What Is A Healing Crisis?
Why it Occurs and How to Treat
A healing crisis occurs when there are no visible signs of disease but the patient’s condition deteriorates rapidly. The symptoms may include fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite or weakness.
Patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus (DM), cancer or AIDS often experience a healing crisis. The term “crisis” refers to the sudden deterioration of health, usually without any apparent cause.
The word “crisis” comes from the Latin caliginare meaning “to break.” When a person experiences a crisis, they experience physical pain or discomfort that cannot be relieved.
They may feel like throwing up or even pass out. Sometimes patients have trouble breathing due to chest pains and other times their heart rate increases suddenly.
In the case of DM, the body produces less than normal amounts of insulin. Insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Without enough insulin, blood sugar becomes too high and causes a diabetic episode. If untreated, a diabetic episode can lead to blindness and death.
Cancer patients sometimes suffer from a healing crisis because chemotherapy drugs interfere with the immune system causing an increase in white blood cells called neutrophils which release chemicals into surrounding tissues that damage them.
The appearance of a healing crisis is alarming to the patient and family. While the cause is different in different types of disease, it can be treated with rest and medicine if a physician is consulted immediately.
What are the causes of a healing crisis?
There are many causes contributing to a healing crisis. In some instances, a person cannot prevent a healing crisis. However, in other cases, a patient can take steps to manage their condition and avoid the crisis.
If you are suffering from a healing crisis there is a high probability that your health will improve in the near future. In case of a fever you should drink plenty of fluids and take acetaminophen (Tylenol).
If you feel very sick, you should call your physician immediately or go to an emergency room.
The causes of a healing crisis depend on the type of condition. For example, if you are suffering from an acute (short-term) condition like pneumonia or influenza, it is caused by a virus.
A virus weakens your immune system making you more susceptible to other illnesses. A single virus can also have long-term effects and may cause a life-threatening disease such as cancer.
These long-term conditions are usually caused by malnutrition, lack of exercise or a weakened immune system. In addition, some patients do not respond well to certain treatments such as chemotherapy causing the appearance of a crisis.
What are the symptoms of healing crisis?
The symptoms of healing crisis vary depending on the type of condition. In any case, you may experience fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, loss of appetite and weakness. Patients with certain types of cancer may experience unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting.
The symptoms of healing crisis are different from the symptoms of the disease. For example, lung cancer patients usually experience a cough, chest pain or shortness of breath.
In this case, a healing crisis may cause fever, headache, fatigue and weakness.
How is a healing crisis treated?
The treatment of a healing crisis depends on the type of condition causing the crisis. In most cases, the patient is closely monitored by a physician. The patient may also be given fluids through an IV. If the crisis occurs as the result of treatment for a cancer patient, the oncologist may prescribe steroids to improve immune system functioning. In rare cases, patients are given antiviral medication to treat or prevent a viral infection.
In some cases, stress causes a healing crisis. In these instances, patients are advised to get plenty of rest, avoid people who are sick and eat nutritious meals.
Patients are also given pain medication for headaches and muscle pains.
What is the prognosis of a healing crisis?
The prognosis of healing crisis depends on the type of condition causing it. If the condition is temporary such as a flu infection or pneumonia, it will disappear when the condition is treated. If the condition is a long-term such as cancer or tuberculosis, it will not go away until the condition is treated.
In either case, patients experiencing a healing crisis are at risk of death due to their weakened immune system and body’s efforts to fight the condition. In addition, patients who have undergone treatment for cancer may experience a recurrence or reappearance of the cancer.
It is important to understand that a healing crisis can be life-threatening. If you or a loved one is experiencing a healing crisis, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
Even if you do not have a condition such as cancer, it is important to seek preventative treatment to avoid future complications.
Our hospital works hard to provide excellent preventative medicine treatment. To learn more about our services or to make an appointment, please call (555) 555-5555.
Sources & references used in this article:
Healing crisis in reflexology: becoming worse before becoming better by TJ Gunnarsdottir, H Jonsdottir – Complementary therapies in clinical …, 2010 – Elsevier
An introduction to catharsis and the healing crisis in reflexology by PA Mackereth – Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery, 1999 – Elsevier
The healing crisis by B Fife – 2010 – books.google.com
Healing crisis and trauma with mind, body, and spirit by BR Wainrib – 2006 – books.google.com
State-space grid analysis: applications for clinical whole systems complementary and alternative medicine research by A Howerter, T Hollenstein, H Boon… – … Medicine Research, 2012 – karger.com
The York acupuncture safety study: prospective survey of 34 000 treatments by traditional acupuncturists by PA Mackereth – Clinical reflexology. Edinburg, Scotland: Churchill …, 2002
Healing elements: efficacy and the social ecologies of Tibetan medicine by H MacPherson, K Thomas, S Walters, M Fitter – Bmj, 2001 – bmj.com
Naturopathic Model of Healing—The Process of Healing Revisited by J Tropp, NY Exposition Press – Candida, silver (mercury) fillings …, 1990 – Greensward Pr