Neurology through the Ayurveda lens


This article speaks of the nervous system which is a complex, highly specialized network.

From sight to smell and walking to speaking, our nervous system organizes, explains and connects us to the world around us.

When something goes wrong with a part of the nervous system, however, it can cause a neurological disorder. Neurological disorders affect millions of people each year, yet many people may be unaware they have one.

Understanding symptoms of neurological disorders is important, as it can lead you to an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Here are top 6 neurological disorders and ways to identify each one.

Ayurveda understands all neurological disorders as primarily caused due to disturbed vata along with disturbances in pitta and kapha.

1. Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common neurological disorders and can affect anyone at any age. While many times a headache shouldn’t be anything too serious to worry about, if your headache comes on suddenly and repeatedly, you should see a doctor, as these could be symptoms of an underlying condition.

If your headaches are happening often and you find yourself taking over-the-counter pain medication frequently, this is also an indication you need medical attention. Ayurveda considers headaches as caused due to imbalanced pitta primarily. Most of the headaches are the outcome of faulty diet and lifestyle.

Although headache disorders like tension-type headaches and migraines aren’t life-threatening, dealing with chronic pain can be debilitating. There are various treatment options available in ayurveda including diet management which are personalised for headache disorders that can help you get back to a more normal life.

2. Epilepsy and seizures

Epilepsy (commonly called fits disease) is a common neurological disorder involving abnormal electrical activity in the brain that makes you more susceptible to having recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Unprovoked means the seizure cannot be explained by exposure to or withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, as well as not due to other medical issues such as severe electrolyte abnormalities or very high blood sugar. Ayurveda understands seizure disorder as an imbalance in natural state of doshas along with psychological imbalances

The tricky part is that if you have one seizure in your life, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have epilepsy. But, if you have two or more, it may be epilepsy. Seizure symptoms can vary depending upon the affected dosha and where in the brain the seizure is coming from. After experiencing a seizure, it’s important to see your doctor. There are many effective treatments to manage epilepsy in ayurveda including medicines, dietary changes and panchakarma that can result in seizure-freedom.

3. Stroke

Strokes, which affect 46 per 1,00,000 in India, are one of the most crucial neurological disorders to be aware of due to the severity of potential symptoms and resulting disability that can occur.

A stroke is usually due to a lack of blood flow to the brain, oftentimes caused by a clot or blockage in an artery.

Identify your risk factors in accordance with ayurveda for stroke and ways to improve them by consulting one of our vaidyas.

4. ALS: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a somewhat rare neuromuscular condition that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Doctors are unsure what exactly causes ALS, but factors that may cause ALS include genetics and environmental factors.

Symptoms include muscle weakness and twitching, tight and stiff muscles, slurred speech, and difficulty breathing and swallowing. Unfortunately, this condition is difficult to diagnose and often requires the evaluation of a neuromuscular neurologist.

Although there is no cure, there is satisfactory management in ayurveda which includes medication and panchakarma, and it’s important to start these as early as possible.

5. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Memory loss is a common complaint, especially in older adults. A certain degree of memory loss is a normal part of aging. For example, walking into a room and forgetting why may be totally normal.

However, there are signs that may indicate something more serious, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These symptoms may include getting lost, having difficulty managing finances, difficulties with activities of daily living, leaving the stove on, forgetting the names of close family and friends or problems with language. Behavioural changes along with these memory changes could also raise concerns.

Dementia is a slowly progressive condition and should be evaluated by a neurologist. While there is no cure, there are ayurveda medications and therapies that can help manage symptoms.

6. Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that primarily affects coordination. Generally, it becomes more common as you age. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but many ayurveda management options are available.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually get worse over time. You may experience changes in posture, walking and facial expressions early on in the disease, and cognitive and behavioral problems could develop later in the disease,

Seek help immediately

If you’re experiencing sudden and severe neurological symptoms, consult one of our ayurveda doctors immediately. This can be especially important to rule out or confirm a stroke and for you to be eligible for potentially life-saving treatments.

Seizures are also quite serious, so it’s important to seek prompt medical attention for a new onset of seizures and to be aware of safety restrictions, such as not operating heavy machinery, and precautions for your safety as well as the safety of others.

Otherwise, neurological disorders may be slowly progressive and require a specialist to diagnose. Neurology has many different sub-specialties, including neuromuscular disorders, movement disorders and headache. Seek holistic ayurveda consultation with an expert who specializes in the particular condition for your case to help ensure you receive the best outcome in the long run.

What Causes a Neurological Disorder?

Ayurveda explains neurological disorders as an outcome of faulty diet and lifestyle specifically vata and pitta disturbing factors are responsible for neurological issues. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from one of these issues, you may also be wondering about what causes a neurological disorder. The causes of such dysfunction can be quite diverse. Both the spinal cord and brain are insulated by numerous membranes that can be vulnerable to force and pressure. The peripheral nerves located deep under the skin can also be vulnerable to damage. Neurological disorders can affect an entire neurological pathway or a single neuron. Even a small disturbance to a neuron’s structural pathway can result in dysfunction. As a result, neurological disorders can result from a number of causes, including:

What Are the Signs of Neurological Disorders?

