Homeopathy Helps in Cases of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Homeopathy offers an effective alternative to medicinal treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Organotropically acting combination homeopathic remedies can be used in many cases of functional dyspepsia.

About five percent of Germans undergo medical treatment for symptoms that can be summarized under the term "irritable bowel syndrome". The frequency of irritable bowel syndrome in the overall population is even estimated at up to 40 percent (4). The causes for such complaints are just as diverse as the symptoms. There are many colloquial sayings indicating a connection between emotions, workload, stress and gastrointestinal problems: Something can "get you in the gut", one can "swallow one's annoyance", and something can "spoil the appetite". Most cases have few or no abnormal findings and none of the gastrointestinal finding that would suggest a more serious disease such as gastrointestinal cancer.

Irritable bowel syndrome is categorized using the Rome III classification according to symptoms that have occurred within the last three months and began at least six months earlier: Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, which is present in 89 to 90 percent of the cases, feeling of satiety after meals with a prevalence of 75 to 88 percent, and premature satiation effect in 50 to 82 percent of the cases (4).

Conventional Treatment with Only Moderate Success

Based on the variety of symptoms and the different pathophysiology of functional gastrointestinal complaints, there is not a consistent treatment approach. In the conventional treatment of IBS, Helicobacter pylori eradication, proton-pump inhibitors, histamine type 2 receptor antagonists, prokinetics, tricyclic antidepressants or serotonin resorption inhibitors are used, but the efficacy of all these remedies is limited (4). Best investigated are the proton-pump inhibitors. In meta-analyses, however, the number of patients who are successfully treated (number needed to treat), 1:10, that means: If 100 patients are treated with the proton-pump inhibitors, ten patients benefit and 90 have no benefit from the treatment (2).

Homeopathy Helps with Single Remedies…

Homeopathy provides a broad spectrum of single remedies. For acute diarrhea, aloe, Arsenicum album, Argentum nitricum, Mercurius solubilis, Podophyllum, Pulsatilla or Veratrum album can be administered depending on the accompanying symptom picture (2). For acute vomiting, depending on the accompanying symptoms, Argentum nitricum, Arsenicum album, Ipecacuanha, Nux vomica, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Stibium sulfuratum nigrum or Veratrum album can help (2). If heartburn is the main symptom picture, depending on further symptoms then Iris, Nux vomica, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla or Robinia have proven effective.

… and with Combination Remedies

With the homeopathic medicinal product Detox Intestinum, a combination homeopathic remedy is available that is designed to enhance the performance of organs involved in digestion, increases the tolerance to foods and stimulates metabolism. The homeopathic active substances contained therein are:

  • Eichhornia (water hyacinth): Major area of application are functional disorders of the liver and pancreas
  • Okoubaka (West African jungle tree): improves the tolerance to foods and is effective as a remedy for gastroenteritis (diarrhea and vomiting)
  • Quassia amara (bitterwood): a proven liver remedy used to treat hepatogenic dyspepsia and inflammatory liver diseases
  • Taraxacum (dandelion): has a metabolism-stimulating effect, improves digestion complaints and malfunctions in the area of the bile flow, and simultaneously stimulates liver and kidney activity

The interaction of the homeopathic single remedies creates a complex reaction that has a favorable impact on the diverse symptoms involved with functional gastrointestinal complaints.

Sources:

1. Funktionelle Magen-Darm-Beschwerden. Eine Information für Patienten und Angehörige der Techniker Krankenkasse http://www.arztpraxis-zeller.ch/pdf/magenunddarm.pdf

2. Berger M. Deutsches Netzwerk für Homöopathie. Homöopathische Arzneien bei funktionellen Magen-Darmerkrankungen.

3. Frazer A, Delaney BC, Ford AC, Qume M and Moayyedi P. The Short-Form Leeds Dyspepsia Questionnaire validation study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2007; 25: 477–486

4. Lacy BE, Talley EJ, Locke GR, Bouras EP, DiBaise JK et al. Review article: current treatment options and management of functional dyspepsia. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2012; 36 (1): 3-15. Published online 2012 May 16. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2012.05128.x

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