Steroids & Eczema – A Flawed Treatment

 

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Over the years in practice I have met many children with eczema, sometimes this isn’t why they have be brought to see me, often it’s mild and ‘managed’ with steroid creams and sometimes its severe and ongoing and the parents and child have ultimately been forced to live with it.

I notice that these children often have other issues running alongside their eczema, I see a lot of bowel issues presenting at the same time as eczema, behavioural problems and hyperactivity and/or aggression, allergies and intolerances to food and external allergens like hay fever.

The modern medicine approach to eczema is steroid cream, whilst this may give temporary relief to the problem it rarely fixes it. Steroids are unsafe to use over prolonged periods of time so the child lives in a state of suppression under the action of these creams. When they are stopped the skin reverts back to its job of being the largest organ of detoxification, and it sets about trying to push out via the skin whatever it is struggling with.

It’s a cycle of express – suppress – express, and it can be relentless and extremely distressing for both parent and child.

Homeopathys contribution to eczema issues is a clever and simple one. It doesn’t attempt to suppress the body at all, it respects the body and allows it to do whatever it needs to do, whilst using remedies to support this process and ease the burden on the skin and other detoxification organs.

As a homeopath I am interested in all aspects of a child, not just the skin symptoms, but also other physical complaints as well as mental and emotional expressions and behaviours. I want to know as much as I can about the uniqueness of your child, for this is the foundation of homeopathy. The individual, remedies given to match your child on many levels, the more I know about a child the more likely I am to be able to help them. What are their weak areas? What is their medical history? When did the eczema begin?

What I notice about children is that they are often an open book. Ask the right questions to the parent, or child, and the information I need to give a remedy is usually found. I don’t think as parents we are used to thinking in this way. A GP never asks how it began, they are mostly uninterested in our theories of triggers and often give conflicting views on allergies and eczema. It can seem like a minefield trying to navigate our way out of eczema. Sadly by the time I get to see a child the eczema has been in place a long time, and been controlled by steroids for some time, whilst this is not the end of the world, it can make the treatment of it more prolonged. When I am lucky enough to meet a baby with new eczema that is free of suppressive medication then the response is normally a lot quicker.

Whilst there are many triggers for eczema, sometimes we just don’t know why a particular child has trouble shifting it. Often emotional factors can set it off, or aggravate it. I lose count of the amount of times a parent will say that the problem flares when the child is stressed, or a parents relationship breaks down, or some sort of life event happens.
Others say it appeared after several courses of antibiotics for a chest or ear infection, the possibilities are endless.

Eczema is just a symptom of something deeper, as is hyperactivity, repeat ear and chest infections are just symptoms too, homeopathy looks to find the cause, because when you address something at the heart then all the peripheral symptoms should slowly improve, and this is my experience in practice. Behaviour calms, eczema dries up and fades, chests and ears begin to become more hardy.

Homeopathy aims to re-balance the body, it is a catalyst to set the body into motion, and when we are healthy and well we can fight infection better, our immune system is optimised and doesn’t need antibiotics to help it overcome. This in turn keeps the gut biome strong and this is our biggest defence.
An holistic approach takes the whole being into account, it doesn’t separate symptoms and focus on those alone, because this is a flawed model of healthcare

One pill (or cream) does not fit all.

If you are struggling with eczema issues with your child, please do get in contact to see what we can do to help. I offer free reviews to chat about your hopes and concerns.

Online appointments available.

Why is my child constantly ill?

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Regularly I am seeing and hearing of young children stuck in a pattern of low immunity and repeat infections. Chest infections, ear infections, infected eczema, tonsils etc etc.
An overwhelming majority of these children have something in common. Antibiotics. Several short courses for acute infections and sometimes long term low dose to ‘prevent’ a recurrence.
Shocking by the age of 3 a lot of children have had multiple doses for issues that could easily have been addressed with homeopathy. I’ve seen children under the age of 3 coming to see me after 12-15 courses of antibiotics, which clearly aren’t working.

Children (and adults) become susceptible to repeat infections when their immune system is not performing optimally. There are many reasons why an immune system might be less than perfect but a big reason is the gut.
Antibiotics destroy the gut biome, they kill the gut bacteria (both good and bad) and leave a child in a vulnerable position against repeat infection.
I’ve seen children come to see me that have spend the majority of their short lives on antibiotics and the effect on long term health can be devastating. It can take the gut months (even years) to recover from antibiotics, and during this time the body is weakened in it’s defences, thus creating a situation of infection – antibiotics – infection.

