THE cases already narrated have been for the most part illustrations of the power of homoeopathy to cure constipation as well as piles, but I am going now to quote a few in which the constipation was the chief, if not the only, morbid condition.
CASE XXIV LIFE-LONG CONSTIPATION.
A married lady, aged about 40, who had suffered from constipation all her life, consulted me last spring about her general condition. She had taken all sorts of purgatives, including blue pills, and at the time she came to me was taking cascara in palatinoids. She had a feeling as if there was no power in the bowel. She had had an anxious life. Five years before I saw her a tumour was discovered in the right side of the abdomen and was still present. As there was cancer in the family this gave her some concern. She had a sinking sensation at the epigastrium in the forenoon, and some flatulence.
Rx Sulph. 30, three times a day, glycerine suppositories to be used in case of need.
In a fortnight the patient returned, and reported that she had had a natural motion every day without any additional help. From that time she had no occasion to have recourse to aperients. Shortly afterwards she went abroad, and on her return reported that she had managed very well. Sulphur was the chief medicine required for this trouble, though others were required for other conditions.
CASE XXV. CHRONIC CONSTIPATION.
This patient was also a lady, and was sent to me by a colleague in the country. She had been constipated many years, dating it from school irregularities. It is a point of great importance for the heads of school to see that the scholars have every opportunity for forming proper habits. The neglect of this has entailed much distress among the pupils in after life.
Some years before I saw her she had had peritonitis when abroad, and this was followed by catarrh. By regulating the diet my predecessor had overcome a great deal of the difficulty, but not all, and when the patient came to me there was, in addition, a small pile and fissure. The patient was a great lover of salt. The tongue was coated. She had a bad taste in the morning; had a sinking sensation from 11 A.M. to 12; at times brought up mucus in strings. All her life she had been subject to hay fever.
Sulphur 30 was prescribed in this case also, and the only complaint she had to make was that the medicine operated too powerfully. The indication here was plain. The medicine was ordered to be taken at rarer intervals.
CASE XXVI. CONSTIPATION WITH ENLARGED ABDOMINAL GLANDS.
A young gentleman who had spent some years in Sydney was home for a time, and put himself in my hands in regard to his health on May 8, 1893. As a child he had been most delicate, and there was a good deal of delicacy in his family. His chief trouble was constipation, which he had had all his life, but worse latterly. The abdomen was not enlarged, but glands could be felt. Takes cascara in doses of from 20 to 40 drops. Stools in hard round balls, dark, nearly black. There was much flatulence, which he had great difficulty in passing.
I gave him Opium 30.
He returned in a fortnight, much better in general condition, but the constipation remained the same.
Rx Bacill. 100 statim. Plumb. acet. 30 ter die. To use enemata instead of taking purgatives. Glycerine suppositories.
June 24. Better. Feeling very well in himself. Bowels acting more completely. Another dose of Bacill. Continue Plumb. acet.
June 28. A good deal of flatulence. Lycopodium 30.
July 1. Better. Has felt better generally. Rep. In addition, one dose of Bacill. 100, and a few doses of Carbo veg. 200.
The patient continued to improve, and in about a week he had to sail for Australia. I prescribed a course of medicines for him, including Nitric acid, Alumina, Lycopodium, Carbo veg., Nux moschata, and Raphanus. I heard later from his relatives that he became perfectly well.
CASE XXVII. HABITUAL CONSTIPATION.
About two years ago a gentleman, about 53, residing in the country, while on a visit to a relative of his, an old school consultant in Harley Street, took the opportunity of putting himself under my care. He was complaining of constipation, with tendency to bleeding and some irritation. He was at the time feeling somewhat out of health generally; had cold feet. Better out of doors and in cold weather.
I gave him Sulphur 30, and ordered him to use a lotion of Hamamelis after each motion.
In three weeks he reported himself as much better in every respect. His bowels had acted well. I repeated the prescription.
Here is a somewhat remarkable case published by me in the Homoeopathic World of February 1885.
CASE XXVIII. OBSTINATE CONSTIPATION CURED BY Natrum Muriaticum AND Magnesia Muriatica.
