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Homeopathic Medicines For GERD, Acid Reflux and Heartburn

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) develops when there is a frequent backwash of the stomach acid into the esophagus. Acid reflux or heartburn refers to the burning sensation felt behind the sternum (retrosternal burning) due to the backflow of stomach acid into the food pipe.  Homeopathic medicine for acid reflux and GERD helps treat the condition and manage the symptoms effectively. The top three homeopathic medicines for treating GERD, acid reflux, heartburn are Robinia, Iris Versicolor, and Natrum Phos.

Gerd if left untreated can lead to a more serious complication called Erosive esophagitis; which in turn can lead to ulceration, bleeding and narrowing of the food pipe.

The Main Cause of Heartburn

To understand GERD, one will have to first understand how our esophagus (food pipe) and stomach handle food and acid. As the food reaches the lower end of the food pipe, a circular muscle (the LES or lower esophageal sphincter) present around the food pipe opens up and allows the food to enter the stomach. Once it enters the stomach, this muscle closes the lower end of the food pipe. This actually behaves like a one-way valve stopping the food and the acid in the stomach from moving back into the esophagus. In Gerd, this valve relaxes abnormally or weakens, so the stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus very frequently, causing repeated attacks of heartburn.

GERD: Symptoms

– Heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest behind the breastbone. It gets worse after eating, on lying down and on bending.
– Burning in the throat
– Chest pain
– Sour, bitter belching or waterbrash (sudden flow of saliva due to indigestion) from regurgitation of food or sour liquid
– Sour taste in the mouth
– Difficulty in swallowing
– Sensation of a lump in the throat
– Bad breath
– Feeling of Abdominal bloating
– Cough
– Laryngitis
– Worsening of asthmatic complaint

Homeopathic Remedies for Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and GERD

The conventional treatment for GERD involves the use of antacids, which work by changing the pH of the stomach acid to make it less acidic. This helps decrease the irritation caused by the acid to the stomach, esophagus or the duodenum.
Use of antacids for an extended duration can cause side effects like gas, belching, constipation, diarrhea, and swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles. Antacids also interfere with nutrient absorption. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are used to reduce the production of stomach acid are known to deplete vitamin B12 in the body. This can further affect the nervous system, cause fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of vision.
The amount of antacids used, and the duration of their use can affect the electrolyte balance in the body. Any changes in the levels of different electrolytes (like calcium, potassium or sodium) can adversely affect the muscle and nerve function.
Further, aluminum-based antacids can weaken the bones by flushing out salts like phosphate and calcium.

Homeopathy, on the other hand, works gently to minimize the symptoms of GERD and treats the root cause of the problem. Homeopathy can be of great help to those who do not show much improvement even after lifestyle modifications. The top homeopathic medicines that are used to treat GERD are:

Robinia – Top Homeopathic Medicine for Acid Reflux and GERD

Robinia is a top listed homeopathic medicine for treating GERD. Robinia is prepared from a plant named ‘yellow locust.’ The natural order of this plant is Leguminosae. The key indication to use this medicine in GERD is intense heartburn, constant sour belching, and sour vomiting due to regurgitation of acid from the stomach. The symptoms of heartburn and acidity tend to get worse at night time, on lying down and can cause sleeplessness.

Key indications for using Robinia for GERD:

-Intense heartburn
– Sour belching and vomiting
– Heartburn and acidity worse at night

Iris Versicolor – Homeopathic Medicine for Acid Reflux with Sour, Bitter Belching

Iris Versicolor is a natural homeopathic medicine for treating GERD. It is prepared from a plant commonly named ‘blue flag.’ The natural order of this plant is Iridaceae. Sour, bitter belching is the key feature to use this medicine. Vomiting of sour bitter fluid that burns the throat, vomiting with weakness, a smarting, burning sensation in the throat, and heartburn are the key symptoms. There may be burning distress and pains in the epigastric region (the part above the stomach) at frequent intervals. Constant nausea may be present with these symptoms.
There is excessive indigestion, and the food is vomited after an hour or so eating a meal. Iris Versicolor is also a well indicated homeopathic medicine for a headache arising with acidity.

Key indications for using Iris Versicolor:

– Sour bitter belching
– Sour bitter vomiting
– Heartburn; burning in throat

Natrum Phos – Homeopathic Medicine for Acid Reflux with Heartburn and Difficulty Swallowing

Natrum Phos is another prominently indicated homeopathic medicine for GERD treatment. It is useful when heartburn is attended with difficulty swallowing. Other symptoms include sour belching, waterbrash, and vomiting of sour fluid or cheesy, curdled masses. A lump sensation in the throat may also be present, along with a loss of appetite.

