Saturday, October 23, 2010

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Homeopathy!

As we have seen earlier, many of the common diseases today have psychosomatic origins. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also the one among them. It is also called as spastic colon or nervous diarrhea.

Signs and Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome-

1) Patients complain of pain in abdomen that is usually vague

2) Sometimes constipation alternates with diarrhea

3) The patients usually have lowered threshold to pain

4) Psychological disturbances like anxious spells, bad news, excessive worry about anything, etc may aggravate the attack of IBS

5) It has been found that IBS usually affects type A personalities that get tensed easily, are overly conscientious, they don’t take stress well, and have overall stressed lifestyles

6) Certain food items may precipitate attack in some people. But it seems to be related more to the psychology of these people about that particular food item than the food item per say. For example- if once the gastric upset is set after eating something, they will automatically develop similar symptoms after they eat that food any time after that

7) It is seem commonly in women between the ages of 20 to 40

8) Pain in left or right iliac fossa and hypogastrium are marked

9) Sometimes the pain in abdomen is relieved by defecation, sometimes aggravated

10) Ribbon-like stools are common with or without mucus

11) The diarrhea spells usually occur in the morning and almost never at night

12) The exaggerated gastro-colic reflex causes the patient to run to the toilet after food

13) Audible bowel sounds is an additional feature in many patients, along with excessive flatulence

14) Urinary concomitant can be found in a few with pain while urinating or enhanced frequency at times

15) Tenderness on examination is often noticed, sometimes quite out of proportion to the existing signs and symptoms

Different kinds of investigations like sigmoidoscopy, rectoscopy, barium enema, etc are usually carried out to rule out any organic disease affecting colon. But as can be rightly appreciated, in such patients, almost all tests come out to be negative. And the patient usually fails to respond to any kind of treatment.

Homeopathic Angle of Irritable Bowel Syndrome-

Being a holistic medicine, Homeopathy is certainly the right choice of medicine for IBS. It’s the fact that even modern medicine practitioners suggest homeopathy for IBS, having failed at eliciting normalcy in such patients. The major reason homeopathy works marvelously in the patients of IBS is its capability to deal with “Mind” symptoms effectively.

“Mind” is perhaps the most important organ when it comes to homeopathic prescription and so is the importance of subjective symptoms of the patient. The homeopathic medicines like Aloe soc, Nux vom, Podophyllum, Croton tig, Gelsemium, Arsenicum album, Argentum nitricum, Sulphur, and so many other remedies have prominent mind symptoms. Therefore the homeopathic physician who is able to match the mind symptoms of the drug to those of the patient is successful at treating IBS.

On physical plane-

The ineffectual urging to defecate alternating with diarrhea is usually treated well with Nux vomica. The chilly types and characteristic type A personalities usually benefit a lot from this single drug.

Aloe soc is one such drug that is often mistakenly replaced by Nux in such cases. The heat in bowels and pain while defecation are however peculiar to Aloe.

Multi-colored diarrhea spells that occur recurrently, pouring stools, gushing and gurgling in abdomen usually respond well to Podophyllum. Flatulence is also marked, though not as marked as in Aloe.

Extremely sudden expulsion of stools, pressure over umbilicus causing pain in rectum and urge to stools is characteristic of Croton tig.

Gelsemium usually works well if the patient suffers from anticipatory diarrheas along with giddy spells.

Argentum nitricum has to be differentiated from Gelsemium. The suspended feeling, excessive anticipatory anxiety, and excessive flatulence point to Arg nitricum if the complaints are aggravated by the least mental exertion.

Sulphur is the remedy of choice for sudden morning diarrheas that drive the patient out of bed. The other Sulphur indications like heat, burning pains etc are obviously present.

The above mentioned drugs may or may not be the constitutional drugs for a particular patient. If they are not, they will act temporarily. To cure a case completely, there is no alternative to constitutional dosage. A complete case history certainly dictates towards a constitutional medicine that must be administered in order to attain perfect cure from irritable bowel syndrome!

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