Have you ever wondered about the stages of disease development?
Quite interesting, right?
Modern medical technology has only the capability to reciprocate the last two stages of any illness.
However, Ayurveda offers an insight into the early stages and enables the monitoring of the smallest imbalances that could lead to a serious illness. Ayurveda has developed six stages to identify any illness.
They are accumulative, aggravation, overflow, moving and localization at a distant site, manifestation and distinction/chronic complications. Below is an analysis of these 6 stages.
Six Stages Of Disease Development According To Ayurveda
The illness begins with one of the three main doßha sites: Stomach (Kapha), Small intestine (Pitta), or the Colon (Váyu). Excess of Kapha in the stomach creates a blockage in the system that leads to heaviness, bloating, pallor, lassitude, and indigestion.
Pitta accumulation creates burning sensations, fever, hyperacidity, bitter taste in the mouth, and anger.
The collection of Vayu creates distention, constipation, fear, insomnia, dryness, fatigue, gas and the desire for warm things.
The monitoring of these experiences within one’s body and mind leads to the early detection of an imbalance, but you need to realize that it is still in its hidden or incubator stages.
As the imbalanced elements (humors) continue to increase it is obvious for the symptoms mentioned above to become more aggravated and will be noticed in other parts of the body as well.
Most importantly the Kapha aggravation causes a loss of appetite, excess saliva, indigestion, oversleeping, heaviness in the heart and head and nausea.
The aggravated Pitta experience is one of increased acidity, burning sensations in the abdomen, lowered vitality, or insomnia.
Váyu aggravation results in pain and spasm in the abdomen, light-headedness. It even causes gas and rumbling in the bowels.
Once the origin site is full with the excess humor (element), it will begin to overflow into the rest of the body using different channels of transportation.
The doshas begin to overflow into the GI tract, then join with the circulating plasma and blood.
During circulation the humors then begin to seep into the organs, dhátus (tissues), and malas (waste). Simultaneously, symptoms at the origin site continue to grow worse.
4. Moving And Localization At A Distant Site
The humors will move to wherever a weak site exists in the body. This is where and when specific diseases begin to develop.
For example, a Váyu illness could move to the bones and begin to create arthritis. If the duodenum is weak, humors deposit themselves there and create an ulcer (usually a Pitta condition).
Kapha moves to organs like the lungs when weakened. Healing is still simple, even at this fourth stage of illness.
This is the first stage of the development of illness for which Western science can detect signs of disease.
Here, diseases become fully developed and they start showing signs of clinical features. The names that are given to the imbalances of the humors include arthritis, cancer, bronchitis, etc.
6. Distinction/Chronic Complications
In this last stage, the symptoms become clear enough so that the elemental cause may be determined.
For example, Váyu asthma will cause dry skin, constipation, anxiety, attacks at dawn, and the desiring of warmth. Pitta asthma will show yellow phlegm, fever, sweating, and attacks at noon and midnight.
Asthma brought on by Kapha will create white phlegm, water in the lungs, and attacks during the morning and evening.
Some practitioners describe this stage as the chronic phase of development. For example, if one develops an inflammation or abscess in stage five, in stage six, complications set in, and the abscess may burst and become a chronic ulcer.