Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21st, 2012: It's a Phosphorus kind of Week

Drizzle...not a storm, not a loud thunder...just a drizzle.  Slow lightly falling showers that come and go, some harder, some softer with an ever present dampness.  Such are the symptoms of a phosphorus flu.  Symptoms can be subtle and wax and wane over a number of minutes, hours, or days.  Phosphorus flus come on with changes in weather as we are experiencing in Vancouver, WA: seven days of sun and warmth followed by a mildly cold front, clouds and drizzle in this unusually warm spring.
The phosphorus type--someone needing phosphorus as a constitutional remedy--will get worsening of symptoms at any change in weather.  Symptoms can be another nosebleed, laryngitis, or a stomachache.  Anyone can get a phophorus flu and it seems to be going around this week.  
Phosphorus nausea comes and goes like a shower that passes and then reveals blue sky and sunlight behind a cloud only to be followed by another shower.  It alternates with hunger or intense thirst for cold water.  A person  suffering from a phosphorus flu will vomit, feel better, and then ask for a meal shortly after or a big glass of cold water. The trouble is, after the cold water warms up in the stomach, the nausea starts again and can end in vomiting once more.  This is how I knew my daughter had a phosphorus flu this morning.  She asked for lots of cold water--unusual for her--but then vomited again minutes later.
The stomach trouble can come along with diarrhea that is sudden, even causing involuntary stool.  Colitis and proctitis can be chronic problems for a phosphorus type but the gurgling, pain, and inflammation of the acute flu can be felt in these areas as well.  The phosphorus patient does not want to be left alone, prefers company.
Sometimes a phosphorus flu can be in the respiratory system.  It can be as mild as a lingering, tickling cough or as severe as pneumonia.  This will be a walking pneumonia as the patient alternates between feeling ok and feeling sick.  In a phosphorus type, every cold will go to the chest.  However the cough will likely be dry.  Dryness can be felt in throat and and some may also complain of dry mouth and lips as well.  Laryngitis is common and can be evidenced by hoarseness with or without pain or even total loss of the voice.
It was interesting that we came down with a phosphorus flu and the same day a phosphorus patient came to the office for the first time.  Maybe it was the change in weather.  She had been afflicted with stomach upset, indigestion and diarrhea since she was a kid.  Her stomach was worse with anxiety, excitement, meat and warm foods and better with cold foods and drinks.  She didn't like carbonated beverages.  
Maybe it was the open, bright personality she exhibited or just the fact that she was tall and thin, but it prompted me to ask about another symptom in her health history to seal the homeopathic deal.  "Any other symptoms in nosebleeds?"
"Oh yeah, I used to get nosebleeds all the time as a kid.  In fact, I just got another one last week!" she answered.
That's when I remembered that my daughter had had a nosebleed yesterday. I hadn't thought anything of it, but now I realized it was a harbinger of the phosphorus flu.
Each patient got a dose of phosphorus. After my daughter's dose, she fell asleep and slept for 2 hours, woke up, ate lunch and did not get sick again.  The patient who came today--we shall see.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 12 Aconite

Is it allergies or is it the flu? It's obvious when a child suddenly gets a fever that spikes at night after being out in a cold wind that he or she has a flu. However, when these spring flus come up, so do allergies. Many people don't get the flu per se, but they get what they think is allergies due to all the sneezing and itchy eyes.

We've seen both of these situations this week in Vancouver, Washington. Last week there were a couple of sunny windy days which were followed by rain. As soon as the sunny days came, people went outside for recreation thinking it was spring. However, they most likely did not bundle up enough against the cold--it didn't get higher than 60 degrees and a couple of the days were in the 40s.

So what happened? Some people got sore throats with pain and/or itching that extended to the ears. Sneezing and itchy eyes often accompanied this. Were there tree pollens or mold spores released on those days that caused those symptoms?

