Clinical Cases

Value of Sickness: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (I.T.P.)

Drs. Prasad S. Shetye and Falguni K. Khariwala share two cases of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura treated successfully after allopathic treatment, and in one case surgery, failed.


“Inner feelings and conflicts left unspoken are not unexpressed. They are translated into other signals, such as disease.”

                                                      – Psychologist Jeanne Achterberg – Lawlis.

  (This article is reprinted with permission from Homoeopathy First – Newsletter and study group of Classical Homoeopathic Research Centre, Vol. I June 2005, in which it was first published.)

 Mind and Body are the two sides of the same coin, each complementing the other to maintain the whole; each having extensive and congruent impressions on the other visible only to a keen and unprejudiced observer.

There is a fascinating relationship between the mind, body and the disease pathologies that they can produce. Every change in the physiological state is accompanied by an appropriate change in the emotional state, conscious or unconscious and vice versa.

Thus, mind and body are a unitary system and practicing holistic medicine essentially is learning that relationship between the mind, body and the pathology. It was psychologist Robert Ader who first coined the term ‘Psychoneuroimmunology’ (PNI) understanding and illustrating with the various experiments the role of mind, the nervous system and immunology in the process of sickness.

As homoeopaths we extend this term to PNEI axis i.e. the psycho-neuro-endocrino and immulogical axis. This we understand and experience through the multifaceted and complete provings of the numerous remedies in our materia medica, as well as in the application of these remedies for the betterment of our patients.

“Many chronic disturbances are not caused by external, mechanical, chemical factors or by microorganisms, but by the continuous functional stress arising during the every day life of the organism in its struggle for existence,” said Dr. Fraz Alexander.

His ideas later evolved into a new discipline called psychosomatic medicine. In this light our Master Dr. Hahnemann was far ahead, first reinventing the principle ‘Similia Similibus Curentur’ as well as elucidating its principles in the ‘Organon’.  He is probably one of the few who has been able to translate experience so varied and vivid into text, which we can understand.

The reason behind sharing these cases with colleagues at large is to remind one of the rich legacies we follow as we translate the language of disease into remedies that heal and transform.

I.T.P. (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) is a disease without a known cause. Patients invariably are left to undergo major operative procedures, many a times compromising the offending organ resulting in lifelong pain and suffering. Today a patient has ceased to be a fellow human being with an illness. Rather they have been reduced to mere amalgams of medical data.

These fully documented cases reveal how rapidly, gently and permanently these patients can be cured and health restored. When a patient is diseased, it’s not only he or she but their near and dear ones too who are subjected to the gruesome ordeal. Homoeopathic principles and remedies, if applied conscientiously, can translate this language of ‘dis – ease’ to ‘ease’. It can transform ‘dis – harmony‘ into ‘harmony’.

‘Every illness has within it the seeds of healing itself’… and how … we will see with the help of these cases. Also, these cases express the underlying principle of homoeopathy i.e. to shift the emphasis from knowledge of disease to the knowledge of the human being in whom the disease exists.

Case I:

This is a case of a young lady age 28 years who came to see us in April 1999 diagnosed as an I.T.P. patient. At the time of consultation she was on tablet Immuran 5mg 1-1-1, and tablet Pentid 800 mg 1- 0 -1. Her platelet count had dropped drastically and she had already undergone a very rigorous and aggressive allopathic treatment.

Though this problem existed a couple of years prior to its diagnosis, no doctor really took a serious note of it. In 1997 she had an abortion and the blood test done that time revealed a very low platelet count. Also, she would get ecchymotic spots without any injury or pain.

When she came to see us, she was suffering from sever headache, chest pain on talking, tremendous weakness, ecchymotic patches, backache, asthma and hair fall (since after chemotherapy). She had undergone splenectomy in February 1999.

She had received five 1000mg steroid injections followed by splenectomy and in spite of all this her platelet count was only 2000!!  … This was followed by chemotherapy but after the second cycle she refused to take it any more for the violent side effects. She got married in 1996, had an abortion in 1997 and conceived again in 1998. During pregnancy her blood pressure remained high. She delivered a baby boy in November 1998.

Since the beginning she had a tendency to catch cold and many a times it would culminate in an attack of asthma. She had typhoid in childhood, and in 1991 had an operation on her leg. Since childhood she is obese. She has a tendency to put on weight. She has done aerobics, yoga etc. before marriage and she lost 22 kgs by dieting and exercise. She wants to have a permanent solution to this.