Antibiotic use peaks over the winter months and in vast number of these cases the cause of the infection is viral. Antibiotics are useless against viral infections. We truly are living (and suffering) in the legacy of the antibiotic revolution.

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Now there is a time and place for antibiotics, they have, and will continue to save lives, but in a great many cases they cause more problems than they solve.

With 1000s of different species of bacteria present in the human biome it is our armour against infection, it is our biggest defence to illness and constantly works to multiply and populate to keep us well, it can’t do this without support. When we destroy our own defences then we surrender to infection and it will keep on attacking.

Homeopathy can tackle this immune susceptibility in a 2 fold way. Firstly homeopathy can address the acute infections, with remedies, thus taking away the need for antibiotics. Secondly, we look for a constitutional remedy, a remedy that fits you (or your child) taking into account all the symptoms, susceptibilities, personality traits etc. I never cease to be amazed at the power of the constitutional remedy in boosting the body and mind.

Along with acute and constitutional prescribing I also work with the bowel nosode remedies. I find these to be incredible in cases of antibiotic overuse. These bowel nosodes target specific groups of bad gut bacteria and help to bring the gut flora back into balance. They are powerful remedies at our disposal and each one has different indications for use. I use them a great deal for eczema cases and for children with obvious gut instability like food allergies / intolerances, diarrhoea or chronic constipation issues. They can bring balance back to the body and help rebuild the biome.

The gut really is a wonderful organ system, when it is treated well, when it struggles, the whole body will suffer. When I am presented with long term chronic issues and autoimmune conditions the answer can often be found in the gut.

Our mental health can also be linked to what is happening in our biome. Lots of research is being done in this area and there is evidence to show an out of balance gut has a massive influence on our mood and emotions. As well as the impact this bacteria has on our mood, it can also affect the foods we crave, poor diet choices allow an already imbalanced biome to become even more unstable.

When candida bacteria are able to reproduce and over-populate we see chronic fungal issues such as thrush establish and cause misery to the sufferer. prescription anti fungal treatments do not cure systemic candida, they merely suppress the condition back into the body, temporarily, until it once again rears its ugly head.

If your gut needs some help, or if you have a child who is struggling with immunity issues, please do contact me for a free no obligation chat about how we can work together to bring balance back into your lives.

First published to Steemit, April 2018

The Case of the 7 Year Impacted Bowel

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January 2018:

Katie is 7 years old. She came to see me with a chronic issue of constipation and withholding her stools since she was a tiny baby. She was under the care of an incontinence team and a few months ago had to undergo a dis-impaction procedure that involved a week off school and frequent daily doses of strong laxatives. Not pleasant for Katie or her Mum.

She had very large stools and until she was put on a daily dose of Movicol she was only going once a week, which was very painful and traumatic for her and her family. She has been taking Movicol daily for many years. She suffered abdominal hardness and frequent stomach aches (understandably). She was afraid to go to the toilet as it hurt her, so she would avoid going, resulting in frequent leakage and a lot of buying of new underwear. Katie said she would not go to the toilet at school and would not go without her Mum with her.

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Katie was afraid of the dark and of being upstairs on her own because “something is coming to get me” she was always a bit reluctant to go to bed and often had dreams of being chased. Apart from the bowel issue she was in fact a very healthy child. She ate well and had only had a couple of courses of antibiotics in her life.

Katie loves to perform, singing and dancing, she has no nerves on stage and loves being the centre of attention. She can be bossy and likes to be in control. Her mum says she is very strong willed but a sensitive child. Katie had been playing with her lego and stopped to say to me “I’m sensitive”she also dislikes loud noises (unless she is the one making them!)
She loves school and is very particular about what clothes she wears, declaring that she likes gold and sparkles!

I decide on Phosphorus as a remedy for Katie. I give her 3 doses at 200c potency to be taken over 3 nights.

Phosphorus children are extremely sensitive! I find them to be very charismatic and delightful to treat. They can be shy but also very extrovert. They are the performers, they attract attention wherever they go. In the remedy Phos we see many fears. Fears of the dark and fear of noise. Phos has its main action on the bone, nerve and blood in the body. 

March 2018:

Katie arrived at my house, cheerful as ever, (and I will admit to not expecting to see much improvement so soon, bearing in mind this has been a lifelong chronic problem)
Apparently Katie has been going everyday, on her own! It doesn’t hurt as much (although her stools are still on the large side)
She says she has had no tummy aches and doesn’t feel scared to go to the toilet now. She is also spending more time alone upstairs, when it is dark! Had a dream she was chased by a troll, so still need work in this area.
She has developed a few spots on her chin and around her mouth (which I wonder is related to toxins from the bowel being released via the skin)

Oh, and the best bit is that since after her first appointment she has only been on 2 sachets of Movicol a week! Amazing progress and I am so delighted.

