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Nausea and Vomiting


Nausea, the unpleasant feeling of needing to vomit, represents awareness of afferent stimuli to the medullary vomiting centre. Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of gastric contents caused by involuntary contraction of the abdominal musculature when the gastric fundus and lower esophageal sphincter are relaxed.
nausea

Vomiting should be distinguished from regurgitation, the spitting up of gastric contents without associated nausea or forceful abdominal muscular contractions. Patients with achalasia or rumination syndrome or a Zenker diverticulum may regurgitate undigested food without nausea.

For symptomatic relief of nausea and vomiting it is not necessary to know the exact pathological diagnosis, though persistent vomiting can be a symptom of serious gastrointestinal or neurological problems. Any persistent vomiting, even if it is relieved by homeopathic treatment, requires a complete medical check-up.

Homeopathic treatment of nausea varies from case to case depending on causation factor or presenting symptoms. For example, whether the nausea is caused by food poisoning or pregnancy needs to be taken into consideration. Another reasons for nausea include intoxication (especially alcohol), motion sickness, headaches, hormonal irregularity during menses, etc.

Main remedies used for Nausea and Vomiting

Arsenicum Album. Vomiting together with diarrhoea, sometimes simultaneously. Thirsty but liquids are often vomited immediately upon reaching the stomach; especially cold drinks are ejected. The patient is typically worse at night and feels improvement after drinking warm drinks.

Veratrum Album. Severe, sometimes projectile vomiting often with diarrhoea. Vomiting is accompanied by cold perspiration especially on forehead, chills, cold breath and sometimes collapse.

Nux Vomica. Typically problems caused by excessive usage of stimulants such as coffee, energy drinks, or alcohol. Prime remedy for hangovers. The patient is complaining about nausea with cramps and painful vomiting or ineffectual attempts to vomit. Nausea may be caused by car fumes or cigarette smoke.

Ipecacuanha. Horrible nausea or hanging down sensation in the stomach, unrelieved even temporarily by vomiting. Despite the nausea, the tongue is clean and red. Offensive breath with nausea and vomiting.

Tabacum. Motion sickness (including sea sickness). Deathly nausea, the patient may appear green or very pale. The patient dreads movements as they bring on faintness and nausea.

Please note that homeopathic prescriptions are based on totality of symptoms and prescriptions that do not consider all circumstances are often not so effective. It is therefore highly advisable to contact a trained homeopath if you seek assistance with this complaint.

Also, this article is for your information only and is not supposed to replace a qualified medical advice. If your symptoms persist, do not hesitate to contact either a registered homeopath or your local medical practitioner.

References

Merck Manual
Morrison, Desktop Guide To Keynotes And Confirmatory Symptoms

Summer ailments from sun and heat

Sunburn

Sunburn is a radiation burn that affects mostly skin. It results from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation – most commonly the sun, but also other sources such as tanning beds in solariums. Sunburn occurs when the amount of UV radiation your skin is exposed to is more than its ability to protect itself with melanin – the pigment that gives our skin its colour and acts to absorb UV radiation before it can damage skin cells.

The symptoms of sunburn vary from person to person. You may not notice redness of the skin for several hours after the burn has sunburnbegun. Peak redness will take 12-24 hours. Minor sunburns typically cause nothing more than slight redness and tenderness to the affected areas. In more serious cases, blistering can occur. Extreme sunburns can be painful to the point of debilitation and may require hospital care.

Treating sunburn includes effective actions to prevent further damaging of the skin. Sunburn can lead to permanent skin damage and sometimes it may result in skin cancer if not treated in the right time.

Most common homeopathic remedies for sunburn include:

Cantharis 6 or 30 – sunburn with rawness and smarting, followed by undue inflammation. The person feels better from cold applications.

Hypericum 6 – the burned area may be covered with Hypericum lotion.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke, is a medical condition when the body’s temperature rises above 40.6 C due to environmental heat exposure with lack of thermoregulation. The body loses its ability to cool itself and overheats. Heat stroke is different from fever, where the body deliberately raises its temperature in response to, for example an infection.

Symptoms of heat stroke include red and hot skin, high temperature (above 40.6 C according to Emergency Medicine Australia), lack of sweating, dehydration, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, coordination problems, confusion and others.heatstroke

Treatment of heat stroke includes rapid mechanical cooling, where the body temperature must be lowered immediately. The patient should be moved to a cool area to promote heat loss. Hydration is very important part of the treatment, preferably with rehydration solutions such as isotonic drinks (sport drinks) or oral rehydration solution. In exercise or heat induced dehydration, electrolyte derangement can result and may actually be worsened by excessive consumption of water (water intoxication or dilutional hyponatremia). Absorption is rapid and complete in most patients, but if the patient is confused, unconscious, or unable to tolerate oral fluid, intravenous rehydration & electrolyte replacement (via a drip) may be necessary.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you see somebody with heat stroke call for an ambulance straight away.

