Monday, 8 April 2013

Why Homeopathy? Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough used to be a major killer, particularly during the 19th Century. However, as living standards improved during the 20th Century, it ceased to be a killer disease, and it is important to note that the decline in mortality rates resulted from improved diet and living conditions and not from conventional vaccine treatment, which were not available at the time.
Subsequently, statistics show clearly that vaccines, and in particular the introduction of the DPT vaccine in the 1970’s, had no significant affect on the decline of the disease. This has not, however, stopped ConMed from claiming the credit!
However, the disease appears to be returning, and it should be noted that it is returning despite the fact that most children have now been vaccinated against it. 
This raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the DPT vaccine, and Conventional Medical treatment generally. So the choose of medical therapy, for both the prevention and treatment of Whooping Cough, is important, as alongside the doubts about the effectiveness, safety concerns has also been raised concerning conventional medical treatment, and in particular the DPT vaccine, 
Homeopathy, in contrast, provides a safe and effective alternative treatment.
Conventional Medical Treatment
NHS Direct says that whooping cough is now prevented by the 5-in-1 vaccine, (DTaP/IPV/Hib), which also protects against diphtheria, tetanus, polio and Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b). This vaccine is given routinely to children when they are 2, 3 or 4 four months old, with a pre-school booster vaccine (DTap/IPV) when they are between 3 and 5 years old).
The idea of the vaccine is once given the body produces antibodies against the Bordetella pertussis bacterium, which protect against infection.
NHS Direct admits to the following side-effects to the 5-in-1 vaccine:
  • Very common reactions. More than one in 10 babies who have the vaccine experience the following reactions: pain, redness and swelling at the injection site; irritability and increased crying; being off-colour or having a fever
  • Common reactions. Between one in 10 and one in 100 babies given the vaccine experience the following: loss of appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting.
  • Rare reactions. Between one in 1,000 and one in 10,000 babies given the vaccine experience the following: febrile convulsions (fits), floppiness.
  • Very rare reactions. Less than one baby in 10,000 given the vaccine experience the following: high fever (more than 40.5°C), unusual high-pitched or inconsolable crying.
There are, however, many more serious ‘side-effects’ that the Conventional Medical Establishment does not admit to at this time, and these should also be considered by anyone considering this vaccine.
The 5-in-1 vaccine is the successor to the DPT vaccine, the main difference being that the new vaccine is supposed to protect against a further two diseases (see above). There have been on-going concerns about the DPT vaccination, and now the 5-in-1 vaccine, for several decades now. 
Most of the concerns are routinely denied by the Conventional Medical Establishment. Some of these concerns can be found by clicking on this link.
Whooping cough is treated by conventionally medicine with Antibiotic drugs. NHS Direct says that this will prevent the infection spreading further, and stop the patient being infectious in 5 days, rather than about 3 weeks.
However, NHS Direct says that when babies under 12 months contract whooping cough they will need treatment in hospital, in isolation, to prevent the infection spreading, and treatment would be antibiotics given intravenously of into a vein through a drip.
If the child is ‘severely affected’ corticosteroid medication might be used. NHS Direct says that “Corticosteroid medication contains steroids. These are powerful hormones that will reduce inflammation (swelling) in your child's airways, making it easier for them to breathe. Like antibiotics, corticosteroids may be given intravenously”.

The Homeopathic Materia Medica (HMM)
Pertussin is a homeopathic nosode, or remedy, made from the actual disease material and tissue from Whooping Cough (Pertussis). Many Homeopaths use this as a preventative treatment for Whooping Cough, particularly for parents who are worried about their children contracting the disease.
Many Homeopaths, however, recommend that parents allow the children,if they are strong and healthy, to contract Whooping Cough naturally. This enables the body to build a natural immunity to the disease. Once ill, the condition can be treated, if necessary, with homeopathy.
The following remedy description have been taken from the Hpathy website, see 
Drosera rotundifolia.
This remedy is indicated when the cough is worse immediately upon lying down to bed at night and/or when the cough flares up after midnight. There is tickling and dryness in the throat, which causes spasmodic coughing. Attempts to bring up phlegm end in retching and vomiting. The violence of the cough may produce nosebleeds. Frequent coughing attacks prevent the person from catching his/her breath.
This remedy is usually indicated in the early stages of the illness or when fever is present, especially if the fever begins around 3PM. There is pressure in the head and the face is hot and red while the hands and feet are cool. The head feels like it will burst from coughing. A dry, tickling, spasmodic cough emanates from the larynx.
Coccus cacti.
The defining characteristic that indicates the need for this remedy is the production of large amounts of clear, thick, ropey mucus. Paroxysms of choking cough result in vomiting of long strings of mucus that hang from the mouth and nose. Drinking cold water may bring temporary relief from tickling in the larynx and the coughing spells. The spells may become more aggravated early in the morning and/or around 11-11:30 at night.
The person who needs Ipecac often experiences persistent nausea that may not be relieved by the vomiting that follows after the cough. Due to the nausea, the person is often lacking in thirst and will not want to drink fluids. The child will stiffen and become rigid with the cough.
Bryonia alba.
This is a very commonly indicated cough remedy in general. Its main indication is the presence of symptoms that become aggravated from motion. The person is compelled to breathe quietly and remain as motionless as possible so as not to aggravate the cough. In addition, the cough is painful due to the motion of the ribcage. Similarly, a headache may become more painful when the person rises to walk around.
Antimonium tartaricum.
The clue that leads to the prescription of this medicine is the sound of the loud, rattling, mucus-filled chest while coughing. In spite of this, the person struggles unsuccessfully to bring the mucus up from the chest, thus producing little expectoration. One gets the impression that the person will drown in his/her own fluids. The person is usually cross, irritable, and weak from efforts to raise the phlegm.
Cuprum metallicum.
This medicine is indicated when we see cramps, muscular spasms, clenched fists, and/or convulsions associated with the whooping cough. Violent paroxysms of severe cough lead to suffocation with the lips and face turning blue. As with Coccus cacti, cold drinks of water may bring temporary relief from the coughing attacks. Coughing spasms may wake the person around 3AM.
Kali carbonicum.
The worst phase of the cough comes between 2 and 4AM. The person must sit up and lean forward during the attack and prefers to sleep propped-up with pillows. Think of this medicine when the cough leads to left sided pneumonia.
However, there are many other remedies, including Arnica and Carbo Veg, known to be effective in the treatment of Whooping Cough. A registered and qualified Homeopath should be consulted in serious cases of the disease.
Randomised Controlled Tests (RCTs) on Homeopathy
To my knowledge, there have been no RCTs conducted on either the prevention or treatment of Whooping Cough with Homeopathy.
However, Homeopaths have been treating Whooping Cough safely and effectively since the early 19th Century, and through many serious epidemics throughout the world.