Nidanapanchakam (निदानपञ्चकम्)

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Nidanpanchakam (निदानपञ्चकम्) Nidanpanchakam is the unique topic in the field of pathology and evaluation of diseases in Ayurveda. It is used for clinical evaluation, diagnosis or discernment of diseases in authentic Ayurvedic manner using 5 aspects or elements. These 5 elements are as follows, Hetu (etiological considerations or origin of disease)- This includes detail analysis of association of various dietary and lifestyle components as well as other factors with development of a particular disease. These factors are believed to cause vitiation of doshas as well as damage to Dhatus, Agni & Srotas (body channels) affected in a particular disease. Purva-rupa (Prodromal symptoms)- Ayurveda believes that every disease shows specific prodromal signs and symptoms before full fledged development and manifestation of its clinical features. These signs or symptoms are very subtle, developed from the same factors that have led to development of disease and are definitely present before onset of disease. Thus, Purva-rupas are considered the harbingers of the disease. These have certain clinical significance. Thus, Ayurveda scholars have given high importance to study and assessment of Purva-rupas. Rupa (clinical features or signs & symptoms)- Rupa means presentation or feature. Thus, in Nidanapanchakam, Rupa refers to clinical features of developed disease. Most of time, disease is diagnosed in this stage on the basis of classical set of clinical features or Rupa specific for that disease. Upashayaanupashaya (therapeutic diagnosis)- This is unique tool or element used for diagnosis in Ayurveda. Upashaya refers to mild relief in the suffering from disease with use of certain food, medicine or lifestyle elements. Whereas, Anupashaya refers to the exacerbation or no improvement in disease on use of certain food, medicine or lifestyle factors considered favourable for a particular disease. Again, this element has clinical significance from the point of view of diagnosis and management and hence Ayurveda practitioners consider this element while evaluating any presented case. Samprapti (Onset of disease or patho-physiological processes)- One of the most important factor to unfold the sequence of events in the process of development of a disease. Samprapti refers to the chain of events occurred in a sequential manner and tracing all the causative factors along with their role in the development of a particular disease. This tremendously helps a Vaidya to understand the presented case thoroughly, plan a treatment and opine on prognosis. Besides this, for most of the diseases, 2 more elements are also considered. These are as follows, Upadrava (clinical manifestations of complications) – When a particular disease is neglected, left unattended or remains seated in a body for a long time; it further damages the other body elements and gives rise to certain ailments which are developed only because of the untreated already existing diseases in a body. This later developed ailment is totally dependent on the disease which originally gave rise to it and has no separate aetiology or even management. Wise Vaidyas inspect any disease keeping in mind the possible upadravas and only then plan the treatment. In the words of western medical science ‘Upadravas’ can be correlated with complications of a disease. However, western medical science does not regard the study of complications as a diagnostic tool but, Ayurveda does recognise its use in this manner. Sadhyasadhyatva (prognostic features)- This word comprises of 2 terms. Sadhya is the first term which refers to curable status of the disease. While asadhya refers to the uncurable or just treatable status of a particular disease. Ayurveda acharyas have given detailed description on the presentation of the disease and its possible prognosis. They have also further graded the possibility of cure of disease in 4 degrees and relevant necessary modality of treatment.