Symptoms. Like all severe virulent processes, as that of scarlet fever, diphtheria and smallpox, Sycosis has its period of incubation, invasion, advan…

Like all severe virulent processes, as that of scarlet fever, diphtheria and smallpox, Sycosis has its period of incubation, invasion, advance, decline, and convalescence, but unlike scarlet fever, measles, etc., they do not disappear of themselves. It is only by careful and scientific treatment that they can be eradicated from the organism. Sycosis is often suppressed, and then it lies dormant in the organism like a sleeping volcano to set up after new processes more deadly and destructive than before. All cases go over some definite road, depending largely at what stage the disease is contracted, and the specific degree of the poison.

The patient in the beginning of the attack suffers with more or less chilliness; a temperature is frequently present with loss of appetite, and there is mental depression, or an over anxiousness about their case. This latter symptom disturbs sleep; dark circles are often seen under the eye, and the complexion takes on a sallow hue. Sexual desire is morbidly increased or entirely lost. The desire to urinate increases in proportion to the intensity of the urethritis, and as the case advances, great suffering is experienced from the painful erections. For the two weeks following, the gonorrhoeal process increases unless modified by treatment. The acme is reached in a typical case, about the third week, after which the symptoms begin to decline. Of course, this case is supposed either to have no treatment, or unhomoeopathic treatment, for all cases are modified and often cured in this time by skilful treatment. The majority of cases are accompanied with more or less pain, redness of the meatus, and swelling of the organ. In the first stage the discharge is mucous in character, in the second mucopurulent, and in the third stage it takes on a glutinous nature with an occasional drop of pus.

The redness at first is confined to the margin of the orifice of the urethra, but it soon spreads to the whole glans penis, and sometimes the whole organ becomes enormously swollen. Often, very early in the acute stage the lymphatic glands in the groin become swollen and tender; sometimes this swelling can be traced from the penis to the groin. The inflammation begins usually in the anterior part of the urethra, and in about eighty per cent. travels down, until the whole length of he canal is involved. At this point the patient often experiences much suffering from the painful urination and chordee. The deeper structures of the urethra now become involved and the inflammatory products increase, until canal is now pouring forth a thick, copious, creamy and sometimes blood tinged pus. The urinary passage which is normally the calibre of a lead pencil, is now almost occluded by inflammatory discharges. Hence we can form some idea of the suffering of the patient or urinating especially, which is now a matter of acute pain, even agony. The urine passes hot, often scalding in its sensation, and with great difficulty this is increased by the acidity of the urine, which becomes quite marked in the second stage of the disease. The pain sometimes becomes a spasm with even strangulation as the swelling and narrowing of the canal advances. Occasionally a catheter will have to be used in these neglected cases, but all instruments should be avoided if possible at all stages of the disease, even in gleet. They are, as a rule, always harmful, and in the end cause an increase of suffering and a tendency to produce scar tissue in the canal. Owing to this occluding process of the canal the stream of urine now becomes thin, is often passed in drops, dribbling away at times, or it becomes twisted and forked in its course.

The severity of the suffering varies greatly in the different temperaments and in the different constitutions. There is, however, always some pain, some burning, or difficulty in urination, with some kind of a discharge, either of a mucous or muco-purulent nature. The amount of pus or discharge is greater during the night, or at least it is noticed more, as the frequent urination during the daytime expels it and so is not so noticeable as at night.

During the acute inflammatory stage, the patient should be confined to his bed, as rest assists much in a speedy cure. Many cases are prolonged and complicated on account of allowing the patient to continue at work; as walking, standing, lifting, or straining, not only keeps up the inflammation, but greatly aggravates all the symptoms. Should any secondary inflammation complicate a case, such as orchitis, rest in bed becomes the more necessary, and it should be demanded of the patient to keep quite until the acute symptoms subside. All stimulating foods and the use of tobacco should be prohibited, as they retard the healing process and cure. Make no sacrifice here in order to please the notions and fancies of your patient. This is especially true if the lymphatics are involved, and where there is much backache with physical exhaustion. Even when the mental symptoms predominate, it is wisdom to keep your patient quite and at rest. If the symptoms become worse at any stage of the cure, they become discouraged and are prone to change physicians, and you lose your case. It is well to break away from the old customs of the past, and to use more common sense in the practice of medicine.