This time the Phos is repeated at 1M potency, and I give Katie some tissue salts to help with the skin and also to help support the elasticity of her colon, the incontinence nurse seems to think that she is having large stools due to a stretched bowel (I am not convinced as shes had this since a few weeks old after all)
We are now dropping the Movicol to ½ a sachet 2-3 times a week. I don’t think this is going to be an issue.

I’m reviewing Katie again in May so i’m really looking forward to seeing what happens.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

First published to Steemit 26/3/18

Turning Night Sweats into Sweet Nights

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Nov 2017:
I met 43 year old Susan back in November last year. Her main complaint was severe night sweats, every night, without fail. She had to sleep on a bath towel. She had difficulty getting off to sleep, and would wake up in the early hours drenched and cold.
Her periods were extremely painful and the week prior to her period she “turned into a hormonal monster” she reported flying off the handle for no reason. Her husband joked about moving into the garage for his own sanity.
Susan had lots of lumpy skin complaints in the week leading up to her period, along with agonising stomach cramps that would have her clock watching for the next dose of paracetamol and ibuprofen. She said that once her period began the pain would disappear, although the sweats were relentless and the skin was never great.
I made a note of her symptoms and attempted my usual line of questioning, but I never really got an answer as she spoke constantly, at high speed and jumped between subjects at astonishing speed! I made a note of this – as it was a very good indication of what I believed would be the perfect remedy!

I decided upon on a prescription of Lachesis 200c. Lachesis being a huge hormonal remedy (although there are many others) The keynotes of Lachesis are: Going to bed fine and waking up in an aggravation. This was evident in the sleep sweats, they occurred while Susan was asleep and she woke up wet and cold. Lachesis is also a fantastic remedy for suppression of discharges. In Susan we see sweat as a discharge, and also emotional discharges like anger and verbal discharges of fast talking. Lachesis is a remedy that is better for free discharge – and when Susan’s period came all her pain and anger would abate. Clever!

Jan 2018: Susan reported a reduction in the night sweats, only occurring every few nights now. She is sleeping better and feels less volatile (compounded by her husband no longer joking about moving out!) Skin is better, no new lumps under the skin or in the hair margins on her scalp. The existing ones are getting smaller. Period was a little heavier that it had been but was less painful and she hadn’t needed to take pain relief or use a hot water bottle.
She’s still talking at the speed of light so I decide I need to learn shorthand as I cannot keep up with her and writing my notes!
Lachesis, but move up to 1M potency

March 2018: I was met by a very different woman this time! Susan reported that she had not had a night sweat since mid January. She is happy that she doesn’t have to shower at 1am anymore.
Period was not as heavy and again there was no pain. The skin is clean and the lumps have all gone. She says she’s “not felt this good in 5 years.”

I didn’t give a remedy this time as I would like to see her after another couple of cycles of her period, just to make sure the Lachesis has completed its action. I have other ideas of where I would like to go with this case. But for now I am just watching and waiting for the body to make its next move!

Photo by Noel Nichols on Unsplash

First published to Steemit 23rd March 2018

The story of the beige eating boy

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In practice I am surprised by the number of children i’m seeing who will only eat beige foods. Ed’s story is just one of many I could tell.

Ed is 7, his mum brought him to see me in January this year with concerns over his immunity. Life was a constant cycle of colds, swollen glands and chesty coughs, he would always seem to have some viral condition that he could never completely shake off.
When he was ill he would spike some massive fevers.

He was a very outgoing confident child, popular with his school friends, if not a little bossy! Very hyperactive and extremely vocal, he could get a bit ‘slap happy’ according to his teacher.
There was nothing that stood out in his medical history to explain the constant ill health (often I see a situation where a child has never been well since a major viral/bacterial infection, and this often has to be addressed first in order to shift the case along).

He was permanently snotty. His mum despaired at his fussy eating habits, scrutinising and smelling his food became an obsession. All food had to be crispy, beige and overcooked, even if his food passed the smell and texture test, it was still mostly left on his plate at the end of a meal time. Ed was tall for his age, and very thin. His sleep was sporadic and he would often wake covered from head to toe in sweat, sometimes he would wake 4-5 times a night and his Mum was exhausted.

I gave Ed the remedy Tuberculinum (Tub). This is a big remedy for snotty, boisterous and hyperactive children and one I use quite often, where indicated. There are many remedies that can address immunity issues so it’s important I really get an understanding of the personality of the child, not just their health complaints.

