THE ACTION OF THYROIDIN IN DISEASES OF THE HEART.
THE allopathic school of medicine has very much to learn in the matter of dosage. It invariably begins at the wrong end of the scale. The recent introduction of preparations of the Thyroid Gland of the sheep furnishes a case in point. These various preparations (which have received the generic name of Thyroidin, being in nature practically identical) were given at first in such massive doses that a large number of pathogenetic effects were produced, and, among others, in several cases, fatal fainting. A collection of these effects has been made by me, and will be found recorded in Volume XXIX. (1894) of the Homoeopathic World.
From the June number (p.254) I will transcribe the symptoms relating to the heart and circulation produced in cases of allopathic over-dosing, and also some cured symptoms. The latter are marked with the small circle “o” placed at the beginning of the symptom refer to the authorities given in the May number (pp. 202-216).
HEART AND CIRCULATION.-On trying to walk uphill died suddenly from cardiac failure.1
While stooping to put on her shoes she “fainted” and died in half an hour.1
Two fainting attacks.2
One patient showed extraordinary symptoms after the injection. The skin became so livid as to be almost blue-black.3
(Degeneration of heart muscle in animals.)4
o A systolic cardiac murmur was less loud after the treatment than before.7
Complained occasionally of a feeling of faintness, not occurring particularly after the injections.8
Sensations of faintness and nausea.8
Frequent fainting fits.8
Palpitation on stooping.9
Pulse 64, regular, compressible.9
On one occasion, after exerting herself more than she had done for a long time previously, she “suddenly became extremely breathless and livid, and felt as if she were dying. Rest in recumbent position and the prompt administration of stimulants restored her, but she seems very narrowly to have escaped the fate of two of Dr. Murray’s patients.”10
Pulse rose to 112. 16
Weakness of heart’s action.29
Tachycardia and ready excitability of the heart persisting for several days after the feeding was stopped. 18
Relaxation of arterioles. 18
o In lupus of face heat and red, angry appearance removed.
Death, with all the symptoms of angina pectoris. 18
o Rapid pulsation, with inability to lie down in bed. 21
o Jumping sensation at heart. 21
FEVER.-Flushing, with nausea.
Flushing, with loss of consciousness. 1
Skin became so livid as to be almost blue-black. 3
Face flushed. 5
Rise of temperature, 100 degree F. 5
Profuse perspiration on least exertion. 6
Always felt hot, and had a sensation of sickness after the injections. 7
o Felt better and warmer. 11
Flushing of upper part of body and pains in back. 11
Temperature never rose above 99 degree she felt feverish and thirsty. 13
Temperature rose to 100 degree but F., and remained there several days; pulse 112. 16
Rise of temperature; diaphoresis. 17, 18, 23
From this it will be seen how powerful is the action of this drug (which I think may be fitly called a Sarcode) on the heart and circulation. If allopaths would only consent to learn the homoeopathic method of attenuating medicines, they might avoid all the risks of fatal over-dosing which they (or rather their patients) have to run whenever a new drug is introduced. However, to Homoeopathy belongs the blessed function of turning to good account for mankind some of the havoc done by allopathy. To the homoeopath all these violent heart symptoms mark the medicine out as a great heart remedy, and I will now give a few cases in which I have been able to turn this indication to good account.
The first patient for whom I prescribed it was a young woman with a highly neurotic history presenting all the symptoms of incipient “Graves’ Disease” or Exophthalmic Goitre.
There was prominence of the eyes, enlargement of the thyroid gland, and rapid action of the heart (tachycardia) together with much heart pain and inability to lie flat in bed. This was one of those distressing neurotic cases in which there is a very great amount of suffering without any serious organic change. The suffering is perfectly real, but the patient is abnormally sensitive, and often imaginative, and generally gains little sympathy from her medical attendants.
The action of Thyroidin was most satisfactory in this case, and the potency used-the 3rd decimal, i.e. 1/1000th of a grain of the thyroid extract to each grain of the preparation-showed how needless is all the allopathic over-dosing.
