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Another Urinary Dilemma

by Dr Angela Jones(more info)

listed in women's health, originally published in issue 44 - September 1999

Elspeth is not a well person. She has endometriosis which has been extensively investigated and treated over the years and also suffers from bowel symptoms which have caused her to lose quite a lot of weight. Coeliac disease has been ruled out as has malignant and inflammatory bowel disease. However, these were not the reasons for her to consult a homoeopath.

Approximately six weeks earlier, Elspeth developed a terrible sense of urinary urgency. She had to rush to the bathroom as soon as the sensation struck and was very worried about the possibility of wetting herself. Accompanying this symptom was nausea. She attended her general practitioner who sent away a midstream urine sample and prescribed an antibiotic.

Unfortunately, the antibiotic made Elspeth feel worse and the result of the specimen was that there were no cells and no bacterial growth; in other words, she did not have a urine infection at all! The doctor found this difficult to believe and repeated the test, together with a vaginal swab. Because she was tender on taking the swab, an infection of the womb was suspected and two further antibiotics to be taken concurrently, were prescribed.

Perhaps predictably, this prescription made Elspeth feel even worse and the urine and swabs came back as clear of infection. She was feeling continuously sick by this time and the bladder symptoms were as bad as ever. She now had some incontinence of urine at night and woke up in the early hours, usually between 4 and 6 am, to pass urine. At these times she would be feeling very sweaty and hot.

She had bladder pains by this stage which she described as being like a ball rolling in the bladder. The heavy weight of it was dragging the bladder downwards. She had much pain during the urinary stream and brief relief afterwards and had to pass water every 15 minutes by day and 90 minutes by night. More recently, she had noticed some red sediment.

As one can imagine, after six weeks of this, Elspeth was pretty desperate and did not know where to turn. Her GP was not sure what to do either and intended to refer her to a surgeon for further tests. There was going to be a wait for this appointment, however, so Elspeth decided to try homoeopathy.

Looking at the case, it seemed best to focus on the acute problem, as Elspeth was by this time exhausted and quite unwell.

Homoeopathic treatment should start by treating the strongest presenting picture displayed by the patient and finding a medicine to match these symptoms, the so-called simillimum. Further medicines may be indicated down the line once the most 'superficial' symptoms have cleared

In Elspeth's case, there was an indication for a medicine with a strong action on the urinary system. The pains were confined to the bladder area without the radiations to loins or thighs which are found in some cases. The red sediment in the urine is a useful clue as it is only found with a relatively few drug pictures (sixty three medicines to be precise). The time of particular exacerbation during the early hours was also a strong clue and I was beginning to think about the medicine, Lycopodium clavatum.

Once this medicine came into my mind, I found that it fitted with a lot of Elspeth's other characteristics. Her irritable bowel syndrome was of the 'small stomach' variety with bloating after a large meal and excessive wind. She was a serious type of person who preferred to keep herself to herself but not to actually live alone. She had always shared her house as she preferred to have someone around, but not actually invading her space. She could be quite irritable especially when under work stresses, and suffered quite a lot from anticipatory anxiety when required to make a speech or presentation. She liked very hot drinks and spicy food but could not eat onions as they aggravated her bowel symptoms.

All these points were indications for Lycopodium as a constitutional or deep medicine for Elspeth. However, I was not tempted to give a high potency as we were essentially concentrating on the bladder problem which was the acute illness at the time. I therefore prescribed a single dose of Lycopodium 30c and reviewed after three weeks.

At follow up, Elspeth said immediately that she felt physically much better. In fact, she needn't have told me as she looked a great deal better in herself – less drawn and grey. Her bladder symptoms had settled within two days of taking the medicine and she was now able to sleep as she only had to pass water once at night. The red sediment had disappeared and she felt that the urine was now healthy. Incidentally, she had had a very tolerable period, the first that had been without major pain for many months and one wonders if the Lycopodium will not only help the local urinary problem but also, on a deeper level, the endometriosis.

Elspeth was well satisfied with the outcome of her treatment and did not seek further help with her other problems which were all under the care of various hospital departments. I felt it best not to push the issue but to simply provide her with another dose of Lycopodium should she ever feel she needs it, in terms of return of the bladder symptoms or feeling generally worse in her self. I have not heard from her again, so we do not know if she went on to a gradual 'cure' after the single dose. It is a distinct possibility however, that this could occur as I am sure that Lycopodium represents Elspeth's overall constitutional picture and a single dose can, in some cases, be enough to set the body on the right path towards healing.

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About Dr Angela Jones

Dr Angela Jones works in NHS general practice and also privately, using homeopathy alongside conventional medicine. Dr Jones can be contacted via the Faculty of Homeopathy on Tel: 020-7566 7800.

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