Yet Again…

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Darvon?  A painkiller that’s been around for fifty-odd years now?  Turns out that for all those years it has caused dangerously irregular heart rhythms.  Think about it, fifty years of use, untold millions of patients–how many deaths might be attributed to this single medicine.  Think about it, fifty years in use, long suspected as dangerous and only now does the FDA remove the drug from use.  Think about it, think about how many drugs have been removed from shelves this year alone, allopathic drugs used in the treatment of myriad diseases, all proven ineffective or downright dangerous.  And yet, there are those who think it foolish to not want to be put in the position of taking such dangerous medications and to, instead, use the safer and more effective alternative, homeopathic medicine.

 

Read the whole story about Darvon in The New York Times.  If you have a moment, dig back through the some recent posts here at Psora Psora Psora and read some of the other articles.  And note, the articles used here come from two sources, the New York Times, our nation’s newspaper of record, and The Atlantic, one of our oldest and most respected publications.  These are not conspiracy theories, these are simple facts:  our drugs are not safe, they are not well-tested or safely used.  Our government does a terrible job of keeping us safe when it comes to making sure that only the safest and most effective drugs are used.  And it’s high time that we hold our representative’s feet to the fire when it comes to the issue of safety in medicine.

 

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Quick Irate Comment

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Again?

How many of these articles are there going to have to be before there is some change to the way that we think about and practice medicine.

At least this time the drug in question, a heart medication called Natrecor, wasn’t found to be harmful, merely ineffective.  Which, in these days of deadly drugs, is beginning to seem like a blessing.

Take a moment, read this article in The New York Times.  It should alarm you.  It should make you mad.  It should make you want to do something so that this stops.

The most alarming part of the article for me is one simple little sentence:  “The drug, nesiritide, brand name Natrecor, was approved after small studies in carefully selected patients.”  Small studies with carefully selected subjects yield untrustworthy results.  Unsafe results.  Our lives are at stake and yet our government pays more attention to the demands of the pharmaceutical companies than to our needs as patients and as citizens.

When the drug was tested in a large unbiased study, the results were different.  The story states:  “Once again, small studies give us the wrong answers,” said Dr. Robert M. Califf, a Duke cardiologist who directed the large study.

Even the allopathic doctors are aware with the flaws in our medical studies.  Small studies give us the wrong answers.  They give us the answers that the drug companies have purchased in setting up the studies.  And they give us ineffective and unsafe drugs.
This needs to stop.

Do It Yourself: The Ten Best Remedies to Combat Fever During Cold and Flu season

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While I have posted in the past about homeopathic remedies for patients with colds and sore throats, I wanted today to consider patients with fevers. This is important information particularly for parents who have young children.  The following remedies are good to have on hand in the home (in 30C potency) for those times when the young child suddenly spikes a fever—usually in the middle of the night.

The parent who knows enough homeopathy to treat the simple things, earaches, sore throats, fevers and such, will rest more easily knowing that, in time of need, they stand ready to be of real help to their child.  Indeed, no group has better reason for studying the simple acute uses of homeopathic remedies than do parents who want the best, most effective and safest treatments possible for their little ones when they are ill.

As always, laypersons should consult with their medical professionals before giving any medicine to their child.

In general, fever can be said to have three features:  heat, cold and the sweat.  The sensation of cold usually begins with a feeling of exhaustion.  The patient may also feel pains in the back of the head or in the legs, and may stretch and yawn a good deal.  Coldness usually begins in the extremities and moves throughout the body.  Coldness may be extreme enough to cause chattering of the teeth.  The cold stage may last from just a few minutes to two or three hours.

The sensation of heat usually begins just as the chill ends.  The face flushes, the skin becomes hot, the pulse races.  Look for a dry tongue and mouth, much thirst, headache and restlessness.  The hot stage can last up to eight hours in an acute situation, in a constitutional situation, it can last much longer.

The sweating stage, when the fever “breaks,” ends the cycle.  The fever has burned out the toxins in the system and recovery begins, except in constitutional situations, in which the cycle may begin again.

You will find, however, that some fevers will have only hot stages, some only cold, and some will have no sweat involved at all.  And the balance of the stages will differ from person to person.

So, in selecting the right remedy, you are going to have to balance the three features of fever and place them once again within the context patient’s symptoms as a whole.

