REMEDIAL POWER OF HOMOEOPATHY IN CASES OF CHRONIC HEART DISEASE.
WHEN once the muscular fibres of the heart have become weakened, so that the organ is no longer able to discharge its functions without effort, no matter what the cause of the weakening may have been, the symptoms are very similar-breathlessness and palpitation on the slightest exertion, inability to lie down flat, or to lie on the left side, pains in the heart of many kinds, and varying in intensity from very slight to the agonies of angina pectoris. These symptoms occur in chronic cases of valve disease, in cases of fatty degeneration of the muscular fibres of the heart, in accumulation of fat about the heart when it is an accompaniment of general obesity.
I will now relate a number of cases, all more or less chronic, in which chronic affections of the heart were materially and permanently relieved by homoeopathic treatment. I will first give some of the earlier ones from the series treated with Iodide of arsenic. Some of these cases are defective as therapeutic observations in that more than one medicine was given on the same day, but in spite of this I think it is possible to determine the action of the medicines given.
CASE XI.-MITRAL STENOSIS AND INCOMPETENCE WITH ANGINA. CO- EXISTENCE OF NASAL POLYPUS. PRACTICAL CURE WITH Iodide of arsenic AND OTHER REMEDIES.
Mrs. McC, age 52, rather above medium size, grey eyes, dark hair, thin, rather pale, consulted me April 22nd, 1882. She was taken ill in Scotland the previous July. She went to bed one night quite well, and woke up with a feeling as if the ribs were being pressed into the heart; for thirty-six hours was in agony. It was a month before she was well enough to travel to London. She still has the same sensation (of pressing-in of the ribs) and palpitation at the same time. Has had two or three attacks since that in July, but not so severe or long-lasting. Has frequent severe palpitation and rush of blood; is faint after the attack. In the night she wakes with a feeling of going over a precipice. If the feeling comes on when she goes to bed she cannot sleep at all and has to be propped up. She cannot go upstairs or exert herself, as it brings on pain in the side-not the pain at the heart; that comes on when she is quite calm and still.
She has a cough night and morning and raises much phlegm. Has to be very careful with her diet. Never was strong; for ten years attended the Victoria Park Hospital for Consumption. Had her right arm broken twice, at six and at sixteen.
Since the second break has had rheumatism in the arm, but never had rheumatic fever. On this day I had not time to examine the chest thoroughly, but I took the following sphygmogram, and told her to return in a week.
The sphygmogram taken on this day is of great interest, the beat being apparently triple. The beat, however, is not really triple. The first figure represents a natural beat. This is followed by a double beat, the secondary pulsation being so slight as not to be perceptible to the finger on the pulse. The second and subsequent sphygmograms show only double beats until, under treatment, the beats become quite normal and regular.
April 29th.-She reported that she had a very bad cold, and was coughing much; the cough being in fits. She raised a good deal of phlegm at night. Pulse 46.
I was now able to make a complete examination of the chest, with the result that the heart was found much enlarged and the valve action defective. Subsequent examination showed that it was the mitral valve which was at fault, being narrowed and incompetent. There was some anaemia, and some consolidation of the apex of the right lung. Here are the particulars of the examination on that date :-