CHOLELITHIASIS, in plain English gallstones, is a very frequent disease of middle age, and it is more frequent in women that it is in men. It is a constitutional disease, due to an inflammation of the gall-ducts and to a slackening of the normal flow of bile. Westphal describes the disease as a mobility=neurosis of the galls-ducts.
Owing to a non-function of the liver the mucous membrane of the gall-ducts or of the gall-bladder gets inflamed, resulting in the secretion of slime with deposits of uric acid and cholestearin crystals, which later ones grow up to more or less big gallstones. Therefore in treating such patients, the homoeopathist has to consider the whole constitution of the patient in order to clear the inflamed mucous membrane and to split up the gallstones. A very thankful task.
In the beginning of the treatment sometimes small gallstones happen to become squeezed in the narrow gall-ducts, so causing the most severe and painful biliary colic. In such circumstances we certainly ought to rely on our drugs, at least in the great majority of cases. There is no reason to give morphine at once. Usually we should give Atropin sulf. 3x. ten drops in hot tea every fifteen minutes, this combined with hot bandages on the liver. We should advise the patient to drink as much hot teas as possible; by doing so we will alleviate the passing of the stone. There are some other very suitable drugs;.
Colocynthis ex; pain very piercing, better by heat and doubling
Iris versicolor ex: vomiting of gall and acid, liver very sensitive, severe headache.
Magnesium phosphoricum ex: very severe cramps,b better by heat, worse by cold. Meteorismus, Constipation. Patient likes cold drinks.
Berberis vulgaris 2x: severe pains in the back. Diarrhoea. Meteorismus.
Chamomilla 2x: vomiting of gall acid. Meteorismus, duodenitis, stinking, foul stools.
China 3x: great weakness, diarrhoea alternating with constipation, haemorrhoids, night sweats.
In the majority of cases we will be able to stop the colic, especially by giving Sophan suppositories.
In the course of the proper homoeopathic treatment, such colics will become rarer, until at last they stop entirely. The formation of normal bile and its transmission through the ducts can be greatly facilitated by suitable treatment, which to only includes medicaments but exercises and diet as well. For those, who are suffering from overwork, worry and indoor life, nothing can be suggested as of greater important than plenty of exercise in the open air.
Those, who have indulged in excessive living, especially eating rich food and sweets, should change to moderation and abstinence., Alcoholic beverages should be discontinued. A normal action of the bowels is most desirable. Hygienic management and diet are of the greatest importance. The free use of pure drinking water is always to be recommended. If possible, put aside worry and everything depressing. The liver always has to pay for it.
Perhaps no remedy has received as much recommendation as olive oil. For. my part, I prefer the walnut oil, for this oil is specific remedy and an excellent tonic.. By using it we prevent the patients emaciation.
From this point of view the homoeopathist has to object to the operative treatment of gallstones. These are two different operations for gallstones;: (1) cholecystotomy, and (2) cholecystectomy. In performing the cholecystotomy, the surgeon opens the gallbladder, removes the gallstones and sutures the gall-bladder again. Of course, when the patient has recovered from the operation, he is, at least for the moment, relieved from his troubles; but unfortunately in most of the cases the improvement does not endure, because the primary causes of the disease continues and other gallstones may be formed in the gall- bladder.
To prevent a recurrence, the surgeon prefers the other kind of operation, the cholecystectomy. He removes the gall- bladder, assuming that the patient will be cured radically by that operation. The surgeons [point of view is wrong, because his operation does not remove the primary cause of the formation of the gallstones. The condition of the patient may become even worse, for after the removal of the gall-bladder the gallstones are liable to be formed in the narrow gall-ducts, so resulting in the most painful colics.
Considering these consequences the homoeopathist has to object to operation, the more so as the cholecystectomy is a very dangerous operation and only advisable in the most urgent cases, which resist homoeopathic treatment.
The following case may illustrate my point of view: Mrs. E. W., 64 years of age, suffered for more than twelve years from very frequent and painful biliary colics. The X-ray photo revealed a gallstone larger than a walnut. The patient had been to Karlsbad, Neuenahr, Mergentheim and other places nearly every year, and a great number of allopathists had treated her without any success. All these physicians suggested the operation; the patient, however, did not want it. October 12th, 1933, I was called to see her.
She was in terrible state of mind, suffered from very severe biliary colics at short intervals, temperature was high. Flatulence, abdomen painful, vomiting, gall-bladder swollen and rather sensitive to pressure. I prescribed Aconite 3x and Belladonna 3x alternately five drops every hour; furthermore, I gave four leeches over the right abdomen. The following day saw her much improved. I stopped Aconite and Belladonna and gave Natrum sulf. 1x and Mercurius solubilis 6x each medicament twice daily; in addition an enema of chamomilla tea every morning and Sophan suppositories. Her diet consisted of milk, lemonade, gruel, etc.
Two weeks later the patient felt much better, she had no pains and was able to walk about. Finally I gave her Lycopodium 10x and Podophyllum 4 x. After a few weeks she was in the best condition and did not complain about anything. The X-ray photo showed that the gallstone had been dissolved and the gall- bladder was quite all right. During the following three years there was no further trouble. The patient took the suggested dietetic treatment. In order to improve her condition and to dilute the bile she takes occasional doses of walnut oil, and Lycopodium 30x. Her beverage is the Adinolantea.
