Digestive system

Constipation
Dyspepsia/Indigestion
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Peptic ulcer
Ulcerative colitis /Dysentery
Chron’s disease /Fistula
Lactose intolerance (milk allergy)
Anorexia nervosa
Bulimia (binge-purge syndrome)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Fissure in ano
Liver ailment
Jaundice
Gall stones

Constipation Top

The most common problem which is found in the present scenario is constipation. Normal bowel movements may vary from 1 per day to 3 per week. When a person has infrequent or hard stools or has to exert considerable effort while passing stool, they may be said to have constipation.

Nowadays, especially children and the older age groups are more prone to this condition though it is also found in the other age groups. And this is a condition many generally tend to ignore or self-medicate by some handy measures. Most of the time people do tend to say that they are “used to” it from a long time.
It is important to treat this condition to prevent complications like piles and fissures.

Causes:
• Poor dietary habits - Less fiber or fluid intake
• Poor bowel habits
• Lack of exercise
• Due to some medications
• Some underlying disease( like hypothyroidism, diabetes,
Parkinson’s disease multiple sclerosis)
• A structural cause or irritable bowel syndrome

Symptoms:
• Hard stools and straining to pass stools
• Stools passed every alternate day.
• There may be burping, flatulence or passing gas
• Sometimes odor from the breath.
• There may be accompanying loss of appetite.

General measures:
• Drink a warm glass of water early in the morning.
• Eat fiber rich diet at least 10-12g of fiber daily; it is found in abundance in beans, oats, barley, apples and citrus fruits.
• At least one or two glasses of fluid should be taken along with every meal.
• Have steamed vegetables daily as it is, or blended into a soup form, this provides the necessary fiber to form the stools.
• Have a banana at breakfast daily. The bigger variety of banana is preferable for this condition
• Cut down on coffee, milk products.
• Regular walks and exercise helps this control this condition.

Homoeopathic treatment:
Constipation can be cured by homoeopathic medicines. Some dietary changes are suggested along with the medicine. The need for daily laxatives can be drastically brought down, with the homeopathic medicines. The treatment is short term, and the condition responds very well to Homeopathic medicines.

Homoeopathic medicines being mild, with no side effects, are very effective both for the treatment of children and the aged.
In cases of constipation due to irritable bowel syndrome, or an underlying thyroid issue, a complete constitutional treatment with proper dietary habits is very effective in cure of this condition.

 
Dyspepsia/Indigestion Top

Dyspepsia is a common condition which refers to indigestion in the stomach. It is aggravated by the modern lifestyles of eating out frequently, irregular sleep patterns, stress, and skipping meals. While self medications or treatment by home remedies can help, the chronic or recurrent condition has to be treated to prevent complications like gastric ulcers and acid reflux.

Causes:
• Over eating or eating too quickly
• Eating high fat foods
• Stress
• Alcohol or coffee- excessive drinking
• Some medications or drugs
• Infections
• Some underlying disease or secondary infection(like diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney disorder, heart problems)

Symptoms:
• An upper abdomen discomfort with fullness,
• Early satiety or feeling of satisfaction with no relation to the usual quantity of food
• Burning
• Bloating
• Belching
• Nausea, retching, or vomiting.
• Heartburn may be present

General measures:
• With mild symptoms, a change in the eating habits; eating healthier food and eating on time; and sleep, exercise and destressing can cure the problem.
• Drink lots of water along with other fluids.
• Eating oily, spicy food and fatty foods should be reduced
• Avoid coffee
• Reduce Alcohol, smoking

Homoeopathic treatment:
Homoeopathic medicines are mild on the stomach and will not cause any side effects. As this medicine takes care of the acute condition it also prevents the risk of ulcers, or reflux oesophagitis or any other gastric complications due to recurrent attacks of dyspepsia. Dyspepsia is treated by planning out a proper diet along with homoeopathic medicines.

 
Vomiting Top

Vomiting is a very common condition. It is not a disease but a natural protective mechanism of the body to get rid of some underlying infection. It is a sign that body is trying to get rid of some abnormal harmful substance. Nausea is a vague, intensely disagreeable sensation of sickness or queasiness that may or may not be followed by vomiting.

