Scrofula or scrofula is a better defined "infection of the lymph node glands in the neck tuberculous adenitis. It is an infectious disease generated by mycobacteria; in the adult it is often caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis or scrofulaceum (also responsible for the much more known and lethal pulmonary tuberculosis) which, in this case, penetrates the lymphatic circulation and affects some lymph nodes, especially those below the jaw; on the contrary, in children scrofula or scrofula is caused by other "NON-tuberculous or atypical" mycobacteria such as Nontuberculous mycobacteria.
The greatest diffusion of scrofula or scrofula occurred in Europe (France and England) between the 10th and 17th centuries, when it was believed that it could be cured by the "touch" of a noble; today, despite being considered a rare disease, it represents a possible complication of immunosuppression and / or secondarily of severe malnutrition (eg that caused by the HIV virus).
Scrofula or scrofula begins with the disproportionate enlargement of the glands in the neck, with greater ingravescence on those located at the base of the mandible; this lymphadenopathy is associated with skin, mucous and sometimes bone manifestations; Lymph node impairment is painless but, if left untreated, acquires a hard-elastic consistency and reaches or exceeds 2 centimeters in diameter for each lymph node (lymphadenomegaly). Sometimes it causes AGGREGATIONS and profoundly deforms the features of those affected.
Scrofula or scrofula is distinguished from most infectious diseases by the "absence of localized inflammation (devoid of" redness-heat "), causing a peculiar swelling called" cold abscess ".
Systemically, scrofula or scrofula causes fever and chills typical of severe infections.
The term scrofula or scrofula (also known as scrofula or scrofulous infection), originates from the deep malformations that this pathology determines on untreated subjects; the affected lymph nodes, especially those that converge in masses of considerable size, sometimes cause the overlying skin to break and the abscess to explode (fistula) with abundant leakage of pus. It is therefore deducible that, even assuming total pathological remission, the retracting scars of the fistulas caused by scrofula or scrofula are deforming and permanent.
As anticipated, in addition to the damage to the glands in the neck, they are highlighted lesions of the ocular mucous membranes (phittenular kerato-conjutivitis), nasal, of the lips (peri-buccal), facial eczema And of the scalp (scrofuloderms - tuberculids) And swelling of the nose and upper lip... but also periosteal thickening of the phalanges of the hands and feet. These deformations, associated with the retracting scars of the fistulas or, even worse, with the expression of lymphomegalic aggregates, gives the patients (especially children) the typical appearance of a pig (scrofula facies). From all this originates the name scrofulous or scrofula.
The therapy of scrofula or scrofula is predominantly antibiotic, antituberculous chemotherapy And sea climate (rest, abundant nutrition, life in the open air, heliotherapy, etc.); in some cases, especially those generated by Nontuberculous mycobacteria, the surgical removal of the abscesses is necessary but the pharmacological assistance remains however of primary importance.
NB.Throughout history, some specialists have recognized poppy seed oil as a useful and therapeutic food against scrofula or scrofula; on the other hand, it is also appropriate to specify that some subjects affected by this disease (especially children after puberty ) enjoyed totally spontaneous pathological resolution. Ultimately, it is not easy to define the real usefulness of poppy seed oil in the treatment of scrofula that affects younger subjects.
Therapy climatic to the sea: importance of heliotherapy (heliotherapy) and iodine in the remission of scrofula or scrofula and in other diseases
Climate therapy is a very old healing method; it is very useful both in the treatment of various infections, including the aforementioned scrofula or scrofula (on which it acts in a multipurpose way), and in other etiologically different disorders such as: rickets, rheumatism, osteoporosis, arthrosis, eczema, psoriasis, depression, anxiety, etc.
It is based on the therapeutic efficacy of integumentary exposure (of the skin) to sunlight with humidity and ventilation typical of the maritime climate; the relative mechanisms of action are of various kinds: first of all, there is a marked endogenous synthesis of vitamin D, necessary for the metabolism of calcium, therefore useful for ossification. Not to be overlooked are the dryness of the air and the heat from direct (but moderate) radiation from the sun, fundamental in the course of some skin diseases and useful for the remission of rheumatism. psychiatric diseases, such as depression or anxious states, can be largely improved by exposure to sunlight with a positive effect on healing or moderation of symptoms.
The beneficial effect of environmental and food iodine is also very important in heliotherapy; this microelement, potentially deficient in the diet, is rich in marine fish and iodized salt or whole salt; its main function is that of constitute part of the thyroid hormones (regulators of metabolism, growth and morphogenesis of some organs and systems) and is particularly useful both for the remission of the child's scrofula or scrofula, and for the improvement of hypothyroidism (which is sometimes characterized by symptoms of a neuro-nature -psychic - depressive symptoms) and indirectly of many other related disorders.