Welcome to the Neurotic Mothers Club!

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Are we really becoming a nation of neurotic mothers? This is a question I asked myself a lot 10 years ago, when my son was sick and yet no doctor would take the time to listen to me. He had an ongoing cough, every cold went to his chest, he was diagnosed with asthma initially, then went to bronchitis, he was given antibiotics & steroid inhalers, then diagnosed with atypical pneumonia, 3 more courses of antibiotics followed and still no improvement.

Over my years in practice as a homeopath I have come to realise that we parents know our children, we know what is best for them and we know beyond all doubt when they are not well. As a parent (or a patient) it is frustrating when we are allocated our 5 minute slot with the GP, only to leave feeling at best unheard, and often neurotic.

I’ve sat in GP appointments where my doctor has googled my symptoms, where I have been told completely incorrect information, a diagnosis off the back of a blood test, only to find it was wrongly interpreted. Symptoms were all in my head and that I shouldn’t google! I have to say I have little faith in my GP. Don’t get me wrong, the NHS is a wonderful resource, we are lucky to have it, it saves lives, there is no doubt about this. But for other less serious health issues I feel it fails many.

Daily I hear stories from my patients about how they and their children are lost in a system of contradictory advice, handed out suppressive medications and often patronised by consultants. I know the system is overstretched. I know the intent is to help, but the ethos of modern medicine is a flawed one. Maybe I am biased from my experience, but time has shown me I am not alone in this.

I came to realise some time ago that we must invest in our own healthcare, to a degree. Sure the NHS is free, but if something isn’t helping your particular condition, do you still keep using it? Many of us are not wealthy and the idea of paying for healthcare when a free option is available is somewhat irritating. Many times the people I treat have been through the medical system, on and off of many drugs, and yet when they come to me they say are still in the same place health-wise, or worse.

We budget for a lot of things in life, food, mortgage, holidays etc. We don’t tend to include healthcare in that budget, yet I would argue that health is as important as eating and having a roof over our head. We have to take responsibility for our health. Not buying that Costa Coffee every day would pay for an osteopath, homeopath, chiropractor etc…

We need to ask ourselves this. If the NHS wasn’t free, would we still be prepared to pay for the treatments we get? If the answer is ‘No’ then it’s time to reassess the situation. That’s what I did 10 years ago, and my son got better. I stopped the antibiotics as they were not working, he had been on 4 different ones over a month, I found a homeopath and within 2 weeks his lungs cleared and to this day he has never had any cold go to his chest.

If we could use additional support for our conditions alongside the NHS, or go elsewhere if they weren’t helping us, then this would take the pressure off the NHS. If we stopped stockpiling drugs and only took prescriptions for what we needed this would help the NHS. We need to preserve this service by taking a bit more responsibility where we can.

We will always want and need the skills of the nurses, doctors and surgeons, the diagnostics, blood tests, surgeries, midwifery services etc…but for many conditions we also need to know when to try another approach for ourselves and our family.

First published to Steemit October 2018

Sensory Processing Disorder – Sensitivity on another level

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I’ve seen many children with Sensory Processing Disorder over the years. None were as severe as the case I am presenting now:

Ellie’s Mum contacted me in July this year with concerns over her daughters SPD, emotional meltdowns and aggression. I have never met Ellie and both of our appointments have been carried out online via her Mum.

Ellie is 6 years old. She is a very sensitive child who feels emotions very strongly. She is triggered by noises, over stimulated by screen time and needs to have a set daily routine in order to function. Trips to the shops are impossible. Family holidays are far too overwhelming for her so these don’t happen anymore. Ellie used to be limited by what she could wear, she had a few items of underwear, one dress and flip flops, but she preferred to wear nothing at all, as clothes were such a struggle for her. At this time she hasn’t been able to even wear any underwear for 10 months. The situation has rapidly worsened over the last few months and her Mum is very concerned for her, they have been housebound for the last month as Ellie can not wear anything or tolerate sitting in her car seat. They have tried hypnotherapy, but it hasn’t worked, the hypnotherapist said he could cure Ellie after one session so when this didn’t happen Ellie became very anxious and blamed herself and said she had “a stupid brain” and would hit her head and shout at herself.

