That iodine is related to goitre we all know, and that the local application of iodine to enlarged glands, either thyroid or lymphatic frequent results in a diminution of their size is also known. It has been taught that the simple enlarged thyroid gland results from lack of iodine in the water. Therefore in some sections of the country there are many more cases of enlarged thyroid than in others. Goitre of the simple enlarged type is rarely met with in people living at the seashore.
The remedy to prevent the development of goitre in the adolescent period is therefore to feed the children of that age small quantities of iodine three or four times a year during that period. Now so much has been written about this feeding of iodine, that many adults who already have or have not enlarged thyroids, have begun to take iodine in different forms. Iodine salt is the most frequently used form I think.
The result is that many of these adults are doing themselves permanent injury. It is an accepted fact that this use of iodine has activated the thyroid glands of many thousands of people. In some cases there is marked activity of the gland with no enlargement while in others the gland has enlarged at the same time.
So frequently do we see these cases and so frequently do we hear of operations for them that they rank almost equally with operations for appendicitis and gastric ulcer in number. Now I do not for one moment claim that all these cases have been caused by frequent small doses of iodine, but in many of them iodine has seemed to have been the match which started the fire. Its use, therefore, should be banned in the home of every homoeopathic family. Our modern method of living is probably the real cause of the majority of these active thyroid cases.
It would be well to scan briefly the use of iodine in controlling these active thyroid cases. A patient consulted her physician. He, from the symptoms, thinks a metabolism test is necessary. The result shows that this patient is living too fast. Her heart is beating too rapidly, she is too warm, her face and neck are flushed, she does not need as much clothing as other people, she trembles, and in bad cases her eyes protrude.
She may or may not have an enlarged thyroid. The physician puts her to bed, removes stimulants from her diet, prescribes bromide for the nerves, and also iodine in some form in large doses. She may or may not improve. If not, she is urged to have an operation, in which about three quarters to seven-eights of the gland is removed. In case she improves the improvement may last, but the iodine is discontinued in from two to three months. If it is persisted in she relapses as a general rule and has to be operated. Some few cases seem to be permanently relieved. The results are good as viewed from surgical eyes, but poor from those of the physician.
Now from the provings of iodine we would expect the benefit to be lasting only in cases which are similar to the provings of iodine, and in my experience these cases are very few. Iodine as you know is indicated in thin emaciated, dark haired people and if the gland is enlarged it is a small hard enlargement.
The majority of cases I have seen were in fair haired people, inclined to be stout, and if the gland is enlarged, it is large and soft. Obviously iodine will not cure these cases. They appear to need Calcarea, but I have had no real results form Calcarea or Calcarea iodide. One case in particular to whom I gave the 200th potency of Calc. iod. was thrown immediately from the simple type of the toxic type.
I arrive, therefore, at the conclusion that iodine acts as an irritant to the thyroid gland, but is not the cause of activity of the gland and rarely, if ever, really cures a patient with active thyroid. Now then, what remedies in our materia medica will help in these cases. I have used chiefly Belladonna, Ferrum, met. and Ferr. phos., Natrum mur., Ignatia, Spongia, and at times Lachesis, according to the indications. I find these cases slow, frequently relapsing, and generally unsatisfactory. I have had seven or eight operated with relief. I have treated two following operation with relief of some symptoms only. About half my cases have been able to remain at work, but take it all in all I have never obtained the brilliant results in this type of case that we daily encounter even with moderately good prescribing.
I would be much gratified to have this subject well discussed at this meeting, as it is one of extreme importance. These cases are becoming more numerous all the time, and many of them are so serious as to cause death speedily. One acute case I recall lived only two weeks from the time that toxic symptoms were first noticed, and at no time was if safe even to contemplate operation. Others cause disability for months and years. I have not mentioned removal of infected foci, X-ray injections of boiling water into the thyroid, etc., because if these measures were all that are needed to cure a case, we would never be consulted again after having issued the necessary directions.
EARLY MORNING DIARRHOEA
Aloes: Stools hurried: involuntary; of mucus; gelatinous masses with much rumbling; burning and itching about the anus; escape of hot flatus. Later than Sulph. about 6 a.m.
Bryonia: As patient beings to move about (Nat. mur.). after vegetables, stoned fruits or overheating in hot weather.
Dioscorea: With griping, colicky pains that radiate to other parts of body and are ameliorated bending backward.
Kali bich: Sudden urging, then gushing, watery stool, then burning and tenesmus; can hardly reach the closet (Aloes).
Lilium tigrinum : When coupled with prolapsus uteri, ovarian or heart symptoms.
Nux vomica: After breakfast.
Natrum sulph: After being up and about, or after break fast; forcible and noisy; small stools expelled with much flatus, which does not relieve. As soon as he gets on his feet.
Podophyllum: Hurried, early, watery gushing; continuing all day, worse at noon. Very foul. Goes right through clothes.
Rumex: Violent urging like Sulphur, but after catarrh or with characteristic cough.
Sulphur: Hurrying out of bed in early a.m; barely time to reach closet. Changeable stools.- C.M.BOGER.