March 18: Second Appointment:

It never ceases to amaze me how fast children can respond to the right remedy! Almost immediately after the first dose Ed asks to try some of his big brother’s broccoli at dinner time. His mum says she can barely contain her excitement as he takes a bite (after a quick sniff!). From that day he has actively asked to try food off of his parents plate. He still likes a crunchy texture and prefers his veg lightly cooked or raw. His appetite is massive and he is asking for food constantly.
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The snotty nose has disappeared and he has not had a cough or throat issue since January. Gained weight and sleeping all night now. Still has high energy levels but not as hyper as before.
He has developed some eczema on his legs, I am told by his mum that he had this when he was a baby but it was “fixed” with a cream from the doctor.
A return of an old symptom is seen as a good thing, it shows to me that the body has the energy now to bring back these old imbalances, that have been suppressed, so they can be released from the body. Ed isn’t bothered by it, it isn’t itchy or problematic and is much milder than it was when he was a baby.
It’s already started to fade so I am happy to watch and wait to see what happens.
I decide not to give a remedy at this point as the only thing I would want to prescribe on is the eczema, and the body is dealing with this. I give Ed some tissue salts as a general support for his growth and skin and arrange to review him again in a few weeks. Sometimes it’s better not to give a remedy when one may not be needed.

Less is more and homeopathy is merely a catalyst for the body’s own healing mechanism.

My belief is that Ed was stuck in a loop of poor eating and not having a strong enough immune system to overcome his illnesses. With an improvement in his appetite and the introduction of about 15 new foods, he has come on in leaps and bounds. I suggested pro-biotics to his mum as a support for his gut, he had several courses of antibiotics in the last few years for his chest and tonsil problems so this would have had an impact on him. So lovely to see a boy looking and feeling so much better.

Photos by Leti Kugler & Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
First published to Steemit March 2018

IBS – Addressing acute symptoms with homeopathy

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Anyone who has ever suffered with IBS will know how debilitating a flare up can be. Sometimes there seems to be no obvious cause for the sudden onset of those all to familiar symptoms that leave us anxious and stressed, and then these mental states in turn exacerbate the condition. We reach for the Immodium or the Buscopan in the hope that it might work for us, this time.

If this is how your life feels sometimes, or most of the time, then maybe it’s time to consider a different approach? Homeopathy for many has been a way to take back control and avoid using medications that can have some undesirable side effects. If the meds aren’t working then maybe it’s time to consider homeopathy? I did, and it completely changed my life, and ultimately my career.

Whatever type of IBS you suffer from, there are remedies you can try to help get you through the acute symptoms.

Constipation:

Great Urge: You have the urge to go, yet nothing happens, much straining and effort to only pass a tiny amount. Never feeling like you’ve gone properly? Nux Vomica is ideal for ineffectual urging, constipation, heartburn & hemorrhoids. (Nux is a great remedy for the after effects of overindulgence of food and alcohol. It’s a remedy of excess, and this can be from working too hard or burning the candle at both ends) If you are feeling irritable and frustrated with the inner workings of your bowel then give Nux Vomica a try.

Inactivity of Colon: Chronic severe and relentless constipation. Pulsating sensation in rectum. Much straining and effort. Painful urging for great lengths of time. Hard and dry stools, great dryness of all mucus membranes. Aluminum Oxydata (Alum) is a good remedy for chronic and severe constipation and very useful for constipation in infants and the elderly too (I often use this remedy after patients have come off of laxatives, to help restore some kind of peristalsis in the rectum, long term use of laxatives can make the colon inactive)

Constipation with bloating: Food allergies/intolerances, noisy stomach, sensitive to fermented foods, bread, and hard to digest foods (onions, wheat, beans, lentils etc) Alternating with diarrhoea, stools that start as hard and difficult to pass and then become loose. Lycopodium Clavatum(one of my most prescribed IBS remedies! A real go to for weak digestion, bloating and food sensitivities)

Diarrhoea:

Sudden onset of diarrhoea that causes us feel chilly, with great anxiety and panic, accompanied by violent burning, cramping pains in the bowel, watery diarrhoea with or without nausea/vomiting – Arsenicum Albumwould be my go to remedy. (Arsenicum is also our No 1 Food poisoning and gastroenteritis remedy and worth having in the house)
I use this for people who have IBS that alternate between D & C

Frequent urge with diarrhoea: Burning pains in the rectum after going to the toilet. Constipation & diarrhoea, symptoms usually worse in the morning, upon waking and accompanied by much gas & colicky pains. Dioscorea (also indicated for bloating, see below)