Ellie’s birth had been a natural water birth but she was bright red and had high bilirubin levels so spent the first 10 days of her life in special care under lights to address the issue. She was separated from her mother, who recalls Ellie being a red and angry baby, she was good in the day as a baby, but would scream all night. Ellie has huge anxiety around going to the doctors and hospitals, she will lash out at medics and try to escape.Any routine trips to the GP for her little brother are hellish for everyone involved.

At home Ellie will behave aggressively and meltdown, screen time will exacerbate this. She feels bad afterwards, or flips into denial mode, but she has no control over herself when she is in a heightened state. She will kick and spit and her meltdowns start with a vocal growling noise, almost like a warning to others. When she is calm she is a lovely girl and she wants to be able to wear clothes and play at the park like other little girls her age.

I feel that Ellie is living in a very heightened state of fear, she struggles to sleep and needs a parent with her and doesn’t like the dark. Whilst from her behaviour it may appear to be anger, this is just how Ellie expresses her feelings of being out of control. She can keep a lid on things to a certain degree, she is calmer at her grandmother’s house but as soon as she gets home she has to release her tension that has been bottled up.

I give Ellie a remedy called Stramonium 200c to start with. Stramonium is a remedy of fear and terror. There is a desire to escape from a perceived threat, wildness and aggression are seen, but this is not from anger but fear. Fear and feeling out of control, being expressed as anger is how I saw Ellie’s situation.
I decide its best not to tell Ellie we are treating her for this issue. I do not want to put more pressure on her as she blamed herself after the hypno failed. Mum uses homeopathy a lot with her children so Ellie doesn’t ask what its for.

Follow Up Appointment

A month later Ellie’s mum reported that the meltdowns had stopped for the first few days after the remedy, but were slowly building back up again. Initially Ellie tried on some clothes at home but couldn’t keep them on.
The SPD has intensified and now despite being naked most of the time Ellie is super sensitive to her own skin and body. She can’t lie in bed as says her bum feels uncomfy on the bed. She has sensations of her internal organs and stomach and appears in a very heightened state. She has prickling sensations in her feet, which her Mum notes is interesting because when Ellie was in special care they would perform a heel prick test every hour, this went on for days.
Although this doesn’t appear to be progress, I feel it is, my thoughts are that Ellie has carried this feeling of fear, being alone and out of control since her birth. I repeat the Stramonium but go up in potency, quite high this time.

Today I received a message from Ellie’s mum saying the following:

“Hi Tracy, how are you? Well I hope! El has had her third big dose of stramonium now. We have seen some really promising improvements. She’s going to sleep much more easily and hasn’t been complaining about her bum cheeks being uncomfortable anywhere near as much, she’s been able to wear one scarf as a dress a few times but even more amazing is we went to the shops on Sunday (impossible before) and she chose herself a pair of trainers (3 sizes bigger) that she has been wearing! It’s so amazing as she hasn’t wanted to leave the house and hasn’t worn shoes in weeks. She was able to persist with trying different ones on. We’ve also had a lady round yesterday who is going to make her some clothes. She has had a few more meltdowns the last few days but she’s definitely improved so much since a few weeks ago”

This case is far from finished, but the improvement has been staggering, and it can and will be built upon over the coming months. But all this has been achieved in 2 months using one remedy.

In my mind SPD is merely a symptom, an expression of a deeper seated issue. Not every child with SPD will do well with Stramonium, and I certainly don’t advise self treating at home. But I wanted to present this case as testament to the depth and scope of homeopathy and its ability to heal past trauma and allow the body and mind to express and release trauma in a safe and non medicated way.

Ellie is wearing shoes, going to the shops, facing situations that would have been impossible just a few weeks ago. She will get into her car seat now without having to make sure there is a scarf underneath her, the sensation of the car seat is becoming less of an issue for her, she is less aware of the heightened sensations of her skin. I look forward to keeping this blog updated with her progress.

If your child is suffering from SPD, or struggles emotionally with life, please do get in touch for a chat about what homeopathy can do for you.

First published to Steemit August 2018

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)nikki

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.