Vomiting is the forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach. The strongest stimuli
for vomiting are irritation and distension of stomach. Prolonged vomiting, especially in
infants and elderly people, can be serious since the loss of fluids can lead to disturbances
in fluid and acid-base balance.
Children are very prone to vomiting as they often have a sensitive stomach and succumb to infections very easily. This decreases the appetite and affects the immunity and growth of the child.

Causes:
• Food poisoning
• Infections
• Migraine headaches
• Pregnancy
• Any mechanical obstruction can cause vomiting
• Post operative
• Any kind of underlying disease
• Psychogenic (anticipatory vomiting)
• Oral contraceptives

General measures:
Most causes of acute vomiting are mild, self limited, and require no specific treatment but if its not brought under control by any household measures than medicinal intervention is required.
• Have clear liquids and small quantities of dry food
• Lot of fluid intake should be done to prevent dehydration
• Spicy and oily food should be avoided
• Tea or coffee should also be stopped till the condition subsides
• Citrus fruits or juices can be taken
• A lemon can be squeezed with hot milk and a little quantity can be given sip by sip.

Homoeopathic treatment:
Homoeopathic medicines certainly act very well in persons having vomiting as a chronic problem. In this condition the medicines given have to be mild on the stomach and not increase the acidity; and here the homeopathic medicines are very useful.
If vomiting is due to some underlying disease than the disease condition is treated first otherwise the vomiting may only be temporary relieved.

Homoeopathic medicines have shown best results in cases of vomiting which are psychogenic (anticipatory vomiting).
Vomiting during pregnancy has also been effectively treated by the medicines as they are very mild in action and are safe for the pregnant woman and the fetus.

 

 
Diarrhea Top

Diarrhea is increased stool frequency (more than 3 bowel movements per day) or watery stools. Frequent diarrhea can result in dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
It can be an indicator for the simplest infection to a major disease.

Causes:
the causes for this condition are varied, and are mainly indicators of underlying disease conditions. Some of the basic causes are; Diet, or change of food habits; any kind of infection; Stress, anxiety; Irritable bowel syndrome; Lactose intolerance (milk allergy).
The cause may also be any underlying disease(scleroderma, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism) or a Post surgical cause.

Loose stools or frequent diarrhea in children:
The most common cause of this is during teething. There are frequent stools and greenish in color. The child may be cranky and irritable. And homoeopathy gives a very effective remedial measure to cure this. Replacing the fluids and preventing dehydration is very important, and the medication is needed to control the problem.

General measures:
It is seen that most of the problems arise cause of loss of fluids from the body. So more than medicine it is necessary that these lost fluids have to be restored.
• Fluids in the form of tender coconut and ORS have to be given.
• Till the diarrhea subsides bland food should be given and spicy food should be avoided.
• Pomegranate juice is advised during this condition.
• Leafy vegetables like especially spinach to be avoided.
• Fenugreek seeds have been found very effective as it has a cooling effect on the stomach.

Homoeopathic treatment:
Homoeopathic medicine cures the chronic diarrhea. The frequency of diarrhea is first reduced and the patient starts regaining his strength. The weakness which might generally follow with the diarrhea is comparatively reduced. And with that the stools become normal as the treatment progresses.
In acute cases and in children the results of medication are very prompt; the medication being combined with fluid replacement.

 
Peptic ulcer Top

Peptic ulcer is a break in the gastric or intestinal mucosa that arises when the normal mucosal defensive factors are impaired. They occur more commonly in men than in women.

Although it can occur in any age group, duodenal ulcers most commonly occur in age group of 30 to 55 years, whereas gastric ulcers in age group of 55 to 70 years. Nowadays because of the increasing stress factor and the eating habits of the people (esp. working) the incidence of this condition is found to be more, and is also seen in younger people.

Causes:
• Bad eating habits- too much oily and spicy food; increased eating out; irregular eating.
• Drinking strong coffee, cigarette smoking, alcohol.
• Stress
• Strong medication
• Chronic underlying infection
• Underlying diseases can also cause this condition.

Symptoms:
• Pain in the upper abdomen just below the chest in most of the patients
• The pain is dull, gnawing, aching or “hunger-like”.
• pain is relieved with food or antacids with a recurrence of pain 2-4hrs later.
• The pain recurs periodically at or before meal times.
• Nausea and vomiting may occur with this complaint.

General measures:
• Water intake should be increased
• Spicy and oily foods to be avoided
• Avoid frequent drinking of beverages like tea or coffee which can worsen the condition
• Fluids like tender coconut, jeera water, buttermilk and fruit juices should be had regularly.
• Meals should be had on time.

