Monday, 22 June 2015

Hepatitis A: Always present but with low incidence...

Always present but with a low incidence…

Hepatitis A Virus is a typical concern when we are travelling especially to underdeveloped areas, rarely do we consider it to be a daily risk or worry in our lives.

After a recent concern in the area with a local restaurant food handler, concerned people have contacted me and voiced their questions.  I thought I would respond with this post.  It is my hope that this information below will be another helpful link that you can share with others.

Stay well and enjoy your summer! 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis is an acute viral infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus.  The virus survives well in the environment – it can remain on hands for several hours, and in food kept at room temperature for much longer-and is relatively resistant to heat and freezing.  Water and food contaminated by sewage or faeces can carry the disease. 

Infections with the virus are often without symptoms in the early years of life.  Consequently it can be a hidden public health issue with few reported cases.

The incubation period of hepatitis A can last up to 50 days.  HAV is excreted in faeces for up to 2 weeks before the onset of symptoms and for at least one week afterwards.  Hepatitis A patients should be regarded as being infectious for a week following the onset of jaundice. 

The diagnosis is made by blood tests showing antibodies during the acute illness, which can last for 3-6 months after the acute illness.  Antibodies indicate past infection and therefore immunity, which may last for life. 


In young children HAV usually causes either an asymptomatic infection or a very mild illness without jaundice.  Patients with symptomatic illness typically have a 4-10 day initial period of systematic symptoms (fever, malaise, weakness and loss of appetite) and gastrointestinal (nausea and vomiting) symptoms.  Dark urine is usually the first specific manifestation of acute hepatitis A, followed a day or two later by jaundice and pale faeces.

The initial symptoms tend to lessen with the onset of jaundice, although the loss of appetite and weakness may persist; itching skin and liver pain due to an enlarged liver may follow. Once the colour of the stool returns to normal, the end of the disease process can be assumed.  The duration of illness varies but most patients feel better and have normal, or near normal, liver function tests within a month of the onset of the illness.  Complications of Hepatitis A are uncommon.  Hepatitis A does not usually cause chronic liver disease.  However, up to 15 % of cases with symptoms can last up to six months, and a similar percentage can be hospitalized.

Very urgent hygiene measures are essentials to prevent the spread of the disease and to contacts of the patient.

(Above excerpt taken from, I. Golden, Practitioner’s Manual of HP)

Homeopathic treatment can be aimed at supporting the liver itself.   Homeopathy is given based on the Law of Similars.  Assessment and observation of the existing acute symptoms is how homeopathy would be used in this type of case.  If someone is currently using homeopathy and has a chronic or constitutional remedy, it would be wise to use this remedy in most acute illnesses.  Depending on the person's pre-existing health and life-style the disease will manifest itself in varying degrees.  Different homeopathic remedies may be required through different stages of the disease of hepatitis. 

Some of homeopathy’s oldest remedies are specific for supporting liver affections or disease of the liver.  These remedies would be prescribed based on the individual assessment of each client by a professional homeopath.  In conjunction a herbal support for the liver may also be recommended, with dandelion root, milk thistle, ginseng and other bitter herbs for several months in order to assist the liver at a therapeutic level.  

Homeopathic Remedies in the acute stage:  

These remedies are used and matched to a patients symptom picture, based on the listed symptoms of the remedy.  

Acute cases marked by fever with night sweats and marked soreness of the liver.  There is a loss of appetite and unquenchable thirst for cold drinks and ice.  Long stools.  Bleeding disorders, nosebleeds, vomiting of blood, or blood in the stools.  Dreamy, sympathetic people.  Can be close to state of collapse.  For all stages of hepatitis, acute forms, and chronic conditions when the symptoms match appropriately.  

For acute hepatitis and the beginnings of chronicity in liver dysfunction.  Tongue is yellowish and lips are dry.  Bitter taste in the mouth.  Everything tastes bitter, even water.  Liver and spleen swollen, tympanic abdomen.  Putty-like stools.  Flatulent bloating.  Debility from profuse exhausting discharges and loss of fluids.  Sever diarrhoea. Heat, perspiration and chill marked in fevers.  Drenching night sweats. 

Friday, 31 January 2014

Good bye India…till we meet again.