Emotional & Anxiety causation: If your IBS-D flares up when you are upset or anxious then Argentum Nitricum could be great for you. Nervous stomach issues, anticipatory anxiety with diarrhoea, panic, distension and that feeling that your stomach is restricted by a tight band. Try Arg Nit. (Sugar cravings and symptoms made worse by sugar are a good indication for use of this remedy)

Sudden Urge after eating: That all to familiar uneasy sensation in the rectum after (or during) a meal. Weak feeling in the bowel, driven out of bed in the morning by the urge. Noisy digestion. Mucus in stools, watery diarrhoea. Nausea and feeling of stomach contents rising up, often accompanied by headache. Aloe Socotrina (Aloe)

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Bloating:
Possibly the most uncomfortable feeling in the world is when our stomach bloats for no obvious reason. We scrutinise what we ate that day. What is going on? We’ve eaten that bread before and this didn’t happen!

Trapped Wind If this bloating is eased by flatulence, or if it is caused by trapped wind then Carbo Veg is a potential remedy for you. Suitable for that sudden stomach inflation after a meal, when you have to loosen your trousers. Carbo veg can also be used for constipation or difficulty passing even a soft stool. Another useful hemorrhoid remedy (of which there are many!)

Fruit: Does fruit cause you to bloat? Is there a lot of noise and fermentation happening in you gut? You have the urge to burp, yet this does not help the bloating or pain? China Officinalis is a wonderful remedy for these symptoms (also excellent for post operative gas and dehydration caused from prolonged diarrhoea or vomiting)

Pain: Extreme pain and distension forcing you to double up or hold onto your stomach? Pain that comes in waves and radiates around the navel? Colocynthis is well indicated for these symptoms, when your intestines feel like they are being gripped hard.

Weak Digestion: When we’ve eaten too much, or eaten the foods that disagree with us then Dioscorea can help settle the bloating. Burning pains in the stomach and much belching and flatulence. Pain forces us to double over, but this makes the pain worse. We stretch up and bend backwards to try and release the pressure. Sharp pains in the pit of the stomach, radiating from stomach to back, and even chest and arms (pains can quickly change location and be felt in fingers and toes!) passing a stool does not alleviate the pain.

There are hundreds of remedies for the symptoms of IBS. Above is a brief summary of the indications for use of some of the more well known remedies. As our symptoms are all unique and differ, so are remedies unique in their application and action.

IBS has a trigger, as a homeopath I want to help find and address that cause with you. Whether it’s stress, anxiety, leaky gut, etc… I do this by asking you about your life, your symptoms, how they make you feel, when they started etc

Triggers: Often we live under prolonged times of great pressure, sometimes it never lifts, and we adjust to living in such a way. The first place you tend to physically notice this ‘adjustment’ is in the gut.
Homeopathy can help the way we deal with our emotions, and can help assist us to find ways to acknowledge and release stress in a way that is much less detrimental to our health and wellbeing. I work with people to help the physical and debilitating symptoms of IBS whilst also working on the deeper issues that can hold us in a place of ill health.

I am always happy to have a no obligation chat about your symptoms and whether homeopathy could help you

Photo by Victoria Palacios on Unsplash
First published to Steemit March 2018

Colitis – Recovery after 15 years of suffering

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Jo came to see me in March 2016 after struggling for many years with ulcerative colitis. It was bearable in the early days, but the last few years had been a succession of hospitalisations, daily medicated enemas and severe cramping and bleeding that left her exhausted, upset and unable to leave the house. The UC was taking over her life.

Conventionally she was being treated with biological infusions to suppress the immune response, as many of my clients are, but after several years these were no longer effective. Life was a struggle.

I don’t think Jo was expecting anything amazing from homeopathy, she wanted a cure but she knew that after so many years of suffering that she would just like to get some relief and the occasional respite from her extreme symptoms.

Jo was on a restricted diet, she was careful about what she ate, although she had no allergies to foods she was unable to tolerate many food groups.

I took her case on and told her what I tell everyone. I will do my best to help you.

The first remedy I sent her was Colocynthis, used to soothe and calm the cramps. Cramping was a major issue for Jo and I wanted to see if I could help that. The remedy did nothing.

May 2016

The second appointment was spent talking about how she felt about her illness, how it affected her and her family and how she dealt with the day to day struggles of managing her condition.

