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This narration is a description of an experience that makes thoughtful, and at the same time unveils measurable homeopathic treatment effects. In the case of this patient, whose story I wish to report of here, it took 5 doctors opinions to correctly interpret and confirm a diagnosis. The case was eventually “resolved” by a conventional surgical intervention, but a homeopathic treatment restored blood parameters and avoided conventional medicinal treatment.

A case of cholelithiasis:

This female patient, a lady in her sixties, came to visit me after 5 Doctors had treated her for recurring gallbladder colics over four years. Following the first, mild colic, the first doctor immediately urged the patient to have a cholecystectomy, the removal of her gallbladder, but the patient was symptom free for the 3 years following this visit and consequently believed this surgery to be unnecessary. This decision was in particular justified as the doctor had not been able to definitively confirm any gallstones lodged in the bileduct or the gallbladder, albeit being very certain of his diagnosis. The ultrasonic image had been difficult to interpret so he had claimed (“Abdominal ultrasound is the diagnostic tool of choice for cholelithiasis.” [1]).

Three years later the patient suffered a new colic and then another and yet one more. Each time she visited a different practitioner than before, for unassociated reasons. All three doctors came to the conclusion, from the ultrasonic imaging they had conducted, that there were no blockages of the bileduct or of the gallbladder. The patient was each time relieved from her symptoms by the acute conventional medicinal treatment, but the colics remained recurrent.

On the subsequent occasion that she suffered another colic, the patients skin and eyes turned a deep yellow. The practitioner she then visited too claimed that his ultrasonic image provided no evidence of any concern. Yet the blood tests he had conducted showed that there probably was an obstruction of the bileduct, albeit the ultra-sonic imaging not showing this to be the case. This was a very unsatisfactory state for the patient and she now sought homeopathic help.

Homeopathy to the rescue:

The homeopathic treatment approach taken in this patients case became an unconventional one. The yellowing skin and eyes were major indicators, as were the laboratory parameters. Aside of the classical homeopathic approach to case-taking, the remedies for this patient were much more conventionally selected.

The patients case-history brought forth that the women in her family, almost all had suffered of cholelithiasis and many had had a cholecystectomy. The colics in this patient occurred after she had had a meal that contained whipped cream, cheese or other fats, oils or butter. The colics were unbareable, the patient feared them and consequently had become accustomed to eating very little in the fear of inducing another colic. She had lost 10 kg of weight. She had stopped taking any conventional meds, as they had not brought any enduring relief or recovery!

The homeopathic treatment focused on the laboratory parameters that the last doctor had tested. The patients measures are given below, and the norm-figures that a healthy person should have are noted in parantheses:

 

Parameters tested:

Initial blood-test

Normal measures

ESR

52

(15)

Bilirubin

8

(max 1)

CRP

64

(max 6)

GGT

220

(max 55)

Four blood parameters were tested:

ESR: (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) This is a test that determines if there is an inflammation in the body [3],[4]. It is is utilized for example, to detect if there is such inflammation in the liver or pancreas [3]. It is also used to determine if there is an auto-immune disease, and it is used to investigate for certain types of cancer. Practically, it measures the rate at which “ red blood cells separate from the plasma”. It is measured in mm/h. A high sedimentation rate indicates an inflammation [3], [4].

BILIRUBIN: This is the yellowish pigmentation that is contained in bile. Bile is produced by the liver when it breaks down red blood cells [6]. By examining the levels of bilirubin, disease or functional abnormality of the liver can be identified. Elevated levels may also indicate that there is an obstruction of the bileduct, as may be the case with gallstones, or it may indicate that there is a pancreatic tumor[6].

If levels of bilirubin are highly increased this leads to jaundice. This is a yellowing of the skin, eyes and mucus membranes. The level of bilirubin is a primary indicator for ailments of the liver or gallbladder [7]. It is measured in mg/dL [6].

CRP: (C – reactive protein). This tests for elevated levels of a protein that is produced by the liver. Abnormal results indicate that there is an inflammation in the body that could originate from diverse condition such as infection, cancer, heart attack and others [3], [5]. It is measured in mg/L [5].