Update July 2018:

Katie is doing well. She has been off of all movicol for 3 months now and the incontinence team at the hospital have discharged her from their care. She is happy and going to the toilet on her own with no issues. Life is vastly improved and mum has no concerns. I have signed her off as there is nothing more to do here.

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

First published to Steemit 26/3/18

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

Nightmares & Sleep Issues – A child’s case treated with Homeopathy

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I love treating children, they are often far more open with their feelings and easy to read. I do see a lot of cases of anxiety in young children, school fears and sleep issues being top of the list. Often I find that these concerns can be resolved in a short period of time when using constitutional prescribing, finding the remedy that best matches the symptoms.

Here’s a simple case, treated over 2 appointments, to illustrate the beautiful simplicity of the constitutional remedy.

Lucy’s Story
Lucy came to see me in October 2016. Her mother was worried about sleep issues,anxiety & poor concentration at school.
Lucy was a shy 9 year old, she arrived at the first appointment holding her mother’s hand tightly. She looked terrified and I tried my best to put her at ease. A child of few words but with the weight of the world on her young shoulders.The main worry her mother had was the amount of sleep Lucy was getting. She suffered nightmares although she was not afraid of the dark, she disliked being on her own upstairs, her anxiety around bedtime would start to build up after dinner time. She would go to bed at 8pm but would often still be awake at 11pm, when she did fall asleep she would wake up at least twice in the night with a nightmare, and it could take some time for her to drop off again. Lucy didn’t like the way the streetlight outside cast scary shadows on her curtains and wall.
She liked school and tried hard but her concentration and focus were often elsewhere. She worried about her Mum whilst she was at school.
She had been a sickly baby but now her health was good, if she does get ill it is usually a glandular issue affecting her throat. As a baby she had been slower to reach her milestones than her older sister, she did not start to speak until she was almost 2.

I gave Lucy Calcarea Carbonica (Calc) 200C, the theme of this remedy being centred around security and the home and it is derived from the shell of the oyster,  I knew Lucy was worried about what was happening at home whilst she was at school, Calc is a big remedy for children with insomnia and sleep issues, well indicated where nightmares are involved, they can be very fearful and their imagination can be vivid.
Lucy had been to the dentist recently and had been told she had a patch of thin enamel on one of her adult teeth. Calc has an affinity with the skin, teeth & bones and is reputed to promote development in these areas, often well suited to children who have a sudden growth spurt.
I also gave her some Calc-F and Calc-P tissue salts in 9x potency to take daily as a therapeutic for the dental issues.

The Second Appointment
January 2017: Lucy returned to see me, this time she seemed a lot more chatty! Her sleep was massively improved, she still had the odd nightmare but these were not every night and the anxiety that she had suffered from during the hours before bed had gradually faded. She was doing better at school and her concentration was no longer an issue, although probably her original lack of sleep had likely been a big contributing factor in this.
Lucy had joined an after school club and was enjoying the time with her friends, she did still wonder what her Mum was doing at home whilst she was at school but she didn’t seem to attach the same anxiety to this as previously. I repeated the Calc 200C

9 Months Later
I spoke to Lucy’s mum for a phone appointment in July for a skin rash on Lucy’s arms, I sent her Rhus Tox 30c to take for a few days which cleared things up. Rhus Tox being a complementary remedy to Calc, this was a good opportunity to hear everything was still going well for her and she was looking forward to moving up into the next school year, something her mother says would have terrified her before.
No report of any nightmares for several weeks, and generally a much happier child.


There are many remedies for children (and adults) with anxiety, insomnia and sleep issues. Calc is just one of them. This remedy was chosen for Lucy because it fitted many of her physical and mental/emotional issues, both current and historic. It took into account her specific fears, and the reason behind them. All the issues in this case stemmed from feeling afraid and not safe in her room.
Her fears would become real in her dreams and subsequently Lucy didn’t want to sleep.
Calc children can have very vivid imaginations and this can make their fears very overwhelming. They can be very impressionable to sad and frightening things that they see in films and on TV.
Calc is also a big remedy for throat and glandular issues, and sometimes suited to children who reach their developmental milestones a little later than their peers.