What is leprosy?
Leprosy is progressive, infectious, severe, disfiguring skin disease, that is caused by bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculae. The disease primarily affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract and eyes. It is also known as Hansen’s disease.
The disease has been known to humans since very ancient times. Outbreaks of leprosy has happened in the past, that affected and panicked people from all parts of the world. In olden times, leprosy was feared to be incurable, mutilating and highly contagious disease. Though, now it’s known that it is not that contagious, and a person can only get the disease, if he comes in contact with the nose and mouth droplets of the infected person repeatedly for long periods.
Leprosy can affect anyone at any age, but it is seen to be more common in children. It is a curable disease, if diagnosed early and present with symptoms like skin ulcers, nerve damage and muscle weakness.
Homeopathy can control the symptoms of leprosy, and cause full recovery of the patient, if it is diagnosed early, before disfigurement. Constitutional medicines prescribed by the homeopathy specialist doctor can naturally cure the case from the roots.
The bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculae is responsible for causing leprosy. It is still not sure how the disease spreads, but most promising theory is, that it spreads through the droplets of the mucous secretions of the infected person, when he sneezes or coughs.
The disease is not that contagious as it was thought to be previously. The healthy person may get infected only when he repeatedly comes in contact with the droplets for very long period of time.
The average incubation period of the disease is about five years, as the bacterias responsible for causing disease multiply at a very slow rate.
According to WHO, the possibility of transmission of the disease through an insect bite can also not be ruled out.
Sign and symptoms
The disease primarily affects the skin and the peripheral nerves. The main symptoms of leprosy include-
- Weakness of muscles
- Skin lesions
- Numbness in hands, arms, feet and legs
- Disfigurement by skin sores, which are pale coloured
- Lumps or bumps that can remain for several weeks and months
The infected person may not show symptoms after 20 years also. The long incubation period of the disease makes it difficult to understand the cause of the disease.
- People living the areas, like India, China, Japan, Nepal, Egypt, etc, which are endemic for the disease are obviously at higher risk.
- People living in close contact with the infected person.
- Genetic defects have also been known in people who are susceptible for this disease
- People handling certain animals who carry bacterias, like African chimpanzees.
Leprosy may cause complications like-
- Disfiguration of the parts affected
- Blindness or glaucoma
- Permanent muscle weakness
- Erectile dysfunctions in men
- Kidney failure
- Permanent damage inside the nose, leading to chronic nosebleeds and stuffiness
- Permanent damage to peripheral nerves of the arms, legs and feet
The doctor will do physical examination to look for symptoms that confirm the diagnosis of leprosy. He may also send a piece of tissue from the affected part for the biopsy to confirm the presence of bacteria and disease.
Doctor may also perform lepromin test on the skin to know the type of leprosy, with which the patient is suffering.
Homeopathic approach in cases of leprosy depend upon the stage at which the patient shows up at the clinic. Early diagnosed cases can be completely treated with the help of homeopathic medicines, which are prescribed on the constitutional basis.
Dr. Ajay Chowdhary is a homeopathy specialist doctor who treats the leprosy patients on the holistic concept of homeopathy, in which a detailed case taking is done considering patient’s emotional and mental symptoms along with the physical symptoms. Homeopathic medicines prescribed on this basis have ability to cure the disease from its roots and provide permanent relief in the complaints.