Clinical Cases

Ischemic Stroke in a Woman of 64

Dr. Serguei Krissiouk takes a anthroposophic approach to treating a massive ischemic stroke in a woman of 64. The use of compound remedies is characteristic of this method of treatment.  

Marcy G., a 64 year old female suffered a stroke in September of 2021. She was taken to a local hospital’s Emergency Department, diagnosed with massive ischemic stroke caused by the right internal carotid artery occlusion and promptly treated with conventional medications.

The stroke had resulted in the following deficits:

  • Left sided hemiparesis (weakness and spasticity in left arm, left leg, and left side of the face);
  • Homonymous hemianopia (worse on the left), or in this case the left eye visual field deficit;
  • Partial loss of mobility due to left sided spasticity and weakness.

Following the urgent management of stroke and its immediate after-affects, the patient was transferred to a rehabilitation facility where she received physical and occupational therapy for several months with moderate improvement.

In February, 2022 she was referred by her acquaintance to my practice. She was promptly assessed based on clinical, classical homeopathic and the anthroposophical medical approach. Here are the results of the assessment:

  • Marked movement deficits on the left side of the body, facial asymmetry and left eye vision deficit. The patient appeared thin and undernourished;
  • Significant redness and swelling of the left hand, thinning of the muscles of left upper and lower extremities;
  • Anxiety and depression caused by significant physical disability in a formerly avid swimmer, hopelessness and sadness, history of ADHD;
  • Irritable bowel syndrome with frequent episodes of diarrhea (5-7 per day) not easily managed with conventional medication;
  • Choleric constitution with tendencies to sclerotic hardening processes, long time smoking habit;
  • Overall, unruly and not well ordered soul life, lack of focus and clear objectives, sort of childish immaturity and impulsiveness.

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When I asked what disturbed her most, Marcy responded that she wanted to return to her previous normal state. Her main concerns were decreased eyesight with resultant inability to operate a vehicle, left arm spasticity and weakness, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression.

Anthroposophical medicine’s ideas were the back bone of a therapeutic approach in this particular case: determining the underlying tendency that had resulted in a stroke; understanding the insufficient or superfluous interplay of forces between three main centers of human organization (nerve-sense system, metabolic-limb system, and rhythmic system); and prescribing the appropriate remedial solution based on clear understanding of deeper causes in order to re-establish the dynamic equilibrium of health.

In Anthroposophical medicine’s approach, most remedies are prepared in accordance with principles of homeopathic medicines production (trituration, dilution, dynamization). In addition, many Anthroposophical remedies undergo processes of the Spagyric substance preparation when separation, purification, and recombining of the constituent elements of any given substance results in a more potent, more precise remedial action. Moreover, the majority of Anthroposophical remedies consist of several ingredients and therefore are considered to be compound remedies.

As a rule, a sclerotic tendency results from the overactive nerve-sense system reaching deep into metabolic activities of the blood thus causing hardening of the vasculature and sedimentation. This process of hardening may affect any organ or bodily tissue resulting in deposits of mineral substance in the body thus making it too physical and brittle.

The opposite process, when metabolic-limb system overburdens the nerve-sense system, is marked by edema, or fluid accumulation in the tissues, and tendency to tumorous growth. We can state that these two opposite processes of nerve and blood, or consciousness and life, struggle with each other throughout our entire existence.

If there is a dynamic balance between these two opposites, we enjoy good health; yet if the balance is lost, we will always encounter either a tendency to hardening, a sclerotic disease, or a tendency to edema and bodily tissue overgrowth, or tumor formation.

                                  NERVE BLOOD

In this particular case, the overreaching and disorganized nerve-sense process has been in place since childhood and adolescence as evidenced by biographical information featuring slim and wiry physical body, great need for regular physical activity, ADHD, inability to stay focused on a task for a long time. ADHD, anxiety, and at times depression have been lifelong companions in this patient. In addition, she has a long history of smoking.

Having taken all these facts and findings into account, a therapeutic goal had a three prong approach:

  1. addressing the immediate damage to brain tissue caused by the stroke;
  2. administering a good constitutional remedy to bring order into disturbed metabolism;
  3. helping relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and IBS.

