Natural treatment of Somatization Disorders
In somatization disorder, physical symptoms are present and are quite real, even severe, but no underlying medical illness or condition can be found to fully explain them. The condition is chronic, lasting for years, and often interferes with work and relationships.
No specific cause has been identified for somatization disorder, but symptoms may get worse after significant stressors, such as the loss of a loved one, a friend or even a job. Stress may also exacerberate existing symptoms.
It is important to remember that these symptoms are not 'faked'. The patient is not able to consciously turn these symptoms on and off and they should not be easily dismissed by the healthcare provider.
Somatization disorders cannot be prevented, but if correctly diagnosed, unnecessary and excessive medical tests may be avoided.
A physical examination and tests, based on symptoms, should be done to rule out any physical causes before a diagnosis of somatization disorder is made. Depression and anxiety disorders should be ruled out.
Symptoms usually include chronic pain and problems with the digestive system, the nervous system and the reproductive system: vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, diarrhoea, pain in the legs or arms, back pain, joint pain, pain during urination, headaches, shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, amnesia, difficulty swallowing, vision changes, paralysis or muscle weakness, sexual apathy, pain during intercourse, impotence, painful or irregular menstruation, and excessive menstrual bleeding.
The physical suffering that people with somatization disorder experience usually begins in the late 20s, but it can also begin during the teenage years. Individuals suffer for years and it often leads to many unnecessary medical tests and treatments.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition The following factors increase your chance of developing somatization disorder:
· Low social class with little education
· Sex–the disorder is more common in American women, although it is more common in men of non-American cultures (Greek, Puerto Rican)
· Personality factors–individuals are more likely to develop this disorder if they tend to act in a way that is extremely emotional (also known histrionic)
· Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder , substance abuse disorders, Anxiety , Depression , or panic disorders
· May occur more frequently in individuals who are unable to express their emotional distress through language (due to neurological disorders or Intellectual Disability ), or in cultures that discourage the communication of emotional distress
The goal of treatment is to learn to control the symptoms of the disorder. If a mood disorder exists, it should also be treated.
• SUPPORTIVE OOCTOR Establishing a supportive relationship with a sympathetic doctor is the most important aspect of treatment. Regular appointments give the patient an opportunity to review symptoms, enhance coping mechanisms and develop rapport. Test results should be explained. It is important - but difficult - to distinguish between somatic complaints that are due to a physical illness and those that are not.
• MEDICATION Antidepressants may help in some cases.
• COUNSELLING Cognitive-behavioural therapy may be beneficial. Improving methods of dealing with stress may reduce physical symptoms. Many people with somatization disorders refuse counseling.
• SYMPTOM RELIEF If possible, relief will be given for physical symptoms.