ACUTE AND CHRONIC DISEASES
ACUTE AND CHRONIC DISEASES
The ordinary conception of diseases is as follows — A disease is supposed to be the result of some sin committed against the laws of health and it is acute-if it lasts two months at the most. A disease that lasts beyond the second month, upto the tenth, is called subacute; while one lasting longer than that and even upto the end of one’s days, is called chronic. The student of homoeopathy must forget this conception and grasp the following ones
Absence of health is indicated by either indisposition or disease.
Indisposition: It is that deviation from health, which is caused by unhygienic mode of living—such as eating or drinking to an excess, exposing oneself to the sudden changes of the weather, indulging in mental grief, worry or anxiety, fatiguing exertions, living in damp, unhealthy room etc. This is easily corrected without the aid of any drug, by living upto nature.
Diseases: On the other hand, changes in our body that are the result of entry there into of any poison or virus or miasm or disease-germs. Much stress has to be laid on this factor—miasm; for, on its nature depends the classification of disease. Miasms are either acute or chronic. The nature of both is to pervade atonce the entire nervous system the moment they invade our body. Acute miasm (as seen in the case of measles) is characterized by having three stages—prodrome (the warning or initial stage), progress and decline, i.e., cure or death stage, in which the miasm leaves the body. Chronic miasm, on the other hand, possesses only the prodrome and progress stages; it does not leave the system, thus does not have the decline stage. Chronic miasm as such is life-long in its possession of a human system and is said to be “in the blood”; —and such abnormal or depraved condition of the blood is called dyscrasia. As hinted above the classification of diseases according to homoeopathy turns upon this conception of the miasms.
An acute disease is one in which some acute virus or acute disease-germs enter and, having passed through the prodrome, progressive and decline stages, are extruded out of the body. This is seen in measles. A chronic disease or a dyscrasia indicates the permanent entry inside the body, of one or the other of three fundamental miasmata-Psora, Syphilis or Sycosis. An acute disease has its prodrome, progress and decline (ending in recovery or death), while a dyscrasia has its prodrome and progress stages only. Thus, it is important to realise that, ultimately, a chronic disease has a continuous progressive tendency with no tendency to recovery. An acute disease is said to be sporadic when it affects only a few individuals here and there; it is endemic when it affects people of a particular locality; and epidemic when it rapidly spreads from place to place.
A chronic disease is most often transmitted hereditarily; hence, it will not be wrong to assume in a child, under a year old, the presence of tuberculosis acquired from its parents, if we find that it is wasting and have other signs of phthisis. It is in the nature of chronic diseases or dyscrasias to get suppressed by other system of treatment—i.e., for the external manifestations of them to cease and to affect deeper structures of the body. An acute disease may get cured naturally but never a chronic one.
Drug Diseases: Hahnemann had observed that the long use of overdose of such powerful drug as quinine, mercury, opium, arsenic or any patent medicine has given rise to symptoms similar to those of chronic diseases. These he termed ‘drug-diseases’ In course of these diseases hypertrophy or atrophy of the whole body or of one side of it, nervous irritability, increased or decreased sensibility of parts, cirrhosis or ulceration of liver or other deep organs are met with. If these drug-diseases co-exist with any dyscrasia, the condition is practically incurable.
How to Treat Chronic Diseases: Be careful in the first place to ascertain the nature of the disease and in the next to assure the patient that chronic ailment often-times takes atleast a couple of years to get cured. Then remember, it is in the nature of chronic diseases to leave the surface of the body and affect deep-seated organs. In the course of treatment of such diseases, therefore, as soon as you notice external manifestations—suppressed by medicine-coming on, you can assure your patient that recovery is in sight and under such circumstances, medicines must be held up. It is safe to begin with high potencies and to give a dose once a week, fortnight or month.