As many of you will know, I am back working two days a week as a Pharmacist. Community Pharmacy is unique and can be challenging, and is, I believe, undervalued by many both in and out of Healthcare. Pharmacy is the resource that is there 5, 6 or 7 days a week, where you can go for free advice with a healthcare professional and no appointment. Not only do Pharmacists know lots about drugs, they have a great knowledge of other conditions and can help you directly with something minor, or refer you to another healthcare professional if it is outside their scope. It’s not just the Pharmacists either, many have technicians and Pharmacy assistants with a wealth of experience, and some also employ other professionals like Naturopaths.
I love the interaction with people, and the ability to recommend not only pharmaceutical products, but homeopathic remedies, or supplements that can help. Lifestyle often plays a part too, although this is harder to get into in a 5 minute consultation!
Sometimes, though, it is brought home to me how different the conventional medical model is from how I work as a Homeopath, and from Biomedical, Orthomolecular or Naturopathic models. This has been one of those weeks.
I have seen a couple of prescriptions for “triple therapy”, which is a combination of two different antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor to eradicate H Pylori, and heal a stomach ulcer. Two prescriptions doesn’t sound like a lot, but two in one week is more than I have seen in years.
This medical model is trying to eradicate the bacteria, and remove stomach acid so the stomach lining can heal.
I asked a Naturopath colleague how she would treat an H Pylori ulcer. We discussed the use of Hydrochloric acid to ensure the optimum acidity in the stomach and Saccharomyces boulardii as a probiotic. This was a 1 minute discussion off the top of her head, and no doubt there would be other supplements to support the gastrointestinal system, and a discussion of lifestyle. Polar opposite to the medical model where they are removing stomach acid and killing bacteria!
Lifestyle of course, is important. Stress is a big contributing factor to H Pylori, and lifestyle choices like diet can make a huge difference, and I am sure the doctors involved also discussed what they could in the short consultation time they have.
Homeopathically we work less on diagnosis and more on symptoms, as well as looking holistically at how someone is mentally and emotionally as well as physically. A speculative and musing post like this is not for recommending remedies- a stomach ulcer needs diagnosis from a doctor, and if looking at complementary treatment from a Homeopath would need a full consultation – but the first remedies that came to the top of my head were Arsenicum Album and Nux Vomica. They are extremely different remedies, with completely different profiles. Arsenicum has burning pains in the stomach, but they are very nervous and anxious. Nux Vomica is quite different, and is a “Type A” personality who can be short tempered and irritable.
I firmly believe that we can use both conventional and complementary therapies, and both have their place. It is apparent though that the treatment and understanding of some conditions is light years apart.
What is your experience? Have you come to Homeopathy through disillusionment with orthodox medical treatment? Have you chosen to go down one fork in the road, or are you on a parallel journey?