I will now give the history of the case, as written out for me by the then House Physician, Dr. Lambert.
CASE XXII.-HEART PAIN, WITH RAPID ACTION, AND SYMPTOMS OF EXOPHTHALMIC GOITRE IN NEUROTIC SUBJECT. CURE WITH Thyroidin.
Eleanor N., age, 17, was admitted to the London Homoeopathic Hospital, under Dr. Clarke, on October 10th, 1893. She had always been very nervous and had had chorea, and suffered much from palpitation.
Since Christmas, 1892, she had had attacks of hystero-epilepsy, which, in the first place, followed a chill. The fits were as frequent as seven in a day at first, and recurred daily. The frequency of the attacks diminished till, latterly, they had occurred only before the menstrual period. The fits used to last half-an-hour, and were preceded by swelling of the limbs and face, which sometimes occured without the subsequent fit. She used to bite her tongue in the fits.
Besides these attacks she complained of pains in the legs, back, and head-the headache being occipital, and in the vertex; also that her throat swelled at times, so that she had to loosen her clothes. The catamenia had been absent for four months, till the last time, which was excessive. She always had a good deal of pain at that time, especially in the left ovarian region, which was always tender to pressure.
Her family history was good with the exception that one brother was epileptic.
On admission, she was in a low, despondent state of mind, evidently very neurotic. Her eyes were staring and prominent. The heart sounds were weak, but no bruit present. Pulse was 120. Her legs were so weak that she could not stand.
There was no very great enlargement of the thyroid gland, but there was distinct fullness of the neck.
and caused palpitation. She slept badly, and used, previously to admission, to take hypnotics regularly. The bowels were always constipated, and the stools hard and painful. Sulph. 30 was given every four hours, and on the 14th Lachesis 12 was substituted, under which she improved somewhat, and slept decidedly better. On October 18th Sac.-Lact. was given and continued till the 25th. Crocus 30 was then ordered on the indication-“a sensation of jumping at the heart.” It was continued till November 1st, but it did not remove the symptom.
Up to this point there had certainly been improvement in the patient’s condition, but it was very slow. She still had frequent headache and a rapid pulse, and her legs were very weak, though with assistance she was got up daily. She was sleeping well, but needed several pillows, as she could not lie down flat. The bowels were never moved without enemata. She was now put on Thyroidin 3x, gr. ij, three times a day, and from that time forward improvement was marked. On November 4th she could lie down flat. November 15th she could walk much better, but not alone. November 29th the headache had quite ceased, and she was better in every way. December 6th she could walk alone quite well, and the bowels acted normally for the first time, and continued to do at first every second day, and then every day without any trouble.
Her mental condition was also markedly improved, and the prominence of the eyeballs disappeared. She was kept in hospital a month longer to prevent relapse, and before Christmas was perfectly well.
I will next relate a case from private practice in which the exophthalmic symptoms were more fully developed. Thyroidin in a higher potency acted very promptly, even relieving acute inflammatory symptoms induced by an intercurrent attack of influenza.
CASE XXIII.-HYPERTROPHY WITH TACHYCARDIA, AND ATTACKS OF ANGINA PECTORIS. ACTION OF Thyroidin.
Miss C., 35, has been under my care occasionally for a number of years. She has an exceedingly bad family history, nearly all the members of her mother’s family having died suddenly of heart disease. At the age of 13 the patient had scarlatina, followed by inflammation of one of her ears; some bone came away from the mastoid process. She became deaf till she took influenza, during which she had another attack of inflammation which had the effect of perfectly restoring her hearing on that side. At the age of 17 she suffered from enlarged tonsils, and had them removed.
Afterwards she suffered from enlarged thyroid gland, and attacks of palpitation. In 1891 she had influenza, which left her liable to palpitation on the least exertion. In September of this year she had a pulse of 120, attacks of pain in the left side, with sensation as if the heart would burst out of the chest. Lying on the left side was impossible. There was no bruit or evidence of any affection of the heart’s valves. Under Spongia 30 she got better of this attack.