Homoeopathic treatment:
Peptic ulcers are very effectively treated by homoeopathic medicines. A detailed case history is taken including the diet of the patient, the habits, stress levels, the sleeping pattern, and life style etc. all this is done to analyze the underlying cause and then according to this treatment is started.

The aim of the treatment would be to cure this condition and to prevent the recurrence of any such ulcers. The treatment plan will have a diet regimen, along with medicines and related advices concerned with the cause.

 

 
Ulcerative colitis /Dysentery Top

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory condition that involves the mucosal surface of the colon, resulting in diffuse friability and erosions with bleeding. There might be periods of symptomatic flare ups and remissions.

Symptoms:
Diarrhea with blood in stools is the main symptom. There might be two varieties in the disease mild to moderate disease and severe disease
In the mild to moderate type, gradual onset of infrequent diarrhea is seen(less than 5 movements per day) with intermittent bleeding from the anus and mucus in the stools.
Stools may be formed too loose in consistency. There is increased urge to stools which is difficult to control. Abdominal pain may be present which is better by passing stools.
In the severe disease: More than 6 to 10 bowel movements with bleeding per day. Abdominal pain and tenderness is present, with weakness.

General measures:
• Spicy and oily foods are to be avoided
• Jeera water, tender coconut water and buttermilk are helpful
• Avoid coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol
• Avoid vegetables like potatoes, tubers and cabbage.

Homoeopathic treatment:
Ulcerative colitis is very effectively treated with Homeopathic medicines.
Initially the diarrhea and the bleeding are reduced bringing down the weakness. The pain is also brought down simultaneously.

 
Chron’s disease /Fistula Top

It is the disease where the intestine (colon) is involved. There may be ulcer formation or fistulas in the intestines.
The incidence of this disease is increasing due to the changes in lifestyle and trends.

Symptoms:
There may be variety of symptoms and signs due to variable involvement of the intestine.
• Diarrhea which might be non-bloody and often intermittent.
• Crampy pain or steady pain in the right lower abdomen and around the belly button can be seen.
• Bloated ness of abdomen after eating with loud flatus
• Low grade fever with weakness
• Energy loss
• Weight loss

General measures:
• Water or fluid intake of at least 2 lts per day.
• Spicy and oily foods are to be avoided
• A tender coconut daily is very good for this condition
• Avoid frequent drinking of beverages like tea or coffee which can worsen the condition

Homoeopathic treatment:
This condition is very effectively treated in homeopathy. The symptoms are very well relieved with the medicines.
- The appetite as well as weakness is restored back to normalcy after the medicine is given. The main aim of treatment is to treat the condition with less energy loss or weight loss and regaining the lost energy back.

 
Lactose intolerance (milk allergy) Top

In some people, especially in children and older people, the small intestine fails to produce enough lactase, which is essential for the digestion of lactose or milk; this results in a condition called lactose intolerance.

Causes:
• Lactase deficiency;
• other gastrointestinal disorders;
• Crohn’s disease; malnutrition;
• giardiasis.

Symptoms:
The severity of symptoms varies, from relatively minor to sufficiently serious to require medical attention.

Bloating, Abdominal cramps, Flatulence and diarrhea is seen. These are worsened by the intake of milk, and any diary products like curd, butter, ghee, cheese etc.

In children there is generally vomiting after milk, and regurgitations which look like curdled milk. There may also be recurrent coughs or respiratory allergic conditions with the lactose intolerance.

Homoeopathic treatment:
Lactose intolerance is very well treated by homoeopathy. Once a detailed case is taken, the treatment is started with a constitutional medicine with a regular follow up; this treatment will remove the allergic tendency of the person towards the milk or its products.

The homoeopathic medicines also correct the metabolism and absorption of the digestive system and clear the lactase deficiency.

In case of children who throw up milk, homoeopathic medicines are very effective because they are mild in action, with no side effects.

 

 
Anorexia nervosa Top

It is a prolonged disorder characterized by self induced weight loss, negative perception of body image, and health problems due to deficiencies.
Patients with such condition have a fixation on weight control and often, the insistence of having a bowel movement every day despite a lack of adequate food intake. They take laxatives in a frequent manner which worsens the fluid, electrolyte imbalance and nutritional deficiencies.
This disorder is mostly found in young women

Symptoms:
• Loss of appetite, and very low intake of food
• Weight loss and Emaciation or becoming very thin and Lower metabolic basal metabolic rate
• Abnormal patterns of menstruation or Absence of menses
• The other symptoms are osteoporosis and depression.

