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Gallstones

Small stones in the gall bladder are common, and many people are not aware they have them until a distressing episode occurs. If a gallstone moves into the duct that carries bile, and stretches it or gets stuck, distressing symptoms (such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, even jaundice) can result. Some remedies may be helpful as first-aid for pain relief, but medical care is required in these situations. A constitutional remedy chosen by an experienced prescriber is the most appropriate way to treat deep-seated, serious, or chronic conditions. Remedies below have been helpful to some people with gallstones. They are mentioned here to introduce a few of the possibilities homeopathy can offer, and not as recommendations for self-treatment.

For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?

Berberis vulgaris: This remedy may be indicated when stitching pains extend from the gallbladder region to the stomach and sometimes to the shoulder. Sharp twinges radiating outward can be felt in the groin and pelvic bones and may seem to come from the lower back. Pain can be worse when the person is standing up, and from changing position. The person may be constipated and have a tendency toward gout or joint pains. Rapidly changing states (sudden thirst, then thirstlessness; hunger, then a loss of appetite) can point to this remedy.

Calcarea carbonica: When a person needing this remedy has gallbladder problems, the abdomen may feel swollen on the right and be very sensitive to pressure, with cutting pains that extend to the chest and are worse from stooping, The person feels worse from standing, worse from exertion, and better from lying on the painful side. Calcarea carbonica is often indicated for people who tire easily, feel cold and sluggish with clammy hands and feet, crave sweets, and tend to feel anxious and overwhelmed when ill.

Chelidonium majus: This remedy is often indicated when pain extends to the back, right shoulder, and shoulder-blade. The abdomen is distended, with a constricting feeling as if a string were pulled across it. Pain is worse from motion, and lying on the left with the legs drawn up may help. The person may feel nauseous, especially after eating fat or drinking something cold (warm drinks stay down more easily). The person may feel tired, worse from being cold, and worse in the early morning.

Colocynthis: Cutting, cramping pains that make a person double over or want to lie down and put hard pressure on the abdomen may indicate a need for this remedy. Pain in the upper right abdomen, extending to the shoulder, may also be seen. A person needing this remedy may have aggravated physical symptoms after feeling angry or emotional, especially after suppressing those feelings.

Dioscorea: This remedy is indicated when abdominal pain from gallstones is relieved by bending backward, and is worse when the person is bending forward or lying flat. Standing up and moving around in open air can also bring improvement. Pains can spread to the back, chest, and arms, or may shift around. The person tends to feel worse in the evening and at night, and also when lying down.

Lycopodium: This remedy is often indicated for people who have chronic digestive problems with abdominal bloating, flatulence, and discomfort. Problems are worse from eating, and the pains may extend from the right side to the left. A person who needs this remedy typically craves sweets, prefers warm drinks, and may feel worse in the late afternoon and evening.

Nux vomica: Constricting pains that travel upward, stitching pains, and a swollen feeling in the upper right part of the abdomen suggest a need for this remedy. Digestive cramps and nausea, along with a general feeling of chilliness, are likely. The person may crave fats, strong spicy foods, alcohol, coffee and other stimulants, and feel worse from having them. Irritability and impatience are usually pronounced when this remedy is needed.

Podophyllum: This remedy is sometimes indicated in liver and gallbladder problems when soreness is felt in the upper right part of the abdomen along with a feeling of weakness, sinking, or emptiness. Heat may also be felt in the area. Constipation with clay-colored stools that are dry and hard to pass may alternate with watery diarrhea.

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Homeopathy Dosage Directions

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

For more information, including references, see What is Homeopathy? and Understanding Homeopathic Potencies.

Copyright © 1999 Healthnotes, Inc.

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The information presented in Healthnotes Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.

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