Clinical Cases

A Case of Painful Leg Cramps and Heartburn

Follow up 6 weeks later:

Homeopath:  Have you noticed any changes since taking the remedies I gave you?

Patient:  Mentally I feel much better. I feel happier, more upbeat. Within the first week it was at its highest peak.  I stopped getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.  My stool was formed. My stomach though is unsettled. Some days there was gas, some days not.  My scalp felt very sensitive, tiny little, little, not classified as pimples, not dandruff, like a grain of sand. Now I have other things on my forehead and chest.  I am using Head and Shoulders shampoo.

Homeopath:  What about the cramps in your leg?

Patient:  I had muscular cramps for 2 days and then it was gone.  Recently it came back, occasionally in the arms.  I have cramps every 3 days or something in the soles of the feet.

Homeopath:  What about your energy level?  On a scale from 0 to 10, 0 being no energy and 10 being the most energy, where do you think you are now?

Patient:  No change, 3-4.  I also have stiffness in the left shoulder and in my legs. By the way, I sleep with a sleep apnea machine.  In the morning I have to blow my nose. There was always blood in it.  Now after the remedies there is no blood, but sniffling.

Homeopath:  How is your libido?

Patient:  Libido a little bit better.

Homeopath:  Anything else you want to tell me about?

Patient: No. I think I’m good.

Analysis:

I am confused.  The patient says he feels much better mentally, happier and upbeat.  Yet, no change in energy level.  So I will be optimistic and listen to what he said the first time round. Since the patient was feeling so much better and symptoms were ameliorated I felt that I should leave the prescriptions in place for now and wait and see if a homeopathic prescription would be made clearer for me in the future.

Prescription:

I prescribed more Gemmotherapy, adding Tilia for its calming effects. Repeat the Oligotherapy and the Tissue Salts.

Recommended dietary and lifestyle changes:

I advised the patient to stop using the Head and Shoulders as it is full of chemicals and since the scalp sensitivity and rash of sorts spread during its use it would be good to discontinue it and see if the sensitivity and rash would resolve on its own.

Follow up 4 weeks later:

Homeopath:  How are you feeling now?

Patient:  Stool is bits and pieces, waterish.  Like the diarrhea, but not as liquidy. I have to go right way. Several times a day doing that.  From my childhood I had a weak tummy.  I had to watch what I ate, little stale, wrong oil, would upset my stomach. I took a job overseas and the first thing they taught me was how to make your own wine. I started having wine. I developed a type of dysentery, bleeding after 6 months.  He proceeded to tell me the story of the progression towards Chrohn’s disease.

Homeopath: how about the sensitivity and rash on your head?

Patient:  nothing is there now.

Analysis:

I would like to say that I had a few remedies in mind, but I didn’t.  I still felt that there were too many symptoms to contend with and that the method of treatment would probably be a zig zag.

Research:

I had researched the typhoid miasm. The Typhoid miasm is classified by Rajan Sankaran in his book, Sankaran’s Schema , 2005 Ed., Homeopathic Medical Publishers, India.   From the remedies listed under that miasm Nux vomica seemed to be the best simillimum.  I felt that it fit the mentals, sudden loss or business failure, the patient’s description of his high living, the sub-acute nature of the patient’s complaints, the digestive problems. Also, confirmatory for me was that he has been on it for almost a lifetime and it worked for him.

According to Boericke: “seeks stimulants, coffee, wine, possibly in excess; or, again, he hopes to quiet his excitement, by indulging in the sedative effects of tobacco, if not really a victim, to the seductive drugs, like opium, etc. These things are associated with other indulgences; at table, he takes preferably rich and stimulating food; wine and women play their part to make him forget the close application of the day. Late hours are a consequence; a thick head, dyspepsia, and irritable temper are the next day’s inheritance. Now he takes some cathartic, liver pills, or mineral water, and soon gets into the habit of taking these things, which still further complicate matters. Since these frailties are more yielded to by men than women. Nux is pre-eminently a male remedy. These conditions, produce an irritable, nervous system, hypersensitive and over-impressionable, which Nux will do much to soothe and calm. Especially adapted to digestive disturbances, portal congestion, and hypochondrical states depending thereon.”

