What is Chagas’ disease?
Chagas’ disease is named after a Brazilian physician and researcher Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas, who discovered the disease in 1909, after he diagnosed the first case of the disease in a 2 year old girl.
Chagas’ disease, also known as kissing bug disease or American trypanosomiasis is potentially a life threatening infection caused by protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. This can result into acute inflammatory skin condition, known as chagomas, that can eventually cause inflammation and infection in other parts of the body, especially of the heart and intestinal tract.
The protozoan parasite is found in the faeces of the triatomine (reduviig) bug. It is transmitted by coming in contact with the faeces or urine of the infected blood sucking triatomine bug. These bugs live in walls, cracks and peridomiciliary structures like pens and warehouses in the rural and urban areas.
Once Chagas’ disease was endemic to rural areas of Latin America, but now it is found to be increasing in the areas of USA, Canada and other European, African, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific countries.
Chagas’ disease can infect anyone, and if left untreated, it can cause serious complication of heart and digestive tract.
Homeopathy in Chagas’ disease plays the same role as it does in other parasitic diseases. Homeopathic medicines by the best homeopathy doctor will help to reduce the severity of the symptoms along with its treatment.
Chagas’ disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. These are transmitted by the triatomine bugs, which itself get infected after ingesting the blood from an infected animal.
The bugs usually hide in the walls and on the roofs in the day time and come down at night to feed on sleeping humans. The infected bugs defaecate on human skin after feeding and leave the excreta with the parasites on the skin. The parasites may enter inside the body through eyes, mouth, injury or the wound caused due to the bite of the bug.
The infection may also be caused by-
- Consuming uncooked infected meat
- Mother to her baby, if she is infected by the parasite
- Blood transfusion by the infected blood
- Having infected organ transplants
- Accidental exposure to parasite, like in laboratories
- Spending time in forests, that have infected wolf animals
Sign and symptoms
Chagas’ disease has range of symptoms from milder forms, which remain for a few days, to serious and chronic forms, that may be long lasting.
Acute phase usually lasts from a few weeks to months, which is mostly asymptomatic. If symptoms appear, they mostly include-
- Swelling at the site of infection
- Loss of appetite
- Body aches
- Swelling in eyelids
- Nausea and vomiting
- Enlargement of glands, spleen or liver
Chronic phase sign and symptoms usually occur 10 to 20 years after the initial infection. The severe ones may include-
- Congestive heart failure
- Sudden cardiac arrest
- Difficulty in swallowing due to enlargement of oesophagus
- Abdominal pain and constipation due to enlarged colon.
The doctor will go under the detailed history of the patient to know the possibilities and risk factors that may cause the disease.
The disease can be confirmed by performing the blood tests, which may show the presence of T. cruzi parasite in the blood or the antibodies that the body will have produced after getting infected.
If it’s confirm that the patient has Chagas’ disease, doctor may want to confirm the acute or chronic phase of the disease by performing tests like-
- Chest x-ray
- Abdominal x-ray
- Upper endoscopy
Homeopathic approach in such cases is almost same as in any other parasitic disease. The best homeopathy doctor will prescribe medications that will reduce the intensity of the symptoms and resolve them in minimum time. Homeopathic medicines will also reduce the chances of disease to go into the chronic phase and cause life threatening complications.