed coverings. Attacks as of fever, shivering and drwaing inn limbs. Hahnemann says, "Serious ailments from catching cold are often removed by it. "

 

References:

API Practice of Medicine

Pointers to Common Remedies by Dr. M.L. Tylor

Synthesis Repertory 8.0

Materia Medica by Boericke

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza

 

 

 

Dr. Pawan S. Chandak