Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)
I would tell that I have a good experience in handling the cases of hypercholesterolemia in my 20 years practice. The confidence has only increased with time. Fat and cholesterol related problems are really a challenge to handle. Many are stubborn to many forms of medicines. The real challenge was posted by some patients who were not very obedient to the instructions related to intake of medicines, restrictions in terms of diet and lifestyle protocol.
With whatever experience I have about dealing hypercholesterolemia, I would say that it is not an easy time to deal with these stubborn disorders. Some facts I noted were –
The results with Ayurvedic medicines and treatment are good but the periodicity in which we can expect the results vary from person to person and condition to condition. Thus we cannot claim to cure the patients in a certain fixed quantum of time.
Treatment of hypercholesterolemia needs a holistic and comprehensive approach including proper medications, simultaneously dealing the other diseases (primary) at the back drop and also tackling the associated diseases like diabetes mellitus, heart diseases, kidney diseases, hypertension etc. the treatment is incomplete without proper diet planning and lifestyle modifications.
Judicious amalgamation of medicines with treatment (Panchakarma) is essential to strike good results in hypercholesterolemia. I always (in most cases) have started my approach with administration of Virechana and Udwarthana as first strategy. I have also used Vamana in the conditions wherein there was severe kapha morbidity. Treatments hasten the recovery and results are much earlier and better as seen in other cases. While in patients only on oral medication and in whom the treatment was not advised or where patients had no time to undertake treatments, I have found results to vary from feebly fair to stupendous success. I am not telling that all cases need treatments, mild to moderate cases of hypercholesterolemia have responded superbly to only medications especially in patients who are stringent on diet and exercise.
I have always found that Nitya virechana or daily mild purgation to flush toxins, ama, kapha and meda when combined with effective disease modifying medicines have given good results, many times as good as a virechana., but nothing to beat a classic purgation. I have used many effective medicines for daily purgation like Nimbamritadi Eranda Tailam, Gandharvahastadi Kashayam, Pathyakshadhatryadi Kashayam, Triphala churna, Trivrit Lehya, Varadi Kashayam etc. Some disease modifying formulations like Guggulutiktakam Kashayam have also been helpful in micro-cleansing.
I should admit that I have not experimented too much on the patients who have high levels of cholesterol and associated cardiac illness or kidney damage to severe proportions, though I have added some medicines which could be disease modifying while not disturbing the existing conditions on the backdrop.
Limitations in treating hypercholesterolemia, Ayurvedic way –
We have substantially good results with Ayurvedic medicines in effective management of hypercholesterolemia. Panchakarma treatments mainly Virechana, Vamana and Udwarthana (external therapy) are boons for Ayurvedic doctors for adding good results.
At the same time I must admit that it is not wise enough to administer ‘Panchakarma treatments’ non-judiciously in all types of hypercholesterolemia cases. Special precaution needs to be taken in handling hypercholesterolemia wherein it is complicated with the presence of cardiac disorders, hypertension, kidney failure and stroke on the backdrop.
Similar care should be taken while prescribing oral medication to patients who are on modern medicines ‘which can’t be withdrawn immediately or forever’ and combining Ayurvedic medicines might appear too much medication in quantity. And then, the patients have a tendency to experiment. When ayurvedic medicines are prescribed I have seen people being self-judicious in withdrawing other medicines without consent. The so called ‘I am fed up of chemicals’ attitude might just be harmful.
Too much advertisement and claims on certain medicines (quackery) to reduce cholesterol levels and weight in short time has been attracting many patients who are in seek of ‘quick remedy’ or ‘instant trimming’. Over the counter purchase of Ayurvedic medicines after having read or heard them without contacting the doctor is another threat. For people who think ‘Why to pay for doctor’s consultation?’ and for those who are web specialists, doctors are not that important. Ayurveda, as a system and Ayurvedic medicines are given a bad reputation by such people.
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