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Chart Logo The Six Stages of Disease
         - By Tim Larson, Ph.D.

There are six different stages that diseases progress through (Accumulation, Aggravation, Overflow, Relocation, Manifestation, and Maturation). The best way to enjoy excellent health is to diagnose imbalance at the early stages of disease and correct it before it can progress to the later stages where the symptoms appear and it becomes much more difficult to treat. The key is to pay attention to yourself and be cognizant of the signs that appear, then take appropriate actions.

You can use an online web application or Ayurveda Almanac to examine your body and its waste products to recognize these early signs and follow steps to restore balance that are recommended for you based on the type of imbalance that is found.

During the first two stages of disease, you can restore balance to your system through simple dietary and lifestyle changes. If you fail to recognize the signs that appear during the first two stages, then you can seek treatment from an Ayurvedic doctor or use an online web application to learn how to stop the disease progression and restore balance.

Most people are unaware of the warning signs and don't know what actions to take when the warning signs appear. It is not until after Stage Four that their symptoms get severe enough to send them to a doctor to fix a problem that could have been prevented by early and correct actions.

Stage I. Accumulation

During the first stage of disease, Accumulation, one or more doshas start to accumulate at their primary locations (Vata in the colon, Pitta in the small intestine, and Kapha in the stomach).

Various aggravating factors can cause the doshas to accumulate (e.g. stress, repressed emotions, inappropriate diet or lifestyle, insufficient rest, environmental toxins, climate or seasonal changes). This weakens the digestive fire and causes a toxic substance, ama, to build up in the system. Ama and the vitiated doshas obstruct the channels of the body, inhibiting the flow of nutrients and energy through the body. Ama accumulates, resulting in disease.

Symptoms of dosha imbalance are noticeable at this stage. The warning signs for Vata imbalance include weakness, dry skin, flatulence, constipation, insomnia, increased fear, aching joints, anxiety, headaches, unwarranted fatigue, intestinal gas, menstrual cramps, lower back pain, borborygmi (gurgling in stomach), or abdominal cramps.

Warning signs for Pitta imbalance include burning sensations, increased body heat, bitter taste in the mouth, stomach acidity, increased anger, impatience, criticism, skin inflammations, excessive hunger, excessive thirst, heartburn, acid indigestion, or yellow skin.

Warning signs for Kapha imbalance include listlessness, heaviness in limbs, pallor, bloating, loss of appetite, lethargy, possessiveness, congestion, weak digestion, allergies, high cholesterol, nausea, or excessive sleep.

If you can catch the developing imbalance at this stage, it is easy to purge the excess dosha and restore balance if you follow the appropriate steps.

Stage II. Aggravation

In Stage 2, Aggravation, the doshas continue to build up at the primary locations. The warning signs delineated in Stage 1 become more pronounced.

If you can catch the developing imbalance at this stage, it is still easy to purge the excess dosha and restore balance if you follow the appropriate steps. Some people go through regular purification treatments at the change of seasons, to flush excess doshas from their body.

Stage III. Overflow

If appropriate steps are not taken during the first two stages of disease, the aggravated doshas overflow the boundaries of their primary locations and start to disperse throughout the body, transporting through channels such as the circulatory system and into organs.

Symptoms become more pronounced. Excess Vata may produce colicky pain in the colon, abdominal spasms, headaches, painful defecation, or copious gas. Excess Pitta may produce diarrhea, high fevers, insomnia, or inflammatory skin diseases. Excess Kapha may produce nausea and vomiting, heavy congestion, and mucous secretions, bronchitis, swelling (joints or glands) , or depression. Symptoms may move around a little at this stage.

Stage IV. Relocation

If the disease process is not checked in the first three stages of disease, the aggravated doshas become lodged at new sites where there is weakness in the body. They begin to accumulate at the new location and anchor themselves. They obstruct the local channels in that area. The symptoms tend to become more fixed at the new locations.

At this stage, the symptoms of onset of a disease appear and often motivate the individual to seek medical attention.

Stage V. Manifestation

At the fifth stage of disease, recognizeable diseases manifest and diagnosis of the specific disease can be made (e.g. heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.).

Stage VI. Maturation

In the sixth and last stage of disease, it becomes fully developed into a chronic condition. It specializes according to the predominant dosha involved. A specific disease may require different treatment based on this predominant dosha.

Tim Larson developed the first computer program on Ayurveda. His mix of the ancient secrets of Ayurveda with the modern technology of computer programming brought a new interactive experience of Ayurveda, custom-tailored for the user. You can find more information about health at

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