Key indications for using Natrum Phos for GERD:

– Heartburn and difficulty in swallowing
– Vomiting of sour, cheesy or curdled matter

Other Important Homeopathic Medicines for GERD

Arsenic Album – Homeopathic Medicine for Acid Reflux with Burning Pain in Throat

Arsenic Album is a homeopathic medicine for GERD that is accompanied by a burning pain in the throat. The burning gets worse upon swallowing. Swallowing is difficult and painful. Other symptoms include regurgitation of acrid matter, water brash, heartburn, intense nausea, and weakness. Arsenic Album is also a well indicated homeopathic medicine for inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis).

Calcarea Carb – Homeopathic medicine for Acid Reflux with Sour Taste in Mouth

Calcarea Carb is a well indicated homeopathic medicine for GERD where there is a sour taste in the mouth. There is a regurgitation of sour substances with the flow of sour, watery fluid from the mouth. Foul odor from the mouth may be present with nausea. Sour, bitter belches, vomiting of sour, bitter slime (of food eaten), and heartburn are some other symptoms that may be present. The burning from the food pipe extends to the throat. Along with this, continued loud belching may appear especially after eating; with a cough and nausea.

Carbo Veg – Homeopathic Medicine for Acid Reflux with Bloating and Heartburn

Carbo Veg is an excellent homeopathic medicine for GERD treatment. It is useful when there is bloating along with heartburn. Sour, offensive belching that gets worse after drinking or eating, a burning sensation in the throat and difficulty in swallowing are other symptoms. Even the simplest of food tend to trigger the condition.

Nux Vomica – Homeopathic Medicine for Acid Reflux with Cough

Nux Vomica is a highly effective homeopathic medicine for GERD accompanied with a cough. Nux Vomica is one of the best indicated homeopathic medicines for a gastric cough that gets worse at night time and prevents sleep. Vomiting usually appears from coughing. The throat is sore and raw, and swallowing may be painful. Burning in the throat, especially at night time is present. There is a regurgitation of food with heartburn and sour belching.

Phosphorus – Homeopathic Medicine for Acid Reflux with Laryngitis (Hoarse Voice)

Phosphorus is a homeopathic medicine for GERD where there is hoarseness of voice. The hoarseness may be worse during the evening. A hard, dry, racking cough may appear. Gastric symptoms like heartburn, sour belching, sour taste in the mouth, vomiting of food or sour, acidic liquid may also be present.

Pulsatilla Nigricans – Homeopathic Medicine for Acid Reflux from Fatty Food

Pulsatilla Nigricans is a natural homeopathic medicine prepared from a plant named ‘windflower.’ The natural order of this plant is Ranunculaceae. It is used in cases of GERD where consumption of fatty food worsens the complaint. Greasy, fatty food like creams, pastries, and ice creams trigger the acid reflux. The symptoms include heartburn and water brash. Belching of food, bitter taste in mouth, nausea and a sensation of having a lump in the throat may be present.

Sulphuric Acid – Homeopathic Medicine for Acid Reflux with Sour Belching

Sulphuric Acid is a homeopathic medicine for GERD where intensely sour belching is present. Heartburn, sour vomiting and nausea are other symptoms. The sour vomiting mostly appears after eating.

Risk Factors: GERD

Obesity

Obesity and being overweight are risk factors that contribute to the development of GERD. The reason is that the excess fat in the abdomen compresses the stomach and raises its internal pressure. This increased pressure leads to backing up of stomach acid contents to the food pipe. This is known as acid reflux. Even a small increase in the body weight of a person is likely to increase the risk of GERD. Overweight and obese people are three times more at risk to develop GERD as compared to people who are at a healthy weight. The severity of symptoms of GERD and the risk of developing associated complications is also more pronounced in overweight and obese people.

Hiatus hernia

People having hiatus hernia are at risk of developing GERD. Hiatus hernia is the bulging of the upper part of the stomach through the hiatus opening in the diaphragm (muscle partition between chest and abdomen). Hiatus hernia leads to weakening of the LES that allows easy reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus.

Smoking

Smokers are at high risk to develop GERD. This is because nicotine present in tobacco tends to relax the lower esophageal sphincter. This allows reflux of acid contents to rise into the food pipe.

Pregnancy

The risk of GERD and heartburn is high in pregnant women. There are two reasons for this. One is that the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy tend to cause relaxation of esophageal muscles and LES. Second is that the growing fetus tends to put pressure on the stomach. Both these factors cause pushing of the stomach acid into the esophagus. The heartburn usually develops in the second and third trimester of pregnancy.

