Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – Diagnosis And treatment

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also called Lou Gehrig’s disease is a rare condition in which there is wasting of both proximal and distal muscles. This is an uncontrolled degeneration of nerve cells (motor neurons) in the brain and spinal cord which control muscle movements. The voluntary muscle group is affected in this condition. This voluntary muscle group allows us to chew, walk, stand, talk and swallow. In this article we will discuss causes, symptoms and management of ALS with ayurveda.

Introduction

In Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the term ‘amyotrophic’ is derived from Greek roots meaning “without nourishment to muscles” and also refers to loss of signal nerve cells generally sent to muscle cells. Sclerosis means “to the side” indicating damaged spinal cord. Sclerosis also refers to the hardened nature of the spinal cord in advanced stages of ALS. People aging between 45 and above are diagnosed with this condition and in rare cases youngsters can also get affected.In 70% of the population diagnosed with ALS dies within three to five years and another 30% may survive for more than ten years. In ayurveda it is understood as kapha aavrit paran udaan and vayaan vayu.

Causes

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a condition whose cause is not known. Some theories explain it as a genetic condition or explain it as the result of environmental factors like exposure to certain toxins. Certain theories also understand it as the result of heavy smoking and drinking habits. According to a recent study, accumulation of proteins on nerve cells and autoimmune response of the body damaging the motor neurons are also enlisted as the causes of ALS.If we talk in ayurvedic terms then the cause of ALS is aavaran. Aavaran means gatinirodhan. Chakarpani says that obstruction to gati of vata by another type of vata, dosha dhatu anna, mala is considered as aavaran. In this the natural working of aavrut vata gets hampered.

Aavaran can be easily understood in two terms

  • One is avruta (that gets obstructed) and another is aavaran (which causes obstruction).
  • Principally speaking, the functioning of aavaran suppresses the functioning of avruta. Thus manifest swakarma vriddhi of aavaran and swakarma hani of aavruta.

Symptoms

The symptoms in this condition appear gradually. These include losing strength and coordination of upper and lower limbs, weakening of feet and ankles, falling frequently while walking, fatigue, weakness, not able to perform daily based tasks, stiffness of muscles, muscle twitching, weak memory (past and present), diminishing of voluntary actions like eating, swallowing, walking and breathing, confusion and difficulty in making decisions. The symptoms which are seen in case of kapha aavrit paran udaan and vayaan vayu depends on three factors. These three factors are Rupavridhi (karmavriddhi),  Rupahani  (karmahani) and Rupantara  (anyakarma).

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Symptoms in case of kapha aavrit paran udaan and vayaan vayu aavaran are also explained according to these three factors:

  1. Rupavriddhi or karmavridhi of kapha will be noticed. Symptoms like feeling cold, experiencing heaviness in the body, pain in the body will be observed. Intake of sour, salty, pungent and hot eatables will provide relaxation in symptoms. (ch.chi.28/62)
  2. Rupahani or karmahani of paran, vayaan and udaan vayu will be perceived. Vayu has five types and each type has its own function. If karmahani of paran, vayaan and udaan vayu happens symptoms will be noticed according to the associated type of vayu.

Kapha aavrit prana vayu:  Paran vayu is known to govern functioning of brain, lungs and heart.  Any obstruction in marga of prana vayu will result in brain cell damage and breathing difficulty. (Onset of ALS) (ch.chi 28/222)

Kapha aavrit vayaan vayu: Disruption in vayaaan vayu marga causes diminished voluntary actions. (Early ALS symptom) (ch.chi. 28/ 228)

Kapha aavrit udaan vayu: Obstruction in marga of udaan yavu will result in diminished speech, difficulty in swallowing and not able to chew properly (late symptoms in ALS) (ch. Chi. 28/224)

Rupantra or anya lakshan in this case can be understood as muscle twitching or fasciculations.These fasciculations can be related to masavrit vayu. Muscles become stiff, appearance of hard and discoloured boils, horripilation and feeling of ant’s crawling. (ch.chi.28/64)

Treatment of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

For the treatment of avarana charaka mentioned  that it is very important to take clear knowledge about avarana and also about the various gatti of vata. First of all treatment of avarana is done and it should be taken care that the vridhi of avarana should not take place. In kapha avrit vata tikshana sweden, niruha basti, therapeutic emesis, purgation therapy and use of old ghrits, tila taila or sarshapa taila. (ch.chi. 28/187)

Use of shaman chikitsa can also be done in ALS. Shaman chikitsa include intake of herbal formulations orally. Some of the shamana medications offered by planet ayurveda areas follows

  1. Brahmi capsules
  2. Gotukola capsules
  3. Vrihat vatchintamani rasa
  4. Shilajit capsules
  5. Ashwagandha capsules
Herbal-Remedies-for-ALS-Lou-Gehrig’s-Disease
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Products Description

1. Brahmi Capsules

Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) capsules are made up of totally vegetarian shells. The capsules are manufactured using standardized extract of brahmi. Brahmi is known to have an anti inflammatory, anti cancerous and brain cell boosting effect. In ALS it can reduce progress of brain cell damage, increase the memory power and makes a person fit to perform day to day tasks.

Dose: One capsule twice daily after meals.

2. Gotukola capsules

Gotukola (Centella asiatica) is an herb that has various vitamins. These vitamins are very necessary in maintaining the normal muscle functioning and also protecting them from wasting. In ALS gotukola works by reducing the distal and proximal muscle wasting.

Dose: One capsule twice daily after meals.

3. Vrihat vatchintamani ras

It is a dietary supplement  which is made by combining Swarna Bhasma, Rajata Bhasma, Abhrak Bhasma, Loha Bhasma, Pravala Bhasma, Mukta Bhasma and Suta Bhasma and supports the nervous system. Vatchintamani ras helps in improving neuron to neuron communication hence increasing the motor response like speech, swallow etc.

Dose: Two tablets twice daily after meals with milk.

4. Shilajit capsules

Shilajit (Asphaltum) is a black, thick and tarry biomass that is found in upper himalayan regions. This is used in ayurveda for managing many conditions as it braves as antioxidant, rejuvenates the body with its rasayan properties and also boosts memory and immunity.

Dose: One capsule twice daily after meals.

5. Ashwagandha capsules

In the manufacturing of these capsules, standardized extract of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) is used. Ashwagandha helps in improving body metabolic functioning, strengthens muscles, provides nourishment to the cells and tissue. It also helps in reducing fatigue and weakness which are the foremost signs of ALS.

Dose: One capsule twice daily after meals.

Contact Planet Ayurveda Support Team to provide you the costing/ordering and delivery information at – costing.planetayurveda@gmail.com or Call at 0172-521-4030 (India), +91-172-521-4030 (Outside India) or Whatsapp at (+91) 9915-593-604.

Conclusion

Lou Gehrig’s disease is a rare condition which does not have any particular cure. It is manageable effectively if diagnosed in early stages. The products that are offered by planet ayurveda for the management of ALS are completely herbal and do not cause any side effects. These Products are brilliantly potential in managing ALS.

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan is one of the best Ayurvedic doctor from Chandigarh, North India. Chandigarh is situated in north India about 200 miles north of New Delhi. Ayurvedic medicine is getting quiet popular now a days and Dr. Vikram Chauhan is leading Ayurvedist from Chandigarh having solved many complicated cases from North India as well as rest of the world.

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