She frequently gets coryza, which is aggravated in wet and humid weather and she feels better when the weather is dry.

Her father died 1-½ years back of cardiac arrest. He was a diabetic. Her mother has arthritis and hypertension.

Observation: She was meticulously dressed. She had adorned a ‘bindi’ (a small colorful design in various shapes and sizes painted or stuck on the forehead usually in between the eyebrows by Indian women) exactly in the centre of her eyebrows and she had matched it exactly to the multi colored design on her dress!!

She appeared very clear in her way of talking, very controlled and composed in expressing herself. She expressed her symptoms exactly and in detail and chronologically accurately. Her file was meticulously kept with all reports arranged chronologically.

She likes to travel, see new, new places. She gets angry if someone does something wrong. She is fond of music especially listening to old, romantic songs. She is also fond of cooking. She makes friends easily.

Utmostly, she is fond of cleanliness. She doesn’t like any mismatch in dressing up. She is very particular about her kitchen, home, clothes; every thing must be in its proper place, medicine must be taken on time; while attending to social functions and occasions she is very particular about maintaining time and if she has given a particular time to meet, she will always reach 5 minutes early but not late. She is very particular about herself. She used to run a beauty parlor.

She has premature graying of hair … started graying since age 14yrs.

During pregnancy she had bad dreams … of accidents, bus falling in a valley, pursued by a person.

Desire: she is very fond of spicy food and cold drinks.

Aversion: Milk … it is an absolute aversion. She doesn’t like the taste, neither the smell nor the sight of milk.

Thirst: she is absolutely thirstless.

She had her first menses at 13 years of age and she always suffers from dysmenorrhoea.

Her blood group is ‘B’ Rh ‘- ve’.

She sleeps on her right side.

She has had history of biting nails in her childhood.

Her husband said, ‘She is a courageous, loving and caring lady. She is very fond of eating spicy food and she has full knowledge of her disease … she knows everything about it’. She is very meticulous and clean in her habits. For her, every thing has to be in its place … house, clothes, things … every thing!!’

Our understanding:

The most striking feature in this case was the patient’s appearance. In spite of suffering from such a grave disease (she had full knowledge of ITP), taking such aggressive treatment, going through splenectomy followed by chemotherapy and a 6 months old baby to look after she was in front of us in an absolute immaculate and neat manner, very meticulously dressed!!

Her meticulousness was also reflected in the way she narrated and described her symptoms. She was very clear in her description with all the happenings stated in a proper chronologically order and in minutest detail.

She is particular in every aspect of her life; right from taking care of herself, family, and medication to attending social functions … for her everything must fall in proper place. In spite of being so low on energy after chemotherapy, she had taken pains to exactly match the design of her ‘bindi’ to that on her dress!!

So the first symptoms that we selected were:

REST – cannot rest when things are not in the proper place ( Synthesis)


Next we considered her cravings and aversions:

Desire: Spices.

Desire: Cold drinks.

Aversion: Milk.

Thirst: Thirstlessness.

Lastly we considered:

Head, hair, gray, becomes

Upon this understanding of hers we prescribed Arsenicum Album 30 in a single minimum dose. By now we have given her 200, 1M. We have repeated it in deviated doses as and when required.

She started improving gradually. In the first 3 months after starting the homoeopathic treatment we gradually stopped all her allopathic medication.

Month                Year         Platelet count

April                   1999        2,000   (Starting of treatment and with steroids)

July                    1999    1,73,000   (From April 1999  to  July  1999 Steroids,  Immuran and Pentid gradually decreased and  stopped)

January               2000    2,83,000

January             2001     2,90,000

January             2002     2,19,000

February            2003     2,18,000

June                   2005    3,43,000

Today after 4 years she is a happy, healthy and energetic lady. Her platelet count as well as her red blood cell morphology is completely normal (See table above). She is full of life and enthusiasm. Regular blood tests reveal a normal platelet count. There are no more ecchymotic spots on her body. Her asthma is cured. She gets an occasional mild coryza. She is still under observation, as we want to keep a record of her state of health.

Case II:

This is the case of a young mother age 27 years, a physician by profession who came to see us in August 2001 and she had been diagnosed as suffering from I.T.P. during her second pregnancy.