Type of Exercise

Strenuous exercise right after eating a meal is not advised. Those who indulge in heavy exercise with a focus on the core muscles of the abdomen are at an increased risk of developing GERD. Certain activities can decrease the blood flow to the gastrointestinal area, causing the gastric fluids to get collected. (1) This can further lead to irritation and inflammation.
Exercises that involve hanging upside down or bending are some examples that can worsen GERD symptoms. People also tend to gulp air during high-impact workouts. This can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, forcing the stomach acid into the esophagus. Eating immediately before a workout also increases the risk of acid reflux.

Some high-impact exercises that can cause heartburn are:

– weightlifting
– cycling
– sprinting
– gymnastics
– running
– skipping

Factors that can Trigger or Worsen GERD Symptoms

Food: Fatty foods, fried food, chocolates, spicy food, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and citrus fruits are known to worsen GERD symptoms.

Medications such as NSAID’s, antibiotics (such as tetracycline), pain relievers (such as ibuprofen and aspirin), birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy steroids, antidepressants like amitriptyline, asthma medication like beta-adrenergic agonists or bronchodilators, iron supplements, and quinidine (a heart medication) are some medications that tend to worsen the symptoms of GERD and cause acid reflux.

Stress

Carbonated drinks, caffeinated drinks: These are often sweetened and contain excessive air which can cause gas, contributing to GERD.

Late night eating

– Eating food in large quantity

– Immediately lying down after eating food

Smoking

Alcohol

Coffee

Classification of GERD

GERD is classified into two types. Erosive reflux disease (ERD) and non-erosive reflux disease (NERD). This classification is not based on the symptoms, but rather on the findings derived from an endoscopy.
In case of erosive reflux disease, the stomach acid damages the esophageal mucosa.
In non-erosive reflux disease, the esophageal mucosa is not damaged by acid reflux.

The Link between Acid Reflux and Heartburn

Acid reflux causes heartburn because of underlying irritation and inflammation in the food pipe from stomach acid. Several layers of tissue line the stomach. These are mucosa (inner lining), submucosa (it covers the mucosa), muscularis propria (next layer to submucosa and serosa). Stomach stores food temporarily for approximately 2 hours; the acid and enzymes help break down the food and digest it. There are specialized cells in the mucosa layer that produce hydrochloric acid (HCl) and digestive enzymes to enable the digestion of food.
The stomach can hold this acid without being damaged since the goblet cells in the mucosa secrete large quantities of protective mucus. This helps protect the stomach lining from being corroded by the stomach acid.
However, the lining of the esophagus does not share this protective feature, and the throat is not designed to handle such acidic contents. Therefore, when reflux of stomach acid goes into the esophagus, it damages, irritates, and inflames the food pipe. This is the reason for the burning sensation felt behind the sternum, known as heartburn.

Complications / Long-term Effects of GERD

Long-standing uncontrolled or untreated GERD carries a risk of developing certain complications. These include inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis), Barret’s esophagus, Ulcers/erosions in the esophagus, stricture of the esophagus from a scar.

Inflammation of the Esophagus (Esophagitis)

The esophagus is a tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Frequent back up of acid into the throat leads to its inflammation. If inflammation is left untreated, it carries a chance of forming ulcers in the esophagus and scarring that leads to the formation of a stricture. Its symptoms are difficulty in swallowing, painful swallowing, burning behind the sternum (heartburn), nausea and vomiting.

Stricture of Esophagus

Stricture of esophagus means narrowing of the esophagus. A stricture forms as a result of the damage to the lining of the esophagus (from the acid contents of the stomach). As a result, there is inflammation and the development of scar tissue, which leads to narrowing and obstruction of the esophagus. The symptoms arising in esophageal stricture include:

– difficulty in swallowing
– chest pain
– regurgitation of food or liquids
– heartburn
– a sensation of having something stuck in the chest after eating
– unintended weight loss

Complications of esophageal stricture: Choking or difficulty in breathing due to the lodging of solid food in the esophagus, dehydration, malnutrition, pulmonary aspiration causing aspiration pneumonia.

Ulcers/Erosions in Esophagus

Long-term backing up of stomach acid can damage the lining of the esophagus causing ulcers. These can lead to difficult/painful swallowing, heartburn, pain behind the sternum, and there may be bleeding.

Barret’s Esophagus

Barret’s esophagus is a serious complication of GERD. In this condition, the squamous type of cells present in the lining of the esophagus change from squamous type to columnar epithelial type. Back up of acidic stomach contents into the esophagus lead to damage of esophageal tissue. During the process of healing this damage, the original kind of cells naturally present can change form. People with Barret’s esophagus are at risk to develop esophageal cancer. The symptoms of Barret’s esophagus include heartburn, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and chest pain (although rare).

Investigations in GERD

GERD is primarily diagnosed with the help of an upper endoscopy. An endoscopy helps rule out a hiatus hernia and the complications of GERD, like inflammation, ulcers in the esophagus.
A biopsy of the tissue from the esophagus may be conducted in case of suspected Barrett’s esophagus.

