homeopathic pediatrics: The effects of antibiotic on health

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homeopathic pediatrics: The effects of antibiotic on health

People often seek the help of a homeopath when conventional medications cease working or when surgical interventions are advised. By this time the task of unearthing the correct remedy can be difficult because of the confusion created by the previous treatments. The following is a case of such an altered vital force, and demonstrates the body's ability to restore itself to a healthy reactive state. When your body is restored and functioning at full capacity, there will be less need for long term disability quotes. There are many reasons to get healthy.

E.G., a six-year-old white female of medium build came to my office on April 8, 1990. Her mother stated that she had problems with reccurring strep throat infections. Usually she had strep throat once per winter, and one round of antibiotics would solve the problem. This year, however, she had strep throat once in October 1989, then once a month for the past five months. Several times with these throat infections, a scarlet fever rash appeared, although that had not happened recently. At the time of her first visit with me, E.G. was on antibiotics, yet still complained of sore throat, fatigue, and mild fever. A tonsillectomy had been recommended by the ear-nose-throat physician, because E.G. was no longer responding appropriately to the antibiotics.

E.G.'s main symptom is sore throat, worse on waking in the morning (1). She believes this is from breathing through her mouth, although there is no mucus in her nose. Her throat becomes scarlet red (1). She has a mild fever (1). There is no perspiration, excessive heat, or chills. Her throat is better from cold (1), and the pain is distributed equally on both sides. She is very tired (3). No modalities about her fatigue could be elicited. At this point no clear remedy picture emerged, so the rest of the case was taken.

E.G. was healthy her first year of life. She weighed seven pounds three ounces at birth, walked at nine months, and her teeth erupted at the normal age. She went to day care at 13 months, and developed frequent bronchitis, pneumonia, and chicken pox. She also had measles from the vaccine. She had diaper rashes in infancy; now she gets yeast infections and cold sores.

Her digestion is fine. There is no history of colic, nor any tendency to have constipation or diarrhea. She desires pizza (3), ice cream (2), sweets (2), lasagne (3), macaroni and cheese (2), breads (2), and acid foods (2). She has an aversion to spinach. Her thirst is low and she urinates infrequently. In general she is warm-blooded (2).

She has a long attention span, likes to learn, and is a good student. She worries (3) about the possible tonsillectomy, her mother and father leaving her, or what will happen in a movie. She has a slight fear of fire and has a mild temper. She is very shy (3); the mother states that shyness runs in the family, but that E.G. is learning to get over it. Both parents had tonsillectomies, and the mother has problems with migraines; otherwise both of the parents are fairly healthy.

When E.G. first had strep and scarlatina, she developed high fevers of sudden onset and became lethargic and very sick. Now she never has high fevers, but she still becomes lethargic (3), sitting around, inactive. Blood tests performed by her pediatrician were reported to be normal.

Comment

At this point, considering the anxiety, the shyness, and the tendency toward tonsillitis, Lycopodium seemed to fit the patient best. Also Lycopodium can be ameliorated by cold drinks and does have the tendency to breathe through the mouth at night. However, since the patient was on antibiotics, and due to a lack of clear-cut modalities for Lycopodium, but most importantly, the lack of that "gut-pleasing feeling" the IFH instructors refer to, I decided to wait to see ira clearer picture would emerge without antibiotics.

E.G. returned two weeks later, having been off penicillin for one week. The night before her visit she had become a little warm (1). She still complained of a sore throat, and now it was continuous, not just in the moming. She had swelling and bogginess on the right side of her neck (2), which had never occurred before while on antibiotics. She also complained of a sharp pain in her stomach which was better from eating (1). Warm tea felt soothing to her throat (2). She had pain on the vertex of her head which had dissipated by the time of her visit. Her energy remained low and she was running a low grade fever of 100 degrees. The patient's appearance in the office resembled that of Gelsemiun -- droopy, eyes half-mast, with a remarkable tiredness. Her face was very mildly flushed and she lay on the table while her mother gave the symptoms.

At this point a new and important symptom had appeared and, as mann states in the Organon, the latest symptoms to appear are important to the remedy selection. Using the rubric "external throat, swelling, sides," several remedies appeared, including Lycopodium. However, after exploring the rubrics for the other symptoms listed, and crossing them with her tendency to scarlatina and the low-grade symptomatology, a different remedy was chosen.

E.G. was given Ailanthus 200c, which is characterized in Boericke's materia medica by adynamia. To me this was the essence of her strep throat infections. She had low-grade fever, low-grade sore throat, no energy, and no real striking symptoms. Boericke also refers specifically to the use of Ailanthus in Streptococcus infections. Perhaps Ailanthus could also be used in cases of mono or chronic fatigue syndrome when the symptoms fit.

Follow up

Three days later her mother reported that she watched E.G.'s energy return within a few hours. She felt great, with no sore throat and no bogginess in her neck. Her head and stomach were fine. A week later a strep test was performed which was negative.

It was concluded that the correct remedy had been given and that Lycopodium should be considered as a constitutional prescription in the future, should these symptoms return with any frequency.

E.G. returned one year later with another strep throat infection. Her mother said that she had not had strep until three months earlier, at which time she had been given antibiotics while I was on leave of absence. She said that otherwise E.G. had perfect school attendance and wonderful health all year. E.G. was again on antibiotics since I could not be reached initially and her symptoms with this infection were severe.

The symptoms had come on suddenly, with a high fever and severe pain. At night she was waking every hour with pain. The mother stated that this was more like her initial yearly strep infections when she was young (more like a reaction to strep should be). Her throat pain was ameliorated by cold drinks, worse at night, and when questioned on laterality, E.G. noted that it kept switching back and forth. Her only fears were of bees, and strange crowds. When questioned about snakes, she said they definitely bothered her. There was no rash with this episode of strep.

Because the patient was on antibiotics at the time of the visit and seemed to be responding, a remedy was not given at the time. However, Belladonna and Lac caninum were given to the mother to hold in case of a relapse. This was four months ago and the patient has not developed another strep infection.

This case demonstrates that antibiotics can 1) alter or suppress symptoms important to homeopathic case taking, and 2) create a lower vitality in the patient after recurrent (or long-term) administration. It is interesting to note that after Ailanthus the organism was able to produce a much stronger acute reaction and was better able to recover from the infections in spite of antibiotics. But most importantly, this case demonstrates the effectiveness of homeopathy in treating subacute infections and in preventing an unnecessary tonsillectomy.

International Foundation for Homeopathy.

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By Teresa Salvodore

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