Observation: She is obese, very simple in her dressing up.

In February 2001, during her second pregnancy, she noticed an ecchymotic patch on her hand, which she neglected. In the next few days, she observed ecchymotic patches on her abdomen, thighs and arms. As there had been no history of trauma she got her blood test done and the results revealed that here platelet count was just 21,000!

She had been prescribed Ecosprin 75 mg for fluctuations in her blood pressure. Her gynecologist stopped it immediately, but her platelets continued to drop from 21,000 to 17,000 and they went down to a mere 5000! That’s when her bone marrow aspiration biopsy was done and she was diagnosed as suffering from I.T.P.

Immediately she was put on immunoglobulin injections. With the first shot of immunoglobulin itself, within 2 days her platelet count rose to 2,00,000 but by the end of 2 weeks it again dropped to 20,000. Due to the injections, she would suffer from intense and unbearable bone pains.

Her blood pressure shot up to 170/110. She was hospitalized and was continuously monitored. A LSCS was done and she delivered a baby boy. She continued receiving immunoglobulin shots even after delivery but ultimately she was advised to undergo splenectomy and to take steroids.

Being a doctor herself she knew the consequences of it, on her as well as on her baby and she refused both. That’s when her gynecologist suggested she  consider homoeopathy, as one of her relatives had fully recovered from I.T.P. under our care.

As we listened to her patiently, she revealed the trauma she had undergone in the last 2 years.

In 1997 she had got married and in February 1998 gave birth to a beautiful, healthy daughter with birth weight 2.75 kgs. As she had grade IV placenta previa, a LSCS was done. Everything went very well till the baby was 15 months old.

She was really enjoying her motherhood; her baby was growing well and had received all her immunizations properly; but in the 15th month the baby developed a rash on her face and limbs. The pediatrician suspected measles and told her not to worry but by afternoon the baby had convulsions with high fever.

Again, she rushed to the pediatrician who assured her that there was nothing to worry and that it was just a febrile convulsion and advised her to go home. When she came home her baby had a second convulsion … she again rushed to the hospital but by then the baby had slipped into coma. All this happened within a span of 24 hrs. Her baby was diagnosed as having viral encephalitis and as she had slipped into coma was put on a ventilator for 2 days but the baby did not survive.

Within 48 hrs of illness, her healthy, cheerful baby was no more!! … This really shook her up. She said, “… this bad thing which happened to me really shook me up. From the bottom of my heart I was totally … totally doomed!! I can’t wipe her memory.” She gets very emotional and upset with her daughter’s memories and she remembers her a lot.

This happened in 1999. She was her first child. Then she conceived again but she was emotionally not ready for the second baby out of tremendous fear of loosing the child. Gradually she gained strength with the support of her husband. He explained to her, ‘we have purchased a car, we have a flat, we have everything now … for whom?? So let us extend our family’ … and so she conceived again after 1-½ years and delivered a healthy baby boy.

But since the death of her daughter, she has become a totally negative person. In spite of the pediatrician assuring her, ‘ You have the healthiest baby’… she has become a very anxious mother. All the time she fears something will happen to her baby. Even if he sneezes once, she panics … “Oh God!! Why is he sneezing?? he hasn’t got blocked nose no??”

She says, “I want to wipe it off from my mind … I try to keep my mind clear, but it doesn’t happen. I have become excessively protective towards  my son now… still I remember my daughter … she was a beautiful baby. Unlike me, she was very fair, light eyed and very chubby.

I was totally involved in her and since her death, I have really become very negative. I keep thinking … Oh God!! What is this? Why to me only? Everything … why me?? Why did I have to suffer? I had such a beautiful baby, I had everything and I lost it”… (She starts crying)

Since her daughter’s death, there is a negative effect on her personality. From being a frank person now she avoids being frank. She avoids telling anything on face. She feels, “what if the other person is hurt and curses me? … I have become weak. I was not like this !! … (She starts crying) …     Nowadays I start crying on small, small things. I feel hurt very easily. I am the one who really lost somebody.”

So tremendous is the impact of this traumatic incidence that even now if her son cries once, she runs into his room. “Why is he crying? What happened? Did he get mosquito bite?” Even after DPT vaccination when her son cried for 7 to 8 minutes, she started worrying … “Is it inconsolable cry? Next time when I am giving DPT, should I give him only DT? Or should I give him only tetanus?