The first task called for finding good remedies to restore damaged brain tissue. I recommended the following three compound remedies that proved to be good choices:

— Arnica Betula A — a compound remedy containing Arnica 30X, Plumbum metallic. 30X, Betula cortex 4X, Chrysolith 30X, and a number of organic tissue preparations;

— Arnica Plumbum Mel — a compound remedy consisting of Arnica 30X, Plumbum metallic. 30X, and Mel 30X (honey);

— Galena Larix — a remedy containing Galena 20X (lead sulfite PbS), Resina Laricis (larch tree resin) 6X, Secale cornut. 6X, and retina/chorioid organ preparation.

Our chief objective with these three compound remedies above was to facilitate rapid recovery from a very damaging event (Arnica, Betula, Chrysolith) and to counteract the degenerative, sclerotic tendency in this patient (Plumbum metallic. and Galena). Damage to the left eye was addressed with Galena Larix compound preparation.

The second task was accomplished by administering Stibium, or Antimony, to bring the ordering, form-giving influence right down to the organs of metabolism: stomach, small and large intestines, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. When observed in its crystalline form, Antimony displays a remarkable quality of forming fine needle-like structures: this quality corresponds to manifestation of the highly ordered etheric forces in matter. Precisely this quality was intended to be utilized in order to bring beneficial influence of Antimony into the disorganized metabolic-limb system. Stibium 20X was given in a form of the organic grain alcohol preparation.

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The third task of addressing the symptoms of IBS, depression, ADHD, and anxiety was attempted with:

—  Aurum Hypericum — a compound remedy containing Aurum chloratum 7X, Apis regina 6X, Avena e pl. tota 3X, Hypericum 3X, Acidum phos. 5X, Ignatia 5X, Amethyst 7X, Hepar magnesium 4X;

—  Nux Vomica Chamomilla — a compound remedy containing Nux vomica 8X, Nicotiana 10X, Chamomilla 3X, Carbo Betulae 20X, Robinia 6X.

Due to the complexity of the case requiring intake of multiple remedial substances, the regimen was organized in a rhythmical fashion to make it manageable for the patient.  Luckily for Marcy, she had a lot of help from her immediate family and friends, and this support proved to be instrumental in maintaining the organized, concentrated effort to achieve therapeutic results.

Four-month follow up:

Marked improvement of the patient’s general appearance was noted, her mobility had improved. Marcy looked more alert, attentive and responsive. Left leg’s strength, coordination, and muscle mass had increased, drooping of the left side of her face diminished significantly, her speech had improved.

The left arm and hand were still somewhat weak and spastic, yet the swelling and redness of the left hand disappeared. She has gained some weight and looked healthier. As of February, 2022, her weight was 112 lbs, BMI 18.64. In July, 2022, Marcy’s weight was 120 lbs.

Six-months follow up:

Marcy continued to improve: she looked healthier then before and was able to resume her regular swimming exercise, gained 2-3 lbs of healthy weight, her eyesight markedly improved, yet she still had not regained her healthy vision completely.

Her bowel movement function had improved and she did not suffer from frequent irregular daily episodes of watery stool any more. She was more confident and balanced while walking and performing regular movements. A recent Doppler ultrasound of both carotid arteries bilaterally revealed total absence of any vascular blockage or occlusion.

At this time, Marcy’s main wish is to restore her eyesight completely so that she can feel good about herself and is ready to resume driving a car. We are still working toward this goal, and we do not lose hope. Marcy is a wonderful patient, since she is very well organized and dedicated to the healing process: she follows all instructions to the letter. We have no doubts that Marcy will continue to improve until she regains full control of her body and life.

About the author

Serguei Krissiouk

Dr. Serguei Krissiouk obtained his medical education and earned his Doctor of Medicine Degree at the prestigious O.O. Bogomolets National Medical University of Ukraine in 1991. From 1991-1993 he worked as a pediatrician at the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute for Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Gynecology to diagnose and treat unusual and unknown childhood disorders related to radiation exposure following the tragic Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster.
Dr. Krissiouk also studied complementary medicine, homeopathy, and anthroposophically-extended medicine in England, Germany, Switzerland, and Ukraine. He relocated to the U.S. in 1999, passed the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examinations) and obtained ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) certificate. He has also completed the course in Clinical Homeopathy at the Center for Education and Development of Clinical Homeopathy in New York. He has been practicing complementary medicine and holistic counseling in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York.

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