Acid reflux and GERD in Infants

Acid reflux is very common among infants. Spitting up of milk is a part of their daily activities and can occur several times in a day. It is usually not a reason for concern as long as the baby has a healthy weight and has no respiratory difficulty. It usually resolves on its own at around 18 months of age. Rarely is acid reflux indicative of GERD in the case of infants. Frequent vomiting, feeding refusal, weight loss, difficulty feeding, high irritability, and long-term wheezing are few indications of GERD in infants. An evaluation by a pediatrician is essential to rule out whether it is normal reflux or GERD.

Managing Acid Reflux and GERD

Some tips that can help minimize acid reflux and manage GERD include:

Drink More Water

Increasing the consumption of water helps reduce the symptoms of GERD and also improves overall digestion. This is because in most cases, water replaces other drinks that may include alcohol, sweetened beverages or caffeine.

Avoid Smoking and Alcohol

Smokers have a drastically higher risk of developing GERD and other inflammatory conditions as compared to non-smokers.
Alcohol can also trigger GERD, and lead to the development of symptoms like increasing inflammation and stress, weight gain, and dehydration. It is also known to worsen symptoms like nausea, bloating, gas and sleep issues.

Eat Small, Regular Meals

Instead of the usual 3-large meals a day, it is preferable to eat 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day to facilitate better digestion. Also, food must be eaten slowly and chewed thoroughly before swallowing. Eating mindfully also helps prevent overeating (which can cause an increased release of stomach acid). While drinking a beverage, one must take small sips instead of gulping down large amounts of fluid, since that can trap gas in the stomach.

Exercise

GERD tends to be more common in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle with little or no exercise. Those who have a poor nutritional diet or are overweight are more susceptible to developing GERD. Exercise helps improve physiological functions like digestion, circulation, and maintain body weight. It also helps reduce inflammation and enhance the quality of sleep.

Medications

Certain medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and hormone replacement drugs can contribute towards the development of GERD. Their use should be minimized and discontinued (after consulting a physician) if they contribute towards the symptoms of GERD.

Early Dinner

Exercising before bedtime or lying down soon after dinner can worsen the symptoms of GERD. The last meal of the day should ideally be consumed 2-3 hours before bedtime, and the system should be relaxed before it is time to sleep. Doing so helps ease digestion.

Avoid Overeating

It is important to eat small, easily digestible meals and not burden the digestive system with a large amount of food in a single sitting. This helps prevent acid reflux as well as gastrointestinal disorders.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

It is essential to maintain a healthy body weight to reduce the chances of developing GERD.

Clothes

Wearing restrictive clothing that put pressure on the stomach should be avoided. Loose, comfortable clothing that does not restrict movement helps keep the digestive system functioning properly.

Raised Head Position

Keeping the head slightly elevated while sleeping helps reduce acid reflux. The head should ideally be 6 to 8 inches higher than the feet while sleeping. The upper body needs to be uniformly raised.

Stress Management

Stress can disturb digestion due to the production of stress hormones. Stress can further cause a person to turn to alcohol, smoking, bad eating habits and more.
It is important to manage stress and find time for relaxation. Light exercise, indulging in hobbies and getting adequate rest are important factors that help reduce the chances of developing GERD.

GERD: Foods to Eat

Whole foods that are prepared fresh and do not have too many added preservatives or chemicals are generally good for health, and more so for those dealing with GERD. A plant-based diet that is rich in antioxidants, nutrients, water content, and fiber can help manage the problem, and also treat it. Some examples of foods that help address GERD include:

Fresh vegetables of different colors like green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, peas, cucumber, carrots, etc.

Fermented products like apple-cider vinegar can help balance the stomach acid and reduce the tendency of acid reflux.

Foods that have a high amount of fiber, like whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits.

Foods that contain healthy fats, like coconut milk, olive oil, coconut oil, almonds, flaxseeds and chia seeds.

Low-fat, lean proteins like wild fish and soaked beans.

Probiotics like yogurt or fermented vegetables also increase the healthy gut bacteria in the system, thereby aiding digestion.

GERD: Foods to Avoid 

Animal products and dairy products, in general, are difficult to digest and should be limited or avoided by people dealing with GERD.

Caffeinated drinks like energy drinks and coffee or tea.

Carbonated drinks

Allergy-causing foods or foods that lead to a sensitivity in the body, like gluten, certain nuts, or synthetic ingredients.

Fatty foods like processed meat, cereals, cheese and fast food.

Alcoholic drinks like wine, beer, or liquor are difficult to digest and can worsen the symptoms of GERD, especially if consumed too close to bedtime.