If I tell this to the doctor, he will laugh at me but all these things come in my mind. Then I say, Why have I done medicine?? Why have I become a doctor? I was never such a person. I was never a person who would think what if something bad happens … what ever happened, I would always say, ‘I will face it’.

I was a very happy person. I was given everything that I wanted. Rather, maybe because of that I never experienced any sort of negative feeling in my life. All this negativity has come in my life only after my daughter’s death and I am totally shattered.”

She herself has had a very happy childhood. They are 2 sisters. Her father pampered her a lot, always giving her whatever she wanted.

She had H/O nocturnal enuresis up to 8 years of her age and was treated homoeopathically for the same.

She is a very truthful, honest and sincere person. She doesn’t like to show off, though being the daughter of one of the topmost and most respected lawyers in the country.

Observation: She was expressing herself freely with absolute trust in us.

She gets allergy very fast. She is allergic to dust, Crocine, cottage cheese, to all cosmetics.

She was doing her post graduation in psychiatry but couldn’t cope up because after the death of her daughter she just couldn’t take the stress and strain of studying.

She said, “I was doing my post-graduation and I couldn’t finish it. It is always on my mind … I have done something bad with my career. I would have become something but…”

She is working as a medical officer with an airline company but she is not satisfied with the job. She says, “I may try for my post-graduation after my son is 2 to 3 years old. That instinct is still there. Somewhere I am dissatisfied in that way.”

Nowadays she is not very keen about her dressing up. If she wants to go somewhere, she will be very casual and since after her daughter’s death, she is not at all interested in attending functions or in dressing up for occasions.

She is a believer in God. She believes … ‘Somebody is there who is controlling … because all the things are not in our hand.’

Hobbies: She used to like chess. Loves reading and listening to music. She loves listening to old songs. She says, “I read a lot … anything, starting from a newspaper … to even if you give me a piece of paper, I will read it.” She enjoys reading Robin Cook, Jeffrey Archer etc.

Basically a ‘Type A’ personality (in her language) … the only fear she now has is of losing her near and dear ones … Losing her baby … She said, “I feel always I am a looser? Why should I loose? Why have I lost? Why me?” … These kinds of questions keep coming in her mind.     …  (She starts crying)

Earlier she had a very good friend circle but her best friend died and now she is not in touch with others as they are married and settled in different places. She said, “Since my daughter’s death, I don’t want to get involved with people.

I avoid going to big parties. I have shifted to a new palace but I don’t go out of my house even for 10 minutes for 15 days at a stretch. Maybe it’s because of all these tensions. Even my new neighbors have hardly seen me … they never knew that there was a lady in this house!”

Also, she has a problem of obesity. She started putting on weight after joining medicine as she had to eat out and she had stopped exercising. In 6 years she put on 25 kgs.

Family History: Father: diabetes, Ischemic heart disease.

Mother: Asthma.

Paternal Grand Mother: Diabetes, hernia, Ischemic heart disease, and cholecystitis.

Two maternal uncles: Tuberculosis in childhood. One died of respiratory failure and the other of cirrhosis.

On the Physical level:

She loves, rather craves chocolates. She says, “I just can’t resist chocolates !! … Even though I am putting on weight I eat chocolates.”

She takes a very hot bath.

Menstrual history: She had her first menses at 12 years of age. She becomes very irritable a few days before her periods start and her flow is copious.

She loves to sleep and her sleep is sound.

She loves humid weather.

Our Understanding:

The most striking feature about her history is the fact that she went through a life threatening kind of pathology i.e. I.T.P. after severe emotional stress from the death of her daughter. So that comes first in the hierarchy of her symptoms.

Ailments from:  death of a child.

 This incidence has left a lasting impression on her mind. From being a frank person she has now become very fearful and anxious. Being a physician herself, she can’t figure out why she is behaving this way. All the time she is scared that something will happen, some misfortune will come upon her. Even if her son sneezes, she worries as to what must be wrong with him.

Anxiety with fear.

 Anxiety about trifles.

 Fear something will happen.

 Fear of misfortune.

 Frightened easily.

 Frightened at trifles.