Consider the following remedies for treatment of patients with simple fevers:

ACONITE:  The Aconite patient first experiences a violent chill, followed quickly by heat, especially on the head and face.  Fevers associated with Aconite tend to have very little or no sweat.  The patient’s head is red, hot and dry.  Also:  listen for cough during fever.  The patient experiences shortness of breath.  Aconite is of great use in the first stage of fever, especially when the first symptom is chills that come on after exposure to a cold, dry wind.  The typical Aconite has violent thirst. Often a throbbing headache accompanies the fever, and the patient is worse from any motion.  And yet, patient is restless and wants to move about.  You may have great difficulty keeping the Aconite still and resting.  They want to get up, move about, pace the floor, especially during the night.

BELLADONNA—This is our other remedy, with Aconite, for high fevers that are quick in coming on.  Look for a light sense of chill with much heat during fever, or, less often, the opposite, with much chill and very little sensation of heat.  Some parts of the body are hot, while others are cold.  But it is a keynote that the patient’s face is flushed and bloated.  The patient’s skin, especially on his face, is red.  Look at the patient’s eyes as an indicator of the remedy:  his eyes are sparkling, pupils dilated.  Throbbing headache accompanies fever.  The patient cannot bear noise or light. The patient is sleepy and cannot sleep, or jumps and starts in the night, especially just on going to sleep. Unlike the Aconite, the Belladonna patient does not want to move about, but will usually want to rest in a cool, dark place.  The Belladonna patient will want to be left alone to rest.

FERRUM PHOSPHORICUM:  This is perhaps our most important remedy for patients with simple fevers, especially when the cause of the fever cannot be ascertained.  For fevers that appear suddenly in the middle of the night.  It is the keynote of this remedy is that there is no keynote.  There are no guiding symptoms.  There is simple a fever, for no apparent cause, with no guiding symptonms.  This is the general, acute fever remedy.  The fevers generally come on rather quickly, and without warning.  The patient is thirsty during the chill stage.  Look for swelling of the face, especially around the eyes.  Patient may have stomach upsets with fever, may vomit all food eaten before it is digested.  Any exertion flushes the face.  The patient is exhausted by the fever and tends to want to rest.

APIS:  It is keynote of this remedy type that the patient has chills at 4 p.m. (like Lycopodium).  The Apis patient is worse in a warm room.  He becomes chilly at the slightest motion, but this sensation is accompanied by great heat on hands and face.  Sweat alternates with dry skin. With high fever, patient may slip into unconsciousness and delirium (also true of Belladonna).  As fever is often accompanied by sore throat, the patient may be unable to talk.  The Apis patent’s tongue is cracked, ulcerated.  His mouth and throat are both very dry.  The Apis has great difficulty swallowing. He may be very thirsty for cold water, but may have difficulty swallowing it. Think of this remedy for fevers that come on suddenly and that are accompanied by constipation.  Or fevers in which constipation and  diarrhea alternate, when stool  contains mucous and/or blood.  This is an angry, exhausted patient.  He has not patience for others and wants to be allowed to rest.  He cannot bear light or noise (again, like Belladonna).

LYCOPODIUM:  It is keynote of the type that the patient’s fever begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m.   The patient has a sensation of chill at the onset of fever.  The patient’s face is yellow.  His tongue is dry and black, or covered with thick mucus.  Fever is usually accompanied by sinus blockage and the patient must breath with the mouth open.  Look for fanning of the nostrils as patient tries to breathe.  Listen to the patient for an indication of the need for the remedy: the patient uses the wrong words when trying to express ideas.  Along with his fever, the patient has a constant sense of fullness in the stomach and abdomen.  He feels as if they will burst.  Fever accompanied by intestinal gas.  Obstinate constipation accompanies fever. The Lycopodium patient is fearful.  He does not want to be alone, and yet he does not want to be bothered.  The Lycopodium likes to hear the sounds of the house filled with people and activity, but does not want to have anyone too close to him.    The Lycopodium patient is irritable and demanding.  He feels he knows what is best for him and may direct his treatment.