GGT: (Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase). This blood parameter is used to detect diseases of the liver and gallbladder system [8], [9]. This test indicates that there is damage to the liver, it cannot give information of the cause of this damage, but the higher the measurement, the greater the damage caused in the liver [9]. In the case of a bileduct obstruction, the bile that is produced in the liver cannot be excreted. It accumulates in the bileduct and backwaters into the liver. This can cause the levels to rise. The measure of this parameter is considered as normal if it ranges between 0 to 51 international units per liter (IU/L), but this varies according to the laboratory where this test is made [8]. The laboratory where this patient had her blood tested had the normal range for measures of the GGT from 0 to 55.

From a homeopathic viewpoint this was an indeed an unconventional case in many ways. There was no extensive case-taking as the acute state directed the procedure. The acuteness indicated an urgency in the treatment which did not permit a ‘one remedy at a time’ approach. Consequently the patient received more remedies over a short period of time.

5 remedies were used to treat this patient:

BILIRUBIN: Bilirubin as a homeopathic remedy falls more into the category of an isopathic treatment than a homeopathic one. Here, not the overall presented symptom picture gave the indication for the choice of this remedy, but the remedy was selected according to the causative agent of the jaundice the patient had developed. As increased levels of bilirubin caused the jaundice, the levels of bilirubin were sought to be reduced by giving low potency bilirubin. However there was a second relation to bilirubin as a causative agent. Some gallstones, blocking the bileduct could potentially be made of bilirubin [2], therefore bilirubin as an isopathic remedy could possibly aid the breakdown of such blockages in the bileduct. (Isopathy is an approach that slightly differs to that of homeopathy, as it does not use the symptom expressions of the disease as a lead to finding the appropriate remedy, but it has its parallels to the treatment with nosodes in homeopathic practice [10]. I got this remedy from an apothecary who also gave me a hint to its use for this patient).

YELLOW: This remedy was selected for various reasons. Because of its characteristc colour, yellow is considered to be a colour standing in relation to the organs of the digestive sytem. Ambika Wauters [11] indicates that “if the liver or gallbladder is weak this color can add additional strength. If there is chronic weakness from any form of liver disease, or gallbladder problems this color can tonify the area with energy and vitality”. A further criterion was therefore this remedys chakral characteristics, as it is believed that this area, by its infliction with disease was in a weakened state. The yellow chakra is believed to link the nerves and organs in the area of the solar plexus that houses the organsystem involved in this patients disequilibrium.

HEPAR SULF.: Its anti-inflammatory properties stood in the foreground. Symptoms that the patient expressed were burning pressure in the stomach, even after having eaten only very little, and the sensation that there was a heaviness at the base of the stomach.

TARAXACUM: This remedy is a major liver remedy and one used to treat jaundice [13]. A colic with this patient always occurred after she had eaten a fatty meal. The patient also suffered from bitter and empty rising from the stomach.

CARDUUS MARIANUS: This too is a major liver remedy [12], that is also indicated for jaundice [13]. According to James Tyler Kent “This remedy establishes a healthy flow of bile, and thereby cures the condition that favors the formation of gall stones. It has many times broken up the tendency to gall stone colic” [12]. It was selected for this patient also on account of the symptoms of pain during the colics that were pressing, burning, worse by movement and drawing into the back.

Yellow and Bilirubin had been combined in a remedy complex in low D/X – potency, that the patient was taking twice daily. The Hepar sulf., also in a low D/X – potency, was given three times daily. Carduus marianus and Taraxacum were only taken 2 to 3 times a week. They were administered in a low C- potency. The dosage was largely determined by how the patient felt. She felt she needed more of the Hepar sulf. than of the complex.