Overly spicy foods.

Foods that are high in sodium, like chips, salted products, etc.

Tomatoes and tomato-based products are also known to worsen the symptoms of GERD in some people.

Chocolates contain a substance called methylxanthine, which is known to relax the smooth muscles in the lower esophageal sphincter, thereby increasing the chances of acid reflux.

 

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Wonderful Homeopathic Remedies for Peptic Ulcer

Homeopathic remedies for peptic ulcer

Have you been suffering from abdominal pain that gets more severe when you are on an empty stomach? It is likely that you have contracted a peptic ulcer.

A peptic ulcer, even referred to as peptic ulcer disease (PUD), is an open sore ring in the gastrointestinal tract that is essentially acidic in nature and causes severe pain. It is a mucousal erosion that occurs on the inner lining of the esophagus, stomach or upper parts of the small intestinal tract and is characterized by abdominal pain.

Nearly 70–90% cases of such ulcers are linked to a spiral-shaped bacterium that thrives in the acidic environment of the stomach.  The incidence of peptic ulcers occurring in the duodenum (the initial tract of the small intestine) is four times higher than those arising in the stomach.

Homeopathy medicines for peptic  offers suitable relief from this painful condition since homeopathic remedies have practically no side-effects and are non-toxic, which is a big advantage in curing this acidic state. I will discuss some remedies and myths of this disorder later in the article.

Kinds of peptic ulcers

Broadly speaking, peptic ulcers are classified in two main categories. The esophageal ulcers are those that occur in the esophagus, hollow tube through which food moves from your throat to your stomach. The duodenal ulcers are the ones that erupt inside of the upper portion of the duodenum, the small intestine.

The ulcers that are found in the stomach are termed as the gastric ulcers.

There is also a Meckel’s diverticulum ulcer, which is characterized by a lot of tenderness.

Symptoms of peptic ulcers

The primary symptom of a peptic ulcer is, of course, pain. The pain causes a burning sensation and gets more acute when the stomach acid passes over the sores. The pain can be experienced anywhere in the region of the navel, spreading to the breastbone.

The sensation of pain is worsened on an empty stomach and often gets more acute at night. The pattern of the pain is such that it may go away temporarily on consuming some non-acid producing foods but keeps returning from time to time.

The less common signs and symptoms of the peptic ulcers may include vomiting of blood that may look reddish or blackish in color, dark blood in stools or stools that are blackish, the feeling of nausea, sudden drop in weight or appetite, etc.

Myths about peptic ulcers

The primary factor responsible for peptic ulcer is a chronic swelling caused by the helicobacter pylori bacteria.

These ulcers can also be triggered by the use of NSAIDS. While the incidence of duodenal ulcers has fallen considerably during the past three decades or so, the number of cases of gastric ulcers have registered a rise, primarily due to the widespread use of NSAIDs.

The most common myth associated with peptic ulcers is that they are caused by highly spiced foods or a stress related job. It has also been believed that smoking, caffeine, coffee or alcohol consumption lead to this condition.

However, these are mostly myths and research has clearly shown that it is bacterial infection or some medications which essentially trigger peptic ulcers.

Homeopathic Remedies for peptic ulcers

There are a wide variety of homeopathic Medicines  for peptic Ulcers, ranging from Uranium Nitricum, Kali Bich and Graphites to Crotalus Horridus, Geranium and Graphites.

I find Uranium Nitricum to be the ideal homeopathic remedy for gastric and duodenal ulcers characterized by boring pain in the pyloric region, a bloated abdomen, and a ravenous appetite followed by flatulence.

Kali Bich is best suited for round ulcers occurring in the stomach that lead to vomiting of bright yellow water and a load in the stomach immediately after eating, giving the patient the feeling that digestion has come to a standstill.

Homeopathic medicine Crotalus Horridus is helpful in cases of ulceration in the stomach due to chronic alcoholism. Patients who are unable to retain anything, exhibit violent vomiting or vomit blood benefit from this medicine. Homeopathic remedy Graphites is good for treating duodenal ulcers marked by a burning in the stomach and a feeling of hunger.

Homeopathic remedies for peptic ulcers not only provide permanent relief from pain and other related symptoms , they  also treat body’s inability to fight with helicobacter pylori . Thus once treated with homeopathic remedies, peptic ulcers will be gone for good

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gastric problems and homeopathy

NUX Vomica is a remedy for many conditions of modern life. The typical Nux patient does a good deal of mental work. He has mental strains and leads a sedentary life. He is engaged in prolonged office work, deep study and close application to business with its attendant cares and anxieties. Indoor life and mental strain seek stimulants – coffee, wine, possibly in excess; or again, he hopes to quieten his excitement by indulging in the “pleasures” of tobacco. He may become a victim of seductive drugs like opium.

