Complementary AlternativeMedicine (CAM) and Homeopathy
Background Information According to the NCCAM, Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine methods to maintain their health. A NHIS survey (2007) conducted showed that approx. 38% of Americans used CAM to maintain or enhance daily well- being. This NCCAM fact sheet (http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam) provides additional information such as: Defining CAM Types of CAM Safety and effectiveness when using CAM The role of the NCCAM Additional Information concerning CAM
Defining Complementary AlternativeMedicine (CAM) The NCCAM defines Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) as: “A group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine and alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine.”
Defining Homeopathy The NCCAM defines homeopathy as: “An alternative medical system that was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago.” Supporters subscribe to two unconventional methods: “like cures like” - the notion that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people “law of minimum dose” - the notion that the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness.
Examples of Alternative Medicine Natural Products: Herbal medicines, vitamins, minerals, dietary supplements and probiotics Mind and Body Medicine: Meditation, yoga, acupuncture, deep-breathing exercises, guided imagery, hypnotherapy, progressive relaxation, qi gong, and tai chi Manipulative and Body-Based Products: Spinal manipulation and massage therapy Other CAM practices: Movement therapies, energy manipulation therapies, and whole medical systems therapies
Examples of Homeopathy Homeopathic pharmacists use two main groups of substances when making their medicines: Organic Materials – plants, animals, nosodes (derived from disease tissues) Inorganic Materials – chemicals, metals, and minerals Nomenclature – The first two words in a homeopathic remedy are its Latin designation, which is followed by the potency (degree of dilution) and then by the type of the medicine carrier substrate. Manufacture - A homeopathic remedy is prepared by mixing one part of the original substance (called "the mother tincture" if it is derived from a plant) and nine parts of a solvent. This mixture is then vigorously shaken at least forty times.
Defining Acid Reflux (GERD) Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus. This action can irritate the esophagus and damage its lining. Causes include: alcohol, hiatal hernia, obesity, pregnancy, and different medications Symptoms include: heartburn, nausea after eating, regurgitation, coughing or wheezing, difficulty swallowing, hiccups, hoarseness, sore throat
Common Alternative MedicinePractices for Acid Reflux (GERD) Herbal Remedies: Licorice, slippery elm, chamomile, marshmallows Can interfere with other medications and have serious side effects Relaxation Therapies: Progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery Relaxation techniques used to calm stress and anxiety Acupuncture: Involves the insertion of thin needles in specific points on the body Small study cited acupuncture techniques as a means to help people suffering from persistent heartburn
Common Homeopathic Practices forAcid Reflux (GERD) Nux Vomica: The Penultimate Acid Reflux Treatment According to William Boericke, it helps relieve stomach pain symptoms such as: burning, bloating, flatulence, constipation, nausea and belching. Side effects may include: body aches of all kinds and feelings of weakness. Boericke also states, “The person needing Nux Vomica is generally perceived as a workaholic or one who indulges his or her appetite for excesses in all things. The patient tends to be dictatorial, bossy, impatient and aggressive.”
Common Homeopathic Practices forAcid Reflux (GERD) Arsenicum Album for GERD Symptoms Caused by Spoiled Food or Food Poisoning According to Boericke, it helps relieve severe burning pains from acid in the stomach with food backing up into the esophagus accompanied by burning pain all the way up to the throat. Symptoms of this may include: severe, watery, burning, yellow diarrhea with terrible burning in the rectum and anus. Boericke states, “The person needing arsenicum may be thirsty for continual sips of cool water, restless, anxious and fearful.”
Common Homeopathic Practices forAcid Reflux (GERD) Pulsatilla for Relief from Reflux Symptoms and GERD with Weeping It is said to relieve acid reflux pains that feel like digestive acid is burning a hole in the lining of the stomach, as well as symptoms when the person feels over-stuffed after eating. Symptoms may include: flatulence at the same time from putrefaction emitting gasses and the patient is not thirsty, often feels warm and prefers open, cool air or going outside. Is often given to relieve GERD symptoms when the patient is weepy, desires company, does not like being left alone and is prescribed more commonly for women than men.
Common Natural Remedies for AcidReflux (GERD) Remedies to help long term include: Balance your hydrochloric acid levels Change your diet Digestive enzymes Increase your Vitamin D Frequent exercise Remedies for fast relief: Raw organic apple cider vinegar: calms stomach, helps digestion Baking soda: natural antacid Organic Aloe Vera juice: aids in digestion Glutamine: anti-inflammatory, reduces intestinal inflammation Herbal licorice: coats the stomach with a protective gel