A severe cramping pain in the middle of the chest characterizes angina. It sometimes spreads to the neck and jaw and down the left arm.
Angina is an indication that insufficient oxygen is reaching the heart, usually because of narrowing of the arteries. An attack can be brought on by shock, over-exertion, intense cold, or over-eating.
Symptoms includes chest pain, nausea, dizziness and sweating
What to do
Rest and relax. Even if the pain eases up fairly quickly, don’t rush into action at once. If you are a smoker, throw away your cigarettes and resolve never to light one again.
Chest pain should always be treated seriously, particularly in the elderly, diabetics and smokers. The first attack of angina can be very frightening and you are advised to consult a doctor as soon as possible, if only for reassurance. Doctor will almost certainly advise you to watch your weight and to start a programme of gentle exercise
VARICOSE VEINS AND HAEMORRHOIDS
Varicose veins usually occur in the legs, but can also be found in the rectum and the anus (as hemorrhoids). The tendency to this problem is often inherited and is four times more common in women than in men.
If you spend a lot of time standing or if you are overweight, you are likely to suffer from varicose veins. Contributory factors also include a sedentary lifestyle, the menopause and advancing age. Hemorrhoids are often the result of constipation.
What to do
Support tights help to reduce the discomfort of varicose veins. Never stand if you can sit and if you can put your feet up – do so. Sit and sleep with your feet raised slightly above the level of the hips. Regular gentle exercise is also helpful Avoid constipation by increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables and by drinking plenty of water.
Seek medical help if the condition worsens or is persistent. This is particularly important if bleeding is caused, either by a blow or because the vein has burst.
Consult your doctor if you suffer from constipation for more than a few days. If bleeding from the anus occurs, do not assume that hemorrhoids cause it. See the doctor immediately.
There are several types of anaemia, but some symptoms are common to them all. These include pallor, fainting, palpitations, fatigue, headaches and breathlessness.
Anaemia is usually caused by a deficiency of iron. It can also occur because of blood loss following an accident or surgery, heavy menstruation, or peptic ulcers.
What to do
If you notice any of the above named symptoms, increase your intake of green vegetables and salad. Consult your doctor if the symptoms worsen or last for longer than a couple of weeks.
Your doctor will almost certainly arrange for you to have blood tests. They may also prescribe an iron supplement.
NB: It is unwise to take supplements for anemia until you have received medical advice.
Homeopathic treatment will depend on your constitutional type, but a diet rich in iron and Vitamin B 12 may also be prescribed.
THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
The digestive system begins with the breaking down of food in the mouth. It ends when waste products are expelled from the rectum. A healthy digestion goes a long way towards maintaining general good health. However, in these days of fast and junk food, too many people consume an inferior diet and rely on antacids to relieve the consequent discomfort.
INDIGESTION AND HEARTBURN
Any discomfort in the chest or upper abdomen is usually described as indigestion. Symptoms may include flatulence, heartburn, wind, hiccups or nausea. Quite severe pain can also be present.
Heartburn, said to regularly affect 25% of British adults, causes a burning acidic discomfort in the chest.
There are many reasons for the onset of indigestion and heartburn. These include eating too much too quickly, swallowing air, pregnancy, stress, or being over weight.
What to do
East slowly and rest for half an hour on conclusion of a meal. Don’t eat between meals. Avoid foods that you know you find difficult to digest. Follow a diet rich in fiber. Avoid over-the-counter indigestion remedies. If taken to excess, they can often cause the condition to worsen.
If pain persists for more than four or five hours, or if you suffer from prolonged vomiting or if you vomit blood, seek medical advice immediately. This is particularly important should the vomit resemble coffee grounds
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)
IBS is typified by abdominal gripping spasms and irregular bowel habits. This can result in diarrhea and/or constipation, a swollen abdomen and the feeling that evacuation is incomplete. It is believed that as many as 13% of British people – many of them middle-aged women – regularly experience these problems.
Precise causes for the onset of IBS are difficult to pinpoint.
Severe stress can produce an attack “out of the blue”. Other possible causes are low-fiber diet or food allergies, such as intolerance of wheat or dairy products.
