Sunday, April 26, 2009

Homeopathic Treatment For Insomnia

A homeopath’s approach is different from those who practice conventional medicine. Homeopathy perceives all symptoms as a manifestation of the body’s struggle to self-heal. Homeopaths normally do not prescribe medication for individual symptoms. For a successful homeopathic treatment, the professional must examine the patient and get answers to a lot of questions regarding lifestyle, eating and sleeping habits, family history and much more.

The basic principle of homeopathy is that a remedy in its diluted state will cure a condition that is caused by the same remedy in its undiluted state. Coffee is a classic example of this principle.

Coffee, as is widely accepted, stimulates and keeps people awake for long periods. One of the primary homeopathic remedies for treating insomnia is coffea that is prepared after coffee beans have been subjected to a vigorous dilution process. The homeopathic Materia Medica contains a comprehensive list of symptoms produced by natural substances and a homeopath matches them with all that is disclosed by the patient.

Insomnia, by itself is not a disease but a symptom of a disease. Consequently, homeopathic treatment of insomnia will depend upon the underlying condition. There are many conditions that cause insomnia and the homeopath prescribes remedies based on the underlying cause. If insomnia is caused by depression, homeopathic remedies focus on treating depression.

Homeopathic remedies are a useful tool for treating depression Naturally and other conditions that cause insomnia. The homeopathic Materia Medica contains minute details of symptoms that relate to each remedy. It is common for a homeopath to ask details of sleeping patterns, the type of sleep one gets on going back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night, or even the posture in which the patient sleeps.

The sleepless conditions calling for Belladonna are due to congestion; sleep is extremely restless, as a rule it is interrupted by talking, startings, muscular jerkings and spasmodic motions; frightful images appear on closing the eyes and the patient therefore dreads sleep. Children awake from sleep frightened. Oftentimes there is a violent throbbing in the brain which prevents sleep. The dreams found under Belladonna are frightful ones, and they constantly awaken the patient. It is probably our best remedy for insomnia due to cerebral hyperaemia; that is, it will be most often indicated, also after morphine which produces cerebral hyperaemia of a passive variety. Aconite comes in here, too, but with Aconite there is intense anxiety and restlessness, fear of disaster or death. Cuprum, Stramonium and Zincum have the symptom that the patient is aroused from sleep frightened. Lycopodium. Here the child awakens very cross; very sleepy during the daytime. Belladonna is most useful in restless sleep during dentition; sleeps with eyes partially open; sudden starting, twitching, hot head and dilated pupils will indicate it.

Nux vomica.
The great characteristic of this remedy is that the patient is very sleepy in the evening, cannot keep awake ; moreover the sleep is not sound or restful and the patient is awakened at night by anxiety and frightful dreams. He awakens at about four or five O'clock in the morning feeling somewhat refreshed, but soon resleeps and awakens at the usual time feeling worse than ever. It is especially the remedy for those who drink too much, those who abuse coffee and tea, those who are subject to abdominal disorders and a slugish portal circulation. Sleeplessness from mental overwork, from too close study, especially at night. The morning sleep aggravates all the affections. Pulsatilla is sleepless in the evening, falling asleep very late; the sleep is restless, with frequent awakenings and troubled dreams. Sleeplessness after quinine, iron, strychnine, tea, or chloral. Calcarea carbonica has long hours of wakefulness. Cocculus has sleeplessness from mental activity. Sulphur. Cat naps; the slightest noise awakens and it is difficult to get to sleep again; sleepy in daytime. Calcarea bromata. Dr. Deschere, of New York, relies on this remedy in typical Calcarea children, with predominance of nervous irritability, sleeplessness and hyperaesthesia at night.

Sleeplessness from nervous excitement; the brain is full of bewildering ideas and images. After long illnesses and the brain cells are illy nourished this remedy is very useful. It is especially indicated in sleeplessness in children, who twitch, cry out frightened and tremble. Sleeplessness from overworked minds and without apparent cause may be benefited by Hyoscyamus. Talcott says: "Hyoscyamus paints the mental town of its victim a brilliant and luminous red." The patient is jolly and wakeful. Hyoscyamus lacks the anxiety of Aconite, the violence of Belladonna, the pessimism of Nux vomica, and the stupidity of Gelsemium.