Most common homeopathic remedies for heat stroke (sunstroke) include:

Glonoine 30 – with throbbing headache. Face is flushed and sweating.

Belladonna 30 – throbbing headache. Hot dry skin without thirst. Delirium. Dilated pupils.

Ant Crud 30 – Giddiness as if the patient has been drinking.

Please note that homeopathic prescriptions are based on totality of symptoms and prescriptions that do not consider all circumstances are often not so effective. It is therefore highly advisable to contact a trained homeopath if you seek assistance with this complaint.

Also, this article is for your information only and is not supposed to replace a qualified medical advice. If your symptoms persist, do not hesitate to contact either a registered homeopath or your local medical practitioner.

References

Isaac Golden, The Treatment of Simple Everyday Conditions

Prostate Conditions

Prostatitis

The prostate is an organ forming part of the male reproductive system. It is located immediately prostatebelow the bladder and just in front of the bowel. Its main function is to produce fluid which protects and enriches sperm. In younger men, the prostate is about the size of a walnut. It is doughnut shaped as it surrounds the beginning of the urethra, the tube that conveys urine from the bladder to the penis. The nerves that control erections surround the prostate.

Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland. Prostatitis is classified into acute, chronic, asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, and chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

In daily homeopathic practice we commonly encounter chronic prostatitis, for which no good allopathic treatment exists. Benign prostatic hypertrophy is also a common problem in our practices. These conditions often share symptoms and, therefore, the same set of remedies apply.

Therapeutic Tips For Prostatitis

Homeopathic

It is useful to inquire about the original infection before antibiotic treatment began. If the patient can still recall the initial symptoms of the infection, these symptoms can provide useful clues towards the treatment, even though the symptoms are long since suppressed.

Naturopathic

In chronic prostatitis, manual massages of the prostate on a weekly basis can have a dramatic effect and aid the rapid cure of the disorder Useful adjunctive treatments: Vitamin C (2000 mg per day). Zinc (50 mg per day). Vitamin B complex (50 mg complex daily).

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

Benign prostatic hypertrophy is an increase in size of the prostate.

Throughout their lives, men produce testosterone, an important male hormone, and small amounts of estrogen, a female hormone. As men age, the amount of active testosterone in the blood decreases, leaving a higher proportion of estrogen. Elevated levels of estrogen in blood causes this enlargement which is often referred to as benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH).

Symptoms of benign prostate hypertrophy include urinary stream hesitancy (needing to wait for the stream to begin), intermittency (when the stream starts and stops intermittently), straining to void, and dribbling. Pain and dysuria are usually not present.

This hidden epidemic of middle-aged and elderly patients is all too often viewed as a mere nuisance. While it is true that urinary obstruction can be readily treated with transurethral resection of the prostate, this procedure can result in surgical morbidity, incontinence and ejaculatory dysfunction. For these reasons, we attempt to avoid such surgery whenever possible. Newer procedures using balloon dilations, hyperthermia and laser treatments, while having shorter benefit, also cause less significant changes in the prostate function.

Therapeutic Tips For Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

Homeopathic

Treatment for prostatic hypertrophy is constitutional except during an acute, severe obstruction. When using acute, specific remedies giving a 30C dose daily for 4 or 5 days usually is sufficient to calm a retention episode.

If severe symptoms of obstruction are present, it is not wise to try remedy after remedy while the situation deteriorates. Limit the attempt to treat acutely to 24 hours. If there is no improvement, the patient should see a urologist.

Naturopathic

Two very benign herbal treatments are available and are probably just as effective as these allopathic medications: Sew Palmetto and Pygeum extract. These herbs are readily available in most health food stores and provide relief for most patients while homeopathic treatment is started.

Most Common Homeopathic Remedies Prescribed For Prostate Conditions Include:

Apis mellifica: Stinging pain during urination that is worse when the final drops are passing is a strong indication for this remedy. Discomfort may also involve the bladder. The prostate area is swollen and very sensitive to touch. The person may feel worse from heat and from being in warm rooms, with improvement from being out in open air or from cool bathing.

Causticum: Urine loss when the person coughs or sneezes often indicates a need for this remedy. Once urine has started passing, the person may feel pressure or pulsation extending from the prostate to the bladder. Causticum is also indicated when sexual pleasure during orgasm is absent or diminished.

