Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a rare type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network in the whole body where the lymph flows through the lymph vessels and glands. It is a part of the immune system that helps the body fight infection. These contain white blood cells known as lymphocytes. In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, these lymphocytes grow uncontrolled, causing swollen lymph nodes. The lymphocytes lose their ability to fight infection. Thus making the body more vulnerable to infections.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma can affect any age group. It primarily affects younger individuals between the ages of 20 to 39 years and those over 65. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more common in males than females, where it affects about 3 in 100,000 people. The majority of people with Hodgkin’s lymphoma are diagnosed at an early stage. The survival rate is up to 90%. The prognosis is not as good for people with more advanced stages of the disease.  

Role of homeopathy in Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Homeopathic treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma depends on the individual level and the progression. It helps manage the disease by reducing the symptoms experienced by an individual. The therapies for Hodgkin’s lymphoma include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or stem cell transplantation). Homeopathy helps manage the side effects of these therapies that may cause more symptoms of discomfort to the patient.

Five effective homeopathic medicines for Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Baryta carbonica (Baryta carb.)

Common name: Barium carbonate

Baryta carb. is indicated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma if the swollen lymph nodes are in the neck and armpit. The person needing this medicine tends to catch a cold easily, even with a breath of fresh air. The cold settles in the throat, causing sore throat and tonsillitis. Swelling and suppuration of glands mainly occur in the cervical and inguinal regions. There is a painful sensation in the throat while swallowing, especially on the right side. 

Calcarea carbonica (Calc. carb.)

Common name: Calcium carbonate

Calcarea carb. is indicated in Hodgkin’s lymphoma when the lymph nodes of the neck are very painful. The person experiences stitching pain in the throat while chewing. The uvula shows inflammation, and ulcers are present in the oral cavity. The person may feel as if there is dust in the throat and the cough plug is moving up and down. It is also indicated where inguinal and mesenteric glands are swollen and painful. 

Conium maculatum (Conium)

Common name: Poison Hemlock

Conium is beneficial in Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases where the swollen lymph nodes are very painful. The pain is usually cutting and stitching in nature. It can sometimes be a shooting and tingling type. The glands’ stony hardness makes it well-indicated in Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases presenting with similar symptoms.

Phytolacca decandra (Phytolacca)

Common name: Poke Root

Phytolacca is indicated when Hodgkin’s lymphoma mainly affects the throat and mammary glands. It treats swollen and inflamed nodes, particularly the submaxillary and parotid glands. The enlarged nodes are stony hard, along with a sore feeling in the throat. There is a sensation of a lump in the throat with a marked burning sensation as coal of fire. The tonsils are swollen and ulcerated. The pain gets worse after drinking hot drinks and gets better with cold drinks. 

Tuberculinum bovinum (Tub.)

Common name: Pus from tubercular abscess

Tuberculinum is beneficial in Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases where the cervical group of lymph nodes are swollen. It is indicated in a person having affection for the respiratory system. The person with Hodgkin’s lymphoma may sometimes present with a strong family history of tuberculosis. He also has a tendency to catch a cold easily, even when he inhales cold air. A dry, hacking cough may be present. Tonsils are hard, enlarged, and worsen after sleep with profuse sweat and weight loss. 

Causative factors for Hodgkin’s lymphoma

The exact cause of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is unknown. However, there are a few conditions which can lead to increased risk:

  • Exposure to Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infection of the glandular system
  • A condition that weakens the immune system
  • Immunosuppressant medications
  • Genetics

Signs and symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma

  • Swelling in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • Painless swollen lymph nodes (rarely associated with pain)
  • A high temperature (fever)
  • Night sweats
  • Persistent cough with breathlessness
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Itching all over the body
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Increased risk of infections

Treatment and management of Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is usually treated successfully with chemotherapy that kills lymphoma cells. It is followed by radiation therapy, which uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. Lastly it uses steroid medications. The treatment plans for Hodgkin’s lymphoma usually depend on the stage of the disease, the general health, and age of the individual. Some complementary therapies help people with the side effects of the treatment. It also helps to cope with the mental and emotional impact of the condition. 

A few techniques that help the body maintain good health and strength while tackling Hodgkin’s lymphoma are:

  • Meditation helps deal with the condition at a psychological level.
  • Yoga helps strengthen the body and maintain energy levels.
  • Practicing mindfulness helps you be aware of your bodily sensations and accept the situation without resistance. This also helps reduce stress and anxiety. 
  • Supplementary therapies like acupuncture and acupressure, helps cope with the pain involved in getting the treatment. 
  • Music and art therapy helps relax the mind and uplifts your mood.

 Diet and lifestyle modifications for Hodgkin’s lymphoma

  • Well-balanced diet 

Consume a healthy and nutrient-dense diet to ensure your body gets its daily nourishment. Include vegetables such as broccoli, green leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits; proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs, and lentils; complex carbohydrates such as beans, whole grains, and oats; and healthy fats such as nuts, avocados, and Greek yogurt.

  • Drink plenty of water

Some therapies cause extreme dehydration and diarrhea or vomiting. Staying hydrated throughout the day helps to cope with the symptoms.

  • Staying active

Being active while taking the treatment is essential. It helps increase your heart health, muscle and bone strength. 

  • Managing stress

Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment includes aggressive therapies that usually break you down at the emotional level. Thus, stress management plays a vital role in your daily practice.

Conclusion

The prognosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is good. Especially when treated in the early stages. It is essential to seek medical attention immediately. Any symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, and weight loss, can be an indication of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The symptoms are the best signs observed on an individual level to diagnose the disease early. Treating and managing the condition and living a long and healthy life is possible. 

The side effects for the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma could be long-term. It depends on the stage of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the treatment used. It is beneficial to cope with and manage the condition with alternate medicines and therapies. Trying your best and staying positive at every level of treatment will help you get through. Finding support groups can help you strengthen yourself and build up resilience in difficult times. Homeopathic medicines can help ease the symptoms and build up the immune system. 

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