Applied Ayurvedic Approach to prevent Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Preemies
Vipul R Dixit, Kirti S Kate
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common life-threatening emergency of the gastrointestinal tract in the early neonatal period. The greatest risk of NEC is prematurity. The exact cause of NEC remains unclear, but most likely is multifactorial. In the 1970s, the relationship between NEC and feeding was identified. Various research studies have suggested that early feeding, especially other than human milk may predispose to the development of NEC as the intestinal microflora is different for breastfeeding and formula feeding for infants. Human milk contains various enzymes, which reduce the incidences of ischemic injury as well as other pathogenesis of NEC. Food is life giving and life-saving. Acharya Kashyapa rightly says that there is no medicine like food and food alone can make people healthy without disease. In Ayurveda, Basti therapy is stated as (Ardhchikitsa) comprising 50% of the treatment to cure any disease. This article briefly reviews the pathogenesis of NEC, importance of breast milk in preterm babies as well as relationship between aggressive enteral feeding and development of NEC. It also highlights the benefits of breast milk enema in NEC prevention. Bastikarma, i.e., therapeutic enemata uses the medicine (breast milk) through the rectal route.
Basti, Breast milk, Necrotizing enterocolitis, Preprobiotics, Preterm.