Should Homeopaths Offer or Inform Their GI Patients of Naturopathic Therapies?

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 03:43
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Yes, they absolutely should!

Today, I saw a patient with several significant health challenges who had been seen by an experienced homeopath for over two years without being helped much on any level. Most notably, this patient’s various health problems all began after the use of antibiotics prescribed for him in the treatment of H.Pylori. He had some minor GI (gastrointestinal) problems prior to this treatment, but they all worsened after the antibiotic treatment, and he has developed numerous other health problems including brain fog, poor memory and focus, and extreme fatigue. I believe it is unfortunate that his homeopath only recommended homeopathic remedies and did not emphasize the significance of other naturopathic therapies such as herbs, nutrients, and probiotics. As effective as homeopathic remedies are in treating GI conditions, I find that most GI patients require other naturopathic therapies as well. This patient should have been on probiotics ever since his health started to suffer after taking the antibiotics. His history clearly indicates his need for this therapy. Furthermore, I was surprised that this doctor did not inform the patient that he cannot expect the remedy to work as long as he continues to smoke marijuana, which seems to definitely antidote homeopathic remedies. Lastly, this patient was often told that he may have to wait for weeks or even months before experiencing improvements. I find that most of my patients start improving on various levels, including physical, mental as well as emotional, within minutes after taking their constitutional remedy, which I always personally administer in the office. (Coincidentally, this patient did respond nicely within a few minutes after taking his remedy, Calc carb 1M in the office. His mood was lifted and he felt sharper mentally, not quite as foggy, and claimed to feel more physical energy as well before he left the office.)

On the flip side, it’s unfortunate that most naturopathic doctors do not practice homeopathic remedies since it’s critical to treat each person differently based on his/her homeopathic constitution.

Below, I would like to discuss the most common constitutions that are likely to suffer from digestive complaints, and mention specifically what digestive complaints these constitutions are each likely to present with, and a few miscellaneous issues surrounding homeopathy and digestive problems.

Among the most common homeopathic constitutions I find that Carcinosin, Silica, Nux vomica, and Lycopodium are the top four constitutions that, nearly 100% of the time, have significant digestive problems.

Note that the Nux vomica and Lycopodium constitutions are known by homeopathic practitioners to have poor liver function and these remedies are used even by non-homeopathic practitioners to help improve liver function. For instance Lycopodium 4X can be found in both UNDA #243 and UNDA #1, two of the main UNDA compounds used for “draining” or detoxifying the liver. Therefore, individuals with either of these two constitutions suffer from digestive symptoms (such as gas, bloating, acid reflux, abnormal bowel movements, abdominal discomfort/pain, etc.) and/or signs (such as abnormal liver blood test results).

(Note: UNDA numbers are made in Belgium by the company UNDA, and distributed in North America by Seroyal. UNDAs are combination, low potency, homeopathic remedies that are organ/tissue specific. For example, UNDA #243 helps optimize liver function, and UNDA #45 helps optimize kidney function. I have found UNDAs to be highly effective in cleansing/detoxifying and optimizing the function of the main organs of metabolism and detoxification, namely liver and kidneys. Although constitutional homeopathy is, in my view, far superior in many ways to such combination remedies as UNDAs, I find that frequently patients also need UNDA numbers to help focus on and optimize the function of their internal organs.)

I have never seen a constitutional Carcinosin patient without significant GI problems. I have noticed that many earlier authors have not written about Carcinosin at all. The reason is that this remedy was not even “proven” until the late 19th century. Furthermore, for reasons unknown to me, the more recent authors who have happened to write about this remedy are not speaking to the fact that Carcinosin individuals have significant digestive problems. This may be why Carcinosin is listed in plain font (as opposed to italics or bold) under constipation in the Materia Medica whereas I have rarely seen a Carcinosin individual without significant constipation.

Carcinosin is a phase 2 remedy in the Map of Hierarchy devised by Dr. Paul Herscu, ND. I have talked about Dr. Herscu’s Map of Hierarchy in my book titled Visual Homeopathy. My understanding of this illustration is that you can’t be “healthy” as long as you are in any phase other than in phase 1. Of course, even phase 1 constitutions have their own health challenges, but phases 2, 3 and 4 most definitely do not present in a healthy version. Thus, it makes sense that of the main constitutions that I discuss in my seminar (and I typically tend to cover the top most common polycrests most of which are phase 1 remedies), Carcinosins would be towards the top of the list of patients with rather significant pathologies. Note that Carcinosin individuals are indeed at risk for cancer due to various reasons. These can include family history of cancer, history of suppression of emotions, as well as rather significant digestive dysfunction which could have come about as a result of the emotional suppression.

In my opinion, taking birth control pills or the use of other hormonal interventions such as hormonal IUDs definitely puts Carcinosin patients at risk for cancer. (Refer to my blog titled “what I wish gastroenterologists would recognize” on my clinic site, www.DrSharif.com for more information on how female hormones can negatively impact the digestive system.)