What to do
It is important to remain as calm as possible if you develop IBS. Worry and stress will only aggravate the problems. Boost your fluid intake, but steer clear of alcohol. Try to decide which foods may intensify the symptoms. To do this, remove one particular item from the diet from four or five days. When reintroduced, take note of the symptoms. Are they still present or have they stopped?
If your bowel habits have recently changed or if blood appears in the stools, consult a doctor. Similarly, if diarrhea is so severe that you are afraid to go out, seek medical advice.
If IBS comes on suddenly, it is worth consulting your doctor about it in order to rule out more serious ailments.
The function of the musculo-skeletal system is to protect the internal organs of the body and to give it mobility.
The most common problem relates to this system is damage related to wear and tear. This is often the case with elderly people, because of the thinning of the bones. Such damage may take a long time to heal. In younger, problems may be caused by injuries, but these usually respond swiftly to treatment.
This is a degenerative disease, almost synonymous with old age. X-rays of elderly people show that up to 85% of them have some signs of osteoarthritis, even if they have no symptoms.
Symptoms include stiffness and pain in the joints, swelling, and inflammation and, in some cases, deformity.
Some forms of osteoarthritis can be hereditary and it tends to affect more women than men. In other cases, inflammation and pain can occur on the site of a long-forgotten injury.
What to do
It is wise to consult a doctor immediately when you feel any pain or stiffness in a joint. Rest as much as possible and apply warmth to the affected joint, but try to keep it moving gently. Walking, cycling or swimming can help.>
Your doctor will probably prescribe painkillers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs. He will certainly advise you to lose any excess weight. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary in the form of a joint replacement. But Homeopathy has answer to these problems.
Consultation with a professional homeopath is advised as much can be done to alleviate the severe pain associated with this illness.
At least 75% of all adults suffer from backache at one time or another and it is the primary cause for time off work for illness.
People most likely to suffer from back pain are those with heavy lifting jobs. However, it can also occur as the result of lifting something heavy if you are unused to such tasks. Sleeping in an awkward position can be a cause too. There are dozens of explanations for backache and it is often impossible to pinpoint the cause.
What to do
The traditional remedy for backache is resting on a hard bed, with a board pushed beneath the mattress or on the floor. A hot water bottle applied to the back may ease the pain, as may mild analgesics. Backache will be worsened if your are overweight.
Severe prolonged back pain merits medical attention, but most doctors freely admit that diagnosis is difficult. Your GP may prescribe painkillers and, if the condition is serious, may send you for X-ray. They may recommend physiotherapy or suggest you consult a chiropractor.
The agonizing pain of cramp occurs when muscles go into spasm, and is the result of a shortage of oxygen or a build-up of lactic acid. The pain usually lasts for only a matter of second, but can be more prolonged.
Cramp often occurs during or immediately after exercise and athletes are particularly prone to suffer in this way. Other causes include sitting or lying in an awkward, position, or any excessive repetitive movement – i.e. writer’s cramp. Night cramps are common, but usually have no known cause.
What to do
Stretching or firm massage of the muscles involved may bring some relief. If you suffer from cramps during the night, it may help if you raise the foot of your bed by about four inches (10cm).
See your GP if you frequently suffer from severe cramp. They may refer you to a consultant or suggest an EMG (electromyogram) examination.
THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
The body’s computer
Your nervous system is similar to a powerful computer designed to control an extremely complex machine.
The 14 billion nerve cells in the brain are particularly vulnerable to damage and lack the ability to repair themselves. Obviously, therefore, serious problems – such as a stroke- require immediate consultation with a medical doctor. On the other hand, a number of everyday ailments respond swiftly to homeopathic treatment
Even if you have suffered from headaches for years, you may find that homeopathic treatment produces a good response. However, you should carefully consider the root cause of the pain, as a constant headache can be a warning of a serious illness.
Some people are more likely than others to suffer from headaches. This has much to do with the sufferer’s constitutional type. Causes can include stress, fatigue, eyestrain, over-eating or hunger, over-indulgence in alcohol – or something as simple as dozing in an uncomfortable position
What to do
If the headache results from over, indulgence in food or drink, a dose of Alka-Seltzer is probably the best remedy. If it is caused by stress or over-work, a walk in the fresh air and/or a sound seep is indicated. Drink plenty of water. You can try homeopathic remedies but if no relief is obtained, see a Homeopathic doctor
Medical consultation is imperative if the headache follows a head injury, if your temperature is higher than 38*C, if there is nausea and vomiting or if the pain lasts for more than a couple of days.