During the last ten years I treated a great many of such patients. Of course, not in all these cases the homoeopathic treatment proved a success regarding the dissolving of the gallstones. On the other hand, even in these general condition of the patient to such degree, that only three of my patients have been operated on by means of cholecystectomy. After some months following the operation, already two of these patients again began to suffer from biliary attacks owing to the formation of new stones in the gall-ducts. Homoeopathic treatment was able to improve their condition.
To find the drug most suitable for the patient, we have to keep in mind not the diagnosis but the symptoms of the patient are of the greater importance. These symptoms vary very much in cases where the gall- ducts are involved. In some cases we only notice a very slight pain, in other cases the most serious colics, sometimes worse than labour pains, vomiting and diarrhoea, in other cases constipation may accompany such colics. The pain may be localized in the liver region or radiate to the right shoulder or to the right arm, in other cases to the head. Sometimes headache are the only symptoms.
Characterizing the suitable drugs, we may differentiate between drug indicated in cases of constipation: Belladonna, Berberis, Bryonia, Carduus, Lycopodium, Magnesium muriat., Natrum chlorinicum and Nux vomica; and drugs indicated in cases of diarrhoea: Baptisia, Chelidonium, China, Mercurius, Natrum sulf., Phosphor., Podophyllum, Quassia, Taraxacum, Sulphur.
A short view of some remedies with indications may follow:.
Bryonia: acute cases. Liver, especially right lobe, lies like a load in the hypochondrium. Every breath, every movement and touch causes pain, Pains are piercing or burning accompanied by nausea and retching. Spitting of bile, bitter taste, tongue coated. The Bryonia patient has a robust constitution, firm fibre with tendency to leanness and irritability.
Carduus marianus: suitable for chronic cases. Mind: despondency, forgetful, apathetic. Specific relations to the vascular system in the liver and in the portal system. Soreness, pain, jaundice. Abuse of alcoholic beverages. Constipation: stools hard, knotty, difficult. Nausea, uneasiness, pains, vomiting with inflation of abdomen, Tongue coaty, furred.
Lycopodium: indicated in ailments gradually developing, functional power weakening with failure of digestive powers, where the function of the liver is seriously disturbed, Atony, malnutrition, Mild temper of lymphatic constitution. Skin shows yellowish sports, earthy complexion, uric acid diathesis. Urine heavy red sediment worst afternoon 4-8 p.m.
Symptoms characteristically run form right to left. Melancholy, extremely sensitive, excessive hunger. Great weakness of digestion. After eating, pressure in stomach and bitter taste in mouth. Better after warm drinks. Desire for sweets Abdomen bloated, full, bloating.
Agrimonia eupatoria: one one he most popular medicaments in the olden times Fullness, liver with piercing, tearing, rending pain. Jaundice, drowsiness, diarrhoea.
Chelidonium: one of our greatest liver medicaments. Congestion, inflammation, fullness, enlargement, especially in semi-chronic and acute cases., Piercing, shooting, tearing pains from liver region through to back. Characteristic pain below right shoulder blade, radiating towards the arms. Diarrhoea and constipation alternate. Dislikes fat. Pulse very slow, urine profuse, foaming, yellow like beer. In acute cases with fever alternately with Quassia.
Mercurius dulcis: Remittent bilious attacks, remittent bilious fever. Pressing pains in the liver. Biter taste, thirst, little appetite, diarrhoea.
China: chronic cases, Cant stand a great deal of feed. For fear of pains does not dare to eat what he likes. AFter the smallest mistake nausea, flatulence, sometimes vomiting, windy spasm. Diarrhoea immediately after meals, voracious appetite alternates with lack of appetite. Great weakness, sweats, giddiness, buzzing in the ears. “Nerves in a fret”. sensitive, anemic. Periodicity in regard to pains and complaints.
Calculi bili and Fel. tauri: isopathic remedies, very helpful in cases of jaundice, loss of appetite, diarrhoea.
Raphanus: very popular remedy. Indigestion. Heat, burning, pinching in liver and stomach.
Carbo vegetabilis: nausea, windy spasm, marasmus, constipation. Burning in stomach and liver.
Nux vomica: the vomica patient is a gourmet, he likes good foot, but he cannot eat much, his digestion is easily upset, he is constipated. Constrictive pains in abdomen. Liver swollen, indurative, sensitive with pressure and stinging. Patient must loosen clothing. Jaundice from anger, high living. Suffers from much worry, too much mental and toll little physical exercise. Longs for brandy, beer, fats which disagree. Chilly, irritable to verge of insanity, hypersensitive to air, light, noise./ Worse in the morning, improving in the afternoon.
Graphites: flabby constitution. Thick, stupid, lazy, voracious. Stool very dry with slimy substances. Constipation without any desire of relieving the bowels; especially suitable for infantile, fatty women, menstruation belated, weak. Aversion to salt.
Alumina: suited to patients of sedentary habits, who suffer from chronic ailments, to constitutions with diminished animal hat, to psoric patients. Constipation due to scarcity of water in the whole body.
Silica: the Silica patient suffers from weakness of the connective tissue accompanied by atony of the bowels. Profuse perspiration of the head, body dry. Profuse head-sweat at night, likes wrapping up. Sweat sour.
Natrum sulf.: diarrhoea, especially in the morning, worse in wet weather. Nausea. Liver enlarged, swollen and sore to touch. Worse when lying on felt side.
Podophyllum: great pains of the liver and gall-bladder, better if the patient rubs the abdomen with had. Diarrhoea, great weakness. Slimy tongue, as if spread with mustard: tooth-notched.
Sepia: burning pains in the abdomen. Nausea from smell of food. Indifferent to occupation and family.