If such symptoms as backache, painful and swollen inguinal glands were induced by any other cause than from venereal diseases, we would not hesitate to put them to bed at once and keep them there until well. Often they have temperature but we do not use a thermometer to take it. They have chills, fever, backache, are worried, anxious, fretful, due largely to their occupation. Many of the symptoms disappear when they become rested and quiet. These patients should sleep on a bed which is not too soft, nor too springy, and the room should be kept cool, as warmth and the night hours often aggravate the symptoms; especially the sexual centers, which are of course, greatly excited in this disease, and abnormally disturbed. Chordee is also increased by the heat of the room and the warmth of the bed. Often this chordee is the most disturbing symptom, of the disease. Cooling applications of water are very grateful to many cases, while others are relieved by hot fomentations, in the acute stage of the inflammation.

There is also great congestion in the corpus cavernosum and corpus spongiosum, owing to a spasm of the longitudinal fibers. If the patient is allowed to work during the day, he suffers for it at night. Sometimes the amount of pus or mucus discharged is very small, again it may be copious. If one patient the disease can be readily recognized, and in another, the patient might not be certain that he had an attack of gonorrhoea. In addition to the worst symptoms already spoken of, we may have involuntary pollutions, gonorrhoeal rheumatism, gonorrhoeal ophthalmia, or conjunctivitis, or an inflammation of the brain or heart, ending fatally.

Always keep in mind that the mildest and simplest inflammation may prove exceedingly severe by spreading to the deeper portions of the urethra, causing many complications, or if others are infected by the virus, the most virulent case may develop. The virus does not affect two people alike; all depends on the constitutional dyscrasia and the sensitiveness of the patient. Occasionally fibrous threads and numerous little rice-like bodies pass away with the urine from the beginning of the disease until its close. These are found very plentifully in severe cases. As long as these are present, the disease is still virulent and it is exceedingly dangerous to cohabit. Too many physicians allow these infected patients to pass out of their hands too soon; often even before the discharge has fully disappeared.

Some physicians are foolhardy enough to think, that when the disease is in the gleety stage, there is no longer any danger of infection. No greater blunder was ever made than this. I have seen as disastrous effects from an infection at this chronic stage of the disease, as at any other. Even when the discharge has entirely disappeared, being dried up by the use of injections, it is still dangerous to cohabit, or to bring forth children into the world, as they will show, in a greater or less degree, manifestations of the disease. This disease can be transmitted through the semen as in syphilis, and gonorrhoea will often leave its marks as definitely as syphilis. We can never know how gonorrhoea becomes latent in the organism. Often for years it lies dormant accompanied with but very few annoying or distressing symptoms, and yet it may be reproduced with the aid of Medorrhinum or the indicated homoeopathic remedy administered in a high potency, I have reproduced the discharge many times, when the disease had bee suppressed from one month to even ten years. I have in mind the case of a man, 41 years of age, who had been suffering with a chronic lumbago for five years and who had a history of a gonorrhoeal suppression. The discharge was reproduced with Medorrhinum in Swans’ D.M.M. potency. I will go a little farther into the treatment of this case, I will first mention that he had had the urine tested a number of times, fearing some lesions of the kidneys, but none was found yet a test for pus always showed its presence although its origin had not been located. I gave Rhus tox, in a high potency with marked palliative results for one week, then the symptoms returned as severe as ever. The peculiar mental anxiety of this patient called my attention to Medorrhinum. These sycotic patients are prone to get their minds fixed upon the affected point. No matter how simple the disease may be, it is a serious matter to them, and this is not due to the persistence of the symptoms, but it is a mental characteristic of this miasm. Another symptom was, on the approach of a storm he would have irritability of the bladder, frequent desire to urinate, and some burning. He had many sycotic moles on his body. He had been to many physicians and was discouraged. A dose of Medorrhinum relieved this patient at once and at the end of a week he was free from pain and the stiffness and soreness of the muscles of the back had entirely disappeared. These sufferers drift from one physicians to another and become victims of all kinds of treatment, yet fail to get relief, simply because the doctor is not acquainted with the etiology of the disease, and has no knowledge of the disturbing element that is hidden within the organism.

