Iodine is the heaviest member of the halogen group. It has the greatest affinity for oxygen and least for hydrogen. With the increasing atomic weight the halogens show modifications in their symptomatology, but in all the halogens there is a certain strand of common symptoms which seem to be characteristic of the group. comparisons will bring out this point.
It is a vital element for us and it has specific influence as a catalyser. Although it is found everywhere in our body, yet the thyroid is by far the richest in Iodine contents, as it contains 1/6 to 1/7 of the total Iodine. The amount necessary for the maintenance of metabolic equilibrium is about 14 gammas a day. Thyroid is the central laboratory in the body which is responsible for the movement of Iodine in the body, its absorption and organic combination. Thyroxin is the compound to which is ascribed the chief action of Iodine. Excessive amounts of thyroxin in the blood accelerate the basal metabolism and usually Thyrotoxicosis is the result.
The picture of hyperthyroidism and the drug picture of Iodine seem to be very much alike in many ways. Emaciation, nervous and mental disturbances, anxiety neurosis and intolerance of warmth are the examples.
Iodine is one of the most deep acting constitutional drugs known to us. Although it is not frequently indicated, yet no other drug can take its place where it is constitutionally indicated. Fortunately for us, it has well defined, sharply cut features, but even then we often pass by it and fail to recognize it. The patient is usually think and lean, or has become so, although he might have looked well-fed earlier. The color of the skin often darkens under its influence. Hence the text says that it is indicated in dark persons. He or she is usually an over- active, even restless type, always doing something or other. Even when there is little energy left in him, he does not keep quiet. He becomes restless and irritable if he does not do something to occupy his mind and body. Suppose he has headache
and it hurts the eyes to read, still he would go on reading or writing; if he does not do it, he becomes uneasy. The …..
mechanical act of mere writing will give him some peace. In later stages he is easily tired by any exertion, but this peculiar restlessness forces him to attempt to do something. It is an anxiety state, and he finds an escape through work or occupation. He paces the room to and fro in his extreme anxiety. He will become restless and anxious when his meal time comes. Concentration on anything is impossible. Eating relieves him for some time. If he suffers from flatulent distension of the abdomen, he becomes anxious and restless; knows not what to do; walks about. Continued walking seems to give him relief. It may be mentioned, lest forgotten, that many of its aches and pains are better by walking or continued motion. Patient as a whole, because of his general restlessness and anxious state, is better while in motion, while he is pre-occupied with something.
A little thing, however insignificant, will start him worrying, and then comes the anxious state, ameliorated from eating or some work. At times there is a feeling that he must do something or he will go insane. Patient wants to do something, but knows not what. In its constitutional state this anxious restlessness must be present in Iodine cases. Of all the authorities only Kent has emphasised it properly.
Of the halogen group Fluoric acid comes nearest Iodine in the desire to be occupied. I remember the case of a Fluoric acid female, who would get sudden fits for doing something and would become restless. Would suddenly get up at midnight and start cleaning the house, or take up sewing, otherwise there was no peace in her mind. She could do an astonishing amount of work. Text says increased capacity for muscular work; actually it is something more. In Fluoric acid there is increased capacity for work, but Iodine, however, does not have such endurance feats to her credit.
Iodine patients are quite sparing in their habits, and seem to possess a lot of self-control. Like Phosphorus, however, they are very sensitive in every way. Very touchy, even harmless words are misconstrued. Every little worry makes him anxious and he can’t get rid of it. At times, there are violent impulses: as impulse to beat somebody without rhyme or reason; uncontrollable impulse to kill somebody; an impulse to destroy something. Perhaps they are the result of the interminable anxiety they suffer from (in my own case, I remember I would actually beat my
younger sister without any provocation. I would have sudden impulses to shoot or destroy something). These are cured symptoms.