The patient was a young married woman aged 20. Nine weeks before the time of which I speak she was confined of her second child, and was then under allopathic treatment. She had made a tedious recovery, suffering from great general weakness, a vaginal discharge, headaches, and constipation. A fortnight after her confinement the doctor in attendance had given her announce of Epsom salts without any effect. She had suffered from constipation for so long a time that she hardly remembered when she had not. She usually had relief once or twice in the week by artificial means, but on one occasion she went for four weeks without a motion. The motions were very large, but composed of small lumps, and she had much pain after the motion. She had no piles. I gave her, on the 25th of October 1879, Natrum muriaticum 6, in drop doses three on four times a day. The following day the bowels were moved of themselves. She passed a large quantity of feces without pain, a thing she did not remember having occurred before. When the motion was passing she felt faint. Her health was much better in other respects.
On the 26th of November I saw her again. There had been no return of the pain, but the bowels were again constipated. On the 4th of December she was in very good general health, but still constipated. The bowels were moved once or twice only in the week. The motions were large, long, hard, knotty, but caused no pain. I gave her now Magnesia muriatica 6, one drop twice a day. On the 1st of January 1880 I saw her again. The bowels were then being relieved quite naturally every morning. I saw her a long time after this, and learned that the cure had proved permanent.
I will now give the case of a lady from Johannesburg who was recently under my care.
CASE XXIX. LIFE-LONG CONSTIPATION WITH GENERAL DEBILITY AND SLEEPLESSNESS.
Mrs arrived in England in thoroughly bad health. She always felt tired, and constantly wanted to lie down. She had been constipated all her life, and constantly had to take cascara. Never a good sleeper, she now suffered from persistent insomnia. Had cold feet, and was chilly generally. No appetite for breakfast, but wanted a meal at 11 o’clock.
When I saw this patient she was on the point of leaving for the Continent so I ordered her a supply of medicine. Sulphur 30, to last her a good time. When she returned ten weeks later she was quite a changed woman. She was able to do without aperients; her appetite was good, and instead of having to be very careful, she had been able to eat like ordinary people. Her circulation was better, and her feet quite warm. The sleep was good, and her spirits also.
Nux vomica was the only medicine she required after this.
CASE XXX. CONSTIPATION WITH EXCESSIVE MENSTRUAL LOSS.
Mrs, also a Johannesburger, consulted me about her health in August 1897. She was the wife of one of the imprisoned Reformers, and had suffered much mental anxiety in consequence. For fourteen years, since the birth of her last child, she had suffered from constipation, for which she had taken purgatives and was now using enemata. When she took senna it caused prolapse of the bowel. She was also suffering from excessive losses at the monthly periods, which recurred much too soon. She had bad appetite, was nervous, and though of a happy disposition naturally, got very low at times. Complexion sallow and grey.
Rx Nat. mur. 30 four times a day. Under this medicine she steadily improved in all respects during the first month she was under treatment, and then it was changed for Sulphur. The first period was much more natural, and the second was altogether normal. She was a little thrown, back by some worry towards the latter part of the time, when Nat. mur. again came in with good effect.
CASE XXXI. CONSTIPATION WITH CHLOROSIS AND DYSMENORRHOEA.
A patient of mine asked me to prescribe for her maid, aged 30, who had suffered many years from anaemia with its concomitant digestive troubles, and had been heavily dosed with iron in consequence. This had the effect of aggravating the constipation to which she had all her life been subject. She suffered excessively at each monthly period. Her pallor was extreme. The appetite was morbid, she craved indigestible things, and had much thirst. The spleen was enlarged.
After prescribing several medicines with but little effect, I gave, in view of the dysmenorrhoea and the probable sycotic origin of the trouble, a single dose of Medor. 200, and followed it with Thuja 30. A month later I had this report:- “Ever so much better. Getting quite a colour. Can run up stairs.”
I will now give an instance of what may be done with homoeopathy in cases that are in themselves hopeless. It frequently happens that cases of cancer are attended with constipation, and this may become the chief difficulty of a case. I have seen cases of cancer of the rectum relieved again and again by homoeopathy when purgatives or local treatment were quite out of the question. The case I will now relate was a case of cancer, but not of the rectum.
