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Monday, October 1, 2012

ISLAM-The mysterious illness of the Prophet Muhammad identified

Psychological Laboratory of Leuven (Belgium)


The mysterious illness of the Prophet Muhammad identified


Theophanes, a monk (752-817), wrote in his Chronography that Muhammad suffered from epilepsy. From that time most historians repeated this opinion. When in the late 19th century better notions of psychopathology became common, this diagnosis was challenged. Some thought his disease was hysteria or hystero-epilepsy, although for most scientists epilepsy was excluded. There was no definitive answer to this question. A better scientific examination of the sources has made clear that all symptoms of acromegaly are present with some psychopathological paranoid traits. Acromegaly is caused by a small tumour of the hypophysis, beginning most of the time about the fortieth year and ending in the sixtieth year with an apoplexy of the hypophysis.

According to the hadith Muhammad suffered from a long-lasting disease, which he treated by means of bleeding. He walked as somebody who comes down from a hill. His skin-colour was peculiar, not white, not too tanned, somewhat rosy. His eyebrows were conspicuous. He was sweating heavily, especially when he was receiving revelations. He heard the noise of bells and voices. He had a great appetite and suffered from hunger. Notwithstanding his sexual relations with ten young women, he remained quasi-sterile: one only child after the age of forty years. During his last illness he suffered from intense headaches, losses of consciousness, back- and intestinal pains. He died at the age of 62 years. Psychologically he was known as trustworthy, somewhat retiring and prude. Initially, about at the age of forty years, he was depressed, retiring, and showed a tendency to suicide. He spoke slowly. Most typical were his great hands, dough feeling palms, great feet, a long fleshy nose, well developed ears and a peculiar voice.

These indications suggest that he suffered from acromegaly. This hypothesis allows to explain almost all details found in the hadith.

Acromegaly is caused by an adenoma of the pituitary, which causes an increase in growth hormone (somatotropine) and usually a deficiency or increase of other hormones such as gonadotropine. The disease begins in adult persons about the fourth decade of age. Most patients die about the age of 60 years. It is a long-lasting disease with slow progress, sometimes burning out. Most patients tolerate it reasonably well. The melanophore hormones secreted by the pituitary cause a peculiar straw-yellow skin-colour. Excessive sweating is sometimes caused by hyperthyroidism. Sweating can be oily and have an unpleasant odour. Patients suffer from high blood pressure. Some hirsutism is observed (eyebrows). The growth of all extremities after adult age causes also the vertebrae to extend and the spine to curve. This extension can cause pain as the nerves suffer pressure. Especially typical is the enlargement of the fingers and the dough like feeling of the palms when shaking hands. Rarely a bleeding of the pituitary occurs and causes dead: this apoplexy of the pituitary causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, losses of consciousness. Psychologically patients suffer initially from depression, brooding and irritability, also an increase of appetite and a loss of libido. 
Some patients are anxious and are lacking in self-confidence. When the adenoma exerts pressure on the third ventricle and the optic chiasma in the brain the patients may suffer from hallucinoses. Uniformly these patients are trustworthy. Their personality is characterised by conscientiousness, reliability and industriousness.
Confronting this picture of the symptomatology of acromegaly with the tradition about Muhammad one can only state the conformity. 
Moreover one understands some other traits of the personality of Muhammad. He washed himself often, till two or tree times successively. He indulged in men's scents, such as musk and ambergris; he used to burn camphor on odoriferous wood. This is understandable. He smelled the unpleasant odour of his sweat, and did not want it to be perceived by others. 
The use of bleeding, as a treatment can be understood as a remedy against his high blood pressure. 
His polygamy and the incessant acquisition of new young women can be explained by his wish for a masculine child. His young sons were all dead. He adopted two sons. But a son of his own was for him an absolute must. As the pituitary influences fertility his acromegaly reduced considerably the spermatogenesis. 
Ten wives could only give birth to one only masculine child, which died early. Changing wives he tried desperately to engender that masculine child. He was not a sex-maniac. 
His death was probably caused by a pituitary apoplexy. Psychologically he was considered as a trustworthy person. Initially depressed and devoid of self-confidence, he considered suicide. He suffered from hallucinoses and even hallucinations. 

The complete report was published in Dutch: Een andere Mohammed
http://users.skynet.be/sky50779/mohammed%201.htm

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