Other people (mostly the small kids) got fevers of up to 103 that were higher at night. The children complained of a mild sore throat and ear pain, and they had a viral look to their face--a bit flushed and obtunded. If in fact this was an Aconite flu, you might also have seen the pupils being small (unlike Belladonna which shows up with dilated pupils) and one cheek being red while the other is not (Belladonna shows up with both cheeks red or red face entirely while the hands are cold).  Also the hands and feet can be hot during an Aconite flu.

This is what we have seen and Aconite has helped both the flu and allergy-like symptoms. Interesting as well, there have been cases of Pertussis in the schools recently and Aconite is a remedy for the early stages of croup.

Aconite should be used in the early stages of illness or during sudden spikes in fever, especially after the person has been exposed to a cold dry wind.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 8th--Belladonna

Seen around Vancouver Washington--Belladonna flu symptoms

Belladonna symptoms come on suddenly--within a day--and can progress to severe within hours. Typically there will be heat, pain, and often dilated pupils.
Throat--acute tonsillitis often deep red with suppuration (pus). Painful even with just breathing air over the tonsils. Pain may be throbbing
Headache--throbbing headache worse movement or stooping. May be located in the sinus and/or temple area.
Earache--if it exists usually starts on one side, is throbbing, and the outer ear may be red and the ear drum will be red and bulging
Abdominal pain--may or may not be accompanied by diarrhea.
We've seen all of these symptoms in differnt patients in the last week and Belladonna has been effective. Not all patients had all symptoms.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Flucaster--New Tool for Flu Prevention and Treatment

So your family or your patients are hit with the flu. People around you are sick. How do you keep from getting sick or treat the earliest symptoms so they don't blow up into a full blown flu?

Flucaster--for information on the latest flus in your area. We will focus on homeopathic remedies first, then other general cold and flu preventative and treatment measures.

Why is homeopathic medicine so great for colds and flus?
* Homeopathic medicine is safe. No contraindications exist for kids, babies, or pregnant women. You can use homeopathics in the presence of other drugs.
* Homeopathic medicine is specific. Different remedies are for different flus. A flu where the throat is sore and the nose is running like a faucet is different from a flu where the main symptoms are weakness and stomach upset. Taking the right remedy will make you feel better fast.
* Homeopathic medicines have a long shelf life. A homeopathic kit can provide relief in the middle of the night or when you're too sick to go out or when you're stuck at home caring for sick kids.
* Homeopathic medicines can turn around those annoying emotional symptoms that come with sicknesses: irritability, whining, can't be appeased.

What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is like cures like medicine. The healing properties of the medicines (coming from minerals, plants, insects, and animals) were discovered by giving volunteers small amounts of the item and noting the symptoms that arose. Then these items were diluted past avagadro's number and given to people exhibiting those same symptoms. Lo and behold, the diluted medicines cured the symptoms. This was discovered over 200 years ago and made popular by Samuel Hahneman.

Anything else I should know about homeopathy?
* The potency may be important. Potency can be as low or high. Potencies can be listed as 'C', 'CH', 'M', 'K', 'X' and 'LM'. Usually you find 'C' or 'CH' which are basically the same thing and mirror the way homeopathics were originally made. 'K' potencies are not as strong as 'C's. 'M' is stronger. 'LM' and 'X' are less strong. The stronger the remedy, the less often you have to take it. The lower the potency, the safer it is to take it often. Generally, you find 'C' potencies in stores. a 12C or 15C can be taken multiple times daily for acute symptoms, whereas a 200c or 1M should be given more than a day to take full effect. Sometimes it takes weeks for the full effect to be experienced, although there will be an improvement within a few days for chronic symptoms. It's oK to take a strong dose (200c for instance) for an acute symptoms such as an ear infection, but you don't want to do it multiple times per day. Just one dose a day please until you know if it's making a difference.

* Avoid coffee, menthol, and stong mint while using a homeopathic as these can antidote a remedy's effects.

* if the dose taken was too strong, it is possible for symptoms to get temporarily worse before they get better. The negative effect shouldn't last for more than a few hours or up to a whole day.

* It's best to consult a naturopathic physician or other physician in your area if your concern should be looked at with a physical exam such as possible ear infection, possible pertussis, measles or other contagious disease.