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Methods to Assay the Causes of a Disease

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(B) Examination by Interrogation

If physicians do not get accurate information through inference, then they can gather the information from the patient by questioning. It is known as examination by interrogation. The following information can be obtained by taking the history of a patient: their likes and dislikes of food, favourite food according to taste; types of dreams in sleep, type of sleep; nature of bowel movements (mild, medium or hard); causes of disease, location of pain, increasing or decreasing time of disease intensity, favorable or unfavorable conditions, information about excretion of feces, urine, flatus; age and birth place of a patient.

On the basis of this pramana, a physician can examine the patient rationally. If a physician is not able to examine the patient properly, if he is unable to gather perceptions by sensory organs, and if he gets wrong answers while interrogating, then as a result, due to improper reasoning, a physician is unable to rationally confirm the disease. When all these facts do not allow the physician to define the nature of a disease, the physician gets confused. Due to a wrong diagnosis, the treatment of a disease can be misguided and not ascertained.


Also Read: Methods to Assay the Causes of a Disease

The examinations involved in the above perception, inference and so on can briefly be divided into the following six ways.

  1.    Auscultatory examination by means of ears (The act of hearing): To auscultate the gurgling sound of the intestines, heartbeat and so on.
  2.    Tactile examination by means of skin (The act of touch): From coolness, warmth, hardness, touching the wounds, acne and by pulse examination, a physician can obtain the knowledge of disease.
  3. Ophthalmic examination by means of eyes (The act of vision): Examining the disease by observing patients body colour, complexion, splendour, sustenance, weakness or emaciation.
  4.    Gustatory examination by means of tongue (The act of taste): Examining the taste through inference or hypothesis.
  5.    Olfactory examination by means of nose (The act of smell): By the odour of the body and different organs, odour from wounds or abscesses. For example, body odour or pungent smell from sweat helps to examine the disease.
  6.    Disease examination by interrogation: By asking questions to the patient or their family and taking the history of a patient.

By means of these pramanas (valid knowledge), a physician can completely examine and diagnose a disease and can prescribe an effective treatment and attain success in his work.

 

Different Methods of Disease Examination

Besides examining the disease on the basis of ‘pramana,’ Ayurveda describes different methods for appropriate and accurate diagnosis, including:

(A) Nidana Pancaka (The Five Signs of Diagnosis): This includes the etiology, preliminary symptoms, manifested symptoms, exploratory therapy and pathogenesis.

 

(B) Satkriyakala (The Six Stages of Manifestation of Disease): Due to different seasons and varying climatic conditions throughout the world, diseases occur due to the vitiation of dosas. For the correct diagnosis and right treatment of the vicious disease cycle, proper understanding of the stages of disease manifestation is necessary. These six stages, which include accumulation, aggravation, dissemination of dosa, site of manifestation, symptom manifestation and differentiation and chronicity of a disease require specific management of the disorder.

(C) Astavidha Parlkisa (The Eight Ayurvedic Methods of Disease Examination):

The diagnosis of a disease on the basis of dosa, identification of the nature of disease, whether curable or incurable, including pulse examination and other examination methods is Astavidha Pariksa.

They are elaborated as follows:

(A) Nidana Pancaka: The Five Signs of Diagnosis

On the basis of ‘Pramana,’ a physician examines a disease and gathers knowledge about its nature. If a physician acquires accurate information regarding the nature of the disease, its type and the cause of aggravation or the place of origin (dosas, dhatus, malas, srotas and agni), then the acquired knowledge is more than enough for the appropriate line of treatment at the first instance based on Ayurvedic norms. After this information, a physician needs to examine the following factors.

(i)   Etiology (Causes of disease)

(ii)  Preliminary symptoms (Those that occur before the onset of a disease)

(iii) Manifest symptoms (Actual signs of a disease)

(iv) Exploratory therapy or Therapeutic suitability (Using medicines, a diet and lifestyle that oppose the disease and its causes)

(v)  Pathogenesis (Appearance of a disease)

These are collectively termed ‘Nidana Pancaka’ – a group of five signs for the diagnosis of a disease.

At the initial stage, none of the diseases become clearly apparent. First of all, there is a deep relationship between the cause of the disease and the body. Later on, as a result of these causes, some preliminary signs or changes are manifest, by which a skilled physician can infer about a disease that will occur. Then steadily, specific symptoms of the disease are manifest differently. At this stage, disease spreads in different ways throughout the body. On this basis, information about the disease is obtained. A brief introduction of these is as follows:

(A) Nidana Pancaka: The Five Signs of Diagnosis
On the basis of ‘Pramana,’ a physician examines a disease and gathers knowledge about its nature. If a physician acquires accurate information regarding the nature of the disease, its type and the cause of aggravation or the place of origin (dosas, dhatus, malas, srotas and agni), then the acquired knowledge is more than enough for the appropriate line of treatment at the first instance based on Ayurvedic norms. After this information, a physician needs to examine the following factors.

(i) Etiology (Causes of disease)
(ii) Preliminary symptoms (Those that occur before the onset of a disease)
(iii) Manifest symptoms (Actual signs of a disease)
(iv) Exploratory therapy or Therapeutic suitability (Using medicines, a diet and lifestyle that oppose the disease and its causes)
(v) Pathogenesis (Appearance of a disease)
These are collectively termed ‘Nidana Pancaka’ – a group of five signs for the diagnosis of a disease. At the initial stage, none of the diseases become clearly apparent. First of all, there is a deep relationship between the cause