One of the most common causes of acute pain abdomen in adult population is gall stone colic. It is such a common medical condition that we come across regularly in our own family and within our neighbourhood that little knowledge about the condition is always necessary, even for the non medical public.
First of all, it is a condition which mostly affects the adult population than the younger age group. These are rare in first two decades of life, but the incidence increases gradually after 21 yrs, and reaches its peak in 5th and 6th decades of life.
Secondly, it is one of those disease conditions that have more affinity towards women than the men. The difference ratio is as high as 4: 1 in women as compared to men. More interesting than this is its affinity towards a particular type of patient profile. It is denoted by four F’s:- Female, Fatty, Forty and Fertile (One who has born many children).
There are various compositions of gall stones. Major elements are cholesterol, bile pigments, and calcium mainly though traces of iron, carbonates, phosphorous, proteins, cellular debris, mucus and carbohydrates are also found in the stones. The mechanism of formation of such stones is mainly metabolic. Decrease in the level of bile salts and lecithin (a phospholipid) initiates precipitation of cholesterol and thus gradually cholesterol stones form. Pigment stones are mainly formed due to excessive destruction of red blood cells as seen in haemolytic anaemia, septic haemolysis and malaria. Besides infection, temporary cessation of flow of bile into the intestine and stagnation of bile in the gall bladder, reflux of the pancreatic enzyme into the gall bladder etc are also considered to be important factor for development of such stones.
Many cases of gall stones remain asymptomatic for a long time. Half of them become symptomatic after few years of development and in 15 to 20%, serious complications including carcinoma of gall bladder are seen to develop. One of the most common presentations is flatulent dyspepsia usually after a large or fatty meal. Patients complain fullness in abdomen, belching and heart burn, normally after food. But the most distressing complaint is the occasional severe gall stone colic. It usually starts at night, when the patient goes to bed for sleep. Pain may refer to inferior angel of right scapula. The pain becomes very severe soon, and is often associated with nausea and vomiting. The pain again suddenly disappears suddenly after few hours. This kind of pain may repeat at certain interval of and on.
Where in modern medicine, the most popular treatment of the condition is cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gall bladder along with the stones), let us now see what the scopes of Homoeopathy are in this so called surgical disease. Well, the possibilities of spontaneous recovery from the disease by passing out of stones, as in case of renal calculi is not so much encouraging due to the anatomical variation of the two organs. In case of kidneys, the ureter as well as bladders is placed below and downward. So, there is a greater possibility of passing of smaller stones downwards with gravitational pool and expulsive force of the organs. The situation is different in case of gall bladder. The fundus is placed at a much lower level than the neck. So, spontaneous expulsion is not possible against the gravitational pool. Besides, as the fundus is much spacious, stones get enough chance to increase in size without giving any symptom and likewise, it becomes much wider than the diameter of the neck to get through. This is also the main reason for late appearance of pain and symptoms in case of gall stones as compared to renal stones. By the time, patient starts to feel acute pain abdomen or dyspeptic troubles, the stones already become much bigger and harder. So, treating a gall stone case successfully is a great challenge for any conservative treatment procedure like Homoeopathy, particularly when the calculi/ calculus are considerably bigger.
Whether the complete dissolution and or expulsion of calculi is possible by homoeopathic treatment or not is still a major question yet unsolved, acute pain management and conservative treatment are very well delivered with proper homoeopathic treatment. While many homoeopathic societies have frequently claimed to treat and cure gall stone case successfully here and there, but any systematic study report with a good number of cases been treated successfully is yet to be published. Even then, we must consider like we always do in most other disease conditions that gall stones cases are also very much a curable disease, if we get the cases earlier, and if we treat them homoeopathically.
Considering the formation of calculi by deposition or precipitation of certain elements within our body, which are otherwise not harmful is some kind of defect in the whole system, an in- coordination, we can comprehend easily that the misametic predominance in this disease is actually sycosis in multimiasmetic background. So while treating such cases, it is always mandatory to look for the signs or indications of the underlying miasmetic disease individually for each and every case coming to us, and administer proper antimiasmetic medicines if we are at all expecting to cure such cases, or at least hoping to give suitable amelioration.
There are plenty of excellent remedies within our domain of treatment, used for acute and chronic conditions. Amongst them Aurum met, Arsenic, Belladonna, Berberis vulgaris, Bryonia, Calcarea carb, Carduus marianus, Chelidonium, Chionanthus, China, Colocynthis, Dioscorea, Fel tauri, Gelsemium, Hydrastis. Lycopodium, Lachesis, Nux vom, Podophyllum, Opium, Taraxacum etc are popularly used. Indications of these medicines in gall stone diseases are intentionally not given here, because we strictly discourage any kind of self medication, even homoeopathic in such kind of diseases. If you are a patient, or patient party, it is advisable to you to consult any nearby Homoeopathic physician, rather than trying a hit and trial method. It always harms you rather than giving any help.
It is repeatedly observed that homoeopathy can effectively reduce the rate of growth of renal stones when taken in long term basis. It is also observed in many cases with modern investigations that the sizes of the stones are also considerably reduced over years by proper homoeopathic treatment and surgical removal may be delayed. Hopefully, in coming years, more good results are expected to come.