Rheumatic fever has been a major concern of the medical profession these last years and considerable literature has been published on the subject. As it affects primarily children, I thought I would take this opportunity to ask on this Bureau what results our best homoeopathic prescribers do obtain in this disease as compared with the claims of the partisans of sulfa drugs and antibiotics.
The acceptable biostatistical data assembled from many thousands of cases show that rheumatic fever usually develops from age four to puberty with the average age of onset being about six years. The genetic background plays an important role. Epidemiological factors defer sharply from the usual characteristics of other communicable diseases. The risk of recurring attacks diminishes gradually with age, with the maximum risk during the year immediately following one year of freedom from symptoms. It has also been established that the most important factor in the pathogenesis of rheumatic fever is the susceptibility of the host-this assertion is significant.
Here is a case which follows the typical pattern: E.M., a 10-year-old, plump, rosy-cheeked, Jewish girl, was born by Caesarian section. A bottle baby, she has had up to recently a stormy history. She walked at 9 months and had her first tooth at 5 months-a rather precocious child. She was affected very early by a skin disturbance labeled neuro-dermatitis by the specialist, and manifested allergic tendencies from the start. When 6 years old, she had a severe throat infection complicated with otitis and treated with sulfa drugs. In four weeks she lost 9 pounds and since that time her disposition changed completely from that of a sweet and lovable to a cantankerous and rebellious child.
A few weeks after these acute manifestations, she started a low-grade fever that required the attendance of four successive physicians. She was put to bed for eight solid months, and fed with salicylates from that time on. She has been a crippled child ever since, with one cold after another. Early in 1948 she had a severe bilateral parotiditis superimposed on her now chronic rheumatic condition. A year later, an infectious mononucleosis, complicated with nephritis, took four months gradually to subside after a high barrage of chloromycetin and penicillin. The last few months she got out of bed to be transported to and from school and was not permitted to walk or play outside.
This was the situation when I first saw her March 2. 1950. Physical examination revealed an 83 pounded brunette. 4 6 1/2″ tall, rather overnourished, with red cheeks and lips. The irises were typically tuberculinic with evidence of devitalization. She had been too sick to have her tonsils removed; they showed a mark degree of hypertrophy. Slight cervical adenopathy; chest negative; heart gave no evidence of valvular involvement at this time; pulse hyperkinetic; abdomen somewhat prominent and fat with no apparent abnormalities; extremities revealed no articular changes at this time the skin of the posterior part of the arm, legs and thighs presented the sandpaper aspect of A avitaminosis (hyperkeratosis); blood count demonstrated a mild secondary anemia and chronic leukocytosis (14.950); urine analysis was within normal limits.
The main recurrent complaints included frequent headaches (worse by mental effort), epistaxis almost weekly, ravenous appetite with a craving for sweets and meats and allergy to starches. Bowels regular. Sleeps well but snores. Sweats easily.
On March 9, 1950, Natrum sulph. 200. brought, a week later, a severe reaction: fever, sneezing, cough, nocturnal pains in the knees going down to the toes, a ringworm started spreading on the left arm; nasal symptoms unchanged.
March 28th she feels better; continuation of the remedy.
April 21th feels very much better-goes to school by herself, plays outside. Her mother thinks it is a miracle.
On May 12th, there is diarrhea for the last three days. Otherwise, she felt fine. Natrum sulph. 200, was again administered.
May 31st. For the last few days the girl “talks funny,” with a swollen throat, tonsils are enlarged with no coating, constantly hawking: Baryta carb. 6 b.i.d.
June 23d there is a craving for sweets which beings hives, puffy eyelids, pollakiuria even at night, again marked irritability. Lycopodium 200, brought prompt relief.
During the winter of 1950 she had a batch of colds which cleared up promptly with Sulph. 30., 200., 1M. She has been a healthy, normal child ever since.