Homoeopathic treatment:
In this condition, more than just a physical involvement, the cause starts from the mind. The mind has a negative perception of the body image, for this counseling is very essential along with medications.
As homoeopathic approach is a holistic, we consider the psychosomatic aspect and treat them accordingly. The appetite will also be normalized. In girls having depression, the depressed state will also be treated.

 
Bulimia (binge-purge syndrome) Top


A disorder that affects young women in which there is overeating at least twice a week followed by purging by self induced vomiting, strict dieting or fasting , vigorous exercise or use of laxatives.
This binge-purge cycle occurs in response to being overweight, depression, and physiological disorders.

Symptoms:
Frequent infections; Dry skin; Acne; Loss of hair; Constipation; Parotid gland enlargement; Pharyngeal scratches due to self induced gagging; Muscle spasms; Kidney and liver diseases; Ulcers; Hormonal imbalances;

Homoeopathic treatment:
This condition requires a lot of counseling as there is a psychological cause to it. A detailed case history is taken and the treatment is planned, including Homeopathic medicines and counseling. A regular follow up is required to cure this condition.

 

 
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Top

Introduction

IBS is one of the most common disorder of digestive system producing a spectrum of symptoms such as persistent and recurring abdominal pain associated with passing of motion, change of bowel habit (diarrhea, constipation, or alternate diarrhea and constipation), etc. without any apparent cause. The word syndrome means a group of symptoms. IBS is a syndrome because it can cause several symptoms in addition to those mentioned, like cramping, bloating, gas, frequent urge to pass stools, sensation of incomplete evacuation etc.

IBS is the disorder of function, which means that the bowel doesn't work, as it should. If one visualizes the bowel, it appears perfectly normal without any inflammation or other structural changes. 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.

Through the years, IBS has been called by many names--colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, spastic bowel, and functional bowel disease, irritable colon, and nervous colon. Most of these terms are inaccurate and refers to understanding of diseases at that particular time frame. Colitis, for instance, means inflammation of the large intestine (colon). IBS, however, does not cause inflammation of the bowel and should not be confused with another disorders like ulcerative colitis.

Prevalence
IBS is very common condition across the globe and it is estimated that around 20% of people suffer from this condition some time during their life time. Over 40 million Americans and one third of the UK population suffer from IBS sometime in life. It is the single most common reason for which people seek gastroenterologist’s opinion. The statistics state that people miss work for IBS and related disorders more than for anything else, except colds.

IBS though affect people of all ages and both the sexes; it is more common in young people; usually in late adolescence or early adulthood. The condition is almost two to three times common in females as compared to males.

Nature of condition
Almost everything about IBS is totally dependent on the individual patient. For some, IBS may arise during times of stress or crisis, and then subside once the stressful event has passed. For others, IBS strikes seemingly randomly and without warning and never completely goes away. The duration of IBS is different for everybody. The symptoms may wax and wane, being particularly severe at some times and absent at others.

To sum up, this is a chronic relapsing condition.

Effect on lifestyle
IBS can be nothing more than a mild annoyance, completely debilitating, or anywhere in between. Again, it depends on the person and how he or she reacts to it and treats it. IBS can, however, be very painful and can severely affect a person's quality of life, and is second only to the common cold as a cause of absenteeism from work.

IBS and Stress
The key point is that IBS is strongly related to emotional stress and strain. Research on the psychosocial aspects of these disorders has yielded three general observations:

1. Psychological stress exacerbates gastrointestinal symptoms.
2. Psychological disturbances amplify illness experience and adversely affect health status.
3. Having a functional GI disorder like IBS impairs the quality of one’s life.

Positive points
Interestingly, even though the symptoms of IBS can be very painful and debilitating in some, it should be emphasized that this is never a life-threatening condition. Those afflicted with IBS do not have any greater chances of developing inflammatory conditions of bowel like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, neither do they pose any higher risk of having colon cancer. Moreover this disease cannot be passed to other individuals like some of the infections may have chance to do so.

Homoeopathic treatment:
Last but not the least is that with revolutionary mode of treatment of Homeopathy, IBS can be brought under control effectively, gently and safely.

