Vomiting and Diarrhoea
Vomiting and diarrhoea also known as D&V, below are some remedies o think about using when you or a member of your family has a tummy bug, food poisoning r has over done it with the rich food and alcohol!
D&V is a clever way the body uses to rid itself of toxins and even stress to try and right itself. Problems only arise if it goes on too long, if there is blood in the vomit or stool or the person becomes dehydrated. Sometimes there is a fever as well which means more fluids are lost through sweating when body fluids evaporate due to the fever-not everyone sweats with a fever-an important thing to note when looking for a homeopathic remedy to help the person to get better. It is not just water we lose when we have a fever or D&V, but salts too and these may need to be replaced or the body helped to replace them.
It is important to realise that we lose fluids even when healthy, every day through sweat, tears, urine and stools. These need to be replaced daily, which is why it is so important for us all to drink plenty of water-not just tea and juices and coffee, but actual water. You can flavour water and add useful vitamins and minerals by adding slices of lemon, cucumber, strawberries, sprigs of mint etc, for those who do not like plain water. But do not buy flavoured waters, too synthetic and often with sugar added! Ideally filtered water and not sparkling water.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for which indicate a person is becoming or is dehydrated, it may not just be from D&V and fever, it could be from having a sore throat and so not able to swallow, or from very vigorous exercise. Waiting until a child says they are thirsty s not good enough, because by that time they are beginning to be dehydrated and thirst can be quenched before fluids have been properly replaced.
few or no tears when crying
dry or sticky mouth
eyes that look sunken into the head
soft spot (fontanelle) on top of baby's head that looks sunken
lack of urine or wet nappies for 6 to 8 hours in an infant (or only a very small amount of dark yellow urine)
lack of urine for 12 hours in an older child (or only a very small amount of dark yellow urine)
dry, cool skin
lethargy or irritability
fatigue or dizziness in an older child
(NB vomiting after a head injury or concussion is a different kettle of fish-give arnica 200 and go straight to A&E, never give painkillers for headaches from a head injury as they could mask something more sinister).
Managing D&V- keep fluids up, even if it is a teaspoon every 10 minutes. With children it is not enough to wait for them to ask for a drink or to just leave water where they can reach it-you need to make sure they are drinking and weeing. Check the colour of the urine, dark is not good. It should be pale yellow. Do not be in a hurry to give food. We can go days even weeks without food and dairy, wheat, sugar are all not good after D&V especially if it’s a “tummy bug”. When the patient wants to eat begin with something like an apple cut up, or some veg, leave meat and fish etc until later. Coconut water, water with slice of fruit in are all good to help bring up fluids and replace salts and more palatable than diarolyte- do GP’s still prescribe that?
Below are some remedies to think about using but if at any time you feel concerned then do contact your homeopath or GP or go to the hospital- a dehydrated infant can go downhill rapidly. Personally I would not phone NHS direct as I think it’s appalling that a non- medically qualified person decides on the severity of a person’s symptoms by going through a checklist. Every single person is different and so no 2 cases of D&V with or without a fever will be exactly the same-we need to be seen as an individual and the treatment needed tailored to the individual.
Arsenicum album- when burning pains accompany the D&V, in throat or stomach/abdomen and anus; pains helped by warmth such as a hot water bottle; patient feels chilly, needs company, is restless, and can only sip at drinks and prefers cold water and feels very thirsty. In cases of food poisoning the patient feels as if they will die and is very fearful. The stools are frequent and watery and burn the anus. The patient feels weak and seems much more ill than you might expect. It’s a remedy for after eating spoiled food or too much fruit as well as a “tummy bug” remedy. This is a good remedy to take on holiday with you. I would give the patient a 30c or a 200c if symptoms are severe, hourly for 6 hours- improvement should be seen within 2 hours. You may need to repeat the remedy next day. As the person improves increase water consumption. The patient needing this remedy is often worse around midnight.
Nux vomica- a good remedy for D&V after over indulgence in good foods and alcohol! The patient is chilly, and very irritable! They may want stimulants such as coffee, this is not ideal, but if they insist just repeat the remedy more frequently. Use 6c or 30c as often as needed, so you may begin at 30 minute intervals and end up at 4 hourly intervals. Lots of water is needed of course and vitamin C. An interesting symptom of the patient needing nux vomica is that when they feel nauseas they are not sure whether their body is going to vomit or have a bout of diarrhoea. Often the symptoms are worse in the morning, even as early as 4am.
Ipecacuanha- Nausea with lots of saliva before the vomiting. The tongue remains clean and vomiting does not make the patient feel any better afterwards and can continue vomiting. The stomach can feel like its hanging down. Pains around the belly button; as if a hand was clutching inside. Stool will be green or white mucous and may be frothy. Lots of wind is common. Use 30c.
Phosphorus- the patient is thirsty for cold drinks but vomits as soon as its warmed by the stomach. Empty belching. Burning pains like arsenicum but better for cold things. Profuse diarrhoea, which may even be involuntary. The patient will like company and reassurance. This is a good remedy for vomiting after anaesthetic. The patient feels cold but still desires cold things. If there is fever it will be burning but also sweaty. Use 30c.
Podophyllum- is a great toddler D&V remedy. I have used it when antibiotics seemed to set off the diarrhoea and then it would not stop. Stool is watery, undigested food, forcibly expelled straight after eating or drinking or having a bath. Worse in the mornings.
Carbo veg- a good remedy for D&V after eating bad fish or pork or rich fatty food, eggs or poultry. Probably needed a lot over the Christmas period! Lots of burping and wind, wind bloats stomach/abdomen, all very painful and temporarily better for belching. These people can have so much pain it feels like a heart attack! Give the remedy while calling an ambulance! If the remedy works do still get the medics to check the patient over as this is a remedy we use for heart attacks as well! Better safe than sorry! Foul smelling loose stools which also escape when breaking wind. Burning after stool. Patient is exhausted and feels better for cool air
Pulsatilla- for D&V after fatty food, or rich food, ice cream, eggs, pastries. Food rises and burns oesophagus, feels the need to burp but cannot. Taste of food remains in mouth for a long time after a burp. Flatulence is painful and with much rumbling. Feels like there will be diarrhoea but only a normal stool is passed. Not thirsty. Patient will be weepy and need cuddles. Symptoms and moods can be very changeable. They feel worse for being too warm and better in cooler fresh air. Also better for company. The patient needed this remedy can be very thirsty or not thirst at all. Use 30c.
Lycopodium –good after shellfish or too many sweet things. Lots of noisy rumbling, very distended abdomen and stomach. Feels heavy and uncomfortable must loosen clothes. Wants company but only nearby not constant like in Arsenicum or pulsatilla. Wants hot drinks. This patient has a lot of anticipatory anxiety so D&V may be from anticipating an ordeal such as speaking in public, an interview. They crave sweet things. Often symptoms are worse between 4-8pm. Use 30c.