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Miasm Research - Cases
Digestion - an interesting polychrest
Case by Louise Barton
This case is a typical example of how useful facial analysis is in finding a successful remedy very quickly. The remedy chosen would not have been considered by essence picture but only because it repertorised well and fitted the miasm.
Female 20 years comes to the clinic with digestive problems. Her manner is extremely shy and timid, both hanging her head and talking softly. When asked how she came to Homœopathy she explains her mother suggested she try it. She also admits shyly to being sceptical but nothing else has helped.
The main problem is extreme bloating almost all the time which she has had for two years. She also suffers with constipation, burping and flatulence. All food and drinks = bloating and burping as soon as she eats/drinks them. There is also some reflux and all these problems are worse at the end of the day. Often these symptoms will last about two hours and then if she hasn't eaten very much she will become very hungry.
Two years ago she finished high school and a number of stressful events occurred during the year. She had boyfriend troubles and her grandfather died from cancer. Her boyfriend was very possessive and jealous of her and was very angry and clingy. It was like being on eggshells and as he was a drug user she felt she had to look after him. He also lied. Eventually she ended the relationship but it was very difficult.
School was generally good and her results were strong. She is now in her second year of university studying psychology/arts. Last year she took six months off as she felt very anxious about her social abilities in the new study environment. Also her father (who she had not seen since she was three) died the same year. When asked about this relationship she didn't have much to add - she had hardly known him and had also discovered he wasn't her biological father. The main issue was how anxious she felt at university, finding it difficult to be around different people and worrying what they were thinking of her. In an effort not to appear "geeky" she forced herself to be happy and friendly so they would like her. She had suffered some teasing throughout high school especially in her younger years, mostly comments on her clothes and some boys stealing her pencils.
Her health history included grommits for chronic ear infections and two bowel polyps removed when she was nineteen. She also wore braces for two eye teeth that were twisted like "fangs". In the last six months there have been some eye infections where on waking a yellow discharge would be present and sometimes swelling. This was often worse on the left as were her ear infections. She gets colds especially after exams and is worse for being dried out - air-conditioning leads to less drinking. At the end of high school she got bad throat infections that were worse on the right and worse for swallowing. She was dry and very thirsty, had pus on her tonsils and swollen glands+++.
Her appetite is good with a preference for fruit and an aversion to fat. There was a history of craving milk but not now. Her thirst is up for water and she drinks alcohol socially. The pattern of the constipation is that the stool is small and ball-like and she passes a motion up to six times per day. She also urinates often and gets up one to two times per night. Her periods were irregular with no pain but she is now on the contraceptive pill. The pill has also improved her acne. Sleep is fine with a preference for sleeping on the abdomen and occasional dreams of anxiety - not reaching a destination. She exercises every day and loves reading especially fantasy and classical literature.
Her current boyfriend is also jealous and possessive and she worries he will be angry with her. She feels more relaxed when he is not around. Sometimes there are fights and she cries a lot - he will come to her and she wants this sympathy.
The objective behind the choice of rubrics is to find a mix of both mentals and generals so that the totality is catered for.
MIND; JEALOUSY (65)
This is an example of choosing a rubric because the circumstance shows a repeating pattern in her case. Although she is not a jealous person she attracts people to her that behave in a jealous way.
MIND; ANXIETY (511)
A large rubric but one on which the case must rest. Her anxiety shows in many situations and is obvious from her demeanour in the clinic.
GENERALITIES; EATING; while; agg. (108)
A pattern noticed consistently is how eating or drinking will aggravate her digestion.
STOOL; BALLS, like (47)
A distinctive general showing how her body is operating.
GENERALITIES; FOOD and drinks; fruit; desires (46)
Where available a food preference, aversion or aggravation is often useful. This was chosen as being the strongest food link in the case.
STOMACH; DISTENSION (196)
Her presenting problem
Using this repertorisation the following remedies presented themselves.
Calc, Lach, Nat Mur, Phos, Veratrum, Sul Ac, Thuja - Puls and Ignatia missing out on one rubric each
Each remedy could be argued to fit the case (as would be expected knowing the rubrics cover them so well) but only two are of consideration.
This is because her face was clearly syco-syphilitc.
An analysis of her features showed one psoric feature (receding chin), full lips (sycosis), wide nose (sycosis), straight hairline (sycosis), full smile (sycosis), upturned eyes (syphilis), crooked teeth (syphilis), asymmetry (syphilis), curved forehead (syphilis) and small ears (syphilis). An almost equal distribution of sycosis and syphilis points to the dominant miasm being syco-syphilis. The one psoric feature is not enough to factor (the weaker of the three diseases being repelled by the strength of the other two)
The only remedies to consider are Lachesis and Veratrum - both syco-syphilitic remedies. At this stage knowledge of materia medica is considered and the softness of Veratrum (clinical experience) plus the desire for fruit is more appropriate to the patient. This is a good example of choosing a remedy because of the facial analysis.
SOME MATERIA MEDICA PICTURES
Melancholy, with stupor and mania. Sits in a stupid manner; notices nothing; SULLEN INDIFFERENCE. Frenzy of excitement; shrieks, curses. Puerperal mania. Aimless wandering from home. DELUSIONS OF IMPENDING MISFORTUNES. Mania, with desire to cut and tear things. (TARENT.) Attacks of pain, with delirium driving to madness. Cursing, howling all night. - Boericke
Veratrum has the feeling that he has lost his social position which he must regain quickly by any means or he will be finished. He tries to find means for sudden gains, e.g. gambling, lying, fraudulent business, etc. Show of wealth and importance are prominent features seen in Veratrum and using these he tries to make up this "lost social position". - Sankaran
Veratrum has its greatest use in the mental sphere where it produces marked over-stimulation, and eventually mania. The patient is over-mentalized and not connected to those around him. He may seem hardened and is often harshly critical. Eventually this trait leads to the well-known haughtiness and self-righteousness of Veratrum - Morrison
MATERIA MEDICA PICTURES ARE LIMITED
Using Veratrum as an example we see that none of these pictures suits the patient. She is shy and timid, shows no signs of mania, is not hardened at all but more concerned about the plight of her boyfriends. In fact she is the victim rather than the aggressor. There is no precocity, intellectual haughtiness or excessive ambition in her case. She is a normal twenty year old who is anxious and has digestive problems. The only link to the remedy is that one of the boyfriends is a liar but this link is tenuous. Since using facial analysis we choose many polychrests that have had strong provings done in the nineteenth century and repertorise well - even when the "essence" doesn't fit. These remedies help the majority of patients. (See a list of polychrest remedies.)
Veratrum Album 200C single dose was given. Her next appointment was six weeks later due to her exams in between. Normally a second visit would be two to three weeks after the initial consultation. When using miasmatically indicated remedies a significant improvement is expected (commencing within 1-2 weeks) in cases where there is no structural pathology.
On her return visit the constipation is 100% improved. The bloating is significantly better with only occasional minor episodes. The reflux is completely gone. She says she feels much less anxious and calmer in general even with the exams she just completed. Her glands came up on the right side of her neck after the remedy but went away without any problem. There have been no eye problems and she has no pain in her neck and shoulders (not mentioned at the first visit). She still gets up at night to urinate but is drinking more and not worried about it. The situation with her boyfriend is still the same but she feels much calmer - when the lease expires on their flat she will end the relationship. There have been far less episodes where she has been upset.
In the last week she has felt some return of anxiety and bloating so another dose of Veratrum Album 200C is given.
No further problems reported three months later.