Ayurvedic therapy for glycogen storage disease

Glycogen storage disorder: an Ayurvedic anticipation

A child developmental disorder is the most common clinical condition in OPD and IPD of Vaidyaratnam PS Varier Ayurveda College, Kottakkal. One fine morning, an anxious couple arrived at the pediatric OPD with their five-year-old son, named Farhan, as he had not yet achieved the ability to walk independently. The child also complained of abdominal distention, recurrent respiratory infections, and recurrent diarrhea. Marked atony of the body muscles was also observed.

The case was not previously diagnosed, since it was his first approach for medical peace of mind. At first glance, it seemed to be yet another case of a developmental disorder; since it represents almost 1/3 of the patients hospitalized in this institution. As the patient was from a disadvantaged family, diagnostic investigations could not be recommended initially.

A complete preliminary clinical examination was then performed, which revealed an enlarged liver. At this time, suspicion was raised as to whether an underlying metabolic cause predisposed to this liver enlargement. Therefore, it became inevitable to advise further investigations. Therefore, serum lactate and serum pyruvate were measured, however, they were found to be within normal physiological limits. Liver function tests showed elevated concentrations of SGPT and bilirubin, although not clinically discernible.

Fasting blood sugar was observed to be much lower than normal. These observations guided the diagnosis of the case as Glycogen Storage Disorder. Searching for the causes of this clinical condition, it was discovered that it was caused by a genetic predisposition or that it could be the result of a toxic accumulation in the body. Analyzing the condition with an Ayurvedic point of view, it was understood to be the result of the accumulation of morbid metabolic toxins in the body. This in turn was precipitated by a decreased performance of digestive and metabolic activities in the body, both at the GIT level and at the tissue level. As established by Ayurvedic principles in such clinical conditions, the objective of the treatment was to guarantee an adequate mobilization of the morbid metabolic toxins accumulated at the tissue level and to improve the digestive and metabolic capacity of the organs involved in the GIT.

Simultaneously with the cleansing of accumulated toxins, the rejuvenation of the individual cells of the body was considered an equally important concern. Following these principles, the patient was gently massaged with the prepared bolus of medicated powders immersed in warm fermented sour porridge. Internally, Vilwadi tablets, Sudarsana tablets, Indukantham decoction and Dadimasthaka powder were prescribed. Along with Piper longum powder, known for its rejuvenating ability (in metabolic disorders of the liver and spleen), it was also recommended internally.

Gradually, to our greatest satisfaction, the diarrhea and bloating were noticeably relieved and the boy seemed much happier. Meanwhile, a liver biopsy was performed, which confirmed the previously made diagnosis. Kidney functions were monitored, however, they were within normal ranges. Subsequently, the FBS was also significantly improved. Surprisingly, by day 45 of treatment, the patient that his parents had brought to the OPD a few days earlier began to walk beside her.