As I sit and glance out of the window this morning, with a bird’s eye view from the ninth floor of the Prana center I reminisce of the past weeks I have spent in India.  The stillness of the morning embraces the children as they come out into the morning sun on the playing field, floors below.  The river appears to the north and the south through the mist of the day.  A building elaborate in color from saris blowing in the wind catch’s my attention.  In my view past the bronze flag, of the next rooftop, I see a woman busy at her days work.  She cleans her terrace with a hand bristle broom, settling each one of her potted plants in their perfect place. 
There is a subtle peace about my view from here, it as if I am an observer.  The faint fan of the air conditioning muffles the horns in the streets.  The rustle and barking of the street dogs has calmed for the day.  I know the streets will stay busy now in the heat of the sun, but as of now I am a spectator through the glass windows of the ninth floor.  Soon I will return home to the land of ice and snow.  I have been given many gifts here on my travels, some of which were lessons, some messages, and some connections, all of which I will keep in my soul forever.  I have gratitude for this experience. 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

A breath of sea air...

Jan. 11/13
Today was amazing, every last bit!  I enjoyed myself to the max!  Spent the day at the sea, and went swimming.  Enjoyed some time under the cabana’s and drinking fresh coconut water.  I embarked upon my first traditional Ayurvedic treatment, a massage.  Nothing less than amazing!  The treatment began with a full body massage using Ayurvedic oils, than 2 masseuses doused my body continuously with cloths soaked in oils.  The massage took place on a mahogany wood bed, the oils were permitted to flow and drain around me in the bathtub like cut out of the wooden bed.  They then drained to a bucket near my feet.  I could hear the oils drip and drain like a warm waterfall off the edge of the bed.  I could smell some of the excess oils burning off a small burner at the head of the bed, a common smell in India.  Next, I was given a full steam and shower.  I feel unbelievable.  It is really an honor to have two women massage you.  I could feel their rippled skin on the ends of their fingers, as if they had 45 years of work in their palms.  The young girl who massaged me was 19 years old, her partner 27.  It was a very nice experience to be pampered in such a way. 
My body now feels so good.  I think I am ready for 3 weeks of intensive clinical; off to Pune tomorrow.  A little nervous about being back in the big city, but excited to meet up with friends and colleagues. 
A weekend at the sea, a traditional Indian Ayurvedic massage, and fresh Indian cuisine is a real way to begin 3 weeks of training with some of the most renowned homeopaths in the world!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Out of this world!

January 8, 2014

Good morning from the other side of the world! Today was our first full day in Pune, India.  Our team arrived early this morning, around 3:30am at Pune International Airport.  The airport was pretty empty apart from our flight.  We were hit with the smell of burning wood, and the warm damp air of the early morning in India. 
Our driver was ready to receive us and take us through Pune to our hotel.  The city was busy in the early morning hours.  There was a lot of whistle blowing and horn honking.  I have learned quickly this is the mode of communication on the roads.  It was a pleasant interesting drive.  There was a lot going on around town.  The dogs were out on their early morning prowls, the rickshaws were all parked on the side roads, and we were just happy to be on solid ground. 
We arrived at a beautiful hotel in the midst of Pune’s busy streets.  We were greeted by kind help, bringing in our bags.  Settled into bed for a quick morning rest until the sun came up.  Breakfast was brilliant!  A grand buffet offered flavors of all kinds. 
Around lunchtime, we were met by an associate from the clinic we will be studying at.  He offered us a welcome and some general information, such as how to get to clinic, how to get a SIM phone card, and he really wanted to show us Pizza Hut and MacDonald’s. 
The staff here and the doctors from Prauna Clinic have been so hospitable and attentive to our wishes.  People in India have been kind, and helpful which makes the adjustments easier. 
We are adjusting to the change of time, and getting adequate rest now.  Tomorrow we will undertake some shopping, exploring, and maybe make it to a local museum. 
Before, I leave you for the night, I must say the flavors of Buttered Chicken and fresh garlic buttered naan are still dancing in my mouth.  It has been an exhausting 24 hours, it feels as if someone has taken me and dropped me in the middle of the ocean.  It is a feeling that I recall, not too long ago, when I began homeopathy.  Everything seems a bit strange still, out of touch, yet there is something extraordinary about this journey we embark upon today. 

Cocculus ia a know remedy for ailments from night watching.  For example, nurses who sit up all night watching their sick patients, or mothers up with their nursing children.  In my case, I used this remedy for the repercussions of Jetlag.  The time change and tracel to India is along, and the loss of sleep has been much more than usual.  The homeopathic texts state the following keynotes for the remedy picture of Cocculus:  “The loss of sleep produces an oversensitivity of the nerves - they become "raw" and "on the edge": "Oversensitivity to noise, to riding in a carriage, to odours, to looking at moving objects", "Giddiness, dullness, a sense of imbalance". As a result, the patients want to lie down with their eyes closed.” 

Friday, 27 December 2013

Learning to live with less

Happy Holidays to you all!

