A girl aged 5 years consulted me on 04/05/2013 with recurrent attacks of asthmatic dyspnea and frequent catarrhal affections of nose and throat, of nearly two years duration.
Incessant sneezing with watery discharge from the nose in the morning on waking and on exposure to the slightest cold weather and cold winds. She had frequent colds and catarrh of nose and throat with dry hacking cough on slightest exposure to cold weather, cold drafts, cold food and drinks.
Sneezing progresses into sore throat and dry cough. Then progressing in a day to dyspnoea with wheezy dry hacking cough. Wheezing with feeling of heaviness and tightness of chest. Constricted feeling in chest. Dry hacking cough with no expectoration though there seems to be sputum within.
Always taking cold from every change in weather. Dyspnoea and cough aggravated from lying down, exposure to cold air, and after midnight. Dyspnoea slightly relieved by sitting up, rubbing chest, warmth, covering up warmly.
History of presenting complaints:
Her complaints first started about 2 years back with an attack of cold and catarrh of nose and throat which progressed to acute wheezy bronchitis. She was treated with allopathic medication then. After a couple of months, she started getting regular attacks of catarrh of nose and throat with dry hacking cough and wheezing. Since then, she gets frequent attacks from the slightest exposure to cold and intake of any cold food or drinks.
Family history: H/O allergic rhinitis in extended family.
She is anxious during dyspnoea attacks.
Always keeps her belongings and room clean, tidy and well arranged.
She is always chilly.
Dyspnoea and cough aggravated after midnight, by lying down, cold exposure, cold, damp weather.
Feels better from warmth, sitting up, covering up warm, warmth.
Good appetite and thirst. Prefers to drink small quantities of water at a time. Prefers sweet foods.
Medication- Arsenic album 0/3 was advised to be taken daily.
Tuberculinum 200 -2 doses – to be taken every fortnight.
Review after one month- Not much change in the symptoms.
Same medication repeated for one more month and advised to review after a month.
Review on 03-07-2013 – Patient reported that the frequency of catarrhal affections and dyspnea has come down. Sneezing in the morning after waking has got better.
There was no change in medication. Arsenic album 0/3 daily doses for a month and Tuberculinum 200- one dose every 10 days was given.
04-08-2013- same medication for another month.
05-09-2013- Patient reported that she had only two dyspnoea attacks during the previous month, and that was during the moon phases. There is a general improvement. No change in medication.
02-03-2014- She has not had any wheezing attacks since a month.
There is no sneezing in the morning. Better adapted to cold drafts and cold weather.
Arsenic album 0/3- daily doses and Tuberculinum 200-one dose every 10 days was continued for two more months, after which she hasn’t got any dyspnoea and recurrent sneezing and catarrh.
NOTE : Tuberculinum is a useful remedy for asthma sufferers as it helps to prevent recurrent colds and chest infections which may precipitate asthma attacks.
Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm.. In asthma the bronchial tubes narrow and this makes it more difficult to breathe. Symptoms that occur in asthma are chest tightness, coughing, wheezy breathing and shortness of breath. These symptoms may simply occur when the body has to work harder – such as on walking quickly, going upstairs or running. House dust may provoke an asthma attack if there is a history of allergy as may exposure to cat, dog or horse hair. People who suffer from hay fever may find that they get asthma-like symptoms too. It is helpful to find out if the asthma is caused by an allergy as this can offer some direction that treatment with homeopathy may pursue. Asthma patients may have a personal or family history of hay fever and/or eczema, as these conditions tend to exist together.
Asthma like any other condition can be treated with homeopathy at various levels. The ideal would be to find the treatment which reflects the Simillimum of the case (or as near to the Similimum as possible). By Simillimum, I mean the remedy that best matches the person not just in terms of his symptoms but also in terms of his psyche and the way that he relates to other people and to life generally. This would offer a deeper prospect of healing. However finding the Simillimum may not always be possible and there are many remedies which may be given for the symptoms of asthma. There are also remedies that can be given for the causes of allergic asthma (homeopathic preparations of house dust mite, grasses and pollens etc). Asthma is a condition for which I would highly recommend professional treatment.
If someone has asthma and they are already on conventional medicine I would strongly recommend that they do not stop their medication or alter it without deciding this together with a doctor. Stopping medication can result in a flaring up of the asthma and this may be confused with a homeopathic aggravation, or worse, it could be potentially very serious.
Initially homeopathic treatment may be used alongside conventional treatment but eventually we wish for a reduction in inhaler use and hopefully we can wean the patient off them, provided that homeopathy gives a result as good or better than that obtained with inhalers
Lifestyle modification- Avoidance of triggers is a key component of improving control and preventing attacks.