Similarly to Carcinosin, Silica also has numerous GI problems. Silica’s digestive problems, however, are talked about in all Materia Medicas. In fact, Silica is known for its constipation. I’d like to point out, however, that I have seen far more Carcinosin patients with constipation than Silica patients even though Carcinosin is listed in plain font versus Silica which is listed in bold in the Materia Medica under constipation. Again, I believe this is because Carcinosin has not been nearly as well studied as some of the classic remedies such as Silica.

In the list of the top most common constitutions, I find that there are a few other constitutions that may complain of GI problems but their GI disturbance is significantly milder in nature than the four constitutions listed above. For instance, most Nat murs have constipation as well, but otherwise I find that Nat mur’s digestive health is rather normal. (I have found, however, that Nat murs often mask their constipation by exercising and taking good care of themselves in other ways such as with diet and supplements.) Note that the constipation in Nat mur makes sense since dryness throughout the body (and even on the personality level, as manifested by a strong tendency towards being introverted) is the central theme in this constitution.

I frequently find that Sulphurs complain of acid reflux as their only digestive concern. Sepia has constipation which makes sense since the central theme in Sepia is stasis and stagnation. Finally, it’s not too uncommon for me to see a Pulsatilla patient with digestive disturbance. However, treating the digestive complaints of these constitutions is much easier than treating Carcinosin, Silica, Nux vomica, and Lycopodium, the four constitutions mentioned in the previous paragraphs who have much greater imbalance in their digestive systems.

A healing reaction/crisis can sometimes occur with homeopathic remedies. (The symptoms of a healing reaction can vary from person to person but it often tends to manifest as flu-like symptoms or general malaise with headache and fatigue.) And, in my experience, patients who are more likely to experience a healing reaction upon taking their constitutional homeopathic remedy tend to be the ones with significant digestive problems. Since I also specialize in naturopathic cleansing/detoxification, I have learned that a person is not likely at all to mount a healing reaction/crisis if her organs of elimination or the vital organs are not overly congested or toxic. A single dose of a high potency (such as 200C or 1M) remedy is powerful enough that it can stimulate numerous chemical reactions in the body, specifically in the vital organs/tissues such as in the liver, kidneys, and intestines. Sometimes, this act of biochemical stimulation can cause the toxins to return into the body, instead of move out of the body, if the person’s organs of elimination are “backed up” or “congested”. I believe this is what a healing reaction is about. Therefore, a “healing reaction/crisis” is not truly a desirable phenomenon if the practitioner indeed knows how to prepare the patient for the arrival of this most potent medicine, the high potency “constitutional” remedy. The preparation can be done with an effective cleansing program first, BEFORE the person takes her constitutional remedy. (Note: This is exactly why I have listed detoxification/cleansing as step 2 in the Seven Steps to Healing, and homeopathy as step 3. Refer to the Seven Steps to Healing article on my clinic site, www.DrSharif.com, under Educational Articles. Often, I choose to do both in the same visit if I feel that the patient can tolerate it.) Specifically, if a person suffers from chronic constipation, she is far more likely to experience a healing reaction by taking the constitutional homeopathic remedy. Therefore, I often try to effectively treat constipation before I offer the patient their constitutional homeopathic remedy. (In some cases, in addition to assuring regular BMs, a thorough liver cleanse is necessary as well to assure effective detoxification so the patient does not mount a healing reaction.) For instance if a Carcinosin patient has one BM every two weeks and you offer them Carcinosin 200C or 1M, it is almost certain that she will mount a “healing” reaction and become very ill with flu-like symptoms for a few days. This could be dangerous, or at least will likely scare the patient away, especially a Carcinosin person who is already very fearful by nature. Therefore, in many such cases of constipation in any constitutional type, I treat the constipation so that the patient has AT LEAST one BM a day BEFORE I offer her the constitutional remedy.

To make matters more complicated, note that sometimes you cannot treat the constipation with your conventional naturopathic therapies (such as bitters, magnesium, castor oil packs, laxative teas, etc.) UNLESS you offer a homeopathic remedy. In such rare cases, you will have to take a risk and offer the patient her constitutional remedy despite of the possibility of a healing reaction. For instance, I had a constitutional Aluminum case whose constipation became worsened by magnesium which is an extremely unusual reaction. In fact, this patient’s constipation was not responding well to other natural therapies either. I had to offer her a dose of Aluminum 200C in order to effectively treat the constipation. (Refer to her video under ‘Patient Videos’ section on this website, her video is titled “Homeopathic Aluminum reverses Aluminum Toxicity”. Her chronic constipation was effectively treated overnight.)

I’d like to again point out to those of you who practice pure homeopathy that often patients with digestive problems require other natural therapies/approaches in addition to homeopathic remedies. Proper lifestyle and diet, and various natural supplements such as DGL, digestive enzymes, bitters, probiotics, and liver/intestinal detox or cleansing are often critical as well. Homeopathy may be one of the most powerful natural therapies but patients with digestive problems deserve to know that there are also other natural therapies that they would most likely greatly benefit from.