Polio is a viral infection (poliomyelitis) that can cause a wide range of symptoms, ranging from general mild illness to paralysis.
Mild symptoms, which primarily occur in younger children, include a sore throat, fatigue, fever, headache, and vomiting that usually occur three to five days after exposure to the virus and last for 24-72 hours.
Severe symptoms, which primarily affect older children and adults, include fever and muscular paralysis. Central nervous system symptoms can also occur, such as deep muscle pain, tingling and hypersensitivities of skin, meningitis (inflammation of the outer coverings of spinal cord and brain), severe stiff neck and backache, fever, severe headache, generalized muscle aches, and possibly widespread muscle twitching. These symptoms can arise very rapidly and result in serious weakness and/or muscular paralysis. The lower limbs are the most commonly affected. If the infection spreads to the brain, there may also be difficulty in swallowing and in breathing.
Note: Recovery from minor polio is total and lasting, whereas recovery from major, paralytic polio only occurs in approximately 50 percent of cases. Of the remaining cases, 25 percent suffer from minor residual muscle weaknesses, 15 percent are left with severe muscular disabilities, and 10 percent eventually die. Years later, even in patients who have totally recovered, a relapse called a "post-polio" episode can occur, with accompanying muscular weakness and pain.
Caution: Polio is not a disease that can be treated alone. Seek prompt medical attention.
Diet: Eat an organic, whole foods diet with foods rich in magnesium, such as dark green leafy vegetables.
Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy is the application of water, ice, steam and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Treatments include full body immersion, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation and the application of hot and/or cold compresses. Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program. Many Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists, and Day Spas use hydrotherapy as part of treatment. We suggest several at-home hydrotherapy treatments. Please seek the advice of your alternative health care practitioner before undergoing these procedures to make sure they are appropriate for you.
Nutritional Supplementation: The following nutrients can help relieve polio symptoms: magnesium and niacin (taken four times daily to keep blood levels high and to increase muscular strength and motion, and to decrease pain). Take for two weeks, then stop taking niacin for one week, and repeat this cycle as needed.
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