'Psycho' refers to the mind and 'soma' refers to the body, so psychosomatic disorder is a problem with a combination of mind and body. Not only are these bodily disorders caused by a psychic factor, the correlation between these symptoms (aggravation and recovery) are very strong.
Psychosomatic disorders are commonly referred as psychosomatic illness. It is an illness whose symptoms are caused by mental processes of the sufferer rather than immediate physiological causes. If a medical examination can find no physical or organic cause or if an illness appears to result from emotional conditions such as anger, anxiety, depression or guilt then it might be classified as psychosomatic.
The concept of psychosomatic disorders has been in existence since the time of Sigmund Freud. The belief is that with the varied emotions that a person experiences, each disease manifests with a different set of symptoms in each person, implying that each person needs to be treated differently and not given the same disease-specific medication. This is where homeopathy plays a very strong role in psychosomatic disorders as it also believes in treating the person as a whole and not just the symptoms.
In homoeopathy, we base our prescription on what we call constitutional symptoms where we give lot of importance to the mental symptom as well as to the characteristic physical symptom. Hence every prescription from a Homoeopathic physician will surely include an element of psychosomatic angle. It is beyond the scope of this editorial to mention all the remedies of Materia Medica which has the scope for the treatment of psychosomatic disorders.
The homeopath always undertakes a thorough discussion with the patient to understand the accompanying symptoms in detail and then arrive at a customized treatment plan.
Some of the most common psychosomatic disorders include irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, GERD, ulcerative colitis, and allergy disorders.
Specific substances are given to manage anxiety, depression, irritability, insecurity, paranoia, etc. These feelings are considered inducers for the above disorders, and managing them can help bring about a harmony in the patient's overall health.
GERD: Gastro esophageal reflux disease is a disorder that results from stomach acid moving backward from the stomach into the esophagus. GERD usually happens because the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscular valve where the esophagus joins the stomach, opens at the wrong time or does not close properly.
Homeopathy For GERD:
Homeopathic medicine relies not only on identifying the symptoms of the disease, but on a variety of personality traits, the person's mental state and other characteristic symptoms a patient exhibits which correlate to any particular remedy. When choosing a correct remedy for the treatment of heartburn, all aspects of the patient are taken into account.
These are some of the Homoeopathic medicines that may prove beneficial:- Argentum nit, Cal.carb., China, Carbo veg, Lycopodium, Nat. phos, Nux vomica, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Robinia, sulphuric acid etc.
Migraine: Migraine is a form of headache. The pain is usually throbbing, pulsating and bursting in character. At times, the pain is one sided or may involve the whole head. Such pain may last for hours or even days. It is often accompanied by other symptoms like nausea or vomiting. At the same time, there is increased sensitivity to light and sound. In some cases, the pain is preceded by some warning symptoms like flashes of light, temporary blindness or tingling sensation in the limbs.
Homeopathy for Migraine:
Belladonna is widely used homeopathy remedy for migraines, where headache is throbbing and violent, occurs suddenly, worsens on touching, and relieves with pressure. Glonoine is useful in congestive headaches with a reddened face that is worsened by sun or heat. Natrum Mur is useful in cases where headache is brought on by grief or stress.
Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis is a serious chronic inflammatory disease of the large intestine accompanied by ulcerated lesions of the intestinal tissues. It is characterized by episodes of abdominal pain with profuse diarrhea in which large quantities of blood, pus, and mucus are present in the feces. There is an urgency to move the bowels, as many as, three to ten times per day. It may be accompanied with pain, nausea, and vomit. Because of the loss of blood, the patient may become dehydrated and anemic.
Complications of ulcerative colitis includes liver and kidney disease, peritonitis, toxic mega colon, and risk of developing colon cancer.
Homeopathy for Ulcerative Colitis:
To identify the actual inducing agent, some foods are removed to see if they are inducing attacks. Once identified, that is removed from the patient's diet. In addition, aloe, arsenicum album, carbo vegetabilis, colocynthis, are commonly used remedies for ulcerative colitis. The patient is asked for associated symptoms like bleeding diarrhea, color of the feces, involuntary defecation, abdominal pain, anxiety, cramps, and stress before deciding on a treatment mode.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as spastic colon is a functional disorder characterized by recurrent abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating. Some people suffer from constipation, which means hard, dry stools, difficult to eliminate, leading to straining without success. Some people experience diarrhea, with frequent loose watery stools.
Homeopathy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Sulphur, Pulsatilla, Phosphorus, Nux Vomica, Lycopodium clavatum, Argentum Nitricum, and Silicea are commonly used homeopathic remedies. Associated symptoms that need to be considered before deciding on a therapy include frequency of stooling, nature of stools, abdominal bloating, restlessness, irritability and nervousness.
Homeopathy is a preferred mode of treatment for psychosomatic disorders as they aim at a holistic treatment of the individual and not just at symptom management.
Allergy: Allergy is an abnormal reaction or increased sensitivity to certain substances. The allergic individual produces symptoms when exposed to these substances, which are harmless to non-allergic people. The main reason for this is that allergic people make a special type of antibody called immunoglobin E (IgE), which can react with environmental substances in harmful way. These substances which lead to secretion of IgE antibodies are called allergens.
Homeopathy for Allergy:
Few important remedies for the homeopathic treatment of allergy are- Histamine, Natrum Mur, Kali Bich, Sepia, Hepar Sulph, , Carbo Veg , Sulphur, Bryonia, Nux Vom, Apis Mel, Ailanthus, and Justicia adhatoda.