What is lymphatic filariasis?
Filariasis is commonly known as elephantiasis. It is a parasitic disease that spreads to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. There are three types of parasitic worms that cause filariasis namely Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori. Among these wuchereria is the most common one to cause the disease. The worms are microscopic, thread like in appearance.
These worms infect the lymphatic system of the body. Most of the cases do not present with any significant symptoms. However, some may develop severe swelling in the arms, legs, breasts or genitals, which is known as elephantiasis syndrome. The skin of the affected areas may become thicker and painful, looking bad cosmetically and causes severe disability and social stigma.
This disease is most common in tropical and subtropical countries.
Homeopathy is very effective in all vector borne diseases like lymphatic filariasis. Dr. Ashok Chowdhary is one of the best homeopathy doctors in Jaipur who can give rapid relief in the symptoms produced by such diseases in minimal time.
Filariasis is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. When a mosquito bites a person already having microscopic worms in the blood, they enter inside the mosquitoes. Now, when these mosquitoes bite a health human, they transport these microscopic worms into the blood, from where they reach the lymph vessels. Microfilarial worms grow up into adults into the lymph vessels of the person. An adult worm can live for about 5 to 7 years. The adult worms mate inside the body and release millions of microfilarae into the blood. Like this an infected person can transmit infection to others for very long period of time.
Filariasis is caused by 3 types of filarial worms-
- Wuchereria bancrofti, which amounts to 90% of the cases of filariasis
- Brugia malayi, which cause rest of the infections
- Brugia timori, which may also cause the disease
A person may need to get repeatedly infected to show the symptoms of filariasis. Lymphatic filariasis is mostly spread by culex mosquitoes in urban and semi urban areas; Anopheles mainly in rural areas; Aedes in endemic islands of Pacific.
Lymphatic filariasis may be asymptomatic in both acute and chronic cases. Most of the time the person may not present with any external sign symptoms for long time, yet keeps transmitting the infection. The asymptomatic patient may still get his lymphatic system damaged, along with kidney problems and disturbed immune system.
If the patient do present with symptoms, mostly during chronic state of the disease, they present with elephantiasis syndrome. It mostly affects lower extremities, ears, mucous membranes, etc. Wuchereria bancrofti mostly causes swelling of the limbs, scrotum(hydrocele), breasts and genital organs.
People who are in the chronic stage of elephantiasis are usually amicrofilaraemic and have worst immunological response to microfilarae and adult worms.
- People living in the tropical and subtropical areas are more at risk for developing this disease.
- People who live in dwellings where they are exposed to mosquito bites for many months and years.
- Short term tourists are at low risk if they visit tropical subtropical countries.
Doctor will take the medical and personal history of the patient to know if the patient is continuously exposed to mosquito bites. The symptoms of elephantiasis are usually quite evident, but to confirm the diagnosis doctor may ask for laboratory investigations to look for microfilariae in the blood smear. Testing of blood serum for finding antibodies may also be used.
Homeopathic treatment for the cases of filariasis can be very useful in reducing the symptoms. The medicines are prescribed on the holistic approach of homeopathy that work on the root cause of the symptoms and treat the disease from their base. Homeopathic medicines can rapidly decrease the swelling of the parts affected and help the patient to heal faster.
Dr. Ashok Chowdhary is the best homeopathy doctor in Jaipur who are specialised in treating the vector borne diseases like lymphatic filariasis.