Esophageal varices are enlarged, swollen veins in the esophagus or the food pipe. The esophagus is a tube through which the food passes from the throat into the stomach. Severe liver diseases tend to cause esophageal varices. These develop when normal blood flow to the liver gets obstructed due to scar tissue in the liver or a clot. Homeopathic medicines for esophageal varices help in mild to moderate cases. Hamamelis, Chelidonium, and Cardus Marianus are the top homeopathic remedies used to treat esophageal varices.
Obstruction of normal blood flow results in portal hypertension, i.e., an increase in the pressure in the portal vein (the vein that carries blood to the liver from the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and intestines). The increase in blood pressure pushes blood into surrounding blood vessels, including vessels in the esophagus (thus resulting in esophageal varices). These blood vessels in the esophagus are smaller, fragile and have thin walls. When the pressure in portal vein shoots too high, then these esophageal varices can rupture and bleed. This bleeding may be life-threatening and need urgent conventional treatment. For diagnosis, esophageal varices are visible through an endoscopy.
Homeopathic Management of Esophageal Varices
Homeopathic medicines help manage mild to moderate cases of esophageal varices. Homeopathic medicines aim to treat and halt further progress of the underlying liver pathologies to bring about good results. These remedies play a supportive role in cases of mild bleeding from esophageal varices along with other conventional help. However, in severe cases of esophageal varices with intense bleeding, homeopathy does not seem to play an important role, and conventional treatment should be sought immediately.
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Homeopathic Medicines for Esophageal Varices
Hamamelis – Top Grade Homeopathic Medicine for Esophageal Varices
Homeopathic medicine Hamamelis is prepared from the fresh bark of twigs and root of a plant commonly called Witch-hazel. The natural order of this plant is Hamamelidaceae. Hamamelis is highly effective to treat cases of esophageal varices. People needing Hamamelis have hemorrhage from portal congestion. They tend to vomit blood and also suffer from anal bleeding. These hemorrhages are attended with great prostration. In non-bleeding esophageal varices, this medicine can be taken independently to reduce enlargement, swelling, and engorgement of vessels. However, in cases of bleeding esophageal varices, this medicine can be taken as a supportive help along with conventional treatment.
Chelidonium Majus – For Severe Liver Diseases with Esophageal Varices
Homeopathic medicine Chelidonium is prepared from a plant named Chelidonium Majus or greater Celandine. This plant belongs to the natural order Papaveraceae. Chelidonium is indicated in cases of severe liver diseases with esophageal varices. The liver diseases like fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver are present in cases needing Chelidonium. There may be jaundice and ascites in such cases. The skin seems yellow, the urine is yellow, and the stools are white-colored. Pain in the liver and under the right shoulder blade is present along with the symptoms of jaundice. The pain may be shooting or stitching in nature and extend to the back. Fullness and pressure are also felt in the liver region. Chelidonium helps in treating liver diseases (that are the main reasons for esophageal varices.)
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Cardus Marianus – For Liver Disease causing Esophageal Varices
Cardus Marianus is a natural medicine for esophageal varices arising as a result of liver disease. It is prepared from the seeds of a plant named Silybum belonging to the natural order Compositae. People needing this medicine also have jaundice and marked fluid accumulation in the abdomen. The liver area is painful and sensitive. There may be a history of abuse of alcoholic drinks. Blood in vomiting and stool may also be present. Marked fatigue is present along with the above symptoms.
Phosphorus – For Esophageal Varices with Bright Blood in Vomit
Phosphorus is a natural remedy for esophageal varices where there is blood present in the vomit. The blood is bright red. This remedy can be used along with conventional help to control the symptom of blood in vomiting in cases of bleeding esophageal varices.
Crotalus Horridus – For Esophageal Varices with Dark Blood in Vomit
Crotalus Horridus offers a natural treatment for esophageal varices where there is blood in vomiting. The blood in the vomit, in this case, is dark-colored. Dark blood may also be passed in the stool. This medicine can also be used for supportive help along with the conventional mode of treatment.
Leptandra – For Black Stool in cases of Esophageal Varices
Homeopathic medicine Leptandra is prepared from the root of a plant named Leptandra Virginica, or Black Root. The natural order of this plant is Scrophulariaceae. The key indication to use Leptandra in esophageal varices is a black tarry stool. The stool may have a fetid smell, and vomiting and shooting pain in the liver may be present along with extreme prostration. Leptandra is also a very important homeopathic remedy for liver diseases.
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Causes of Esophageal Varices
Liver cirrhosis or the development of scar tissue in the liver is the main cause of esophageal varices. The blood flow to the liver slows down as a result of the formation of scar tissue. Cirrhosis usually develops as a result of alcoholic or fatty liver disease and hepatitis. Another reason is the formation of a blood clot in the portal vein. Some rare causes of esophageal varices include Budd-Chiari syndrome and schistosomiasis.
It should be noted that not every case of esophageal varices leads to bleeding of the varices. There are some factors that increase the risk of bleeding, like larger varices, very high portal vein pressure, alcohol intake (if the condition is alcohol-related) and severe liver cirrhosis or liver failure.
Signs and Symptoms of Esophageal Varices
Usually, no signs or symptoms are present in the cases of esophageal varices until they rupture. The main sign noted in cases of esophageal varices is blood in vomiting if the varices rupture and bleed. Another sign is the presence of black, tarry, and bloody stool. If the bleeding is severe or uncontrolled, the body may go into shock along with lightheadedness, pale, clammy skin, irregular breathing and loss of consciousness. A person already having liver disease carries a high chance of developing esophageal varices if symptoms like jaundice, spider nevi, easy bruising and ascites are present.