The signs of neurological disorders can vary significantly, depending upon the type of disorder as well as the specific dosha and area of the body that is affected. In some instances, you might experience emotional symptoms while in other cases physical symptoms may be the result.

Emotional Symptoms of Neurological Problems

While many people often first look for physical symptoms of a disorder, it is important to understand that there can also be emotional symptoms of neurological problems. For instance, you might experience mood swings or sudden outbursts. Individuals who suffer from neurological problems may also experience depression or delusions.

It should be understood that these symptoms could also be indicative of other disorders and conditions. If you have noticed these symptoms in yourself or someone close to you, it is important to seek help right away. Please contact us at pratha ayurveda to speak to experts about your situation.

Physical Symptoms of Neurological Problems

Physical symptoms of neurological problems may include the following:

·         Partial or complete paralysis

·         Muscle weakness

·         Partial or complete loss of sensation

·         Seizures

·         Difficulty reading and writing

·         Poor cognitive abilities

·         Unexplained pain

·         Decreased alertness

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Neurological Instability

If left untreated, neurological disorders can result in a number of serious consequences. The short-term and long-term effects of neurological instability can vary greatly, depending upon the disorder and the severity of your condition. For instance, according to MSWatch, 50 percent of individuals who suffer from multiple sclerosis experience depression at least once. The University of Miami Health System reports that the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease become more severe over time, as this is a progressive disease. The most important step you can take if you believe that you or someone you care about may be suffering from a neurological disorder is to seek assistance without delay.

Test or Self-Assessment You Can Do?

If you are concerned about a possible neurological disorder, it is important to seek professional medical assistance. A number of medical examinations can be performed to diagnose the presence of a possible neurological condition. Such tests may include genetic screening, a neurological exam, brain scans and other tests. Even though all self-administered tests or self-assessments cannot positively identify the presence of a neurological disorder, if you have noticed any of the following complaints, you may wish to seek professional assistance:

·         Headaches

·         Blurry vision

·         Fatigue

·         Changes in behavior

·         Numbness in the legs or arms

·         Changes in coordination or balance

·         Weakness

·         Slurred speech

·         Tremors

Medication: Drug Options for Neurological Issues

While it is understandable that the thought of being diagnosed with a neurological disorder may be frightening, it is important to understand that treatment options for neurological issues are available. Such options can help you or your loved one to better manage your condition, reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Neurological Drugs: Possible Options

The type of medication that may be used for the treatment of your neurological disorder will depend on your condition. Possible options for neurological drugs may include various ayurvedic herbal preparations or panchakarma therapies along with corticosteroids, which are often indicated for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. This type of medication may assist with decreasing inflammation. Dopamine-affecting drugs, such as Levodopa, are commonly used in the treatment of Parkinson’s to help with rigidity and tremors.

Medication Side Effects

When taking medication for the treatment of any condition or disorder, it is important to understand that you may experience certain side effects. Medication side effects related to the treatment of neurological disorders can vary based on your own situation and the type of medication in question. In some instances, it may be possible to develop dependence to the medication you are taking. This can occur even if it is a prescription medication, and you are taking it for the treatment of a serious health problem, such as a neurological disorder.

Drug Addiction, Dependence and Withdrawal

If you have developed a drug addiction, dependence and withdrawal are two critical components you need to understand. Dependence can develop when you take medication over a period of time. Depending on the addictive nature of the medication and your own personal situation, dependence can sometimes develop quickly. If you do become dependent on your medication, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you abruptly stop taking the medication. Symptoms can include headaches, nausea and tremors.

Addiction generally means you also have a psychological dependence on the medication in addition to a physical dependence.

Medication Overdose

The potential for medication overdose is quite real and should not be taken lightly. In instances where an individual has become dependent on a medication, they may begin taking increasingly larger doses of the medication in order to achieve the same effects. This can result in an overdose – a serious medical situation that can be fatal.

If you believe that you or someone you know may be taking too much medication and could be at risk for overdose, it is important to seek help right away. Please contact us at pratha ayurveda.

Depression and Neurological Problems

Depression and neurological problems are often interrelated. Due to the debilitating nature of depression, individuals who suffer from it as well as neurological problems may find recovery to be challenging without professional assistance. Many different treatment options are available that can assist you with the treatment of your depression, including therapy in combination with medication.

Dual Diagnosis: Addiction and Neurological Disorders

Seeking help from a facility like pratha ayurveda that offers the ability to make a dual diagnosis, such as a diagnose of an addiction compounded by a neurological disorder, is critical for achieving an optimal recovery. If one issue is treated but the other is left untreated, the chances of achieving a full recovery can be diminished. In a treatment facility that focuses on addressing both addiction and neurological issues, you will be able to receive the critical help you need for your addiction while at the same time ensuring that your neurological disorder is also treated.

Getting Help for a Neurological Issue

Regardless of how long you have suffered, it is important to know that assistance is available. With professional ayurveda medical treatment, it is possible to manage your neurological disorder while also treating any other comorbid condition, such as addiction. The key is to choose a treatment facility that specializes in the treatment of neurological problems. If you have noticed signs and symptoms of neurological problems in yourself or someone else, please do not delay in asking for help on treating neurological problems today. Call us now at pratha ayurveda.


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