But new symptoms or rather old ones began to reappear; they were burning at the meatus, and very acid and hot urine. In two weeks, a mucous discharge appeared from the urethra, and was accompanied with symptoms of a mild attack of gonorrhoea. Of course it is needless to say the lumbago did not appear again. Homoeopathy is such a wonderful system of medicine, and there is so much to it, that it is impossible for us to become acquainted with it in more than a limited degree, in the short period of life in which it is ours to work and investigate these deep and mysterious movements of disease. We can boldly say, however, that homoeopaths alone understand the etiology of disease. This wisdom was given to Hahnemann in the beginning; but so few of us treat our patients from this standpoint. We are prone to follow the teachings of the nominal school, and to associate and center our remedies about a pathological state or name, as had been done in the case of lumbago. In taking the pathogenesis of any case, we must give the miasmatic symptoms prominence, and especially so when we find a history of suppression.

Recovery is usually rapid when the proper rest, diet, and surroundings are given due consideration and the remedy selected carefully and in the highest potencies. The highest can be given with the best results, and seldom leave any trace of the disease behind. If the proper remedy is exhibited in the early symptoms or stage of the disease, a cure ought to be made in from six to eight weeks; but in neglected and unhomoeopathically treated cases it will be necessary to take five months. When they are cured with the homoeopathic remedy in the higher potencies, they will not and cannot transmit the disease. This cannot be said of any other system of medicine.

Repeated attacks of infections are often more severe than single attacks. They are liable to run into the sub-acute form and run from one sequela into another, sometimes with fatal results. Gonorrhoeal rheumatism, gouty conditions of the heart, stomach, and liver bring about fatal endings. It is well to remember that it is never a local disease; therefore, any complication may arise at any time, in any part of the body, no matter how strongly it appears to be a local disease. A specific virus like gonorrhoea with a history of sequelae and profound complications, can never be a local disease. Then, when we add to it, the fact that is one of the miasms, and not self-limited in any sense of the word, its importance can be seen. It is never cured without medical assistance; I mean the true sycotic form. None of the chronic miasms are self-limiting, and this is one of them. All abortive methods of cure are bad, unscientific, suppressive, and unprofessional. Even one of the best authorities in the Allopathic school, says abortive methods are unjustifiable. “The severity of the disease is often enhanced by the use of abortive measures,” says one writer. We should not lightly assume the responsibility of treating so serious a disease, without the exercise of care and good judgment.

It is of great importance of let these patients early understand that gonorrhoea is a serious disease, and that the outcome, if not treated scientifically, is dangerous not only to their life, but to the life of others, and may blot the l fie and prospects of many. Many cases through these abortive methods are changed from an acute into a chronic state much earlier than in the natural course of the disease. Others renew the attack in some form of secondary inflammation, as for instance, orchitis in the male, or some form of salpingitis in the female. Still others when suppressed show no secondary inflammation, but slowly run into a chronic tertiary process, in which the physician loses sight of the disease Sycosis entirely, seeing no connection between the two processes. I feel that I am quite safe in saying, that fully eighty per cent of the physicians come under this enumeration. This is where the great danger lies in the use of local means in the cure of severe acute diseases, and especially is this true of serotherapy. I have found that in many cases of gonorrhoea, nervous or hysterical symptoms often develop, due to worry or caused by loss of strength and worry in those who have to work constantly to make a living, and who get or little or no rest. There are cases which become easily discouraged and change from one physician to another, so that the case not being properly managed, goes on from bad to worse. The prognosis in this disease may be considered good when the proper rest, regulation of diet, sexual hygiene, and the continuation of the treatment are ensured until all the symptoms of the disease have been eradicated from the system.

John Henry Allen
Dr. John Henry Allen, MD (1854-1925)
J.H. Allen was a student of H.C. Allen. He was the president of the IHA in 1900. Dr. Allen taught at the Hering Medical College in Chicago. Dr. Allen died August 1, 1925
Books by John Henry Allen:
Diseases and Therapeutics of the Skin 1902
The Chronic Miasms: Psora and Pseudo Psora 1908
The Chronic Miasms: Sycosis 1908