CASE XXXII. EXTREME CONSTIPATION COMPLICATING CANCER OF VAGINA
On Sept. 25, 1875, I was consulted by Miss, aged 50, who had been ill since the previous June, when she began to be troubled with a vaginal discharge. She took medical advice, and a cancerous condition of the passage was discovered. Three weeks before I saw her, some part of the growth had been removed by operation, and since then she had suffered so much pain that she had no rest night nor day. Bowels much confined; has had piles very badly since this illness came on. The periods had ceased for over a year. I found a very extensive cancerous growth in the vaginal wall, with a copious fetid discharge. The patient had a very bad family history, her father having died of cancer of the bladder. Whenever she sleeps she lies on her face. The last symptom, with others, pointed to Nitric acid, and I gave that medicine in the 12th attenuation every four hours, with doses of Scirrhinum at intervals. In a case which had developed so rapidly and to such an extent, it was not possible to hold out any hope of cure, but I thought much might be done to relieve.
The treatment was followed by great relief to the pain from the first dose of the Nitric acid. The offensive odour diminished very greatly. Slept well. At first the bowels were confined, and then they acted so much more easily that her friends thought the enema might be omitted. This was an error of judgment, for the trouble became worse afterwards.
About this time the patient having heard of the Cinnamon treatment of cancer, I was asked if I had any objection to her undergoing it. I replied that I had none, as I thought patients were justified in trying anything in desperate cases of the kind.
On Dec. 9, the friends came to me again and reported that though the cinnamon quieted the pain, its effect on the bowels was most unfortunate. They could hardly be got to act at all. The motions were like stones, and white as chalk. Piles very bad.
Rx Alumen 30 every four hours. Scirrhin. at bedtime.
Dec. 12. Bowels wonderfully relieved on 9th and 11th; does not complain of any pain only a soreness all over. Has slept well these two nights. Continue.
Dec. 16. Not had any pain since 9th. Has slept well, and had proper relief. Only obliged to have enema once.
She died very peacefully on January 15, having been unconscious eleven hours. She had no more pain and no trouble with the bowels to the end.
CASE XXXIII. INVETERATE CONSTIPATION.
Mr. H. D., an unmarried gentleman, 47, consulted me on November 30, 1903, for constipation of thirteen years duration. He has to take every night one or two, and sometimes three, cascara tabloids. He had been farming in a southern colony for twelve years, prior to 1890, and latterly had lived in the Channel Islands. When at school he had gone a fortnight on one occasion without an action. He had once had influenza; had been vaccinated three or four times, the last being in 1881. He felt well at sea. He was of fair complexion and bald. For twenty-four years he has had more or less nasal catarrh. He was subject to noises in the ears, and what troubled him most was an extraordinary sensation in the head at nights just as he was losing consciousness a sensation and sound as if clock-work went off in the head. This was very bad in the Colony, and began in 1884.
Rx Sulph. 30 on rising. Nux vomica 30 at bedtime.
I instructed him to leave off the cascara and use an enema if necessary, or a glycerine suppository, but not to trouble about getting an action every day.
Dec. 22, 1903. Bowels act a little better. Had to use enema once or twice.
Repeat. Jan. 15, 1904. So far remedies seem to have some effect, but to- day was obliged to use a suppository.
Rx Nat. mur. 30 every evening at bedtime.
Feb. 11, 1904. Since last writing had a motion every morning, though used a suppository on one occasion, as the stool was rather small and hard.
July 27, 1904. Bowels act daily but not quite so well. Stools lumpy of late.
Sulph. 30, and Nux 30, were now ordered. This was followed by Nat. mur. 30, Thuja 30, Antim crud. 30. All helped him, the last more especially, and this was repeated on July 26.
Sept. 8, 1904. Have again been constipated, but had a stool practically every day.
Nat. mur. 6x, gr. vi. 4, at bedtime.
Oct. 13, 1904. Since last report has had no attack of the sensation in the head till a week ago. For twenty years has never gone so long without an attack.
Rx Lycop. 30 at bedtime.
Dec. 21, 1904. “Every morning have had a perfectly satisfactory stool, not in the least constipated.
K It is fifteen years since this happened consecutively.”
Repeat. Feb. 18, 1905. His final report is as follows:- “It is now two months since I gave up taking any medicine, and I have had no return of the constipation, so I feel I am really cured”.