Jo told me that she felt very down about things, but no one around her would know this, she hid it well. And when someone behaved in a way that upset her she would just ignore it. She wasn’t angry and although she was ill she felt grateful that she wasn’t in a worse situation. Jo cared a lot about her family and would push herself to do as much as she could, despite their protests and requests for her to rest. Jo had the mindset that she could just do more and more and gave more of herself than she physically and emotionally could manage. Based on this deeper insight I gave Jo 2 remedies. Carcinosin and Mercury.

Carcinosin being a well indicated remedy in autoimmune conditions, but also I felt that Jo probably buried her annoyance and sadness rather than ignoring it as she had told me.

I cannot begin to tell you how much of a revelation occurred after Jo took the 1 pill. She became much more in tune with how she felt and recognised that emotionally she was taking on a lot of stresses from home and work. She acknowledged the times when she allowed herself to suppress anger.

The second remedy I gave was Mercury 200c. Jo took 1 a week for a few weeks. Mercury has many uses homeopathically, it is exceptionally good for ulceration (internally and externally) Since colitis is ulceration of the colon I hoped that this would help the pain and cramping.

July 2016

Jo is doing so well. She has not needed to use the medicated enimas for 6 weeks now. What was once a daily torture is slipping into a distant memory. Everything is moving along nicely here so I repeat both the remedies as before.

October 2016

Still no enemas! Jo is delighted. She chats to me about a few emotional things she wants addressed, she is recognising how she feels about situations and is mindful of her tendency to bottle things up. The colitis is not causing any pain, cramps or diarrhoea, no urgency and she can go out to work or with her family and not have to plan her route based around getting to a toilet.
Treatment for Jo is still ongoing, I know that it is a possibility that her colitis could flare up again, but Jo feels more in control of her illness and it no longer dictates her life. She knows how to use the remedies I prescribed her to calm the condition. She is aware of the emotional triggers that eluded her before, she is calling the shots now.

The best thing about this case is that I have never met Jo. She lives a long way away from me and in the early days she couldn’t have made the journey because of her condition.. She is just a voice on the phone, as many of my clients are.
With a condition like UC, IBS or Crohns, it is very stressful to make long journeys and feeling panicked and vulnerable only exacerbates the condition. This is why I offer phone or online appointments.

Whenever I finish my call with her I get such a good feeling, Jo is so grateful and is often sending people to me for help.

I love this job and I believe the potential for homeopathy is huge. Jo wasn’t a believer, but she had exhausted every other avenue. I am so glad that she persevered in her search for help.

First published to Steemit 09/01/18

IBS – Taking Back Control Of Your Body

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition I see frequently in practice as a homeopath. With more and more people diagnosed with IBS, I thought it appropriate to explain a few things about the gut and why it can become so problematic.

Firstly IBS is merely a medical catch-all term for any bowel or gut condition that has no pathology attached to it. In order to arrive at this generic diagnosis you would usually (if your doctor is thorough enough) have been through a few basic tests to see what is happening in your digestive system. Colonoscopies, endoscopies, blood & stool analysis, to rule out Crohn’s, Colitis, Proctitis, Coeliac disease, H-Pylori or other IBD related conditions.

So what do you do now?

Usually, the best a GP can offer you is antispasmodics, laxatives, proton pump inhibitors (PPI) or loperamide medications like Imodium, depending on your symptoms.

IBS is categorised into 3 types:

Type 1: Constipation – Pain and congestion of the intestines, cramping pains, bloating and delayed or infrequent bowel movements. Hard stools. We also see piles and fissures alongside this due to congestion and straining.

Type 2: Diarrhoea – Pain and discomfort, frequent bowel movements, with urgency. Loose stools.

Type 3: Constipation & Diarrhoea – an alternating and altogether unpleasant mix of the above 2!


IBS sufferers may suffer with all 3 types at different times throughout their life

Laxatives are often prescribed for Type 1 & 3 – If constipation is your nemesis then a laxative can seem like welcome relief when things are at a standstill. The body dislikes statis, it needs to flow. Here’s the deal with laxatives, and why they don’t actually do you any favours.
Depending on the type of laxative, they can take up to 3 days to work, long term use can cause the bowel to lose its ability to contract efficiently.

The bowel or colon is a continuous tube from the small intestines, it is categorised into 3 parts, ascending, transverse and descending. The descending colon finishes in the sigmoid colon and contents pass from here out of the anus.Usually stools that are passed come from the last section of the colon (descending) the rest of the contents from the ascending and transverse section then slowly contract around to form the next toilet trip (anywhere from 12 -24 hours later)
However, a laxative does not respect this order, it is not patient and its job is to clear all sections of the colon as quickly as it can.

