A rare condition Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a disorder where there is raised pressure within the skull i.e. pressure of fluid that surrounds the brain (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF) is too high (raised intracranial pressure). Idiopathic here signifies the unknown etiology of raised pressure. It primarily affects obese women of childbearing age.
It can cause severe headache and visual loss. Other synonyms for IIH are pseudo tumor cerebri, and benign intracranial hypertension (BIH) but IIH is the preferred term.
The average age for this condition is 30 years but it can occur between 25- 45 years.
What could be the causes for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension?
Although the etiology is not exactly known but certain reasons can be considered to be responsible for IIH to happen.
It may be caused by an increased amount of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the skull, a clear fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and provides them protection from injury. IIH may happen in case the body produces too much CSF or does not absorb it correctly.
Risk Factors can be
- Adult obese females of middle age in most of the cases
- Too much vitamin A or Tyramine.
- Certain medicines, such as steroids, tetracycline, or birth control pills, steroids, tetracycline etc.
- Some medical conditions, such as hypertension, Addison's disease or sleep apnea or birth defect as stenosis, Hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension?
- Headache behind both the eyes which becomes worse in the morning time and involved with eye movement or straining.
- Vision Problems which is including blind spots, poor peripheral (side) vision, double vision, and short temporary episodes of blindness.
- Increased CSF pressure can lead to swelling and destruction to the optic nerve which result in a condition called papilledema.
- Tinnitus or ringing in ears.
- Nausea, vomiting, or dizziness may occur.
Ayurvedic View for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
Unhealthy diet and inactive lifestyle, excessive stress are the chief causes which lead to impaired digestion producing toxic impurities ama which get accumulated and leads to the condition of increase of Tarpak kapha and increase in its pressure.
Diet and lifestyle for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
To Manage the Condition Diet must include plenty of Fruits, Vegetables, and Whole Grains. Other foods are
- Leafy Green vegetables
- Sweet Potatoes
- Lean Meats
- Dairy Products Low In Fat
Avoid Or Limit Foods That Are High In:
- vitamin A and Tyramine
- Added Sugars
- Saturated Fats
- Trans Fats
Involve exercise in regular routine, like simple walking. Yoga is another Ayurvedic source to manage the condition.
Ayurvedic Remedy in Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
This herbal formulation is useful for management of stress. These capsules are not addictive and nor sleep inducer. Stress support capsules are prepared by the combination of three herbs that work together for relieving the stress.
- Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera): Ashwagandha is a pure herb with multiple medicinal properties such as anti-inflammatory, antitumor, anti- stress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, haemopoietic, and rejuvenating. It possesses active components like ‘Withanolides' and ‘Withaferin' that are beneficial for nervous system. These have special advantage in diseases like diabetes and blood pressure. It naturally relieves stress, anxiety and boosts physical and mental functioning.
- Tagar (Valeriana Wallichii): This is a popular herb in India that is used for its benefits in calming down the nervous system. It is effective in relieving stress and anxiety and also fights depression.
- Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri): Brahmi is another herb that is useful as Ayurvedic remedy for Idiopathic Intracranial pressure. It has found to be used in cases like lack of concentration, forgetfulness even to enhance memory increasing the retention power since ancient times. Its Regular use also helps in relieving blood pressure as well as stress, anxiety, hallucinations and epilepsy.
- Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi): This is natural cooling herb in Ayurveda medicines that benefits in managing blood pressure, stress and anxiety along with this can control the anger, hatred, revenge and other negative thoughts and mind is cool and it naturally induces the sleep.
Dose: 2 Capsules twice daily, with plain water after meals
This herbal formulation is amalgamation of certain herbs that act synergistically to control vitiated Vata" "Pitta" and "Kapha" to improve the memory and concentration. It is effective to relieve headache therefore it is a good Ayurvedic remedy in Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. It has no side effects and is purely natural.
- Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus Pluricaulis): This beautiful white flowered plant is helpful in remembering the things. This herb as well helps to maintain blood pressure, improves mental ability and to get rid of mental stress also. It is a natural memory enhancer.
- Licorice (Glycerrhiza Glabra): Also known as ‘Medhya dravya' i.e. the one naturally improving memory and intellect. Its regular use improves eye sight that makes it an ayurvedic remedy for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. Its other uses are that it gives strength, prevents cough and cold and cures gastric ulcers.
- Vacha (Acorus calamus): ‘Sweet flag' another common name of this herb. The root of this herb is useful in treating many mind disorders and increases the speaking ability, speech coordination and memory power. Regular use of this herb increases memory.
- Brahmi (Bacoppa monnieri): This herb is good to control blood pressure, stress, anxiety, hallucinations and epilepsy and is a memory enhancer.
Ashwagandha capsules are herbal supplements that are 100% vegetarian are beneficial in fatigue, stress, anxiety, neuropathy due to diabetes, nervous breakdown, loss of weight due to cancer or diabetes or other reason. It also strengthens the muscles and increases the physical stamina. It can be given to growing children, as well as to old age people. It is formed using standardized extract of Ashwagandha.
- Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera): Ashwagandha is a great medicinal herb that maintains physical strength and provides support in relieving stress. Ashwagandha is useful in conditions of weak memory, fatigue, chronic disease, impotence. Other conditions include arthritic inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, respiratory disorders, nervous disorders, gynecological disorders, male infertility and impotence.
Dose: 2 capsules twice daily, with plain water after meals
This formulation is effective herbal remedy that balances all the three doshas of the body and is prepared from standardized extract of Brahmi (Bacopa monneiri). It is good to use in ailments like blood pressure vertigo, anxiety, stress as well to improve intellect and memory.
- Brahmi (Bacopa Monneiri): Brahmi is an ayurvedic herb is an antioxidant, anti-stress and rejuvenator. It increases memory naturally due to presence of an alkaloid like Bacoposides. It known as a nervine and brain tonic, cardiac tonic,used for restlessness, insomnia and forgetfulness, confused and cloudy thoughts, in anxiety, stress, hysteria, nervous breakdowns, and insanity. Its regular use of by an individual helps to get rid of stress as it can relax the brain tissues and the nervous system. It has calming effects for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension.