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On this page I will cover some common digestive problems such as indigestion. This includes heart burn, wind that comes up and goes down - burping and farting basically, vomiting and diarrhoea, travel sickness, gastric flu and upset stomachs we get when we travel abroad, even Ulcerative Colitis. There is a separate page devoted to Colic in babies.
I want to emphasis that these are AND ALSO situations, quite often. Many time Homeopathics and Naturopathic suggestions will be sufficient to alleviate indigestion symptoms and to start rebuilding the health of the mucosal cells within the gut lining, but you should always get the opinion of your physician and whatever tests they want to do. For example, stool tests reveal bugs such as Giardia, but can also show up more serious problems - so my advice has always been to get tests done and AT THE SAME TIME start on a rigorous program of self help.
You will see that I have put a self check list below. When you feel really ill - as often we do when the indigestion or the stomach is involved - you will need a relative or friend to do this check through with you, and keep some notes about the results. For example.. the color of your tongue can be important, how wet or dry. Whether your sweat smells.. these kinds of pleasant details that natural therapists must know in order to make a choice of remedy.
First, lets go through some medical causes.
POSSIBLE MEDICAL CAUSES
1. Oesophagitis is an inflammation and ulceration of the stomach lining, but can be experienced as indigestion. There are several homeopathic medicines for the different kinds of stomach ulcers.
2. Hiatus hernia is a condition where part of the stomach slides through the hiatus of the stomach onto the chest. This causes pain and spasm in the lower end of the diaphragm. If there is difficulty in swallowing along with acute burning pain then hiatus hernia is likely and you should be sent for exploratory tests. This is a chronic condition and should not be treated acutely except in the relief of the pain temporarily. Hiatus hernia patients are usually overweight. They should be encouraged to loose weight and not to wear tight clothing. Putting a brick under the end of the bed can often alleviate some of the reflux symptoms
3. Bacteria picked up from dirty food. The symptoms are usually diarrhoea and vomiting and feeling really awful, hot or cold, sweaty and headachey. Once the initial phase is over, do remember to contact me or go to your homeopath for the E Coli or other bacteria related remedy. Some forms of indigestion, heartburn and ulcers are caused by the helicobacteria.
4.Travel Sickness can occur in children and adults and is usually accompanied by dizziness and a general sense of feeling awful, sweating and excessive salivation in the mouth.
DANGER FROM DIARRHOEA AND VOMITING
There is a danger to your health from vomiting and diarrhoea. Loss of body fluids like this disturbs the balance of electrolytes in the body, causing dehydration quickly. Diarrhoea can be experienced by any age and may be acute or part of a chronic condition. It is particularly dangerous in young babies and toddlers and may be accompanied by feverishness.
Gastric Flu. Both the large and small intestines are susceptible to infections which may be due to specific organisms, although often in the case of transient diarrhoeas and/or vomiting, no specific organism can be found. These conditions are referred to as Gastritis or Gastroenteritis, but again could be dismissed as being indigestion. However, the symptoms can be severe vomiting accompanied by a flu like illness.
You will need this information for your remedy choice at the end of the page.
*Is your tongue wet or dry? any color, cracking?
*Are you in shock or collapse?
*Are you vomiting ?
*Do you have diarrhoea?
*Is the stool accompanied by copious wind? Is it explosive?
Stomach ulcers may be either acute or chronic and are commonly either peptic, gastric or duodenal.
Peptic Ulcers usually develop in the lower end of the oesophagus. The pain is usually felt after a meal and is quite sharp. If the ulceration has become gastric erosion there can be blood in evidence. Most people will have sought medical advice before this happens and also there are several effective over the counter remedies from pharmacies.
The cause of ulceration is usually the oversecretion of acid gastric juices caused by emotions, certain foods and medications such as aspirin and coffee.
The most commonly indicated homeopathic ulcer remedies are: Nux Vom, Bismuth, Minifolium, Arsenicum and Hydrastis. Please contact me for help and advice with ulceration.
Gastric Ulcers occur on the lesser curvature of the stomach.
Duodenal Ulcers occur in the first part of the duodenum. Pain usually occurs before a meal and goes away after the patient has eaten and is commonly misdiagnosed as 'just indigestion'.
I am a big fan of Slippery Elm and have often prescribed it for indigestion and various chronic digestive disorders.
Firstly - if you are taking other medications, take them at a different time to your slippery elm. ie, don't have them together.
Slippery elm inner bark can be purchased from most health food shops and has several beneficial effects on digestion. I first started prescribing it for patients back in the eighties for conditions such as ulcerative colitis and found that the combination of SE and their remedies had a very calming and healing effect on the bowel.