These things are associated with other indulgences. At the table, he takes, preferably, rich and stimulating food. Wine plays a part in making him forget the stress of the day. Late hours are a consequence; a thick head, sluggish digestion (constipation, acidity and excessive gas formation), and irritable temper are the next day’s lot. Nux Vomica 200, one dose at night for a week, with rest and no stimulants, can wash away the blues.

Curing acidity

Acidity tends to have a much higher incidence in highly emotional and nervous individuals. The consumption of alcohol, highly spicy foodstuff, non-vegetarian diets, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also predispose one to gastric acidity. Natrum Phos leads a group of homoeopathic medicines used against acidity. The indications for its use include: a burning sensation in the chest behind the sternum (breast-bone) which can originate from the stomach and extend even to the throat; this burning may also be accompanied by sour vomiting, and often a yellow creamy-coated tongue; Natrum Phos 30c four times a day for a week will reduce the acidity.

Another homoeopathic medicine, Arsenic Album, is well suited only if these symptoms occur around midnight – the 30c potency of Arsenic Album can be used in a similar way. A suitable diet must be strictly followed, avoiding spicy, salty and acidic food. Smoking and alcohol must be stopped. Those with a highly nervous and emotional disposition and those involved in high-stress jobs must be encouraged to take lifestyle-modifying measures.profile pic

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Homeopathic Treatment Of IBS

What perplexes most of the patients who suffer from the IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is the fact that even though there are no pathological changes present in their gastrointestinal tract, they still suffer from the disease. So, how is it that the disorder which produces diverse symptoms such as diarrhoeas, constipation, excessive gas feeling and even severe cramping pain does not show any anatomical changes?

The answer lies in the fact that this disorder is a functional disorder which means that the bowel doesn’t work as it should. It is related to how the intestinal tract contracts and pushes the food forward. The irritable bowel syndrome is a problem with the intestines. In people with IBS, the intestines squeeze too hard or not hard enough and cause food to move too quickly or too slowly through the intestines

 

How is IBS diagnosed?

 

As the IBS has no pathological findings, the physician bases his diagnosis on the symptoms as told by the patient, still the physician may need to do certain tests to rule out other ailments. The symptoms that indicate the IBS are bloating and gas, constipation, diarrhoea, especially after eating or first thing in the morning, Feeling the need to have a bowel movement after already having one, feeling a strong urge to have a bowel movement, abdominal pain and cramping that may go away after having a bowel movement

 

What causes the IBS?

 

It remains a mystery as to how the IBS develops. Research suggests that the large intestine of those who suffer from this disorder is more sensitive and reactive than usual to a wide range of things which include certain foods and stress.

For example, people who suffer from bloating after eating usually assume that there is too much gas in their abdomen, but it is the increased sensitivity of their intestine to the stretching caused by small amounts of gas. Diarrhoeas in the IBS are caused by increased contractions of the intestines resulting from a trigger factor such as a particular food substance or stress.

Food triggers mainly include milk products, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks and fatty foods. In some cases, simply eating a large meal will trigger symptoms Stress, anxiety and strong emotions also affect how intestines contract. In stress or anxiety they contract too much or too little, resulting in symptoms of the IBS.

Homeopathy takes a different route in treating this disorder. It takes a holistic approach by studying the emotional and physical make-up, also keeping in view the symptoms of the IBS presented by the patient. It is this well-rounded approach that gives homoeopathy better success in treating this disorder. Argentum nitricum, colocynth, sulphur, and nux vomica are the leading homoeopathic medicines that are used in treating this disorder.

 

Managing IBS

 

*The best way to handle the irritable bowel syndrome is to eat a healthy diet, avoid foods that seem to make you feel worse and find ways to handle your stress.
*Eat varied foods, including those high in fibres and avoid food that is rich in fat. Fibre reduces IBS symptoms – especially constipation – because it makes stool soft, bulky and easier to pass.
*Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhoea in people with the IBS. If this happens, break your meals into five to six small meals in a day.
*Drink plenty of water in a day.
*Learn new and better ways to deal with your stress. Meditation, yoga, exercise and counselling are some of the things that might help.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome- treating it with Homeopathy

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is one of the “functional intestinal disorders” – a general term for conditions that show no physical evidence of disease in the intestines on examination, and the cause of which does not show up in a blood test or an X-ray. People with IBS have colon that are more sensitive and reactive than usual. So they respond to stimuli that would not bother most people.

Sulphur, Argentum itricum, Colocynth, Pulsatilla, Carbo Veg, Nux Vomica and Lycopodium are a few of the important homeopathic medicines very frequently asked for in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Chronic forms of this disorder are treatable with Sulphur, where sensitivity to milk is a key factor and early morning diarrhoea is often a presenting symptom. Sulphur covers a huge variety of symptoms found under this disorder.