In cases where there is excessive agitation of body and mind, and where ideas force themselves on the mind, Coffea is the remedy, and its use as a beverage withheld. It will be found that this acts better in the higher potencies. Hale says: "If there is any place for high dilutions, it is in insomnia." The patient is wide awake, without the slightest inclination to sleep, and all the senses are extremely acute. It is the remedy when excitement or good news, joys or night watching causes the insomnia. It is well suited to sleeplessness in teething children, while Opium is better suited to adults. Sleeplessness from the bad effects of too good news. Platina has sleeplessness from extreme nervous irritability.

For sleeplessness in children due to severe pain, Chamomilla is a sovereign remedy. It quiets the irritability and the emotional excitement and the patient sleeps. It is also adapted to weak, nervous women. The sleep is tormented by dreams which are fanciful, vivid and anxious; the patient is hot and thirsty. Moaning in sleep. This is also a remedy acting better in the higher potencies. Ignatia has sleeplessness from depressing news, recent grief, causing a hyperaemia. Coffea, sleeplessness from good news. Opium suits sleeplessness when the patient is sleepy but cannot get to sleep, is kept awake by hearing distinctly ordinary noises, such as the ticking of clocks and the crowing of cocks. Great drowsiness is characteristic of the remedy.

For the insomnia of brain workers, Gelsemium is a remedy. It is indicated in business men who pass restless nights, awaken early in the morning and worry over their business affairs. It also is most useful in a state of alternate excitement and depression. Bryonia is useful where the business cares of the day keep him awake. Gelsemium has also sleeplessness from emotional disturbances, and after evening company. Ambra grisea is another remedy for sleeplessness from worry and business troubles. The patient goes to bed tired, but immediately becomes wakeful. It is especially suited to thin, spare men who are nervous and subject to nervous chills.

Sleeplessness from nervous excitement, cutaneous irritations and external heat. The patient is drowsy all day and sleepless at night. Sleeps in "cat naps", wakes frequently. Arsenicum is a useful remedy for the sleeplessness of malnutrition, where there is general degeneration of the blood and exhaustion of the nervous system. Restlessness of anaemic irritability. Cinchona has sleeplessness from exhausting diseases. The mind is active and the patient indulges in castle building. Phosphorus. Sleeplessness following intense mental overwork and anxiety coupled with confusion, vertigo and pain in the head.

Cannabis Indica.
In obstinate and intractable forms of insomnia, Cannabis is one of the best remedies we have to induce sleep. An irregular sleep is more of an indication than absolute insomnia. It produces a tranquil slumber, relieves the nervousness and neuralgic pains , and even if given in doses of from 5 to 15 drops of the tincture in water it leaves no bad effects behind. Halbert says do not use it lower than the third potency which is a commendable suggestion. Other remedies for the want of sleep are the following, which have been used empirically, but which are far superior to the hypnotics of the allopathic school: Passiflora incarnata in doses of from 30 to 60 drops, and repeated if necessary, will induce sleep when mental irritation or pain is the cause of the wakefulness. Camphora mono-bromata is useful for sleeplessness due to the continued use of tea. In insomnia of locomotor ataxia or epilepsy give 3X potency. Coca. Sleeplessness from mental exhaustion or anaemia; a useful remedy in worn-out brain workers, night watchers and those who have lost much sleep. Avena sativa in doses of from 10 to15 drops of the tincture will oftentimes induce a peaceful dreamless sleep in those who are nervous and exhausted. It is not impossible that a complete proving of these latter remedies will show further their value in sleeplessness. Arnica and Gelsemium should not be overlooked in sleeplessness from overexertion. Of prime importance are the casual indications of sleeplessness, and these are legion.

Passiflora is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals affected by insomnia that arises due to excessive physical exhaustion, caused by overworking; it can also be used in the treatment of insomnia that affects infants or the insomnia that affects elder people. It can also be used to treat insomnia caused by factors such as excessive anxiety, the insomnia caused by stress, due to drug use, or because of alcohol abuse. Insomnia caused by conditions such as asthma, teething problems and epilepsy, and those caused by a night cough can also be effectively treated with this remedy. Symptoms in the person include heaviness in the stomach and the presence of worms. This remedy cannot treat sleep disorders effectively if the tongue is coated up or if symptoms such as a flushed face is present. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Passiflora as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of insomnia.

