This post is about understanding the term Diathesis, its types and its importance in homoeopathy.
You will also learn the relationship of diathesis with the Constitution and Miasm of a patient.
It is derived from Greek word “Diatithenai” which means “To Dispose” or “To Arrange”.
DIATHESIS = DIATITHENAI = TO ARRANGE
Diathesis is an inherited or acquired organic and systemic weakness which can cause predisposition towards certain disease condition.
In other words,
The disease disposition arising from the defects of constitution can be called as the diathesis.
Have you ever observed that why different people get sick in different ways even though they have experienced the similar stimuli?
This is because each and every individual person on the Earth is different in their own unique way.
Individuality of us is determined by our Genetics, Phenotype, Environmental condition, Socio-economic conditions, Beliefs, Attitude, Experiences and Expectations.
Due to our individuality, our perceptions, experiences and responses towards the similar external stimuli are unique from each other.
This is how our origin of disease, trauma or stress are filtered through our diathesis.
Another term that should come into the mind of a Homoeopath is “Constitution” and we must understand the relationship between them.
(You can learn the constitution and its types in homoeopathy by following this link- Constitution in Homoeopathy)
- Constitution is the characteristic way of a person to live in the world.
- While diathesis is the characteristic way of a person of getting sick.
Constitution is the physical and mental makeup of a person which is expressed through his physical built, characteristics, desires, aversions and reactions including his emotional and intellectual attributes.
Where as diathesis decides the type of susceptibility towards certain disease condition.
One important thing we should consider about diathesis is,
It determines a borderline state of being healthy (normality) and being diseased (abnormality).
Because, a slight push is sufficient to collapse the whole health of a person with slow and definite progress to final destruction.
TYPES OF DIATHESIS
There are many types of diathesis described by different stalwarts.
Out of them some important types of diathesis are as followed:
- Lymphatic diathesis/Exudative diathesis
- Uric acid /Rheumatic/Gouty/Hydrogenoid diathesis (constitution)
- Dyscratic diathesis
- Tubercular diathesis
- Scrofulous diathesis
- Haemorrhagic diathesis
1. Lymphatic diathesis/Exudative diathesis
- This diathesis is caused by malfunctions of the lymphatic system.
- This is associated with altered functions of Thymus gland (which is primarily responsible for lymphocyte maturation).
- Diseases like generalized enlargement of lymph nodes (sometimes palpable), impaired endocrine functions, tendency to allergic or infectious diseases.
- Impaired immunity of skin and mucous membranes causes paleness and flabbiness of skin folds.
- Primarily skin is affected, then it is followed by mucous membranes and finally internal organs and systems gets involved.
- Example: Skin manifestations like impetigo, dermatitis or weeping eczema may be observed during initial weeks of the illness which may be followed by coryza, bronchitis etc.
- Hahnemann’s Psoric constitution can be compared with this type of diathesis.
- Indicated homoeopathic remedies are- CALCAREA CARB, BARYTA CAARB, SILICEA, SULPHUR, PSORINUM.
2. Uric acid /Rheumatic/Gouty/Hydrogenoid constitution
- This diathesis is characterised by a Genetically determined dysmetabolic syndrome.
- There is impairment of uric-acid metabolism, accumulation of Purines (A chemical compound which is commonly found in foods and drinks of normal diet) in the body with associated disturbed metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
- Symptoms like eating disorders, nervous irritability and tendency to ketoacidosis are commonly observed in the patient with uric acid diathesis.
- These patients are easily susceptible to obesity, gout, arthritis and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
- Common diseases are- constipation, hypertension, migraine, kidney diseases, liver disease etc.
- Children having this diathesis may have increased nervous excitability, decreased appetite, deficiency disorders with variable body temperature.
- Indicated homoeopathic remedies are- THUJA, SARSAPARILLA, BRYONIA ALBA, ACTEA RACEMOSA
3. Dyscratic diathesis
- The word Dyscrasia means a “Corrupted state of Humours” or “A state of Imbalance”.
- This state facilitates the carcinomatous growth and malignant blood disorders.
- It also may cause degenerative changes in the nervous system.
- This diathesis is similar to the Syphilitic constitution of Dr. Hahnemann.
- Indicated homoeopathic remedies are- ACIDUM NITRICUM, SYPHILINUM, ARSENICUM ALBUM, CARBO ANIMALIS, PLUMBUM METALLICUM.
4. Tubercular diathesis
- Development of this type of diathesis occurs after the infection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- The bad effects from tuberculosis also can get passed onto the descendants.
- Patients with the history of any tubercular lung diseases (example: whooping cough, bronchitis etc) can develop this type of diathesis.
- Physically patients may be lean, thin and emaciated with extreme weakness.
- They may get cold very easily.
- Mentally they are observed to be strong.
- Indicated homoeopathic remedies are- TUBERCULINUM, CALCAREA CARB, KALI CARB, TUBERCULAR.
5. Scrofulous diathesis
- Scrofula means a disease with the swelling of glands.
- Pathologically this diathesis is similar to tubercular lymphangitis (inflammation of Lymph nodes and Lymph vessels).
- Hardening of the inflamed glands may lead to the formation of sinus or fistula.
- Healing of these lesions may leave permanent scar.
- Development of this diathesis is observed through a combination of Psoric and Syphilitic constitution.
- This results from inappropriate and prolonged consumption of crude drug substances to suppress syphilis.
- Indicated homoeopathic remedies are- DIGITALIS PURPUREA, CONIUM MAC, APIS MELLIFICA, SULPHUR.
6. Haemorrhagic diathesis
- This is an acquired or congenital predisposition towards the Bleeding disorders.
- This is characterized by a tendency to repeated bleeding either may be spontaneous or following minor injuries.
- A wide range of severity in bleeding can be observed.
- Minor bleeding from skin or mucous membrane to massive haemorrhages from blood vessels.
- Fatal bleeding also may occur from internal organs like Gastro-intestinal tract, Uterus etc.
- This diathesis can be compared with Syphilitic constitution of Dr. Hahnemann.
- Indicated homoeopathic remedies are- PHOSPHORUS, HAMAMELIS VIRGINICA.
The term diathesis was never used by Dr. Hahnemann.
He used terms like ‘Predisposing factors’ and ‘Accessory circumstances’.
According to Dr. Hahnemann, the development of diathesis is due to inappropriate and long-term use of crude medicines.
IMPORTANCE OF DIATHESIS IN HOMOEOPATHY
- By studying diathesis, we can learn the evolution of diseases.
- We can manage specific disease condition more satisfactorily.
- We can prevent the disease conditions from becoming fatal.
- We can treat the underlying pathology in more desirable way.
- Homoeopathically, understanding of diathesis helps to classify the diseases in groups.
- We can individualize the patient and can find more similar medicine in order to cure.
I hope this was an interesting read for you and have cleared many of your doubts related to Diathesis.