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Homeopathy & Colitis

by Dr Neil Slade(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 86 - March 2003

On a December morning three years ago, a knock on my consulting room door revealed a most charming, well dressed, but obviously very ill lady. She was underweight, pale and in quite a lot of pain. This was my first impression of Emily, a 45-year old mother of two.

For the previous 14 years she had suffered from ulcerative colitis, managing it with steroids and breathing techniques, but it was now at such a pitch that nothing seemed to help. On her last visit to the consultant she had been informed that the time had come for the removal of her colon. Emily was horrified at this and refused the operation saying she would only agree after she had exhausted other treatments. The consultant was less than understanding, his parting words were that within a couple of months she would be back begging him to perform the operation!

When she came to see me Emily was having in excess of ten bowel movements a day, most of them pure blood. These were preceded by severe cramping and a great urgency – she carried Immodium and spare knickers in her bag just in case! She used steroid enemas twice daily plus oral steroids in order to calm down the inflammation. She ate very small amounts, as all food seemed to aggravate her.

Since she dared not move too far from the home toilet, her social life had withered to nothing. This was a major problem for her as she was a very sociable person with a wide circle of friends.

As the case unfolded I realized there was a great emotional side to this case, which had her predisposed to the onset of the colitis. Her problems started after the birth of her children. At this time her husband seemed to lose interest in them as a family and she was left, in effect, to bring up the children single-handedly. She resented him for this, but felt guilty about her resentment as he had a very pressured job working long hours. As her children grew up she felt a great deal of guilt that she couldn't provide them with a 'true' family home and a father that was interested in them. She rarely raised the issue with her husband as she felt "this is it, so you just have to cope – make the best of it" and she hates any form of confrontation, preferring to bottle things up inside herself rather than rock the boat. The worsening of the colitis before coming to see me was due to her realization that she could no longer live her life in this way and that she was setting things in place to separate from her husband. Again she was wracked with guilt by this decision. How would her husband cope without her to look after him and if she did separate she would definitely be depriving her children of a constant father figure.

Her parents divorced when she was a girl. She coped with this, but felt guilty that her father was going to live alone with nobody to look after him. Emily is a perfectionist, she has to be the best and consequently she is her own worst critic; as a teenager she constantly sought her mother's approval and acknowledgement of her achievements. When this wasn't forthcoming she resented her mother, but held in her anger and then felt guilty that she had these feelings towards her.

Emily was an anxious person, especially for others, sensitive to what others thought of her, trying to live her life so that people couldn't think badly of her. If somebody slighted her she would feel very hurt, but would not challenge the person, instead she would brood on it and bury it.

By this time in the consultation I had determined that the focus of this case lay in an emotional disturbance, centring round guilt, resentment and suppression of emotion. The physical symptoms, although dramatic, were not going to be as important in the selection of the remedy. Following analysis the indicated remedy was Natrum muriaticum. Emily received this in the 30c potency and the results were amazing. She was worried I would say "no steroid enemas" as she felt they gave her slight relief and life really would be impossible if she didn't use them. She had heard that homeopaths have a habit of telling people to come off medication and that homeopathic remedies are antidoted by steroids. I assured her the enemas would not affect her treatment and although their effect on her colitis was probably negligible as she had been using them for so long with little relief, but should carry on if she thought it helped.

She returned a month later reporting that her symptoms had improved greatly. Her pain had reduced, her bowel movements were less bloody and less frequent, but she felt constantly exhausted, was still reluctant to go out and carried the spare pair of knickers. I repeated the prescription, but this time also included 5 drops of China tincture in water daily. This remedy is strongly indicated in 'ailments from loss of vital fluids', and considering the amount of blood loss it was relevant here. Emily returned after a month and again the result was incredible: she was bright and animated in the consultation, her bowel movements had reduced, with blood occurring occasionally. However, the knickers and Immodium were still in her handbag. The remedy was repeated again, Emily returned and opened her handbag – no spare knickers or Immodium! She felt very well indeed. Since that time Emily has stayed well. I am still in contact with her and the colitis has not returned. She divorced her husband (without guilt!), set up her own business, moved house, has a new partner and has been on holiday several times. The homeopathic route – much better than having your colon removed wouldn't you say?


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About Dr Neil Slade

Dr Neil Slade  PhD LCH RSHom. Neil is a senior lecturer at two leading complementary therapy colleges and has two busy homeopathic practices. He is the Deputy Director of Pure Medicine in London's Harley Street. He regularly contributes articles to the national press, radio and television. Neil can be contacted on Tel: 01372 361669;

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