Chronic Diseases—Sycosis

Most of the cases of true sycosis that are brought before the physician at the present time are those that have been suppressed, and they are a dozen times more grievous than when in the primary stage….

It is not generally known that there are two kinds of gonorrhoea, one that is essentially chronic, having no disposition to recovery, but continuing on indefinitely and involving the whole constitution in varying forms of symptoms, and one that is acute, having a tendency to recover after a few weeks or months. They are both contagious.

There are also simple inflammations of the urethra attended with discharges which are not contagious, and thus we have simple inflammations of the urethra and specific inflammations of the urethra, and of the specific we have the two kinds I have mentioned, the chronic and acute. The books will treat of them as one disease, treat them in a class, and in a treatise on gonorrhoea we will have a description only of the that which relates to the beginning, viz.; the discharge.

The majority of the cases of gonorrhoea are acute, i.e., there is a period of prodrome, a period of progress and a period of decline, being thus in accordance with the acute miasms. The acute may be really and truly be called a gonorrhoea, because about all there is of it is this discharge. If the suppressive treatment be resorted to in the acute, the system is sufficiently vigorous in most cases to throw off the effects. The suppression cannot bring on the constitutional symptoms called sycosis.

It cannot be followed by fig warts, nor constitutional states, such as anaemia. But while constitutional symptoms cannot follow the suppression of the acute miasm, they will follow suppression of the chronic miasm, and become very serious. Most of the cases of true sycosis that are brought before the physician at the present time are those that have been suppressed, and they are a dozen times more grievous than when in the primary stage.

In both the acute and chronic, the prodromal period is about the same, from eight to twelve days, and there is no essential differences between the discharges of the acute and chronic. It is a mucopurulent discharge, and may have all the appearances that any acute discharge of the urethra might take on. Any simple remedy conforms to the nature of the discharge itself will soon turn the acute miasm into a state of health, but it requires anti-sycotic remedies (remedies that conform to the nature of sycosis) to turn the constitutional sycotic gonorrhoea into health.

In the very earliest stage of the discharge it is not necessary to make a distinction; but after the disease progress for weeks, it becomes necessary to make a distinction, and to follow the remedy that conformed to the more acute symptoms with the remedy that would be suitable in a sycotic constitution fully developed. Remedies are picked out for sycosis in the same way that the remedies are picked out in any miasmatic disease, viz., by making an anamnesis.

An anamnesis of the all the sycotic cases which we have had enables us to look at the constitutional state of sycosis just in the same way as Hahnemann, by an anamnesis of psora, ascertained its nature and worked out the remedies that are similar in nature and action to psora. All medicines that are capable of producing the image of sycosis may be called anti-sycotic, but we can put it in this way also and say all those remedies are anti-sycotic which when given to a sycotic case in its advanced state are able to turn the diseases backward, to reproduce the earlier forms and bring back the discharge. That is the practical way of demonstrating that a medicine is an anti-sycotic. When it conforms to the image of the miasm, it will turn the disease on its backward course. Those remedies that conform only to a particular part of the case are not deep enough nor similar enough to establish a return to earlier symptoms, and hence they are not truly anti-sycotic.

It is hardly necessary to go over a description of the acute form of gonorrhoea, but let us turn our attention solely to sycosis, recognizing it as a chronic miasm, or a disease whose first stage is a discharge from the urethra. These cases I have said are rare in proportion to the large number of cases of acute gonorrhoea, but the disease seems to be on the increase. Every busy physician will see a good many cases in women and children.

Cases of gonorrhoea that have been suppressed by injections in the hands of the old school are considered ended, and soon after he discharge has stopped the sycotic patient may be told by his physician that he is a fit subject to marry as he has been cured. But it is not true, and he should delay marriage. It is not right for him to marry until the discharge has been brought back again, and he has been cured, not by injections, because they only suppress, but by the indicated anti-sycotic. Only then may he marry a healthy wife, and she will continue healthy and bring forth healthy children.

You will never know until you get in practice how it is for a wife to break down, in a year or eighteen months after marriage, with uterine trouble, with ovarian disease, with abdominal troubles, will all sorts of complaints peculiar to the woman; and you will then be surprised on going into the history of her husband (if you are permitted to do so) to discover that in his earlier life he had two or three attacks of gonorrhoea that were treated with Nitrate of Silver or by one of these prescriptions that are carried around in the vest pockets of vicious young men, by injections that are know to stop these discharges. You will not then be surprised if you learn that the man himself has never had a really genuine state of health since that gonorrhoeal discharge disappeared. You will look upon what followed that suppression in the man. You will observe what followed the contagion in the woman and to observe these closely constitutes an interesting study.

Sometimes it is so very severe in form, and the trouble comes so soon after the suppression, that there can be no doubt even in the mind of man himself, that the trouble he is now suffering from relates to the suppression of that discharge. Sometimes they are latent and develop very gradually, and the blood becomes affected, the gradually increasing anaemia comes, the patients being pallid and waxy. What was said in relation to syphilis about contagion in the stage in which the individual has the disease is true in this disease, as also in psora.

Here is a common instance. A sycotic patient has been “cured” as far as the discharge is concerned, and now marries for he is told that no harm can come hereafter but shortly afterwards his wife comes down with illness, whereas she had always been a healthy woman before. In the old school there is no recognition of a gonorrhoeal condition, nor could the homoeopathic physician be sure of this, except for his careful prescribing

You take a man who has gone from ten to fifteen years with this sycotic trouble. He is waxy, subject to various kinds of fig warts, his lips are pale and his ears almost transparent; he is going into a decline; he has various kinds of manifestations, and these manifestations appear in numerous particulars that we call symptoms. The physician sits down and makes a careful study of the case, and if his perception of it is similar to some long acting, deep acting medicine, and he administers this medicine to the patient, the patient begins to improve. The treatment is kept up, and in the course of weeks or months the patients comes into the office and says: “Doctor, if I had exposed myself I should think I had an attack of gonorrhoea.” Now, knowing the disease get well in the reverse order of coming, you certainly cannot be surprised to hear this story.

On the other hand, however, the trouble may have manifested itself in other mucous membranes of the body, and thus saved the man from his waxiness; he is not so pallid when the condition becomes busy in another region. These catarrhal manifestations may be catarrhal conditions of the eyes, but are commonly catarrhs of the nose. It is not an uncommon thing for a nasal catarrh to be sycotic and to have existed only since the gonorrhoea was suppressed.

The catarrh is located in the nose and posterior nares with thick, copious discharge, and in spite of local treatment it has been impossible to suppress it. When the constitution is vigorous enough it will keep up the discharge in spite of the different specific remedies that have been administered, but in constitutions that are feeble diseases are easily driven to the centre, leaving the outermost parts of man. So it is often the case that a man with a thick, yellowish-green discharge from the nose, after a dose of Calcarea, which is an anti-sycotic, one of the deepest in character, has his old discharge brought back, and he says: “Doctor, I am not able to account for this, for I have been nowhere but with my wife.”

It is time to sit down and tell that man that in his earlier life he had a gonorrhoea, and that its nature was sycotic; for if it had not been of a specific character, it could not have transferred itself to the man’s economy, affecting in that way his nose; that it has disappeared from its new site under the action of a truly homoeopathic prescription, and the original discharge has been brought back, the trouble that he had in the first place. This must be explained to him, and you can now tell him that he is in a position to regain his health, to become well, to get rid of his catarrh; but that if he meddles with that discharge from the penis he will never recover. Just this kind of a case has been seen so often that there it is no longer a doubt about it.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.