Anyone who classified migraine as ” a sort of headache” is obviously not a sufferer. Migraine has been described as the worst headache in the world. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and visual disturbances, in addition, to severe pain, usually on one side of the head.
If you are a martyr to migraine, you will probably already know what causes your problems. Migraine has many “triggers”, which vary widely from person to person. So far as food is concerned, peanuts, chocolate, oranges, cheese and red wine are common culprits. A missed meal may also provide an attack.
Other causes include fatigue, flashing lights, noise, excessive heat and excitement, even of the pleasurable kind
What to do
If you are a migraine sufferer, you will probably notice warring signs (i.e. visual disturbances) before the onset of the full blown attack. A cup of tea and some dry toast may help to nip it in the bud.
If you have never suffered from migraine before or if the attack descends without warning, the only remedy is to rest in a darkened room. Some people find relief from placing a cold damp fact flannel on the forehead; others prefer to rest the head on a covered hot water bottle. Most sufferers eventually discover for themselves what best alleviates this miserable condition.
Because symptoms of migraine can be so severe, it is sometimes difficult to decide when to seek medical help. For this reason, too, it is sensible to keep in your first and kit the remedies listed below. You should also follow the advice given for “ordinary: headaches.
Should you have any reason to feel that the symptoms are especially extreme, do not hesitate to phone a doctor and ask for advice you will find that most medical professionals, far from regarding migraine as a trivial problem are quick to respond to this type of situation.
The pain of sciatica usually affects the buttock and thigh, on one side, but it sometimes extends right down the leg. Numbness and weakness may also occur and, in severe cases, the pain may extend to both legs.
Sciatica is usually caused by pressure on the nerve and is particularly common in pregnant women. It can also result from muscle spasm or simply from sleeping in an awkward position. The reason for sciatic pain is often difficult to pinpoint, since any neurological disorder can produce it.
What to do
Placing a covered hot water bottle on the affected area may give temporary relief. Ensure that your bed has a fairly firm mattress. Resting flat on your back may help to relieve the pain. Conversely, gentle movement can have a beneficial effect
It is seldom necessary to seek emergency treatment for sciatica. Despite the pain it causes, it is not a dangerous ailment. Nonetheless, if the pain is of long standing or worsens, it is advisable to take medical advice, if only to eradicate the complications previously mentioned.
Dealing with disorders of the nervous system
Homeopathy’s holistic approach is particularly useful when dealing with any problems connected with the nervous system. The suggested remedies are especially helpful during recuperation. They will then calm any agitation produced by pain and thereby stimulate the body’s natural healing tendencies.
Apart from washing your ears, you probably don’t pay much attention to them. Yet, in addition to interpreting the sound waves that are around us 24 hours a day, these intricate sensory organs are also responsible for maintaining out balance.
Ears are susceptible to a wide variety of disorders and easily damaged. Invasion by micro-organisms or minute specks of any foreign body may cause vertigo (disturbance of the inner ear) or other serious problems that could lead to deafness.
Any discomfort or pain associated with the ear requires immediate professional investigation. If you feel that your ear is blocked or that there is some foreign object inside it, consult your doctor. On no account should you probe inside the ear and attempt to wash it out with water.
Because tinnitus is note a visible complaint, sufferers often feel that other people lack sympathy for the problems it causes. The noise of tinnitus varies, but can be extremely stressful. It can be persistent or intermittent – a high pitched whistle, a rushing roaring sound, or anything in between.
Tinnitus may be a result of ageing or of working in a noisy environment. It can also be caused by influenza or by a reaction to certain drugs such as quinine and aspirin. It may result from a head injury, from flying or simply excess wax in the ear.
What to do
One of the worst aspects of tinnitus is the tension and stress it causes. Try some relaxation techniques to combat this. If you have neck problems of any description, consult a physiotherapist.
It is unlikely that tinnitus will ever cause any sort of crisis or emergency. However, you would be well advised to consult a doctor as soon as the condition appears. Too many people tend to shrug off the onset of ear noise as an inescapable part of ageing. This not necessarily so, and it is always advisable to ask for help.