ARSENICUM:  Is an excellent remedy to think of when the patient’s sensation of chill dominates.  Even when the fever is very high, the patient is cold—Arsenicum is the first remedy to think of when the patient exhibits internal chilliness with external heat—and seeks warmth (in warm blankets and bed, and, especially in warm drinks, which he sips a little at at time).  The Arsenicum patient also seeks to be taken care of and does not want to be left alone.  Usually, the illness begins with headache, and with yawning and stretching.  The patient will complain of a sense of general discomfort, often including nausea. During fever, the patient may have great fear, great anguish, and, especially, a fear of death.  The Arsenicum is given to great restlessness. This is another patient who you may have difficulty keeping still.  Even when they are in bed, they may thrash about.  This is a fussy patient, a demanding patient, a fearful patient.  The Arsenicum’s symptoms will tend to be at their worst from midnight until 2 a.m.

SULPHUR—Is the first remedy to consider when sweat and heat are the dominant symptoms.  Also, this is an excellent second remedy, one that may be used in fevers when the best-selected remedies have little or no effect.  A dose of Sulphur may be needed to help jumpstart the healing process.  Like Ferrum Phos, Sulphur is often used for patients with fevers of unknown origin.  It is especially called for in cases of chronic fevers.  The typical Sulphur patient is burning hot on the top of his head, with cold extremities.  His tongue is dry and brown.  The Sulphur patient is very thirsty, usually for cold or cool things.  He also tends to be hungry, especially for salty or greasy things, which he finds soothing.  The typical Sulphur patient sleeps during the day and is sleepless during the night.   Note that early morning diarrhea may drive patient out of bed. This is a keynote symptom of the remedy.  Also look for the patient to seem fairly strong during his illness, with brief spells of weakness.

BRYONIA:  Is an excellent remedy for fever, especially when is accompanies Flu.  The patient’s face is red and burning and swollen.  Chill predominates heat during fever. The patient’s lips are dry and cracked.  His tongue is coated with a thick, white fur.  He has the sensation of an oppressive headache, which troubles him more than the fever itself.  The headache pain is as if the head would split from the least slightest motion. The patient is worse in every way from motion.  He wants to be left alone to rest. He has a constant desire to sleep, with sleeplessness and tossing about.  Patient does not want to be moved or touched. This is one of our thirstiest patients.  And yet, because he does not want to move, he does not drink often, but drinks a great amount when thirsty. Constipation accompanies fever, with hard, dry stools.

GELSEMIUM:  An excellent remedy for simple fevers.  In the case of Gelsemium, the chill tends to come on in the evening and begins in the hands and feet.  When fever comes, the patient becomes anxious and is restless, although he is typically exhausted.  The fever may be accompanied by a sense of vertigo. Patient is sensitive to light and noise. Like Ferrum Phos, Gelsemium is a good general remedy for simple fevers.  When the patient is not very ill and the fever mild.  Especially when the fever is not too high, the patient is not very ill, but the illness lingers. As Gelsemium is one of our best remedies for those who suffer from chronic fatigue, consider this remedy first for fevers in those patients who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.

MERCURIUS:  This is usually not the first remedy selected, because, in the early stages, the typical Mercurius patient may not be aware that he is sick.  He will not complain of any particular symptoms, but may simply feel very weak and want to go to bed.   Like Lycopodium, the Mercurius patient’s face typically is yellow.  His tongue is coated with yellow fur.  His breath smells very bad.  Look for ulcers on lips, gums and cheeks.  The patient experiences bitter, sour or sweetish taste in mouth.  Look for a great deal of saliva.  Look for a swollen tongue.  Tongue may be so swollen that it has teeth marks running along both sides. All symptoms are worse at night or during rainy weather.  Note that Mercurius is a remedy that may be needed when illness lingers or grows worse.

 

For more about the remedies that you should know about and have on hand this cold and flu season, take a look at Practical Homeopathy, a perfect home guide for new students of homeopathy.

The Ah-Ha Moment

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There’s a little article in The Atlantic.  It’s up and ready to read online at theatlantic.com.  The name of the article is “Lies, Damned Lies and Medical Science.”

This time it isn’t just me saying so.  It’s a magazine with a reputation for intelligent, professional journalism and a long track record for digging down and getting to the facts in the case.  This is an important article–one that I hope you will take the time to read.

Next time the “Skeptics’ start demanding that all that they say is based on strong medical evidence, think about this article and then think about what they are really saying.

Here’s the link. Go fish.