So why is this a problem? pain

Well, there is nothing left in the large intestines now. It could take anywhere from 2-4 days to have any content worth ejecting. Plus its getting lazy. Why contract so efficiently if it doesn’t need to? We then panic. “I haven’t had a poo in 3 days so I must still be constipated!”. Laxatives become habitual in our quest for a daily poo!

Type 2 IBS sufferers are often reliant on Imodium to be able to leave the bathroom and house in the morning. Anxiety and panic over where the nearest toilet is on their commute or school run. Scrutinising every food they consume, food diaries, allergy tests and a growing list of intolerances.

Whichever type you may be, the toll on our mental and emotional health is massive for an IBS sufferer. I know this, i’ve been there and I understand how crippling this condition can be..

There are many triggers for IBS.

Antibiotics – This is a big one, destroys all your gut bacteria, good and bad. We need those to keep a healthy gut biome. Long term antibiotic use can wreak havoc on your gut. It can take many years to balance itself. The gut biome becomes weak and defenceless. Probiotics can be really helpful here. A good quality Probiotic can do wonders for the gut and beyond. The market is flooded with options. Ideally you need a good multi-strain probiotic that can survive the acidity of the stomach and survive to repopulate the gut.

Leaky Gut – When our intestines become permeable, through damage, inflammation, long term medications etc. Waste products, bacteria and undigested food particles can pass directly into the bloodstream. The body is under attack and creates antibodies to protect. It cannot differentiate between extremely toxic waste and a bit of part digested wheat, so it mounts a full on defence. Hence the increased intolerances and allergies to allergen foods. I have seen many clients who have a list of foods as long as my arm that they can no longer tolerate.

Stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, panic attacks, adrenal overload and hormone disorders also affect the workings of the digestive system. It’s a well honed machine, it aim is to get back on track, and for the most part we are the ones who hinder this process, albeit unwittingly.

Now for the good news! I found a way out of this myself, as a homeopath I help people with their IBS symptoms, I look at each and every person’s case as an individual. I identify triggers and use homeopathic remedies that support the digestive organs. Whilst I class myself as a constitutional homeopath, meaning I find a remedy that encompasses all your symptoms (Gut and beyond) I do also use remedies as organ support. I also use bowel nosode remedies and I have been seeing some excellent results using these in my practice. These are used to help convert non lactose fermenting (bad) bacteria into more gut happy bacteria. The effects of bad gut health extends far beyond the mechanics of digestion. I see skin problems, brain fog, mood issues all being directly influenced by the gut biome.

If you’re sick of living at the mercy of your bowel, then take your health in hand then let me see if I can help you.

originally published to Steemit Jan 17

Homeopathy & Cerebral Palsy

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I first met Sebby in 2015 when he was almost 2 years old. I have had the privilege to treat him over the last 2 years and would love to share his story with you.


Background: Sebby was born at home in 2013, he presented with a cord prolapse, the midwife called an ambulance and whilst waiting for help had to push Sebby up into the birth canal to hold his head off of the cord, after 5 minutes the ambulance arrived and Sebby was born dead, he was revived and came back to life within a few minutes, it is not known how long he had been without oxygen. Neither the midwife nor the ambulance crew had oxygen masks for a child, or an oxygen stat machine. He was transferred between 2 hospitals and was placed in a cooling machine for 72 hours to try and limit the damage to his brain.
Sebby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and later with a diagnosis of spastic quadriplegia. Mentally he is like any other little boy, he is funny and happy, if not a little frustrated at times by his lack of mobility. For Sebby the handicap he has is physical.

First Appointment: October 2015, Sebby was developing slowly and suffered very large poo for such a young child, teething issues and he also suffered spasms of his neck and had almost no neck control at all due to the brain damage he had suffered at birth. Sebby also had a very peculiar symptom of not being able to breath when outside in windy weather. He would choke and be sick if he was facing into the wind. It was becoming quite a problem for his mum, Ann, who could not take him on walks or even through some shop doorways as they blow air down onto you. After his first remedy that stopped, and has never returned. Ann noticed a positive change in him and described it as “he has woken up” he began to interact more with his surrounding and tried to communicate more. His neck spasms temporarily increased after the remedy Calc Carb, and then subsided. They still occur but with much less frequency.


