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 Homeopathic Medicines for Indigestion, Gas, and Heartburn: Natural Remedies You Can Stomach 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Understanding Homeopathy by . View all columns in series
It is sometimes difficult, literally and figuratively, to stomach the gas, heartburn, and indigestion pains. It hurts, it is discomforting, and it is upsetting that our body's normally magnificent alchemical process of turning food into energy is having problems.

To some of us, these problems are occasional and to others they are all too common. The good news is that you won't die from it, but the bad news is that sometimes you feel like you are experiencing a slow and painful death.

Although we may want to curse at our digestive tract, the fact of the matter is that our digestive symptoms are actually defenses of the body in its best efforts to defend and heal ourselves. The symptoms that we experience may not always feel like they are healing us, but these symptoms are our body's efforts to defend ourselves against poisons in our food, against substances to which we may be allergic, against overdosing on too much food or drink, against the stresses that we experience before, during, or after eating, or simply against unknown fac tors that affect the digestive processes.

There's an old television commercial from the 1960s in which a person is talking to his stomach. His stomach was expressing concern about the way that the man was treating it and then even asks the man to become more sensitive to its problems. Although most people don't talk to our stomach, our stomach do talk to us...through various symptoms.

It is sometimes perfectly clear what it is saying ("Stop eating." "Stop eating certain things." "Stop eating so late at night." "Chew your food more thoroughly." "Eat in an relaxed environment."), and sometimes (perhaps often), people know what their stomach is saying and simply refuse to listen or learn. At other times, it is difficult to know what our digestive system is saying or why.

What Homeopathy has to Offer
Actually, before considering homeopathic medicines, it makes sense to sit down and have a heart-to-heart (or stomach-to-per son) talk with your digestive system. See what you can learn. Experiment with whatever changes make sense. Observe yourself.

If this doesn't bring adequate results or if you would like to know if something (perhaps anything) can help strengthen your system so that you can have your cake (or whatever) and eat it too, here's when you might consider using homeopathic medicines.

First of all, it is important to say that medical care should be sought if you are having serious digestive pain, if vomiting is excessive, if there is evidence of dehydration, if there is a possibility of poisoning or drug use, if the stools or vomited material is bloody or tarlike, or if vomiting occurs during the course of a viral respiratory condition.

Although homeopathic medicines may also be useful in such situations, it is generally best if these potentially more seri ous conditions be treated by a professional homeopath. Profes sional homeopathic care should also be sought if homeopathic self-care is not effective in treating a person's more mild symptoms or when these remedies are effective, but the symptoms continually return.

Commonly, professional homeopathic care will not only re lieve the acute symptoms the person is experiencing but will even prevent future similar symptoms. Professional homeopaths pre scribe "constitutional remedies" which are highly individualized to the person's genetic history, personal health history, and totality of physical symptoms and psychological characteristics. These remedies tend to strengthen the overall health of the person.

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 About The Author
DANA ULLMAN, MPH, is one of America's leading advocates for homeopathy. He has authored 10 books, including ...moreDana Ullman, MPH
 
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