Earache is a very common symptom with a variety of fairly minor causes. Nonetheless, it can cause severe pain and, should it continue, medical advice is needed.
One of the most common reasons for earache is a build-up of wax in the ear. Water in the ears, often caused by swimming, can also be blame, and may lead to infection of the middle ear. A boil or an abscess, with the consequent build-up of pus, can cause intense pain
What to do
Applying warmth to the ear, in the form of a covered hot water bottle, often alleviates the pain.
Professional help is needed if there is any discharge from the ear or if you begin to run a temperature. Any form of ear problem in a child should be referred to a doctor immediately.
Dealing with ear problems
Although any persistent pain in the ear requires professional investigation, homeopathic remedies can be helpful. They are particularly useful in dealing with infection and work well if the pain is caused by catarrh resulting from a cough or cold.
Your eyes are not only “the windows of your soul”; they are window to the internal state of your body. A doctor can tell a great deal about the general state of your health by examining your eyes.
Irritation or infection of the eyes is common, due to the fact that they are constantly bombarded with pollutants -chemicals, dust, bacteria Additionally, most of us rub our eyes much more frequently than we realize.
Eyestrain can produce a variety of discomforts, including migraine.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis include inflammation, discomfort and a yellow discharge. This is a very common condition. It is estimated that one person in 50 gives conjunctivitis as the reason for visiting a doctor.
The problem is usually caused by infection, particularly in children. In adult, it can sometimes be the result of an allergy. Sharing a towel or frequently touching the eyes can spread infection. Changes in temperature can also worsen the situation, as can spending long periods in smoke-filled areas.
What to do
Bathe the eyes frequently. Remember always to sterilize the eye bath after each use. Rest the eyes as much as possible.
If the condition is severe, occurs frequently or lasts for more than a week, consult your doctor
Eyestrain is typified by a sensation of tightness round the eyes, by blurring of the vision or by difficulty in changing the focus distance. A dull aching pain can be felt when moving the eyes and there is a “gritty” feeling to the lids.
Eyestrain is often caused by reading or working in a poor light. It can also be the result of over-work or stress.
What to do
Eyestrain can in some cases be completely avoided by frequent short breaks in concentration. Change the focus of your eyes and gaze into space for a few minutes. Place the palms of your hands over closed eyes and relax in the consequent darkness. Apply cold compresses to the eyes.
Persistent eyestrain merits a visit to your optician.
A stye is a small, pus-filled swelling at the base of the eyelashes. They are particularly common in children.
Infection is the most usual cause for the appearance of a stye. In children, a stye can result from frequent rubbing of the eyes when over-tired.
What to do
Use the eyes as little as possible. Operate a “hands off” policy, being particularly careful not to touch the “good” eye after you have touched the infected one. Bathing with hot boiled water may give some relief.
A stye will usually clear up within seven days and no medical help is necessary. If the condition recurs frequently, see your doctor in case you are run down.
Dealing with eye problems
It is reassuring to know that relatively few eye disorders have anything to do with vision. In general, everyday eye problems are caused by infection, and homeopathy is particularly suited to dealing with this.
Nonetheless, long-standing or recurrent eye problems should be referred to a doctor or optician. Sight is much too valuable to risk.
The mouth is the first part of the digestive system where the teeth break down food so that it can be swallowed. Your general health is shown by the condition of the tongue and the mucous membranes of the mouth.
The most common problems with the mouth are infections, dental problems and ulcers.
These are open sores or spots – white, grey or yellow – that occur inside the mouth, on the gums, lips or tongue.
These painful eruptions can occur if you are run-down or stressed. Other causes can be careless brushing of teeth or badly fitting dentures. Some women develop ulcers during their menstrual cycle. Mouth ulcers may also be indicative of a poor diet, food allergies, infection, stress or exhaustion.
What to do
Pay strict attention to mouth hygiene. Avoid spicy foods. Stop smoking. Use a saline mouthwash several times daily.
If the ulcers persist for more than couple of weeks, consult your doctor. They may recommend antiseptic lozenges or analgesics to relieve the pain
This is a usually an indication of tooth decay and can be extremely painful.
