What is cholera?
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by some species of vibrio cholerae bacteria, that spreads through contaminated water. Cholera causes severe watery diarrhoea which can lead to death within hours due to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, if left untreated.
Proper sewage treatment before passing it into water bodies have almost eradicated this disease from the developed nations, but it’s still a matter of concern in some developing countries including parts of Africa, South Asia and Latin America. It can spread like an epidemic when due to poverty, war and during natural disasters people are forced to live in crowded conditions with no proper sanitation.
Most of the time cholera can be well managed by oral rehydration therapy. Rice based solutions are preferred for children to rehydrate the body. Zinc supplementation is also very necessary during this condition. In severe cases intravenous fluids may be required to control the symptoms and save life.
Individualised homeopathic medicines prescribed by the qualified best homeopathic doctor can be very useful in managing cholera.
Some strains of bacteria vibrio cholerae are responsible for causing cholera. The toxins produced by this bacteria affect small intestines of the person, causing release of too much water in the intestines, leading to severe watery diarrhoea and electrolyte imbalances in the body.
The bacteria need not give symptoms in all the people who are affected by it, but they may act as carriers and keep passing the bacterias in their stool from 7 to 14 days after infection, which can contaminate food and water.
The bacterias can be spread via-
- Contaminated surface or public wells, people living in crowded areas and with inadequate sanitation are mostly at risk.
- Eating raw or undercooked seafoods can also expose a person towards the infection.
- In developing countries, the uncomposted manure fertilisers and usage of sewage water for crop irrigation can contaminate the vegetables and fruits produced. These vegetables and fruits when consumed raw or without peeling may cause infection in a person.
- Regions where cholera is prevalent and people keep poor hygiene and sanitation, grains like rice and millet that get contaminated after cooking can grow bacterial colonies when left for several hours at room temperature.
- Commercial ice that is sometimes made up of sewage water in areas with poor sanitation.
Sign and symptoms
Sign and symptoms of cholera can vary from mild infections to very severe one, causing death within a few hours after the diarrhoea has set in.
The common symptoms of cholera include-
- Diarrhoea- That comes suddenly and causes quick loss of fluids from the body. Diarrhoea caused in cholera usually is pale milky in appearance, contains flecks of whitish material, that resembles rice water. That is why diarrhoea in cholera is termed as “rice watery stool” with fishy smell.
- Nausea and vomiting- Nausea and vomiting are usually found in the early stages of the disease, which might be severe.
- Dehydration- Dehydration can develop very fast, once the diarrhoea sets in. This might be mild to severe in different cases. Loss of 10% fluids from the body come under severe dehydration. Dehydration may lead to symptoms like
- Sense of extreme fatigue and tiredness
- Dry mucous membranes
- Sunken eyes
- Dry and shrivelled skin
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart beat
- Muscle cramps, etc
Cholera can be a fatal condition if not treated early. It can cause complications like-
- Severe dehydration- Which can be fatal if not replaced by oral rehydration therapy or IV fluids, depending upon the severity of the case.
- Shock- This is the most serious complication of cholera which is caused due to dehydration. This occurs when the low volume of blood in the body causes the blood pressure to fall dangerously, reducing the amount of oxygen in the body, which may cause severe hypovolemic shock or death.
- Hypoglycaemia- This happens mostly in children when the blood glucose falls sharply due to low intake of food, which may cause seizures, unconsciousness and even death.
- Low potassium levels- There is great loss of minerals including potassium in cholera that may interfere with heart and nerve functions.
- Kidney failure- In people suffering with cholera, kidney failure usually accompanies shock.
Along with the rehydration therapy, homeopathic medicines can be very useful in treating the symptoms of cholera and even in preventing it.
There are several homeopathic medicines that can be therapeutically prescribed on the basis of cause, sensation and modalities. But if the patient seeks an individualised method of treatment he must concern the best homeopathic doctor to get rid of the symptoms from the roots of the disease.