It is best prescribed with a rich experience in homeopathy. Pulsatilla is for sensitive individuals also where fatty food usually triggers off a variety of symptoms. When this disorder is a consequence of what is called modern living (excess intake of alcohol and rich food), Nux works as a panacea. If there is immediate bloating after eating and the abdomen swells up like a drum, Carbo Veg can do wonders.

Colocynth and argentum Nitricum have a different indication – anxiety, stress and emotions. Patients asking for Colocynth have diarrhoea associated with cramping pain in the abdomen before passing stool. For an Argentum Nitricum patient, sweets can trigger off the complaint and loud belching often forms a major presenting symptom. Lycopodium is generally indicated for people with chronic digestive discomforts and bowel problems. Bloating and a feeling of fullness come on early in a meal of shortly after, and a large amount of gas is usually produced. Heartburn and stomach pain are common, and the person may feel better after rubbing the abdomen. Symptoms are typically worse between 4 pm and 8 pm. Despite so many digestive troubles, the person can have a ravenous appetite, and may even get up in the middle of the night to eat.

HOMOEOPATHIC medicines Natrum Carb, Podophyllum, China and Croton Tig are another set of important medicines often asked for treating chronic gastric conditions like IBS. Natrum Carb is indicated for people who have trouble digesting and assimilating many kinds of food and have to stay on a restricted diet. Indigestion, heartburn and even ulcers may occur if offending food is eaten.

The most important indications for its use is that the person often is intolerant of milk, and drinking it or eating dairy products leads to gas formation and spluttery diarrhoea with an empty feeling in the stomach. The patients may have a craving for potatoes and for sweets (and sometimes also milk, but has learnt to avoid it).

Podophyllum is indicated when abdominal pain and craming with a gurgling, sinking, empty feeling are followed by watery, offensive-smelling diarrhoea – alternating with constipation, or pasty yellow bowel movements containing mucous. Symptoms tend to be worse early in the morning and the person may feel weak and faint or have a headache afterwards. Rubbing the abdomen (especially on the right side may help relieve discomfort.

China (Cinchona officinalis) is often asked for treating conditions where weakness has resulted from the excessive loss of fluids. It can be used in both acute and chronic conditions. it is also indicated where distension of the abdomen is associated with colic (pain).

Croton Tig is indicated in chronic diarrhoea as well as acute diarrhoea. There is a constant urge to pass stool followed by sudden evacuations. A swashing sensation in intenstines is common. Pain in the anus, as if a plug is being forced outwards, is experienced. Copious watery stools with much urge, then profuse and sudden gushing of yellow water, have to be encountered. Water has to be drunk judiciously.

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This feature ( authored by Dr. Vikas Sharma ) was earlier published in The Tribune(north India’s largest circulated daily newspaper). Dr. Vikas Sharma is regular Homeopathic columnist for The Tribune. mail him : vikas@drhomeo.com

Call Dr. Sharma's Clinic - From United States and Canada call 703-659-0873.Patients From rest of the world and India call+91-9815299965

Gas Poblem -Treat it with Homeopathy

“Gas problem” is something that is mostly harmless but can be very disturbing and incapacitating for the person who suffers from it. Its implications are diverse; ranging from being a mere social embarrassment to quite a troublesome yet benign gastric issue. The big question is why do some individuals suffer more from gas than others do? The answer lies in the fact that some of us are biologically more prone to have this problem where as for others, eating habits contribute majorly to this disorder. This gas problem exhibits mainly in three ways. Patients complain of being bloated around the abdomen or passing of too much gas from the anus (flatulence) and thirdly belching of gas from mouth (eructation).

Belching of air or eructation occur mainly due to swallowed air (aerophagia) during eating, drinking. This is also associated with increased intake of carbonated drinks. Excessive salivation also leads to increase in the swallowing of air.. Bloating of the abdomen is usually related to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or chronic constipation and rarely is it associated with serious gut problems. People with IBS have this increased sensitivity of the intestinal walls. This sensitivity causes even little gas to give the impression of excessive bloating of abdomen.

It is important to realize that some amount of gas formation is very normal and is produced naturally during the process of digestion. Flatus (gas passed from anus) is a metabolic byproduct of intestinal bacteria and is not caused by swallowed air .An average normal adult has 13 to 19 gas passages every day. But the condition can be really bad for some individuals -one study noted a person who expelled gas 140 times daily, with 70 passages in a period of just four hours.

