Indigestion:Functional Dyspepsia

Symptoms referred to the GI system in which a pathological condition is not
present, is poorly established, or, if present, does not entirely explain the clinical state.

This is a vague and variable
problem that is functional in nature and usually not due to an underlying structural cause. Belching, distension and borborygmus
often occur associated with abdominal or epigastric pain. There is often an overt psychological component, but it is too easy to
concluded that all indigestion is psycho-somatic. Dietary factors are often crucial. However, the symptom picture may be similar
to some presenting signs of cardiac is chaemia, peptic ulceration and Cholecystitis. Thus differential diagnosis is crucial. Any case
of `indigestion’ that proves intransigent needs skilled diagnosis.

Actions indicated for the processes behind this
disease:



The key to correcting such functional problems is in “tuning up” the fine control of both metabolic and
physical aspects of digestion and assimilation. whilst easing the discomfort with appropriate remedies.

Bitter
stimulation will promote an integrated and adequate secretory response to food or hunger, as well as increasing muscular tone in
peristalsis.


Carminatives will ease flatulence, reduce localized inflammation, muscular spasm leading to colic and act as
mild anti-microbials.


Anti-spasmodics may be indicated if the carminatives do not ease abdominal cramping.


Nervines
can be used to help stress, anxiety & tension. They are usually also anti-spasmodic.


System Support

The digestive system, but then any part of the body that is a focus for energy usage may be strengthened by using
system tonics. Thus may possibly enable the body to integrate the various aspects of digestive functioning more effectively.

Specific Remedies


Every herbalist and every culture have their favorite remedies for indigestion. They are,
as would be expected from the above, often bitter carminatives or nervine carminatives. European `specifics’ include
Gentian, Peppermint, Chamomile, Balm. Hops &Valerian. Of course the possibilities can be endless.



One possible prescription



Often the traditional simple, or tea made from a single fresh remedy, is best.
This should be an herb that the patient likes the taste and aroma of. It ideally should be a plant they could easily cultivate, thus providing
a steady supply of fresh leaf. The actions of the herb will give the clue as to which is most therapeutically indicated. Suggestions could
include:



Peppermint, Chamomile, Balm

This may be augmented by using a combination of
tinctures that aids the digestive system in general through a bitter/carminative approach:

Chamomile

Peppermint
Gentian
Valerian equal parts of the tincture to 2.5ml taken 10 minutes before eating.


This approach will provide:


  • carminative (Peppermint, Chamomile,
    Lemon Balm)


  • anti-inflammatory (Peppermint, Chamomile, Lemon Balm)

  • bitter (Gentian, Chamomile)


  • nervine (Valerian, Chamomile)



Broader Context
of Treatment



Persistent problems call for skilled medical diagnosis. Because of the functional nature of this problem, just
about anything that helps the person to be at ease with themselves or help physiological activity will be indicated. Diet is fundamental, but
the problem could just about anything. Structural considerations show that therapies from chiropractic to rolfing may potentially help.
Counseling about stress related issues or deeper psychological issues will help. Etc. etc.!!

David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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