Author: Dr Ranjeet Singh
Typhoid fever is an acute systemic disease caused by by Salmonella typhi bacteria. It is a condition in which there is a typical course of temperature, with marked abdominal symptoms consisting of ulceration of bowels. The fever is of ulceration duration and liable to frequent relapses. Typhoid fever is an infectious disease and persons contract it, through human carriers. The condition is common in tropical countries with poor sanitation and the menace of flies.
Salmonella typhi is spread through contaminated food, drink or water. If you eat or drink something that is contaminated with the bacteria, the bacteria enter your body. They travel into your intestines, and then into your blood. The bacteria travel through the blood to your lymph nodes, gallbladder, liver, spleen, and other parts of the body.
Some persons become carriers of salmonella typhi and continue to release the bacteria in their stools for years, spreading the disease.
Symptoms of Typhoid ?
It takes from 10 days to two weeks for this disease to develop. Early symptoms of typhoid include fever, general ill-feeling and abdominal pain. High fever ( 103 F or 39.5 C) or higher and severe diarrhoea occur as the disease gets worse.
Some people with typhoid fever develop a rash called “rose spots,” which are small red spots on the abdomen and chest.
Many patients also have Bronchitis, so that in the early stages of typhoid, the disease may appear as pneumonia. The temperature rises and remains high for about 10 days to two weeks. It has a tendency to rise in the evening and fall in the morning. Skin eruptions tend to appear in the second week and if proper care is not taken, inflammation of the bones and ulceration of the bowel may occur. The loss of appetite is more apparent. The tongue becomes dry and is coated with white patches in the central region of its surface. The fever gradually comes down to normal by the end of the fourth week.
Other symptoms that occurs are-
- Abdominal tenderness
- Bloody stools
- Severe fatigue
- Slow, sluggish, lethargic feeling
- CBC-it will show leucopenia associated with neutropenia.
- Typhi Dot ( Ig M)- Positive even in 1st week
- Widal Test- positive only during 2nd week
Other tests that can help diagnose this condition include-
- Fluorescent antibody study to look for substances that are specific to Typhoid bacteria
- Platelet count ( may be low)
- Stool culture
How to manage Typhoid Fever?
Principle of treatment
>In Ayurveda, typhoid fever is described as Manthara Jwara.
>Fist do fasting for dosha pachana
>Treatment of Santata jwara should be started
>If symptoms of Santata jwara are found then treat Kapha first followed by Pitta and Vata.
> Maintain good hygien
> Use boiled or purified water
A complete bed rest and careful nursing is essential for the patient. He should be given liquid diet like milk, barley and fruit juices. Orange juice will be especially beneficial in fact, the exclusive died of orange juice diluted with water can be taken for first few days of the treatment with highly beneficial results.
In typhoid fever, the digestive power of the body is seriously hampered and the patient suffers from blood poisoning called toxaemia. The lack of saliva coats his tongue and often destroys his thirst for water as well as his desire for food. The agreeable flavour of orange juice helps greatly in overcoming these drawbacks. It also gives energy, increases urinary output and promotes body resistance against infections, thereby hastening recovery. If possible, warm water enema should be given daily during this period to clean the bowel.
How to manage high fever?
Cold compresses may be applied to the head in case of temperature rises above’ 103 F’. If this method does not succeed, to bring out a sheet or large square piece of linen material in cold water, wrap it twice around the body and legs of the patient and then cover completely with a small blanket or similar warm material. This pack should be applied every 3 hours during the day time while temperature is high and kept on for one hour or so each time.
Some Ayurvedic Remedies
- Sanjivati vati
- Giloy satva
- Tribhuvankirti rasa
(Don’d start self medication, always consult your Ayurveda doctor or expert before taking any of drug.)
The disease can be prevented by-
- ensuring a clean water supply
- proper disposal of sewage
- implementation of anti-fly measures
- all drinking water should be either boiled or thoroughly purified
- milk should be boiled or pasteurized
Recommended diet and lifestyle
- use of purified water, seasonal fruits, cow’s milk, proper rest
- don’t take heavy, spicy, sour substances, fast food, oily food, street food and beverages.