Other Measures:
Make sure that you follow a regular and even sleep schedule, even on the weekends when there is a chance of staying up. Do not watch television or read on the bed, use it only for sleeping. Make sure that you exercise regularly to beat back stress-though you should avoid exercising in the evenings as it may overexcite you at night. Stimulants should be avoided and must not be taken before sleeping-these include drinks that contain alcohol, all kinds of tobacco products, and caffeine.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Loss of Sleep/ Insomnia/sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation or insomnia is a general lack of the necessary amount of sleep. It varies from restless or disturbed sleep to a reduction in the usual time spent sleeping and, in the extreme, may involve complete wakefulness.This may occur as a result of sleep disorders, active choice or deliberate inducement such as in interrogation or for torture.

Loss of sleep, even for a few short hours during the night, can prompt one’s immune system to turn against healthy tissue and organs.

Insomnia can take a variety of forms:

  • difficulty falling asleep (initial insomnia)
  • difficulty staying asleep
  • early wakening

Causes of Insomnia:

  • Many elderly people typically sleep lightly and fitfully.
  • Some people are kept awake by painful conditions such as arthritis, others are disturbed by the need to urinate frequently or by leg cramps.
  • Sleeplessness is also common during pregnancy, especially in the later weeks.
  • Previous arguments with family members
  • Watching exciting programs on television late at night
  • Consuming caffeine (found in tea, coffee or cola drinks), large amounts of alcohol or a large meal close to bedtime
  • In most cases, however, the core problem is emotional.

Physiological effects

  • aching muscles
  • hallucinations
  • hand tremors
  • irritability
  • memory lapses or loss
  • severe yawning
  • temper [tantrum]s in children
  • symptoms similar to: Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Other effects:

  • Diabetes
  • Effects on the brain
  • Effects on growth
  • Effects on the healing process
  • Impairment of ability
  • Obesity

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Psoriasis is a chronic, non-contagious autoimmune disease which affects the skin and joints. It commonly causes red scaly patches to appear on the skin. The scaly patches caused by psoriasis, called psoriatic plaques, are areas of inflammation and excessive skin production. Skin rapidly accumulates at these sites and takes on a silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area including the scalp and genitals. In contrast to eczema, psoriasis is more likely to be found on the extensor aspect of the joint.
The disorder is a chronic recurring condition which varies in severity from minor localized patches to complete body coverage. Fingernails and toenails are frequently affected (psoriatic nail dystrophy) and can be seen as an isolated finding. Psoriasis can also cause inflammation of the joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis. Ten to fifteen percent of people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis.

The symptoms of psoriasis can manifest in a variety of forms. Variants include plaque, pustular, guttate and flexural psoriasis.

Plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris) is the most common form of psoriasis. It affects 80 to 90% of people with psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis typically appears as raised areas of inflamed skin covered with silvery white scaly skin. These areas are called plaques.

Flexural psoriasis (inverse psoriasis) appears as smooth inflamed patches of skin. It occurs in skin folds, particularly around the genitals, the armpits, under an overweight stomach and under the breasts. It is aggravated by friction and sweat, and is vulnerable to fungal infections.

Guttate psoriasis is characterized by numerous small round spots. These numerous spots of psoriasis appear over large areas of the body, such as the trunk, limbs, and scalp. Guttate psoriasis is associated with streptococcal throat infection.

Pustular psoriasis appears as raised bumps that are filled with non-infectious pus (pustules). The skin under and surrounding the pustules is red and tender. Pustular psoriasis can be localised, commonly to the hands and feet (palmoplantar pustulosis), or generalised with widespread patches occurring randomly on any part of the body.Psoriasis of a fingernail

Nail psoriasis produces a variety of changes in the appearance of finger and toe nails. These changes include discolouring under the nail plate, pitting of the nails, lines going across the nails, thickening of the skin under the nail, and the loosening (onycholysis) and crumbling of the nail.

Psoriatic arthritis involves joint and connective tissue inflammation. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint but is most common in the joints of the fingers and toes. This can result in a sausage-shaped swelling of the fingers and toes known as dactylitis. Psoriatic arthritis can also affect the hips, knees and spine (spondylitis). About 10-15% of people who have psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis.