Dec 2015 At Sebby’s second appointment Ann said she was pleased with his progress and he now seemed like a little boy rather than a floppy baby, family members had commented on the change and yet no one could quite put their finger on what had altered. Sebby sees a cranio therapist and also has regular Bowen treatments to help his mobility and muscles. I repeat the Calc Carb 1M as progress is being made

Feb 2016 The third appointment and improved strength is reported and Sebby is able to support himself better, his neck control is still weak but it is improved. Cranio & Bowen  treatments are targeting the diaphragm and neck muscles so I prescribe him Rainbow 10M to take after these sessions. The diaphragm is important in Cerebral Palsy cases as the trauma of the starved oxygen at birth is held here, cranio & Bowen are working to open up the rib cage which in turn will strengthen neck control. Sycamore Seed 30c was given to take prior to a Bowen treatment as its vital to support the work of all the therapists involved in the treatment of Sebby.

In August 2016 I see Sebby again and Ann reports a growth spurt, since Sebby has been small for his age it is good to see him thriving. This is the appointment where Ann tells me she received the spastic quadriplegia diagnosis. Sebby is suffering spasms in his legs and his toes are contracted and curling up. He is due to start at nursery school in the next month, he is growing up and Ann reports much chatter from him, although it isn’t well formed words, he certainly has a lot to say! I decide on Causticum 30c to see if we can address the muscle spasms and do anything for the weak neck control. A few days after seeing Sebby I pick up an answer machine message from Ann who is delighted by his response, his spasms had reduced and after a few days were barely there at all.

November 2016 the spasms have stopped (although Ann reports they returned over a few days when she forgot to give the remedy). He is chatting more and more and is able to eat and chew now. He’s hit the terrible twos! He dislikes being left alone in a room and it’s clear his lack of mobility is a great frustration to him. His toes are still curling. His arm control is much improved

March 17: At this appointment so much seems to have changed since November, the spasms have lessened, toes still curl. Neck is better, and I was sent a YouTube link to a recording of Sebby walking with help. This is an incredible achievement for Sebby, and a testament to the sheer love and determination his parents have for him. They never limit him and this is very inspirational. They have sought out an incredible Bowen practitioner, Cranio Osteopath and McTimoney chiropractor to work with Sebby. Many therapists having different input into this case, and support each others work. 

I change my approach to this case now, I look at the aetiology of this case, lack of oxygen at birth and brain injury. And i wonder what a high dose of Arnica will do? So i prescribe Sebby Arnica 10M single dose.
I hear nothing for a few days and then I am contacted by Ann who says that Sebby went very quiet and appeared to be in another world for a few days. He was calm and content but occupied in his mind, like he was processing something.


I feel high potency remedies are important here, there is a lot of energy in this child and I do feel he burns through many remedies quickly. Having spoken to other colleagues with Cerebral Palsy experience, we observed that the higher potencies can be powerful in treating the symptoms of this condition. For Sebby it is about helping him to have the best life possible, with as much mobility as possible. We are learning so much about the brain and neuro-plasticity, there is always hope and Sebby is the most determined young man! I look forward to watching him meet his milestones and continue to defy the labels and limitations that modern medicine seem to want to keep placing on him.

Many thanks to Ann for allowing me to tell Sebby’s story and use his gorgeous photo


Homeopathy listens to your story.

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I am often asked “Why do you ask me so many questions that have nothing to do with my illness?” The reason is simple, I want to know you, as the unique individual that you are. I want to know what your childhood was like, about your friendships and relationships, what do you dream about? What makes you angry or sad, and what makes you happy?

Just because you are feeling anxious or depressed or in a process of grief does not mean that you are feeling the same way that someone else is, who is going through a similar trauma event. And this is the key to it all. Homeopathy needn’t be complicated or confusing, the answer lies in its simplicity.

We are all individual! We have different desires, different goals in life, different body shapes and tastes in food, clothes and music. We express our emotions very differently and our bodies express physical, mental and emotional upsets in a myriad of different ways. You may think that this doesn’t sound simple at all, but it is.

We are a walking, breathing and animated version of what is going on in our conscious and subconscious mind.

All our fears and traumas are part of who we are and how we behave. Our childhood and early years set a blueprint for how we process and react to life and its stresses. As we grow we are influenced by many factors, from family, school and friendships. We learn behaviours and coping mechanisms when exposed to traumatic events, and these become a part of who we are and how we differ from our siblings and peers. This is why it makes sense to me that a system of medicine should encompass this individuality, in contrast to the one pill fits all ethos of modern medicine.

Homeopathy does not work by suppression, it does not focus on one symptom alone, for this would mean missing the bigger picture. All symptoms are messages from the body that something is out of balance, to suppress the messages does not re-balance the body, it often means the body will create more symptoms to express itself. To a homeopath every symptom is a window to see deeper inside.

As a homeopath, I am not so concerned by what disease you have or haven’t been diagnosed with, I want to know about how that disease, and more importantly how its symptoms, affect you. I want to know your story, told by you.