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clinmed/2003040001v1 (February 26, 2004)
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Does Homeopathic Medicine can cure cholelithiasis ? An Ultrasonographic follow up result of 179 patients in Bangladesh
Selim M. Ansari, MBBS 1
Sabina Banu, MBBS 2
Tahmina Begum , MBBS 2
Abu Bakkar Siddique , MBBS 2
Centre for Nuclear Medicine & Ultrasound
Shahid Ziaur Rahman Medical College
P.O.Box # 61
Tel: 880 51 72656
1. Chief Medical Officer
2. Medical Officer
Objective - To evaluate the efficacy of homeopathic medicine in
treatment of cholelithiasis .
Design - Ultrasonographic follow up of patients with cholelithiasis
getting homeopathic treatment .
Setting - Patients referred by different homeopathic practitioners of
Bogra and surrounding areas .
Patients - 179 patients with cholelithiasis diagnosed on or before June
98 and followed up upto December 2002 . All these patients were getting homeopathic Medicine after diagnosis for variable period . (Male 67 , Female 112 . Avg . age 32 . 6 years ) .
Results - No patient was found to be cured during this period of follow
up . In few patients ( 17 % ) , episodes of periodic pain was lowered for time being during treatment . 33 % patients developed complications during follow up period
Conclusion - Homeopathic medicine seems to have no role in curing the
patients with cholelithiasis , rather may allow complications to develop .
Gallstones are more common in woman than in man increase in incidence in both sexes and all races with aging 1 .
Gall stones vary in composition , but the symptoms are almost same in all types of gall stones 2 .
In Bangladesh , homeopathic doctors claim good results in treating the patients of cholelithiasis . According to the homeopathic practitioners , the medication aims to dissolve the gall stones , thus aid to be excreted through bile 2 .
We conducted study in 179 patients with cholelithiasis , who were under homeopathic treatment for 1 3 years . We followed up these patients at regular interval for 2 3 years to find out any appreciable improvement , that is disappearance or reduction in size or bulk of gall stone by this type of treatment . The aim of our study was to find out whether there is any effectiveness of homeopathic medicine in curing cholelithiasis .
179 patients ( Male 67 & female 112 with male female ratio 1 : 1.67 ) clinically diagnosed as suffering from cholelithiasis were selected for the study . Patients with stones in the lumen of the gall bladder only was included in the study. Stones in the common bile duct ( CBD ) were excluded , because almost all of these patient with stones in CBD when first reported were with some complication. All of the them were under homeopathic treatment. Follow up was done by serial Ultrasonography (USG) at three months interval to all patients . As USG is the only non invasive , safe and cheapest method available for detection of gall stone 4-7 , we preferred this method for follow up . USG were done in four different machine ( Aloka SSD 1100 Flexus , Kontron SIGMA 21 , Shimadzu SDL 310 & HP Image Point HX ) . All the machines were equipped with 3.5 MHz Linear , Curvilinear & Sector transducer . The study was done between the period of June 98 to Dec. 2001.
All the results were studied by 4 sonologists separately and all of them were unaware of the previous results . No discrepancies were found between the finding of the observers .
The ratio of male and female patients is 1: 1. 67 . After 2 - 3 years of treatment by homeopathic medicine , USG findings of all patients were unchanged , that is presence of gall stones ( single or multiple ) is noted . Even in few cases ( 33 % ) it become worse than earlier findings . These patients reported to the hospital within this period of follow up , with complication . Among these complicated patients , 3 patients died who presented with jaundice and hepatic failure .
85 % people of our country lives in villages . Ours is one of the poorest country in the world with high illiteracy rate . Due to lack of adequate modern medical facilities in the remote villages , it is not easy for the people to attain better medical facilities , not only for cholelithiasis but for all of their physical sufferings . They also have fear of undergoing any invasive treatment like surgery .
The people goes to homeopathic practitioners , as homeopathy treatment is comparatively cheaper and it devoid of surgery . In our study , no differences was found in the patients before and after treatment with homeopathic medicine . Even in few cases the disease became worse , even resulted in death in 3 patients . However , few patients ( 17 % ) stated that episodic right hypchondriac pain was relieved by using homeopathic medicine . Again few patients ( 33 % ) developed complications due to delay in surgical intervention .
In conclusion , we may state that there is no definite evidence that homeopathic medicine have any prospective effect in curing cholelithiasis .
1. Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment . 2 nd . ed . prentice Hall Int . Inc . USA , pp . 415
2. Bailey & Loves Short Practice in Surgery . H . K . Lewis & Co . Ltd . UK . pp . 963
3. Comparative Materia Medica . 8 th. ed . M . Bhat & Co . Calcutta , India , pp . 234
4. Yeh HE . Ultrasonography and Computed tomography of the Gall bladder . Radiology : 2979 , 133 : 167 173
5. Darla Palma L , Rizzato G , Pozzi Mucalli RS et al . Grey Scale ultrasonography in the evaluation of gall bladder carcinoma . Br J Radiol . 1980 ; 53 : 662 667
6. Deitch EA , Engel JM . Ultrasound in elective biliary tract surgery . Am J Surg . 1980 ; 140 : 277 283 .
7. Peter R Mueller , Joseph V Sim . New concept in biliary ultrasound . Seminars in US , CT & MRI . 1984 ; Vol . 5 No . 4 : 333 345
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