Master Case Taking with the Masters Course

Cold and Flu in a Woman of 50

Written by Pam DeMille Byth

Third year homeopathy student Pam DeMille Byth shares a case of cold and flu in a woman of 50

Case assessment and observations – January 5, 2022 

The patient is a 50 year old woman suffering from acute cold and flu symptoms. She experienced these symptoms: sore throat, chills, sneezing, headache and body ache. She improved and resumed all normal activities and she then had past (unrelated to the current situation) symptoms that had already been treated with homeopathy, recur. She then had a relapse with the cold and flu and the following new symptoms manifested: cough, fatigue, loss of taste and smell, diarrhea, nausea and loss of appetite.

The patient feels that some of her symptoms sound like Covid-19. She is not vaccinated, neither are her immediate family members and she has said that there hasn’t been anyone in her family that has been vaccinated recently. Other than walking each day, the occasional shop at the grocery store and occasional visits with outside family members, she doesn’t feel she has had lots of contact with people. She feels it is possible she acquired this virus, but will not be tested to confirm.

She has experienced different symptoms each day. The patient contacted me on the third day of her symptoms. She informed me that she woke up on the first day with a sore throat, it felt better with drinking cold fluids. She drank often and it didn’t cause her any discomfort when she ate food. It was persistent that first day, annoying. She had to keep some water at her bedside at night as her throat would become dry and wake her up.

The second day, her throat was better but she was now experiencing sneezing. There was no colour to her discharge, it was not profuse, however she did blow her nose after each sneeze. She felt it was better to get it all out. She felt she needed to carry tissues with her and have them at the ready as the sneezing would come on very quickly. Her nostrils were congested, off and on all day. She also experienced some runny nose symptoms when she laid down at night to sleep, they would drain on the side she rested on. She preferred sleeping on her left side.

She commented that her ailments seemed to feel like they were in her throat and moving upward into her head.

On the third day, again the throat is better, the sneezing has subsided but she had additional symptoms. She now had a headache and chills, body aches and joint pain. She is not prone to headaches, she found this quite unbearable, “How do people live with headaches? I can’t stand it!”.

The headache was concentrated across her forehead and up to the top of her head, to her nose and having an application of anything cold made it feel better. It was  constant, no relief for it, always making her feel like she needed to be trying to relieve it. She was restless and desperate.

A Case of Cold and Flu

The chills she experienced ran from below up. They would run through her body and then she would be fine. She never felt that she had a fever.  She reported that her hands and feet were cold and she used her cold hands on her forehead and it gave her some relief for her headache. She needed to wear socks and also cover her feet with a blanket.

The pain was in her neck and upper back: Her neck felt stiff, it hurt to look to the right and left, to touch her ears to her shoulders. Her back, all across her shoulders felt bruised and she was unable to draw her shoulders back without cringing in pain.

She ‘tested’ her comfort levels frequently, rotating her shoulders, range of motion for her neck. Nothing made it feel better. She had experienced injuries from car accidents in her mid and late teens, she had been treated with chiropractic care and most recently was treated with homeopathy for the injuries and chronic pain she was in.

The treatment provided a 65% improvement and was getting better: it was the first time she had been able to move her neck side to side without experiencing pain or having to have a chiropractic adjustment. For her back, she had full range of motion, which allowed her to start adding different exercises to her regime.

The joint pain was concentrated in her fingers, wrist and elbows. It hurt to move her fingers, lift anything that made her wrists hurt and feel weak and to bend her elbows. She was compelled to move them and rub them. Not that it provided any relief, but she was unable to not move them.

The pain she felt now was how it felt before her treatment. She had lived with this pain since she was a teenager. She wanted me to treat the headache. It was her primary concern.  She has been irritable and withdrawn.

Initial assessment 

For the patient‘s consultation, we reviewed all background information and conducted our initial assessment. The patient is not on any medications. She takes vitamin C, D, B, a golden tea mixture and collagen, each morning. The patient hasn’t taken any prescriptions or over the counter medications in 20 years. She is in relatively good health; her body weight, hormones, temperament, have been slowly changing. As of the time of this case, these changes are not a part of the case.

Initial appointment Repertory Chart 

Remedy Differential 

Bryonia and Phosphorus were very close. The totality of the symptoms in the repertory chart above and taking into consideration the additional symptoms of restlessness, the modality of any movement aggravated, the M/E better with rest was the deciding factor. The pains experienced were not burning, which is more Phosphorus.

Initial appointment Remedy 

Bryonia (Boger) – 200c. One dose of 3 pellets dissolved in 6-8oz of water, succussing between sips. Take it until it is gone. Then wait and assess. I felt that the water dose was a match for her vital force. We agreed to follow up briefly within 48 hours to see if there were any notable changes, then have a follow up in 3 weeks.

Chief complaint is the headache, her throat and nose. The neck and back symptoms: could be a return of her previous ailments that are in a stage of healing, interrupted by the start of the cold. I would like to see how she responds to the remedy, additionally it also covers restlessness, aggravated by motion, irritability and pain in her joints.