Now, she has become a person who does not want to mix up with others. She doesn’t want to go out of the house. There is a lot of sadness in her. She doesn’t even want to dress up for functions. She weeps easily at very, small things.


 Indifference apathy to important things.

 Weeping at trifles.

 On the physical plane:

 She has intense desire for chocolates (very spontaneously said and expressed). She says, “I just can’t resist chocolates !!! … Even though I am putting on weight I eat chocolates.”

She gets very irritable before menses

Desire for chocolates.

 Irritability before menses.

From this understanding of her we prescribed Calcarea Carb. 30 single, minimum dose. Over the last 3 years we have given her Calcarea Carb. 200 and 1 M in deviated doses as and when required. Now she is absolutely fine emotionally as well as physically. She no longer desires chocolates, neither is she irritable before her periods. Her platelet count has normalized (see table ).

Date Month        Year Platelet count      

1st   Aug.  2001      22,000 (Starting of treatment)

2nd  Nov.  2001     68,000

21st   Feb.   2002  1, 33,000

8th   Nov.  2002  1, 84,000

15th   Feb.   2003  2, 39,000

4th   Aug.  2003  3, 11,000

She is still under our care. She is so much better that she has become our ambassador in propagating the beautiful effects of homoeopathic treatment in the masses by sharing her experience when she was under our care and what difference homoeopathic medicine has had on her.

She has been a speaker in our ‘Open Forum’ that we regularly conduct to disseminate the beautiful effects of classical homoeopathic treatment among lay people. She has developed so much faith in homoeopathy that she is even contemplating joining our ‘Training Program’, so that she can study and practice homoeopathy.


It is this knowledge of the person in whom the diseases exists (§ 84) that leads to unraveling the language of expression of the disease, the characteristics as we know them (§153). Good medical practice begins with good listening. Thus, every disease entity has with it hidden the seeds of curing itself.

Disease serves as permission to change. To change from a limited and restricted self to an unlimited and harmonious self. Illness gives temporary permission to act in more open ways. But health apart from being cost effective allows one to enjoy this ‘Formal’ existence of ours.

PNEI acts as a system; every change in the psychological state results in  changes in the physical state and vice versa. Since emotional states contribute to illness, they can also contribute to health and that is what we as homoeopathic physicians consider our calling.

In the 1st aphorism Hahnemann writes, ‘The physician’s highest and sole (or: only) profession (or calling) is to make (or restore) the sick people healthy, what is called as healing (or cure).  (Our translation –  emphasis ours).

Nietzsche said, “Now I know that you are healed, for a healthy man is one who has forgotten”. An old proverb states: “When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten”. It is this blissful forgetting that a cure takes one to, for then the mind and body are at peace.


Organon of Medicine (6th edition): Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, published by              IBPP, New Delhi, India.

About the author

Prasad Shetye & Falguni Khariwala

Dr. Prasad Shetye has been a consulting Classical Homoeopath for 14 years. His ability to dream resulted in the birth of the “Classical Homoeopathic Research Centre©” (CHRC) and that of Nyanga©” the ‘educational trust to disseminate and propagate advanced studies in Classical Homoeopathy’.  He teaches in Bombay, Pune, Goa and Nasik. At CHRC with sister Dr. Falguni, he is intensely involved in teaching a training program designed for doctors and interns in India and abroad. He and Dr. Falguni edit ’Homoeopathy First’ the newsletter of Classical Homoeopathic Research Centre© (CHRC). He is dedicated to ‘Classical Homoeopathy’ and is very vocal against speculative homoeopathy. He is an avid admirer of Dr. Hahnemann and the way he illustrates Organon makes Organon come alive.
Dr. Falguni Khariwala has been a consulting Classical Homoeopath in practice for the last 16 years. Along with her brother Dr. Prasad Shetye, she has been invited abroad to give Seminars and under their trust ‘Nyanga’ they regularly conduct Seminars in Bombay. She was instrumental in sowing the seed of the Training Program in Classical Homoeopathy. Together with her brother, she edits ’Homoeopathy First’ the newsletter of Classical Homoeopathic Research Centre. They have written a series of seven articles that were published in Homoeopathic Links-International Journal for Classical Homoeopathy. She is very experienced also in the treatment of infants and children.  Dr. Khariwala is a Classical Hahnemannian in her thought, word and deed as far as homoeopathy and life is concerned.

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