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Medical Advisor

Dear Dr Malthouse: I am a 40-year-old white female, variously labelled with chronic fatigue, tendonitis and being starved almost to the point of organ failure.

Dear Dr Malthouse:
I am a 40-year-old white female, variously labelled with chronic fatigue, tendonitis and being starved almost to the point of organ failure. I have difficulty walking and standing, but my main problem at this time is tingling and prickling deep in my muscles, in my shins, forearms, cheeks and behind my eyes. Can you help? SP


The few unusual symptoms that you have written about are just the type of problem that we see in homeopathic medical practice on a daily basis--strange symptoms that cannot be treated by conventional or naturopathic physicians. Since symptoms are the language (in fact, the voice) of the body under stress, the more unusual your symptoms are, the more distinctive the language and therefore the easier it is to find the corresponding medicine.

Your symptom of prickling is certainly odd, but there are more than 59 homeopathic remedies that have successfully cured people with this symptom. There are at least 50 remedies listed for treating the person with "tingling in the extremities." So how do you know which one to take?

Classical homeopathy aims to give one remedy that acts as a catalyst to allow the defense mechanism to proceed forward and finish the job for which it was designed. This permits the patient to move beyond the realm of symptoms towards cure, with a diminished risk of relapse. To select this single remedy, all the significant symptoms of the patient must be taken into account and then, like locating a secret radio in wartime, you can triangulate in to find the source of transmission and give the appropriate medicine.

A homeopathic practitioner will need to know many aspects of the person’s illness (how the disease manifests in that particular individual) and plenty of information about the person herself. In the case of a complex chronic illness, you need to compile information about chief complaints, minor ailments, past illnesses, family illnesses, personality traits, general symptoms such as sensitivity to weather, perspiration, food and drink desires and aversions, menstrual pattern, sleep and energy. Appearance is also important. Once you have a comprehensive picture of the person, you can begin. This may seem like a daunting task, but it’s absolutely essential for successful treatment.

Dear Dr Malthouse:
My three-year-old son had his first ear infection last fall. It was pus producing and there was fluid in the inner ear. A specialist drained what he could from the outer ear, but my son has suffered moderate hearing loss. I was told this fluid is now a thick pasty substance which may not clear. We really do not want to put tubes in his ear and would appreciate some advice.
DS


Your son has what is known as "glue ear," where there is a thick secretion locked behind the ear drum. Usually this begins with a middle ear infection or simple inflammation (without infection) which does not resolve completely. This leaves a viscid material behind that the body has difficulty reabsorbing or draining down the Eustachian tube which leads to the back of the throat.

Correct homeopathic treatment can help reabsorb this trapped fluid and avoid invasive procedures like tubes. A homeopath sees "glue ear" as a reflection of the body’s inability to function optimally (to clear away secretions) and would select a remedy to stimulate a sluggish healing response. Unless the patient’s defense system is improved, the likelihood of a recurrence either in the other ear or in the same ear after the tube falls out (which it does eventually) is high. (Some children can have two or three sets of tubes.)

General measures like good diet, vitamin C supplements and echinacea for acute infections are helpful. Avoidance of milk products can often reduce the thickness of secretions in acute and chronic cases. There is no hard-and-fast rule about wheat sensitivity, as this varies from person to person. You will have to experiment with your son’s diet and observe closely. Ultimately, we are looking for a treatment method that does not require long-term food restrictions or daily handfuls of supplements. Homeopathy is the best choice for optimizing health with the least amount of restriction.

A homeopathic physician looks at the collection of symptoms that preceded the onset of an illness to get a clue to the correct treatment. This requires a comprehensive interview. If immunological triggers or toxic environmental factors (sometimes including conventional drugs, mercury amalgam fillings, excessive exposure to preservatives or insecticides for example) are present, these must also be removed.

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