The most common cause of toothache is erosion of tooth enamel, exposing the inner part of the tooth to bacterial infection. It can also be helpful. However, this should not be used if you are taking homeopathic remedies.
See a dentist as soon as possible if you experience swelling of any kind – in the gums or face or around the tooth – or if you a running a high temperature. In any case, you should make a dental appointment to find out exactly whey you are in pain
Bad breath (halitosis) is a common and embarrassing problem. In itself it can scarcely be classed as a mouth disorder, but it can be a symptom, which should not be ignored.
Tooth decay is one cause of the problem. Others include gingivitis, indigestion, smoking, tonsillitis, constipation or hunger. Obviously, the consumption of garlic, onions, chili or similar strong -tasting foods can also be in blame.
What to do
First aid measures for halitosis include scrupulous attention to mouth hygiene, giving up smoking, and avoiding strong-smelling foods. Chewing fresh parsley often helps as a temperate measure.
If your gums are bleeding and inflamed, gingivitis is probably the cause of the problem. In severe cases your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. You will also be advised to guard against constipation. If the halitosis is caused by tonsillitis, diabetes, oral thrush or some other serious cause, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate treatment.
THE SKIN AND HAIR
The skin, which, with the hair and nails, comprises the largest organ of the body, accounts for 16 % of its total weight. Possible disorders include infections, rashes, allergic reactions and injuries.
Homeopathic practitioners regard skin problems as being indicative of what is happening inside the body.
The scourge of the teenage years, acne is a common skin disorder. It creates inflamed red spots on the skin, but can also include blackheads, whiteheads and pustules.
Acne is often hormone-related. It is caused by an increase in the production of sebum, leading to blocked hair follicles. Over-consumption of sweets and junk food may aggravate the problem. Stress and anxiety, causing excessive sweating, may also be contributory factors.
What to do
The liberal application of medicated soap and hot water, twice daily, is recommended. Squeezing the spots is not. It may cause scars. Get plenty of fresh air, and sunlight in moderation. Avoid fatty, sugary foods. Drink lots of water and eat as much fruit and vegetable as you can.
Acne is not a dangerous complaint, but it gives rise to a great deal of embarrassment and distress at a time when young people are particularly vulnerable. In these circumstances, it is always worthwhile to seek medical advice.
Also known as nettle rash, this is an allergic reaction causing raised, itchy red weals on the skin. The weals usually appear on the limbs and the trunk, though in some cases swelling around the lips and the eyes may occur.
Urticaria is most commonly an allergic reaction, and it is important that the trigger should be found with speed. Triggers may include certain foods, drugs, plants, shellfish, insect bites and excessive heat or cold.
What to do
A cool shower may help to alleviate the itching and the application of calamine lotion is sometimes helpful. Resist any temptation to scratch or rub the weals.
Consult a doctor if there is swelling of the lips or round the eye. If there is marked swelling of the throat, call an ambulance at once. In the majority of cases, Urticaria disappears within hours and does not require medical treatment.
Dandruff tends to be at its worst in adolescence, though people of all ages can be affected. An itchy scalp and the production of scales of dry skin characterize it. Although this is not a dangerous condition, it is uncomfortable and unsightly.
Dandruff may be a form of eczema or may be symptomatic of psoriasis or a fungal infection.
What to do
Keep the hair and scalp scrupulously clean, being particularly careful to rinse out all traces of shampoo. Refrain from scratching the scalp, as this may make it bleed and worsen the condition. / Gentle head massage may improve the flow of blood and help to alleviate the problem.
Dandruff does not usually need medical attention and is mainly treated with medicated shampoos. However, if the condition persists or if the scalp becomes inflamed land sore; ask your doctor’s advice.
Both conscious and unconscious bodily functions are controlled by the central nervous system. Although a great deal is known about certain brain functions, the nature of the emotions and the links between the brain and psychiatric problems remain a mystery.
There can be few people who do not, from time to time, feel “fed up”. Generally, though, this sadness is merely a response to one or another of life’s normal events. It should not be confused with true depression that, medically, is a mental illness.
Depression can be caused by a number of physical problems – an under-active thyroid, a viral infection or chemical imbalance or it may occur after childbirth. Other causes include bereavement or divorce, and redundancy. Depression is often caused by a generally negative attitude resulting in feelings of self-pity, guilt, frustration and loneliness.