Erythrodermic psoriasis involves the widespread inflammation and exfoliation of the skin over most of the body surface. It may be accompanied by severe itching, swelling and pain. It is often the result of an exacerbation of unstable plaque psoriasis, particularly following the abrupt withdrawal of systemic treatment. This form of psoriasis can be fatal, as the extreme inflammation and exfoliation disrupt the body's ability to regulate temperature and for the skin to perform barrier functions.

Clinical classification
Psoriasis is a chronic relapsing disease of the skin, which may be classified into nonpustular and pustular types as follows:

Nonpustular psoriasis

  • Psoriasis vulgaris (Chronic stationary psoriasis, Plaque-like psoriasis
  • Psoriatic erythroderma (Erythrodermic psoriasis)Pustular psoriasis
Pustular psoriasis
  • Generalized pustular psoriasis (Pustular psoriasis of von Zumbusch)
  • Pustulosis palmaris et plantaris (Persistent palmoplantar pustulosis, Pustular psoriasis of the Barber type, Pustular psoriasis of the extremities)
  • Annular pustular psoriasis
  • Acrodermatitis continua
  • Impetigo herpetiformis
Additional types of psoriasis include
  • Drug-induced psoriasis
  • Inverse psoriasis
  • Napkin psoriasis
  • Seborrheic-like psoriasis
The following may trigger an attack of psoriasis or make the condition more difficult to treat:
  • Bacteria or viral infections, including strep throat and upper respiratory infections
  • Dry air or dry skin
  • Injury to the skin, including cuts, burns, and insect bites
  • Some medicines, including anti-malaria drugs, beta-blockers, and lithium
  • Stress
  • Too little sunlight
  • Too much sunlight (sunburn)
  • Too much alcohol
Persons with psoriasis have irritated patches of skin. The redness is most often seen on the elbows, knees, and trunk, but can appear anywhere on the body. For example, there may be flaky patches on the scalp.
The skin patches or dots may be:
  • Pink-red in color (like the color of salmon)
  • Dry and covered with silver, flaky skin (scales)
  • Raised and thick
Additional symptoms may include:
  • Genital lesions in males
  • Joint pain or aching (psoriatic arthritis)
  • Nail changes, including nail thickening, yellow-brown spots, dents (pits) on the nail surface, and separation of the nail from the base

A diagnosis of psoriasis is usually based on the appearance of the skin. There are no special blood tests or diagnostic procedures for psoriasis. Sometimes a skin biopsy, or scraping, may be needed to rule out other disorders and to confirm the diagnosis. Skin from a biopsy will show clubbed Rete pegs if positive for psoriasis. Another sign of psoriasis is that when the plaques are scraped, one can see pinpoint bleeding from the skin below (Auspitz's sign).
The goal of treatment is to control your symptoms and prevent secondary infections.
Psoriasis that covers all or most of the body is an emergency that requires a hospital stay. You may receive painkillers, medicines to make you sleepy (sedatives), fluids through a needle in your vein, and antibiotics to fight any infection.
Mild cases of psoriasis are usually treated at home. Your doctor may recommend any of the following:
  • Cortisone (anti-itch) cream
  • Creams or ointments that contain coal tar or anthralin
  • Creams to remove the scaling (usually salicylic acid or lactic acid)
  • Dandruff shampoos (over-the-counter or prescription)
  • Moisturizers
  • Prescription medicines containing vitamin D or vitamin A (retinoids)
Oatmeal baths may be soothing and may help to loosen scales. Over-the-counter oatmeal bath products may be used. Or, you can mix one cup of oatmeal into a tub of warm water.
If you have an infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
Sunlight may help your symptoms go away. Be careful not to get sunburned. Some people may choose to have phototherapy. Phototherapy is a medical procedure in which your skin is carefully exposed to ultraviolet light. Phototherapy may be given alone or after you take a drug that makes the skin sensitive to light.
Persons with very severe psoriasis may receive medicines to suppress the body's immune response. These medicines include methotrexate or cyclosporine. (Persons who have psoriatic arthritis may also receive these drugs.)
Newer drugs called biologics specifically target the body's immune response, which is thought to play a role in psoriasis. These drugs are used when other treatments do not work. Biologics approved for the treatment of psoriasis include:
  • Adalimumab (Humira)
  • Alefacept (Amevive)
  • Efalizumab (Raptiva)
  • Etanercept (Enbrel)
  • Infliximab (Remicade)
inspite of the above treatment it is uncurable or have to use medicine for life time. There is no permanent treatment in modern medicine.

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