This condition requires a lot of counseling as there is a psychological cause to it. A detailed case history is taken and the treatment is planned, including Homeopathic medicines and counseling. A regular follow up is required to cure this condition.

 

 
Fissure in ano Top

Introduction

Fissure-in-ano (fish’er) is a condition characterized by a longitudinal crack or slit (ulcer) in the skin of anus. If the skin lining of the lower end of the anus gets scratched, it may break up into a fissure. Fissure-in-ano is observed in children as well as in adults; however, it is more common amongst middle-aged adults.

The posterior midline of the anus is the most common location for fissure due to low supply of blood in this area. Rarely, it can be present on the other areas, such as sides of the anus rather than posterior midline position. Such fissure may be the manifestation of underlying disease e.g. Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis etc.

Homoeopathic treatment:
A detailed case history is taken and the treatment of underlying cause also treated with homoeopathy. A regular follow up is required to cure this condition.

 
Jaundice Top

Jaundice, also known as icterus, is a symptom or clinical sign, not a disease by itself. It basically indicates underlying liver disease. The yellow coloration is caused by an excess amount of the bile pigment known as bilirubin.
Bilirubin is a product of break down of red blood cells and is normally processed by the liver and excreted from the body in bile. When the liver malfunctions, bilirubin is not excreted and builds up in the body.
Jaundice occurs when excess amounts of bilirubin circulating in the blood stream causes a yellowish appearance of the skin and the whites of the eyes.

Causes:
Physiologic jaundice in the newborn is normal in the first week of life. It is common and unless associated with an abnormal condition clears without treatment.
Underlying disease- Obstruction of the bile ducts (by infection, tumor or gallstones); Hepatitis- viral or triggered by certain medications; Hemolytic anemia, malaria; Toxicity - alcoholic liver disease; Gilbert's syndrome.

Symptoms:
• dark yellow brown urine
• Loss of appetite, severe weakness, vomiting, and fever may be present
• pale stools and abdominal pain may be present
• yellow hue or colour of the skin due to the excess pigmentation
• eyes turn yellow initially; later the nail beds and inside of the mouth turn yellow
• Intense itching of skin
Other symptoms usually depend on the actual cause of the jaundice. Complications include hepatic failure and cirrhosis due to destruction of the liver cells and chronic active hepatitis wherein the jaundice may persist for several months.

General measures:
Have-
• Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day
• Simple home made, easy to digest food
• Brown rice and millet
• Lot of raw fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables
• Fresh fruit juice
Avoid-
• Eating out.
• Avoid fried and oily food
• Reduce milk, dairy products like butter and cheese
• Processed foods like white sugar, white flour, etc.
• Coffee, soda, or soft drinks
• Meat and animal fats
• Smoking and alcohol

Exercise light to moderate amounts like yoga and stretching are good. Destress by going for walks and getting good rest.

Homeopathic treatment:
As the intake of strong medicines can further cause a strain on the liver, Homeopathic medicines are excellent for this condition as they are very mild.
The cause of jaundice must be determined before treatment can be given. The best way to treat jaundice is to correct the underlying cause. Homeopathic medicines can also help in improving the functioning of the liver.

 

 
Gall stones Top

This condition is characterized by the formation of stones in the gallbladder the organ for storage of bile which is just below the liver .
They are more common in women than in men.

Causes:
A hereditary predisposition to formation of stones can cause this condition.
Obesity or being overweight or Rapid weight loss; A high carbohydrate diet; Some drugs(medication) can also increase the risk; Individuals having Chron’s disease, diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis of liver, and hepatitis C virus infection

Symptoms:
Most of the time it is asymptomatic but is accidentally found during an ultrasound of the abdomen.

Some times there might be pain in the right upper abdomen with the tenderness on the region if touched. If the stone formation is associated with inflammation of the gallbladder too than there might be steady and severe pain with nausea or vomiting and fever.

General measures:
• Drink lots of water to prevent this condition
• Consume low carbohydrate diet.
• Diet should contain high fiber
• A good amount of exercise or physical activity may help prevent this condition

Homoeopathic treatment:
Gall stones have very good treatment in homoeopathy except in cases where there is obstruction and surgery is unavoidable
After a detailed study of the case the treatment will be started. A regular follow up is needed to cure this condition.
It is seen that the stones dissolve after medication slowly and the need for surgery can be avoided

 
 
 
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