Prescription:

Nux vomica LM1.

Follow up 6 weeks later:

Patient:  Libido cleared completely. With my weight, I started losing some.  My diet has changed.  My energy has gone up except with the diarrhea.

Prescription:

Nux vomica LM1

One day, about 3 years later, the doorbell rang and when I opened the door, there he was.  My patient had come to see me, to have a cup of tea and visit, if I had the time.  We had a visit and he updated me on what had gone on in his life in the 3 years he had been out of touch.  I did not take notes. It wasn’t a consultation.  He did come for a consultation a year later and the updates on what happened in his life are detailed there.

Follow up 4 years later:

The patient lost his business and lost money on it.

He got very ill. He had an intestinal blockage.

He was in intensive care and underwent 2 surgeries.

He finished the relationship with the girlfriend a couple of years ago.

Homeopath:  what would you like me to help you with today?

Patient:  I want you to give me Nux vomica 30ch.

Homeopath:  tell me what’s going on.

The patient proceeds to tell me about muscle pains that radiate from the heel upwards. It hurts 24/7.  Both his legs are cold, tingling in his finger toes.  His circulation is bad. “nobody has been able to diagnose it”.

He then pulls out a remedy bottle and says, “I got this from a homeopath just before I came to see you”.  I look at the remedy.  It is Natrum Sulphuricum 30ch, prescribed by a well known Toronto homeopath.

I see in Boericke, under Abdomen: “flatulency, worse, before breakfast…diarrhea yellow, water stools. Loose morning stools…stools involuntary when passing flatus.”  I ask him if it helped him.  He said no.

Then, out of the blue he says, “I easily cry, very easily, reading something, listening to a song, poetry, if it’s good it makes me cry.  Reading a book about God, Swamis, I would cry.

Homeopath: Why are you crying?

Patient: I always cried. Just that I’m getting older and I cry more.

Homeopath: Help me understand this. What emotion do you experience mostly?

Patient: Anxiety

Analysis:

This is the second time that the patient has told me that he cries.  I did not take it into account during the initial consult because I had gotten lost in his story.  The picture became much clearer for me. He had anxiety with diarrhea as the concommitant. He had also said that he had diarrhea if someone upset him. There were too many symptoms to take into account and this, too, was very peculiar to me.

I thought of Pulsatilla. Pulsatilla is a crier. She cries in the consultation. I remember reading somewhere that Argentum nitricum is the man’s Pulsatilla.  I decided to look at Arg-nit.

Research on Arg-nit:

Essence of Materia Medica by Vithoulkas : “the anxiety so overwhelms him….possibly diarrhea occurs”.

Boericke: “an irritant in mucus membranes, producing violent inflammation…..and a marked gastro-enteritis”.

Nash: “Like gold it is one of the best remedies for hypochondriasis. The symptoms are so many in this trouble that we can only call attention to them as found in Guiding Symptoms.”

Prescription:

Arg. nit. 30ch, liquid dose, one dose in office

Follow up 4 weeks later:

Just listen to his voice – the dramatic change that has occurred in this short period:

Patient:  Now let me tell you what’s happened. I have formed bowel movements, usually mid day, instead of the morning. Before I had to get up and go immediately and stool was loose.  I only have a few bowel movements, maybe 1 or 2 max, not 5 or 6 like before.  I have better digestion.  When I go out and eat my stomach is happy.  Before it could bother me right away, ten minutes or 1/2 hour.  My tolerance level has increased for different foods dramatically.  One day I took ice cream, no problem.  My sleep is good and I’m waking up earlier.  THE FEELING OF HAPPINESS, HOPE, JOY, FOCUS, WAS SO GREAT.  I HAVE ENERGY.  Stuff I haven’t experienced in a long time.

About the author

Marilyn Freedman

Marilyn Freedman

Marilyn Freedman B.A. HOM, has been in private homeopathic practice in Canada since 2004. She works with the regulatory College of Homeopaths of Ontario on the implementation of entry-to-practice competency education and evaluations. She currently facilitates salon style continuing homeopathic education (canadianhomeopath.ca).

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