Pancreatitis refers to the inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas has two main functions – exocrine and endocrine. The exocrine function is to aid digestion, and the endocrine function is to regulate the blood sugar levels in the body. Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic; in an acute condition, there is a sudden, short-term inflammation, while in chronic cases, there is long-lasting inflammation of the pancreas that can last for months or years. Homeopathy essentially plays a supportive role in treating pancreatitis. Homeopathic medicines should be used in conjunction with other conventional methods of treatment to help in the symptomatic management of pancreatitis. Homeopathic medicines help manage the symptoms of pancreatitis like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
There are many causes that lead to pancreatitis, but the main ones include excessive intake of alcohol and the formation of gallstones. Other causes of pancreatitis are smoking, high levels of calcium or triglycerides, infection, injury, cystic fibrosis, narrow or blocked ducts of the pancreas and certain medications. In around 15 to 30 percent of the cases of pancreatitis, the cause remains unknown.
Homeopathic Management of Pancreatitis
The most suitable homeopathic medicine for pancreatitis is selected individually based upon the prominent symptoms of the patient. Finalizing homeopathic prescription for pancreatitis requires a detailed case analysis followed by its evaluation. Since it is a supplementary treatment to be taken with regular medicine, homeopathic treatment for pancreatitis should be taken under the supervision of a homeopathic physician and self-medication should be avoided.
Homeopathic Medicines for Pancreatitis
Belladonna – Natural Medicine for Abdominal Pain in Pancreatitis
Belladonna is a natural medicine prepared from a plant called Deadly Nightshade. The plant belongs to the natural order Solanaceae. Belladonna is well indicated for abdominal pain in cases of pancreatitis. For using Belladonna the nature of pain can be griping, cutting, pinching or clutching type. The pain is severe and may be relieved by pressing the abdomen. Most of the times, episodes of pain in the abdomen come on suddenly, last for a shorter time, and disappear almost suddenly.
Heat in the abdomen may be felt along with pain. The abdomen is sensitive even to the slightest touch. Tenderness of the abdomen worsens from least movement, and there may be abdominal distension.
Colocynthis – Homeopathic Medicine for Pancreatitis where Abdominal Pain gets Better by Bending Forward
Homeopathic medicine Colocynthis is an effective plant remedy used to treat pancreatitis. It is prepared from the pulp of a fruit of a plant named Citrullus Colocynthis or Bitter Apple. This plant is native to Turkey and it belongs to the natural order Cucurbitaceae. Colocynthis is also helpful for abdominal pain in cases of pancreatitis. The pain appears in the upper abdomen and worsens after eating or drinking the smallest amount of food or drink. Bending forward and applying hard pressure over the abdomen helps relieve abdominal pain. The pain in the abdomen may be colicky or cutting in nature. The abdomen is sensitive and painful to touch and may be followed by a watery stool. A constant inclination to vomit may be present along with the above symptoms.
Arsenic Album – Effective Homeopathic Remedy for Diarrhea and Vomiting in Pancreatitis
Arsenic Album is a natural medicine for diarrhea and vomiting in cases of pancreatitis. The stool in such cases is watery, profuse, often mixed with mucus and undigested food. Diarrhea gets worse after eating and worsening of diarrhea at midnight is prominently noted. A marked weakness is present along with diarrhea. Vomiting soon after eating or drinking something is another symptom. The vomit is of green-yellow liquid and tastes bitter. There is constant nausea present along with vomiting. Loss of appetite, cutting or tearing pains in the abdomen, and nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are usually present. There may be a burning sensation in the abdomen. Intense anxiety and marked restlessness are some other attending features.
Iris Versicolor – Effective Homeopathic Remedy for Pancreatitis with Burning Distress
Iris Versicolor is a homeopathic medicine prepared from the fresh root of a plant known as Blue Flag. This plant belongs to natural order Iridaceae. The use of this homeopathic medicine is highly considered in cases of pancreatitis where there is a burning distress in the region of the pancreas. The burning is so marked that even consuming cold water does not offer relief. Along with these features, there may be abdominal colic that gets better by bending forward. Passing flatus also helps relieve the pain. Abdominal pain may be attended with watery diarrhea and sweetish vomiting. The stool may be greasy or fatty in nature. Iris Versicolor is also indicated in cases of pancreatic diabetes.
Conium – Homeopathic Treatment for Sudden Vomiting and Diarrhea in Acute Pancreatitis
Conium offers a natural cure for pancreatitis in cases where there is a sudden attack of vomiting and diarrhea (acute pancreatitis.) A night aggravation of diarrhea and vomiting is often noted. There is vomiting of a white substance along with an ache and pressure in the upper abdomen. There is hardness and distension of the abdomen along with great sensitivity. The person has a constant urge to evacuate the bowels. The stool is a liquid mixed with hard lumps, undigested food and passes with loud emissions of flatus.
Phosphorus – Natural Remedy for Pancreatitis with Stool that is Greasy and Oily
Phosphorus is significant homeopathic medicine for pancreatitis with prominent greasy, oily stool. Other attending features include sensitivity in the abdomen which is painful to touch, abdominal distension and incarcerated flatus. Jaundice may also be present and the eyes, face, trunk, and limbs appear brownish-yellow. There is vomiting of food, sour matter or of white or yellow bitter substance. The stools are profuse and mixed with lumps of white mucus.
Leptandra – Natural Medicine for Jaundice in Pancreatitis
Leptandra is is a natural homeopathic medicine prepared from the root of a plant called Leptandra Virginica or Black Root. This plant belongs to natural order Scrophulariaceae. There is vomiting of bile with marked nausea. Loss of appetite, excessive fatigue, and diarrhea that is worse in the morning hours are some other attending features.
Pancreas and its Functions
The pancreas is a gland present in the abdomen and has four parts i.e. head, neck, body, and tail. The pancreas is approximately 6 inches to 10 inches in length and performs both exocrine as well as endocrine function. Around 95 % of pancreas gland performs an exocrine function, and the rest consists of cells called Islets of Langerhans that perform the endocrine function. The enzymes pancreatic protease (trypsin and chymotrypsin), serum amylase and lipase perform the exocrine function. The pancreatic protease help to digest proteins, serum amylase aid digestion of carbohydrates and serum lipase help for digesting fats. Insulin and glucagon perform the endocrine role that controls the blood glucose levels.
Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis: The signs and symptoms of acute pancreatitis include pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back. Eating and drinking make the pain worse. Leaning forwards may bring pain relief while lying flat on the back worsens the pain. Tender abdomen, nausea, vomiting, fever, jaundice, diarrhea are other features attending pain in the abdomen.
Chronic pancreatitis: A case of chronic pancreatitis presents itself with almost similar symptoms as that of acute pancreatitis. It includes recurrent episodes of abdomen pain, nausea, and vomiting. Other features that accompany these symptoms are appetite loss, weight loss due to poor absorption of food, jaundice, smelly and greasy stool. Chances are also there to develop diabetes if the cells that produce insulin get damaged.