It comes in the form of a tea, a powder and as lozenges. If you have any kind of digestive disorder that causes pain, discomfort, constipation or changability in stool consistency, I recommend that you take the powder and that you make up into a gruel or porridge. You really have to find a recipe that you like. In the same way as Tofu is quite bland and tasteless, so Slippery Elm can be incorporated into various drinks, stirred into porridge or cereal, mixed with fruit juices.. experiment to find your favorite and then take it 3 times a day.
Remember to increase your water intake at the same time.. put your favorite glass beside a full jug of filtered water with a splash of lemon right beside the sink or kettle in the kitchen.. that way - when you see it.. have a drink!!
You'll find that you go to the toilet more often, passing bulkier stools which should be much softer. Go online and find out all of the wonderful beneficial effects of slippery elm. It has powerful antioxidant qualities and enhances bowel bacteria, and has many other uses - having been used by indigenous peoples for centuries.
Of course, yogurt is an absolute must for our daily diet. I read somewhere that we have 13 billion cells in our bodies and 14 billion bacteria. They need to be kept in a healthy state so that food is digested, converted into glucose and becomes available to us as energy when we need it. Bacteria perform vital functions and we cannot live without them.. so make sure that the yogurt you eat every day is the best quality. Make it yourself if you have a warm cupboard, it can be made overnight with no trouble at all. In India one of the most favourite drinks is the Lassi, a mixture of yogurt, fruit juice or pulp and cold water. This is a delightfully delicious start to the day for your digestive tract and be particularly cooling for indigestion.
I always use homeopathics as well for indigestion and digestive disorders. Here are several smaller remedies that are indicated in acute problems.
This is a brilliant remedy for the treatment of car and travel sickeness. You can't bear motion, the thought of food, feel dizzy and exhausted.
Another travel sickness remedy, particularly useful for sea sickness. You feel dizzy, cold, sweaty, nauseous and do vomit. You feel worse from the least motion and a little better from fresh air, up on deck. You may want to drink some alcohol , and keep your body loosely covered, even open up the clothes on your abdominal area.. you feel so bad.
This is one of the major colic remedies, but it is also very useful for digestive disorders, especially those who have some emotional component such as anger. You feel like vomiting and have diarrhoea, just want to be left alone and keep quiet, though you may feel restless. This remedy has an agonizing pain in the belly, making you want to bend double and press hard on your stomach.
This is one of the great reliable remedies for diarrhoea and vomiting, where the stool explodes out of you!! Often in the summer kids get diarrhoea after eating summer fruits. This is definitely a good remedy to have in your travel kit.
Nux has a sour taste in the mouth and various digestive problems, like nausea, soreness, heaviness, heartburn and indigestion - all usually brought about by over indulgence in fatty foods, junk foods or alcohol and stimulants like coffee. Take the Nux before going to bed each night for a few days and give the stomach a rest with plenty of fruits and veggies.
If you are feeling sick, vomiting, have a mouth that's full of saliva.. then Ipecac will really help. Mix several of the pillules into a glass of water, stir it until they have dissolved and sip it frequently, giving it a stir between sips.
Have nausea and dizzyness, feeling faint, cold and exhausted? Thirsty for little sips of cold water and desire fruits like apples? The Ant Tart tongue is coated white with red edges. This great remedy, along with Ipecac, is a reliable general nausea remedy.
Carbo Veg Burping, indigestion, a feeling of fullness, heaviness and sleepiness? Sound familiar? Nausea in the mornings, lots of flatulence and even the simplest foods seem to disagree. Carbo Veg is so incredibly helpful for this situation. Take it up to 6 times a day at first.
Lyc is one of the best known of the homeopathics and has a specific action on the guts and indigestion. Wind and burping, tiredness in the afternoon.. i.e. 'liverishness' are its great areas of expertise. Some grumpiness. Love sweet things. Worse from eating breads. Sometimes eating just a tiny amount makes them feel full.
Feeling chilly, anxious, can't bear the sight and smell of food, burning pains in the stomach, very thirsty but just for little sips? Do you want to drink coffee or something acidic? These are all clear indications for this wonderful remedy, and Ars Alb people are often prone to indigestion because of the amount of worrying they do.
The Bowel Nosodes
These remedies are a wonderful group of specifics for bowel and skin problems. I need to talk to you first though, so if none of these remedies fit for you, please give me a call or send an email and I will very likely choose a bowel nosode for you.
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