Chimaphilla umbellata: This remedy is often helpful when the prostate is enlarged, with urine retention and frequent urging. The person may have the feeling that a ball is lodged in the pelvic floor, or experience pressure, swelling, and soreness that are worse when sitting down.

Clematis: This remedy is often indicated when swelling of the prostate seems to have narrowed or tightened the urinary passage. Urine usually emerges slowly, in drops instead of a stream, with dribbling afterward.

Lycopodium: This remedy may be helpful if urine is slow to emerge, with pressure felt in the prostate both during and after urination. The prostate is enlarged, and impotence may also be a problem. People who need this remedy often suffer from digestive problems with gas and bloating, and have an energy slump in the late afternoon.

Pulsatilla: Prostate problems with discomfort after urination and pains that extend to the pelvis or into the bladder (often worse when the man is lying on his back) suggest a need for this remedy. There may also be a bland, thick, yellow discharge from the penis. Pulsatilla is usually suited to emotional individuals who want a lot of affection and feel best in open air.

Sabal serrulata: A frequent urge to urinate at night, with difficulty passing urine, and a feeling of coldness in the sexual organs, suggest a need for this remedy. It is sometimes also used in lower potencies for urinary incontinence in older men. This remedy is made from saw palmetto which is also used as an herbal extract for similar prostate problems.

Staphysagria: This remedy may be indicated if a man feels burning pain in his urinary passage even when urine is not flowing, and urine retention is troublesome. Men who are likely to respond to Staphysagria are often sentimental and romantic, and may also have problems with impotence (most often caused by shyness).

Thuja: When the prostate is enlarged, and the person has a frequent urge to urinate, with cutting or burning pain felt near the bladder neck, this remedy may bring relief. After urine passes, a dribbling sensation may be felt. A forked or divided urine stream is sometimes seen when this remedy is needed.

Please note that homeopathic prescriptions based on totality of symptoms and prescriptions that do not consider all circumstances are often not so effective. It is therefore highly advisable to contact a trained homeopath if you seek assistance with this complaint.

Also, this article is for your information only and is not supposed to replace a qualified medical advice. If your symptoms persist, do not hesitate to contact either a registered homeopath or your local medical practitioner.

References

Merc Manual

Roger Morrison, Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology

Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) (also known as acute cystitis or bladder infection) is an infection that affects part of the urinary tract. When it affects the lower urinary tract it is known as a simple cystitis (a bladder infection) and when it affects the upper urinary tract it is known as pyelonephritis (a kidney infection).

Urinary tract infections occur more commonly in women than men, with hcystitisalf of women having at least one infection at some point in their lives. Recurrences are common. Risk factors include female anatomy, long periods of immobility (for example during flights), sexual intercourse and family history.

Cystitis is one of the most common acute complaints to develop in our patients and is usually readily managed with homeopathy. Symptoms include painful urination and either frequent urination or urge to urinate (or both).

Pyelonephritis, on the other hand, is a much more significant illness associated with fever, more back pain and general malaise or systemic symptoms. This condition should be approached with much more caution.

Management

Besides of homeopathic treatment, many cases of cystitis can be managed by increasing fluid intake, vitamin C, cranberry juice, etc. A number of patients present with sterile urine but classic symptoms of cystitis. This syndrome can be caused by urethral spasms or genital herpes but the remedies indicated remain the same as for cystitis.

Recurring bladder infections can be a sign of structural anomalies in the urinary tract, malignancies or chronic stones. Any patient who has had three or more such infections within a year or two should be investigated by an urologist.

Therapeutic Tips

Naturopathic

Recurring cystitis in girls (or boys) is often due to bubble baths.

Also important is to have the mother instruct the child carefully about wiping after stool. Make sure the child knows to wipe backwards, not forwards toward the urethra. Recurring cystitis in women is often preventable by two simple instructions: First, empty the bladder whenever the urge is felt, do not “hold it.” Second, empty the bladder before and after any activity which applies urethral pressure, such as physical exercise or sex.

Some effective, non-toxic measures for treating cystitis include ChicagoPharmCoCystitisTabsunsweetened cranberry juice, uvaursi tea, dandelion tea, garlic capsules and vitamin C.

Golden seal tea is also effective but should not be used in pregnant women or in those allergic to ragweed.

As in any acute condition, the patient should be cautioned not to over-stress the ailing part too quickly. It is easy to forget that a cystitis patient should refrain from sex, baths and hot-tubs for several days after the cystitis resolves.

