Constipation, costiveness, or irregularity, is a condition of the digestive system in which a person (or animal) experiences hard feces that are difficult to expel. This usually happens because the colon absorbs too much water from the food. If the food moves through the gastro-intestinal tract too slowly, the colon may absorb too much water, resulting in feces that are dry and hard. Defecation may be extremely painful, and in severe cases (fecal impaction) lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction. The term obstipation is used for severe constipation that prevents passage of both stools and gas. Causes of constipation may be dietary, hormonal, anatomical, a side effect of medications (e.g. some painkillers), or an illness or disorder. Treatments consist of changes in dietary and exercise habits, the use of laxatives, and other medical interventions depending on the underlying cause.
Signs and symptoms of Constipation
Types 1 and 2 on the Bristol Stool Chart indicate constipation
In common constipation, the stool is hard, difficult, and painful to pass. Usually, there is an infrequent urge to void. Straining to pass stool may cause hemorrhoids and anal fissures, read more [...]
In medicine, diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea (see spelling differences), is frequent loose or liquid bowel movements.
Although for many people diarrhea is merely unpleasant, diarrhea that is both acute and severe is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. It is often due to gastroenteritis.
Causes of Diarrhea
Diagram of the human gastrointestinal tract.
Diarrhea is most commonly caused by viral infections, parasites or bacterial toxins. In sanitary living conditions where there is ample food and a supply of clean water, an otherwise healthy patient usually recovers from viral infections in a few days. However, for ill or malnourished individuals diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration and can become life-threatening without treatment.
Diarrhea can also be a symptom of more serious diseases, such as dysentery, cholera, or botulism, and can also be indicative of a chronic syndrome such as Crohn’s disease or severe mushroom poisoning syndromes. Though appendicitis patients do not generally have diarrhea, it is a common symptom of a ruptured appendix. It is also an effect of severe read more [...]
Otitis media is inflammation of the middle ear, or middle ear infection (the word otitis is Latin and it means “inflammation of the ear”, and media means middle).
Otitis media occurs in the area between the ear drum (the end of the outer ear) and the inner ear, including a duct known as the Eustachian tube. It is one of the two categories of ear inflammation that can underly what is commonly called an earache, the other being otitis externa. Diseases other than ear infections can also cause ear pain, including cancers of any structure that shares nerve supply with the ear.
Otitis media is very common in childhood, with the average toddler having two to three episodes a year, almost always accompanied by a viral upper respiratory infection (URI), mostly the common cold. The rhinoviruses (nose viruses) that cause the common cold infect the Eustachian tube that goes from the back of the nose to the middle ear, causing swelling and compromise of pressure equalization, which is the normal function of the tube. In general, the more severe and prolonged the compromise of Eustachian tube function, the more severe the consequences are to the middle ear and its delicate structures. read more [...]
Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils and will often, but not necessarily, cause a sore throat and fever.
Types of Tonsillitis
There are 3 main types of tonsillitis: acute, subacute and chronic. Acute tonsillitis can either be bacterial or viral (75%) in origin. Subacute tonsillitis (which can last between 3 weeks and 3 months) is caused by the bacterium Actinomyces. Chronic tonsillitis, which can last for long periods if not treated, is almost always bacterial.
Symptoms of Tonsillitis
Symptoms of tonsillitis include a severe sore throat (which may be experienced as referred pain to the ears), painful/difficult swallowing, headache, fever and chills, and change in voice causing a “hot potato” voice. Tonsillitis is characterized by signs of red, swollen tonsils which may have a purulent exudative coating of white patches (i.e. pus). There may be enlarged and tender neck cervical lymph nodes.
Causes of Tonsillitis
Bacterial tonsillitis may be caused by Group A streptococcal bacteria, resulting in strep throat. Viral tonsillitis may be caused by numerous viruses such as the Epstein-Barr virus (the cause of infectious mononucleosis) or the Adenovirus.
Sometimes, read more [...]
I had just finished reading a book on treating Autism and was in the middle of reading another when the opportunity to assist a three year old boy with Autism presented itself at my clinic. Martin’s mother Kate had made an appointment for Martin’s chronic ear infections as there had been no improvement in his ear infections after five rounds of antibiotics. Armed with enthusiasm, insight and encouragement from my reading material, I relished the opportunity to speak with Kate about how we could treat Martin’s overall well being including his ear infections. Kate was amazed and excited with the possibilities presented.
The following case history is of a three year old boy clinically assessed as Autistic and his treatment with homoeopathic medicine. To protect the family’s privacy, the true names of the mother and son have been changed.
What is Autism and how is it assessed?
The term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) includes Autism, Autistic Disorders, Aspergers Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-not otherwise specified. (PDD-NOS). Autistic Spectrum Disorders are deemed to be lifelong developmental disabilities in social interaction, read more [...]