Homeopathy for Diarrhea
Diarrhea is recognized by allopathic medicine as the body’s response to allergens, food poisoning, toxins, viral and bacterial illness, anxiety, and other conditions that put stress on the digestive tract. In homeopathy, diarrhea is also seen as the body’s response to toxins: the body’s attempt to remove those toxins by way of the digestive tract. Homeopathy strives to regain a natural balance not only in the digestive system, but in the entire body so that the root cause of diarrhea is eliminated. To do this, a homeopath will suggest a remedy that will enable healing on a deep level within the patient’s body.
Several studies have shown that homeopathy can significantly reduce the number of days children suffer from acute diarrhea. In all people, homeopathic remedies can be helpful in eliminating the symptoms and causes of diarrhea without using pharmaceutical drugs.
Homeopathic Remedies for Diarrhea
Homeopaths consider many factors when selecting a remedy for diarrhea, including the patient’s physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup, along with his or her diet and lifestyle. All symptoms and physical attributes of the patient are considered when the selection of a remedy is made. A homeopath will normally expect a response to the remedy within a few hours. Otherwise, a new remedy may be chosen. Two of the most common remedies for diarrhea are Arsenicum and Veratrum.
Arsenicum is often useful when diarrhea has been caused by spoiled food. Symptoms include simultaneous diarrhea and vomiting. The stools may be undigested, dark, putrid and watery, come in frequent, small quantities, and are worse at night and after eating or drinking. Burning pain is felt in the digestive tract, and the person may be thirsty for frequent small sips of tea or water. The patient may feel anxious, restless, and exhausted, and feel better with hot packs on the abdomen but worse with cold drinks or food. Arsenicum may also be used to prevent diarrhea when traveling.
Veratrum album is indicated when the patient experiences a severe pinching sensation in the abdomen preceding a profuse and watery stool that is forcibly evacuated. The patient often has nausea, a bloated abdomen, cramps in the feet and legs, and chills. He or she might also crave cold liquids.
Argentum nitricum should work if a person has diarrhea when stressed or after eating too much sugar. The diarrhea occurs immediately after eating or drinking. Bloating and flatulence occur, along with pain in the groin area. The diarrhea may look green.
Jatropha is useful for those who have a profuse watery discharge that is evacuated with great force and a large quantity of wind. The patient feels cold.
Cinchona officinalis is called for when the diarrhea is painless but has a cadaverous odor. It appears slimy, blackish, and mixed with undigested food, tends to be worse at night and after eating, and leads to rapid exhaustion and emaciation. The Cinchona diarrhea is worse after eating, especially fruit.
Chamomilla is recommended for colicky or teething infants. It can be used by children who scream or hit and are extremely angry, and for irritable and hypersensitive adults. The person’s face will be red and flushed. The diarrhea is hot, green, and watery, smells like rotten eggs and is accompanied by abdominal pain and gas.
Sulphur is helpful when stools are urgent, hot, changeable, yellow, watery and slimy, and have an odor of rotten eggs. They tend to be worse at about 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. and might awaken the patient with a drive to rush to the bathroom. The patient often experiences burning in the digestive tract, and the anus can be irritated, itchy, and red. The person may also have hemorrhoids.
Bryonia is often useful for diarrhea during the flu or when a person gets overheated and then drinks a lot of cold water. The patient experiences worse symptoms after moving about. The person’s mouth may be dry. Symptoms often are worse in the morning.
Phosphorus is needed when the patient vomits as soon as liquids are warmed in the stomach. The patient feels weak in the stomach, and perhaps has a burning sensation between the shoulders. This chronic form of diarrhea is green and mucous, containing undigested food particles. The painless, foul-smelling diarrhea runs out as if from an open faucet, and the rectum has a loose sensation. The person who needs this remedy is often thirsty, exhausted, and may be fearful when ill. The patient may feel better with sleep and cold drinks or food.
Calcarea is one of the best remedies for chronic diarrhea and sour, undigested stools. It is useful for infants who are teething and for overweight children and older, wrinkled adults. The stool splutters, is forcibly expelled, and is greenish and watery. The patient often has a ravenous appetite.
Other useful homeopathic remedies include Colocynthis, Podophyllum, Pulsatilla, Aloes, Croton tiglium, Rheum, Mercurius, Gelsemium, and Ipecacuanha.
What Happens During a Session with a Homeopath?
Homeopathy is a holistic healing system based on the belief that "like cures like." The remedies appear to be quite safe, even at high concentrations. They involve miniscule amounts of natural substances to stimulate the body's own defenses against specific symptoms. Homeopathy is a treatment in which the practitioner considers the overall state of the patient’s health and a wide range of symptoms. The homeopath will initially meet with the patient for an extended amount of time to take a complete and thorough history before prescribing a remedy. Subsequent visits can be shorter and allow for an alteration of the prescribed remedy.
What Causes Diarrhea?
Diarrhea occurs when too much fluid is passed from the bloodstream into the bowel, the bowel moves its contents too quickly, and too little fluid is passed back into the bloodstream. A person with diarrhea has frequent, loose, or liquid stools. There can be abdominal pain, which is lessened after a stool is passed. Acute diarrhea comes on suddenly and lasts only a short time. It can be caused by allergens, food poisoning, toxins, viral and bacterial illness, inflammation of the stomach and intestines, anxiety, teething in infants, an excess of alcohol, and ingestion of dairy products by people who are lactose-intolerant. Chronic diarrhea is a more long-term condition and most likely is caused by irritable bowel syndrome. Children and elderly people should see a health care provider sooner because they are more at risk of dehydration. Someone who passes small, frequent, solid stools with a sense of urgency does not have diarrhea. When diarrhea is uncomplicated, homeopathy can be an effective form of treatment.
While homeopathic remedies may be used for diarrhea, they should not replace conventional care. Bloody, persistent, or severe diarrhea should immediately be evaluated by a physician. Left untreated, severe dehydration and electrolyte loss can quickly develop.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine provides a page of questions and answers about homeopathy.
A list of useful homeopathic remedies for diarrhea is listed at Blueshield.
The University of Maryland Medical Center Web site discusses various therapies for diarrhea, including homeopathy.
Holistic online.com includes several studies on the efficacy of homeopathy.
Homeopathy for Everyone contains a wealth of information on homeopathy.