After 3 weeks and then after 6 weeks the lab parameters were reviewed. With these results:

Parameters tested:

After 3 weeks

After 6 weeks

Normal measures

ESR

62

36

(15)

Bilirubin

3.5

2.3

(Max 1)

CRP

24.70

7.07

(Max 6)

GGT

609

736

(Max 55)

Three of the tested parameters had declined after 6 weeks, nearing the range of measures considered as normal. The patient had no more symptoms, the jaundice was gone, her skin and eye colour had returned to normal, but unfortunately the measure of the GGT had increased. Due to this increased parameter, the patient yet again went to see another doctor, this time she visited a speciality department in a hospital. The practitioner there produced an ultrasonic image that showed a “pearl-bracelet” of gallstones (80% of gallstones are cholesterol stones. 20% are pigment stones [2]), filling up the bileduct and a gallbladder with uncountable bigger and smaller stones.

Two weeks later the patient had her gall-bladder removed by key-hole surgery. Upon her exclamation of why the multiple stones in her gallbladder system had not been detected sooner, the surgeon, without much surprise, had noted that the acquisition of medical machinery was not yet a guarantee that the practitioner using it actually knew how to use this tool.

That statement, arouses some concern in me as a patient. Many doctor-clinics offer the service of conducting ultrasonic imaging, many promote their services by this examination tool that they have available for making diagnoses, and as this case shows, many do not know how to employ their machinery.

As a patient, if a confident, self-secure doctor tells you that an exam shows no reason to be concerned, you are inclined to believe this, ever-more so if 5 doctors tell you this. A shocking fact is, as this case shows, that 5 doctors can be off track, because of their inaptitude to employ a diagnostic tools.

Conclusion:

Although this case does not report of a successful homeopathic treatment to full recovery, by the fundamental principles of homeopathic practice, it makes me stand in awe before the immense potential of homeopathic remedies. It has, to me, provided irrevocable evidence for a clinical effect of homeopathic remedies on laboratory parameters. The cause, the gallstones lodged in the bileduct, had not been removed by homeopathic treatment, but the blood measures indicating the blockage, the inflammation and the associated disequilibrium were brought back almost to normal by just the homeopathic remedies. The GGT could not be reduced, as the blockage was still present and bile could not be released sufficiently via the bileduct. The bile accumulated in the duct and pressed back into the liver, causing the inflammatory processes that were measurable by the levels of the GGT.

The patient had taken Arnica before her surgery, and following the intervention rejected any painkillers. She had no pain. Her surgeon and the nurses could not believe it. They branded her an ‘exhibit of a patient’, and her unproblematic recovery a very rare experience. Is this patient happy with homeopathy? Yes!

References:

[1] Clinical Key. (2012). Cholelithiasis And Choledocholithiasis, retrieved June 2013, from https://www.clinicalkey.com/topics/surgery/cholelithiasis-and-choledocholithiasis.html

[2] NIH. (2012). Gallstones, article retrieved May 2013, from http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gallstones/

[3] Pinheiro, P. (2013). Exames de sangue, article from MD Saude, retrieved June 2013, from http://www.mdsaude.com/2010/07/exame-sangue-vhs-pcr-ferritina-ldh.html

[4] Hoad-Robson, R., Newson, L. & Jackson, C. (2012). Blood tests to detect inflammation, article retrieved June 2013, from http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Blood-Test-Detecting-Inflammation.htm

[5] MedlinePlus. (2013a). C-reactive protein, retrieved June 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003356.htm

[6] WebMD. (2010). Bilirubin, retrieved Jund 2013, from http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/bilirubin-15434

[7] MedlinePlus. (2013b). Bilirubin – blood, retrieved June 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003479.htm

[8] MedlinePlus. (2013c). Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, retrieved June 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003458.htm

[9] Lab tests online. (2011). GGT, retrieved June 2013, from http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/ggt/tab/test

[10] Hoff, D. (2003). Isopathy, article from Homeoinfo, retrieved June 2013, from http://homeoinfo.com/08_non-classical_topics/is_it_homeopathy/isopathy.php

[11] Wauters, A. (1990). The homeopathic colour remedies, article retrieved June 2013, from http://www.ambikawauters.com/journals/bibletwo.html

[12] Kent, J. (2010). Carduus marianus, article from Hpathy, retrieved June 2013, from http://hpathy.com/e-books/lectures-on-homeopathic-materia-medica/carduus-marianus/

[13] Clarke, J. (1994). A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers.

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