What to do
Physical activity, like scrubbing a floor or some heavy gardening, will get your adrenalin flowing and could banish mildly depressed feelings immediately. A social outing may also help.
If your feel the need, discuss your problems with a good friend or even a qualified counselor. Try a spot of positive thinking, too. The old Emile Coue affirmation ‘every day in every way I am getting better and better”, often works like a charm.
If depression persists for more than a few days, see your doctor.
Your GP will almost certainly offer some sensible advice about your lifestyle, sleeping and eating habits, and so on. He may also prescribe a short course of anti-depressants or refer you to a psychologist. If there is no improvement in your condition within a fairly short time – three or four weeks – don’t hesitate to tell your doctor. Should you be suffering from true clinical depression, he will have further advice to offer
Homeopathic treatment for depression will almost certainly be constitutional and an early consultation with a practitioner is recommended.
Insomnia can be defined as the inability to get to sleep or being awake for long periods during the night. As with depression, most people suffer from insomnia from time to time. This problem can result in peevishness, daytime tiredness, headaches and a tendency to tears. It is a fact, though, that these symptoms are often caused not through lack of sleep but because the sufferer has convinced himself that they have not had sufficient rest.
Sleeplessness is usually caused by stress or worry. Drinking coffee or alcohol just before bedtime can be a contributory factor, as can a heavy meal. Pain or discomfort may cause insomnia and it is also common in old age.
What to do
Many people believe that they need more sleep than is actually the case. That being so, doesn’t worry if you suffer from the occasional sleepless night. However, if the problem persists, take some sensible steps to remedy the situation. Get plenty of exercise during the day. Try to establish a routine of going to bed at the same time every night. Have a warm drink – milk, Horlicks or a herbal tea- before you go to bed. Ensure that the bedroom is airy but comfortably warm.
There is no need to consult a doctor about occasional insomnia, but if it persists ask your Physician for advice. If your sleeplessness is caused by pain or illness, they will obviously address the problem. However, they are unlikely to suggest sleep-inducing drugs, as these can be addictiv
TREATING OTHER PEOPLE
As your family and friends learn of your interest in homeopathy and notice the success of your self-treatment, they will start to regard you as something of an oracle. They’ll soon realize, too, that getting a homeopathic prescription from you is easier than waiting for an hour in the GP’s surgery. As a result, you are likely to be besieged by people seeking a magical cure. In the beginning, at any rate, it would be unwise to accede to these demands.
1. You lack the necessary experience.
2. A remedy that works well for you may be useless for another person who has a completely different psychological make-up.
3. The would-be patient may not provide you with the essential explicit details of their problems.
Sometimes, these details will be held back because they embarrass the patient. At other times, they may consider them too trivial to mention. It must be clearly understood that withholding such details – whatever the reason for doing so – can radically affect the accuracy of the homeopathic prescription.
However successfully you may have treated your own ailments, be wary of prescribing for other people. Always remember that homeopathy treats the whole person. No matter how close your relationship with relatives or friends, there are almost sure to be facets of their lives or personalities of which you are unaware. Until you have gained a fair amount of experience in homeopathy, don’t be persuaded into prescribing for them.
By all means, reassure them if they are agitated and help them to list their symptoms. Some of these symptoms should act as danger signals. If they occur, your sole intervention should be in advising the patient to take immediate action. Call an ambulance or send for a doctor if the patient has: –
Severe pain in the chest or arms
Serious abdominal pain
Coughing up of blood
Persistent/unexplained giddiness or vertigo
Other symptoms requiring speedy medical attention include a long standing sore throat or cough, tiredness, weight loss, persistent severe headaches, visual disturbances, back pain, unexplained swelling any part of the body, blood in urine or feces and changes in bladder or bowel habits.
If the would-be patient complains of any of these symptoms, recommend that they should make an urgent appointment with their medical advisor. Don’t be tempted to prescribe anything
Homeopathy, in itself, is absolutely safe. The danger lies in the possibility that a remedy may seen to alleviate serious symptoms and thereby allow the condition to worsen because medical attention is not sought
It is important to remember that you too, should be alert for any of these danger signals when prescribing for yourself.