Passing of gas from anus is mostly related with the food that we eat or with the kind of bacteria that we have in our intestines.  Flatulence is generally produced when undigested food is acted upon by bacteria in our large intestines. Certain food substances produce more flatulence than others because they contain more indigestible carbohydrates. Substances that lead to overproduction of gas are , beans, dairy products,  onions, celery, carrots, sprouts, fruits (raisins, bananas, apricots) and complex carbohydrates  like dals . People with lactase deficiency and celiac disease (gut allergy to wheat) also suffer from excessive flatulence. Gases like   Methane, Hydrogen and Hydrogen Sulphide are the main component of flatulence. Hydrogen sulphide is responsible for the odor of the flatus.

Homeopathy offers a very effective cure for excessive gas problem.  Homeopathic medicines Carbo Veg ,Lycopodium and Nux Vomica  are few of the very effective ones. Carbo Veg can be used for nearly all kinds of excessive gas conditions though  more suited in conditions where the symptoms of bloating appear immediately after eating and everything that has been eaten seems to get converted into gas. Lycopodium is more suited for patients that have the problem of passing more flatulence and also when their problem tends to increase towards the evening hours. Nux  Vomica is one of the most effective   medicines for our digestive system  and is  used in conditions that are incidental to  modern living like excess of alcohol  and improper eating habits.

Call Dr. Sharma's Clinic - From United States and Canada call 703-659-0873.Patients From rest of the world and India call+91-9815299965

Digestion Problems and Homeopathy

Common digestion problems and their remedies
By Dr Vikas Sharma

SEDENTARY life-style, prolonged work hours, excessive mental strain and consumption of rich food stimulants such as alcohol, coffee and tea have made gastric problems like acidity into routine disorders. Not adding to the already “not-so-health-friendly” regimen that we follow, homeopathic medicines are non-toxic and by far the safest form of treatment available for such ailments.

Gas formation

Although some gas formation is considered normal during digestion, excess of it can cause great discomfort at times .Recent researches show that people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome have very low tolerance to gas formation. Thus, for some even moderate amount of gas can cause major symptoms. Signs and symptoms can vary – distension, bloating pain in the abdominal area, discomfort extending to the chest area, etc.

Carbo vegetablis (better known as carbo veg) is the most preferred homeopathic medicine for treating acute gas attacks. Carbo veg is made from vegetable charcoal. It can be used in cases that complain of immediate bloating after meals and also where the abdomen becomes hard and their are abdominal pains too. Everything that the patient eats seems to turn into gas. Three doses of 30c potency taken internally at an interval of 15 minutes each should help in relieving the distressing symptoms.

Acidity or heartburn

Acidity or heartburn is a burning discomfort that is generally felt in the chest just behind the breastbone. The burning sensation results when harsh stomach juices come in contact with and irritate the delicate lining of the esophagus, the tube-like structure that connects the mouth to the stomach.

Natrum carb is an important homeopathic medicine for the treatment of hyperacidity or heartburn. Three-four doses of natrum carb 30 c each taken at an interval of 15 minutes should be sufficient to relieve the acute suffering.

Please note that the treatment mentioned here is only for acute phase of the diseases. Self-medication should be avoided in chronic cases and also when medical help is easily accessible.

Digest this!
It is not only what we eat, but also how and when we eat makes the difference.

Schedule your meals
The basic purpose of having a digestive system is to break complex food substances into simpler ones for them to be easily absorbed into our body. So the stomach is selective in digesting things. For a simple bowl of dal and some chapatis may take not more than an hour to be digested, but a heavy meal such as a butter chicken can take even hours.

And also our digestive system needs rest. So when we sleep the process of digestion also slows down. Food left undigested can cause discomfort, so if you plan for a heavy meal in the evening, make sure that you have it in time. A simple walk after dinner may aid digestion.

Go slow
We usually tend to eat much more than we actually need to. Because the signals that indicate satiety to the brain from the stomach are slightly delayed. So, the best way to avoid overeating is to eat slowly and to stop just before the satiety level.

Break up your intake
Having 2-3 large meals is generally what most people like to have. It is not a very healthy practice and usually burdens our digestive system. Try and break your total food intake into many short meals.

Call Dr. Sharma's Clinic - From United States and Canada call 703-659-0873.Patients From rest of the world and India call+91-9815299965

The Gas Problem

image Is Too Much Flatulence  Bothering You?

Although having gas is common, it can be extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing at times. Gas is eliminated either by burping (belching) or passing it through the rectum (flatulence). Half to two liters is produced normally in adults and may pass up to 14 times a day on an average. But the condition can be really bad for some individuals -one study noted a person who expelled gas 140 times daily, with 70 passages in a period of just four hours. Although every one has gas, but why do some suffer from it more than others? The answer lies either in their biological conditions of their gastro-intestinal tract or in their eating habits. The Gas usually comes from two sources

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