Joseph Kellerstein, DC, ND
Some cases are just good teaching cases for basic Hahnemannian concepts. This is one of those. We see this often, and it clearly demonstrates what homeopathy can do.
Alfred is a high school gym teacher and is very fit. So is his spouse. He is a very nice person, with a serious edge. He is soft-spoken but clear and definite. He has dark hair and eyes and is of Portuguese descent.
Alfred’s chief complaint is GERD, along with “indigestion and gas” (all since February, 2009). A secondary complaint is burning of the feet, so severe (heat, but no pain) that he will often use ice packs to cool them. Alfred has been diagnosed with Helicobacter pylori and has had several rounds of treatment for it without success. The GERD, however, is relieved by an H2 blocker.
Self-awareness is a plus in patients. In fact, one of the great benefits of homeopathic treatment is that the constant questioning and refinement of symptoms also enables a good degree of self-knowledge.
Alfred suffered a couple of severe emotional episodes about 2 years before presenting to me (June, 2009). First, his father passed away. In that same month, his mother required bypass surgery. On inquiry, he says he has not mourned. There has not been any weeping.
His feet burn more after arguing.
In the past, Alfred was a person who wore his heart on his sleeve. In emotional situations he would get the impulse to cry or “freak out,” and the outpouring of emotion would be free and natural. Following a traumatic breakup with a girl in high school, it stopped. No more crying.
“Now I am most controlled.”
“I’m unable to release sadness.”
“Things sometimes feel unreal.”
“I visit my dad in the cemetery weekly. I need to go weekly.”
“My wife had a miscarriage. I got very sad, but inside.”
Additional symptoms included:
- Highly sensitive to abdominal burning and bloating after eating gluten
- Sweats easily
- Constipation with large hard stools and no urge to defecate
- Craves salty foods
- Passionate about sports and loves to play
- Feet become icy-cold at night and he’ll wear socks
- History of several warts on the fingers
- Sensitive to wool
- Often a “salty residue” on his face
- Sprains seem to occur easily – lots of athletic injuries and subsequent use of NSAIDs
Repertorization & Remedy
Alfred’s case looks like this (Figure 1) on repertorization:
You might notice that there is no rubric used for salty residue on the face. A rubric does, in fact, exist and can be useful. It is found under “Perspiration Salty; Deposits after perspiration.” The 2 remedies listed for this rubric are Natrum muriaticum and Selenium.
For me the “genius” of this case was “Grief, silent,” or one could also use “Weep, cannot” and this salty residue. His symptoms clearly indicate Natrum mur. Warts on the fingers are a mild confirmatory sign (more characteristically on the palm).
My problem is this: There is no sensitivity to the sun, and really, even on questioning, no strong tendency to hold a grudge or to dwell. Also no tendency to headache or unusual thirst.
Despite my hesitation, the case is compelling to me, and so, away we go.
Treatment: Natrum mur 200C, 2 pellets immediately.
Alfred reported a 50% improvement within 2 weeks, and a 95% improvement over the next month.
It was about 3 months later that Alfred expressed a deep need to talk to someone about his father.
Interestingly, as his gastric symptoms improved (he was staying away from gluten as well, even prior to seeing me), it was easier to identify offending foods.
It has now been 5 years of treatment and Alfred knows exactly what offends: Our culprit was one of his favorite and most frequently consumed ingredients – piri piri sauce (containing capsicum), used on his chicken.
I just got a call from Alfred to let me know that the remedy still works quickly (now up to a dose of 10M prn), and his tolerance to piri piri is much improved, though given enough exposure, he will aggravate until a re-dose.
Joseph Kellerstein, DC, ND, graduated as a chiropractor in 1980 and as an ND in 1984. He graduated with a specialty in homeopathy from the Canadian Academy for Homeopathy, and subsequently lectured there for 2 years. He also lectured in homeopathy for several years at CCNM; for 8 years at the Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine; and for 2 years at the British Institute for Homeopathy. Dr Kellerstein’s mission is the exploration of natural medicine in a holistic context, especially homeopathy and facilitating the experience of healing in patients.