Henry’s mum felt guilty – she saw her child suffering, he was always scratching. She wondered if they were doing enough, and this drove her on to see one specialist after another. She felt singled out when well meaning people in the street would make suggestions, as if she hadn’t already tried everything.
Part of Henry’s story is told in this excerpt from a recently published ATMS journal article, A Cup of Tea in the Consulting Room: The Latest in Homoeopathy about Eczema and Allergies. The authors Linda Beaver (LB) and Linlee Jordan (LJ) shared a conversation about the latest treatments for eczema. They settled down for a cup of green tea and a chat about the management and treatment of some challenging cases of kids with allergies and eczema.
LB: So Linlee, recently you used the term ‘google warriors’ in relation to the mothers of these kids. It has an exciting ring to it, can you tell me what that means?
LJ: That was my description of what a parent becomes after their child has been given a diagnosis of extreme eczema or autism or something equally overwhelming. At first they are so busy trying to keep up with their visits to the paediatrician and juggle their lives with a sick child or work out how to correctly manage the allergy diet that they hardly have time to look after themselves. After the early phases of “Why me?” and denial, anger and so on have been passed through they emerge with a determination to read everything they can. They become mini-experts on their child’s condition. Calling them warriors is a powerful acknowledgement of the effort they are putting into looking after their child.
LB: Expert, warrior and case manager as well.
LB: Another common scenario is the parents who have tried everything that conventional medicine has to offer, like the parents of Henry (pseudonym). Henry’s mum felt guilty – she saw her child suffering. She wondered if they were doing enough, and this drove her on to see one specialist after another. She felt singled out when well meaning people in the street would make suggestions, as if she hadn’t already tried everything.
Linda showed Linlee a photo of little Henry taken at a time when his skin was flaring up.
LJ: Oh, he looks just like one of my little patients. Henry has the same look around his eyes, the same puffiness, redness and swelling. I’ve been giving my patient homeopathic Apis 30c twice a week.
LB: What were the indications for Apis?
LJ: Well, his face is so puffy and he had been hospitalized twice with a bleeding colitis. I couldn’t help thinking his whole gut must be swollen and on fire as well. I gave Apis with the idea of calming his extreme response and calming down the eyes and the lining of the gut. If the gut and mucous membranes are continually sensitive and inflamed, and in a similar condition to what can be seen outwardly on his face, then it makes sense to give the remedy regularly as a preventative. So tell me some more about Henry.
LB: He’s had eczema and allergies his whole life and been on constant medication. He used to be sad and listless but he became happy and energetic on the first homeopathic constitutional remedy. His mother said it was like having a new child. Even so, the eczema on his face came back shortly after an initial strong improvement. In homeopathic treatment we expect progress to happen in this ‘two steps forward and one step back way’.
The action of the constitutional remedy is sometimes undermined by other factors that are obstacles to improvement and they need to be considered. In complex cases my general plan is to give constitutional treatment with intercurrent aetiological remedies. In the most severe cases of eczema you can see an underweight child who has frequent infections.
LJ: Those swollen, pink puffy eyes respond well to anti-inflammatory remedies like Apis. Of course, (as is always the way with homeopathy) there are many other remedies which help with the most distressing symptoms of allergies and food intolerances. After the practitioner has helped to choose the most appropriate remedy then parents can give them twice a week and also it’s good to tell parents to give an extra dose, for example before going to a party. This is a major part of the treatment for complicated atopic cases where I try to work out a therapeutic remedy and give it once or twice a week as a preventative alongside constitutional treatment for eczema.
The contemporary ways of approaching challenging cases of eczema and allergies may involve giving the constitutional homeopathic remedy alongside an indicated “anti-inflammatory” remedy and paying close attention to obstacles to cure.
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2. Allergy Medical Group. Allergies and children. [Internet]. Brisbane (Australia);
[cited 2015 March 31]. Available from: http://www.allergymedicalgroup.com.au/allergies-children/