Well, less is more sometimes, and in homeopathy the minimal dose is the best dose.  In our life we tend to overdo most things.  And me, I definitely do this in the baking, cooking and feeding category.  Unfortunately, I wish I could say this about exercise!

Over the holidays, I have chosen not to bake and intake (haha) as much, with my end goal being a healthier immune system.  As I embark on my India adventure, I want a really healthy tummy.  I always knew of my stomach as part of my gastrointestinal system and my skin, as my integumentary system.  I was really use to "chopping up" the whole into parts.  Now I have learned that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.  I have also learned that all of these "systems" are an extension of a bigger part.

Now I picture the GI system as an envelope; as if the skin just continues on inside from the exterior surface.  The skin is the first part of the body which microbes and viruses come into contact with before they enter our system. So, in essence it is the largest part of the immune system.  Furthermore, if you think of the skin as a huge protective barrier which just extends as an envelope into the interior aspect, which is the gut....then wouldn't it make sense the gut is also hugely involved in immune function! 

My family has all had a cold, or coughs, and I have been staying healthy and strong!  With only 10 DAYS to go, until I depart for India this is important to me.

I have made the decision to back-pack to really appreciate the beauty of less is more.  We'll see how that goes.  My dad tells me, "Katie keep everything valuable on you."  I say, at this point, toilet paper, a cloths line and clean underwear may be my most valuable.

Our team from Western College is so excited.  Some of us are "practice" trial packing our bags.  Camper's Village has been so helpful and cost effective for some of the girls.  I have been so grateful for a sister-in-law who is a world traveler, who comes with abundant advice on packing.

We will be using homeoprophylaxis to protect ourselves from diseases like Malaria, and Dengue Fever.  There is an extensive protocol offered by Calgary Homeopath's based on Dr. I. Golden's works.  Homeoprophylaxis is a BIG word, but in a nut shell, it is a way of providing protection against infection illness. I will attach a blurb at the end of this blog that is a brief summary on homeoprophylaxis. The best study I know of with use of this method, in cases of leptospirosis is a study from Cuba,

Equipment:  I learned about a Steri-pen this month.  They say they are world leaders in portable water systems,  It is a method of using UV light to kill bacteria, viruses, and protozoan.  I am not into Typhoid, so I thought I would opt for the steri-pen.  My brother, will be using it for the West-coast trail hike this summer, it has a shelf life and usage of 7 years.  


Homeoprophylaxis is used protect individuals from the effects of infectious diseases. In contrast to conventional vaccination, homeoprophylaxis does not rely on antibody formation, but on changing the susceptibility of the child or adult to disease. The philosophy behind homeoprophylaxis is different from conventional vaccination in that the micro-organisms are not in themselves seen as the sole cause of disease, but rather the interplay between the micro-organisms and the individual susceptibility of the child or adult: the healthier the patient, the less susceptible he or she is to a disease.
Disease prevention in homeopathic history and today
Homeopathy is used to address the individual’s expereince of disease states and to prevent individuals from falling ill. The founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, wrote in 1801 on scarlet fever: ‘Who can deny that the perfect prevention of infection from this devastating scourge, and the discovery of a means whereby this divine aim may be surely attained, would offer infinite advantages over any mode of treatment, be it of the most incomparable kind soever?’ The principle of homeoprophylaxis basically states that what will address the expereience of a diseased state according to the law of similars will also prevent individuals from falling ill from these kinds  of diseases. Famous homeopaths have practised according to this principle during the centuries: Boenninghausen, Kent, Burnett, Tyler, Blackie, Boger and others. In modern times, it has been Dr Isaac Golden from Australia, who has addressed this issue in a systematic manner. (

Monday, 25 November 2013

Let's get ready for an adventure!

As I get ready for the count down for India 2014, I commence on the journey of protecting my internal state.  Travel Stress is the topic at hand.  I am excited to say, I have complete peace about my adventure off to foreign lands.  It will be interesting having a new expected bedtime, as I believe there will be about a 12 hour difference from Western Canada.

Presently I am reading daily historical mission stories about India, which is so interesting.  The most interesting part, is that these are not stories which I chose to read.  These stories are part of my children's curriculum.  I can't believe, God has provided knowledge and learning to my children through this experience.  This to me is such a gift and I can't wait to see it unfold through our family.  Initial panic, will eventually set in, as mom get's ready to go.  The house will run a little bit different, I am sure.  But never the less, it will still run and life will still go on.  

Probiotics check, melatonin check, and for the sake of my travel mates, cocculus check!  

Hope you will all chime in from time to time and share this wonderful journey with me, as the students of Western College of Homeopathy (that's me!) prepare to learn from some of the world's most renowned homeopath's in India.