Allopatic

It is advisable to seek consultation with an urologist after two or three episodes of cystitis. These recurrences can be a sign of structural anomalies in the bladder or ureters.

In patients with recurring cystitis, allopathic treatment often includes the ongoing use of antibiotics.

Homeopathic

In simple cystitis it is better to wait until the picture is developed than to choose a remedy on only one or two symptoms. A convenient dosing method is to give the remedy as a 30c potency every two hours until symptoms subside. If the picture is very clear and the symptoms are strong, it may be better to use a higher potency as a single dose, repeated if the condition relapses.

Recurrent episodes or urinary tract infections often require constitutional treatment where all symptoms are considered, especially reasons for patient’s susceptibility and circumstances leading to recurrence of this problem.

Most common homeopathic remedies prescribed for cystitis include:

Apis Mellifica
Cantharis
Causticum
Nux Vomica
Pulsatilla
Sepia
Staphisagria

Please note that homeopathic prescriptions based on totality of symptoms and prescriptions that do not consider all circumstances are often not so effective. It is therefore highly advisable to contact a trained homeopath if you seek assistance with this complaint.

Also, this article is for your information only and is not supposed to replace a qualified medical advice. If you symptoms persist, do not hesitate to contact either registered homeopath or your local medical practitioner.

References

Merc Manual

Roger Morrison, Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology

Is Homeopathy Scientific?

Webster’s dictionary offers several definitions for “science”; two of the most striking ones are “something that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge” and “knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method”.[i] The same source also defines “scientific method” as “principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses”.

My own understanding of “scientific” is that it is an ability to recognise (and detach from) our own biases, belief systems and assumptions that we might have created in our mind. One of the most important aspects of the definitions above is probably that the process starts with listening and observation, not making assumptions and theories and then making “discoveries” that would prove them.

I understand that Hahnemann got the first glimpse of principles of homeopathy upon reading explanation of healing properties of chincona and subsequent experiments that were sparked by his interest and dissatisfaction with explanation in the article. From this angle I believe it is safe to say that homoeopathy was “scientific” from day one: the law of similars that were defined as a result of decades of experiments and clinical observations were not based on assumption, personal belief or bias. Hahnemann did not conduct these experiments in order to “prove” his assumptions (and dismiss those results that were contradictive); he was simply exploring what was out there and drew the results from his observation. Similarly, process of potentization was spawned from experimental clinical applications, rather than from a theory (for example that “water retains memory”).

One of the most stunning aspects of homeopathy is that it does not really matter which remedy will be prescribed to the patient; to prepare Arnica costs no more than to prepare Lycopodium. A homeopath cannot make more money nor have better results by prescribing specific family of remedies. Again, during the process it is essential not to be biased (and hence be “scientific”) during the whole process.

In order to investigate properties of various substances and remedies, a protocol of “proving” was established. During this process a substance (destined to become a homoeopathic remedy) is being administered to a group of healthy individuals, who record the way the substance is affecting them physically, emotionally and mentally. The provers are not being told to focus only on specific symptoms, they are not being asked whether they feel specific emotions. The prover is also not paid more or less money if he or she elicits more or less symptoms. The provers are not also being told what is the source of the substance administered so they cannot create bias, as for example with certain poisonous substances.

Development of “orthodox” pharmacology-based medicines is a difficult, rigorous and a very expensive process. It costs the companies millions (and perhaps billions) of dollars to develop certain medicine. At the very beginning, such a development is triggered by expectation that the propose medicine will be effective, side-effects free and will prove to be financially beneficial to manufacture this given drug. Is it possible that people involved in decision making are influenced by the fact that not introducing this specific medicine to the market would represent a significant financial loss? Of course it’s possible and arguably happens a lot. In such situations, the properties of the medicines are often kept secret, as for example in the case of Thalidomide birth defects that were finally admitted (and apologised for) only decades later.[ii] This is not “scientific”.

I find it interesting when some people argue that everything we do has to be “scientific” and during the process they grossly deviate from the dictionary definition I have written above. With homeopathy, a frequent argument is that minute dilutions cannot have any effect, because there is no trace of the original substance. “It makes no sense”, they say. Ironically, insisting on things making “sense” is referring to things we already know; it is a comparison of things that are laid before us to what we have stored in our memory. If these two things do not match, there is a “problem”. This way, we could not learn anything new, because we would have to dismiss everything we come across for the first time. Isn’t it interesting that insisting on everything “making sense” starts with bias, and as such is highly “unscientific”, though this is exactly what the sceptics insist on?