Follow up from initial appointment: January 8, 2022 

Headache was gone! All symptoms showing signs of improvement. The throat is no longer sore. Sneezing is also reduced significantly and the pressure in her sinus is relieved. Her mood is much improved and she is very relieved. She has returned to all of her normal daily activities: work, mother, maintaining her home. Observation:  she was content and lively.

The patient is still not on any medications. She takes vitamin C, D, B, a golden tea mixture and collagen, each morning. She continues to walk every morning, she has reduced her other exercises: choosing gentle movements right now.

2nd Follow up requested January 15, 2022 

The patient responded well to the initial remedy and all symptoms improved: she felt very well for the next 6 days and then developed new symptoms. She had returned to all of her usual activities and she also encountered some stressful situations: her husband was now going to work from home and she now had her children staying home for virtual learning: due to covid. This disruption of her routine may was just enough to interrupt her healing again.

Her new symptoms were, loss of taste, loss of smell: nasal passages were also dry, she also had no appetite and only ate because she knew she needed too. She experienced daily diarrhea: sometimes as often as 3xper day, but not at any specific time.

It was painless and she didn’t have any gas or feel a sense of urgency, it was just liquid. She developed a cough. The cough was in her throat, and her throat was now very dry. She also felt that she triggered the cough due to this dryness and also if she was moving around a lot. The cough was one bark, a bit harsh and sounding dry. There was no pain from this cough. By the end of the day, this cough could make her sound hoarse. Lastly, she experienced fatigue, especially in the afternoon. She is still not feeling any burning sensations.

Observations: Her lips were dry and she had been chewing on them. She also advised that some mornings she had eye conjunctivitis. She was also “not in the mood to be getting sick again”. Feeling ill is one of the worst things she could imagine. She is very happy with her routine and plans for the day and living in such an unsure state for the last 2years have definitely affected her.

Cold hands were the only previous symptoms that did return.  I decided to repertorize her new symptoms: with a focus on the physical symptoms. I will look for support for her M/E within that remedy. She is sensitive, as indicated.

2nd Follow up appointment Repertory Chart 

Remedy Differential 

(Kent) Natrium Muriaticum covered the following physical symptoms as well as some M/E support: mucous membrane and skin are dry, digestive disturbances, hopeless, may produce white or clear discharges, dryness of mouth and throat, easy exhaustion, great weakness and weariness, tendency to be cold, worse with exertion: mental, talking, reading and writing. Loss of taste and smell. Better from open air. A dry sore spot in the throat tickles and causes coughing. Thirsty, drinks large amounts of water. Painless watery diarrhoea.

(Kent) Nux Vomica was very close to Natrum Muriaticum. With the following symptoms: mental work, remaining under stress, prolonged office work, cares and worries, sensitiveness, digestive disturbances, partial congestion, and takes a cold. However the patient walks every morning and is refreshed by the open cold air. It is when she returns between 10 and 11am, that she feels worse and then feels fatigued, which is worse in the afternoon.

I also looked closely at Schuessler’s Tissue salt, Ferrum Phosphoricum: to be taken to support healing. This tissue salt is regarded as the “oxygen carrier” and is beneficial for acute stages of disease, any inflammation or feverish condition.

2nd Follow up remedy 

Natrum Muriaticum (Kent) – 200c. One dose of 3 pellets dissolved in 6-8oz of water, succussing between sips. Take it until it is gone. Then wait and assess. I felt that the water dose was a match for her vital force. With the addition of tissue salt Ferrum Phosphoricum: 2 pellets dissolved in a mouthful of water, twice daily, to aid in healing.

We agreed to follow up briefly within 48hrs to see if there were any notable changes, then to meet up within a month.

Follow up from 3rd appointment: January 17, 2022 

All symptoms showing signs of improvement. Dryness in mouth and throat has improved which has also helped with her cough, nausea is gone, appetite is improved as has her sense of taste and smell. Nostrils are not as dry, some formation of crusts. Warmth has returned to her hands. The afternoon weakness is not as prevalent. Her stools are soft, not liquid.

The patient is still not on any medications. She takes vitamin C, D, B, a golden tea mixture and collagen, each morning. She continues to walk every morning, she has reduced her other exercises: choosing gentle movements right now.


I feel she is moving in the right direction and have asked her to continue with the Natrum Muriaticum 200c: one dose of 3 pellets dissolved in 6-8oz of water, succussing between sips, every 3 days until it is gone. Additionally, continue with the tissue salt Ferrum Phosphoricum 2 pellets dissolved in a mouthful of water, twice daily.

This remedy is clearing the symptoms and is making an impact. It is also important to continue with aiding the healing process with the support of the tissue salt. The rate of improvement shows that there is no need to alter potency or dosage at this time. We will meet in 3weeks.

The patient is still not on any medications. She takes vitamin C, D, B, a golden tea mixture and collagen, each morning. She continues to walk every morning, she will add in additional exercises as she sees fit, being sure to assess how she is feeling.

About the author

Pam DeMille Byth

Pam DeMille Byth is a third year student at Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine (CCHM).

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