He has violent anger and irritability, at times so great that he wants to stab anybody who comes near him. When he is anxious, he wants to be alone, shuns all company; would like to be alone in a room, and try to shut off even lights. Avoids the look of people even the best known friends. He wants to be in a dark place all by himself. He finds a peculiar pleasure when he is all by himself. In my own case I used to feel very much upset if we had visitors in the house; felt a strange joy of if everybody else had gone out of the house and myself left alone. I would shut myself in and rub my hands in sheer relief. While passing in the street would avoid meeting the best friends.
There is extreme melancholia, especially with digestive troubles (compare Natrum sulph.). Looks at the dark side of things. I did not, however, remember any impulse to suicide, although I used to have extreme blues. At times mental depression will alternate with fits of buoyancy. During depression, I felt utter lack of self-confidence. Great indecision.
From the evolution of its mentals, it is quite evident that Iodine will suit certain cases of insanity and mental disease. In its later stages of development, the anxiety reaches an extreme degree, and patient has ideas and thoughts rushing to the brain at a terrific speed. He forgets what he has just thought, and becomes anxious, but, in spite of it, the brain seems to get no rest. He wishes he could find some rest from his over active brain. The speed of thought is maddening. He actually fears that he will go insane, if this does not stop. Fear of insanity becomes quite marked. In 1940, I felt I would go mad if this did not stop. At that stage my physical symptoms were abating and mentals were getting worse. If I had not taken Iodine at that time, I would have gone insane. The only relief from this over- crowding of ideas is during meals while eating.
Then there are fixed ideas which take such a hold of him that he cannot get rid of them. He holds them with religious tenacity. He talks of funny impractical things which he never was known to talk about. He realises it, but he cannot stop if. He has ideas of grandeur about himself, a sort of megalomania. Thinks he is the most gifted and clever person. Exuberant, over- confident to a ludicrous degree. He likes to be mesmerised like Phos., Calc., Sil. He feels it better to be rubbed and massaged.
Certain Iodine types develop loquacity to a marked degree. Iodine is capable of long, interminable, voluble talks. Patient, while healthy a quiet and reticent type, becomes extremely talkative. He cannot help talking and ideas seem to come so rapidly that he can talk for hours; gives speeches. Irresistible desire to talk, although talking exhausts him very much. I remember very vividly that one of the symptoms, in the last stages of my illness, was the talkativeness. It was something quite foreign to me. I, myself, was surprised at my own capacity for volubility. But alas! I lost that faculty for extempore speeches after a few doses of Iodine.
In my diary dated 1940-41, I find the following:.
I developed a certain whimsicality,and a certain vehemence with which I put forward my ideas … a sort of bubbling enthusiasm and over-confidence; feeling of mental superiority over others. Fits of loquacity; talked and argued with great force and humoured others for hours.
In crowded places like market places, I felt ill at ease; a sort of confusion so that I would hardly think. Desire to escape at once.
In its mental evolution Iodum may induce clairvoyance. No authority so far has noted this symptom. I could foretell events quite accurately. Under the influence of high potency such symptoms were aggravated and later cured in me. I developed some remarkable but funny symptoms. Neither before nor after have I been clairvoyant in my life, but at that period I developed a definite symptom of clairvoyance. If an idea came that a particular person would see me that evening, I would actually find him paying me a visit. There were many little incidents which came true. Once I happened to go to the Railway station to receive somebody, and as I was standing on the platform waiting, a thought suddenly came to me that the carriage carrying the particular person would stop right in front of me. Five minutes later the train steamed in, and lo, my friend came out of the carriage right in front of me. This clairvoyance was not normal, but pathological with me. There were many other incidents of the same nature.
Let us now discuss Iodine’s modalities. I have already mentioned relief from motion. It is an important general modality of the patient’s remedy. Patient is always better by walking in cool open air. Even palpitation, which is worse o beginning to walk and more while standing, is relieved when walking slowly. I could hardly imagine that continued walking will make it better as on least exertion, otherwise, I felt distressing palpitation. This symptom appeared after the 50M. (Recently my assistant complained …)
of great aching and pains all over the body and felt worse when lying down. Felt better when moving about. Felt more feverish while resting, better walking about. He had some low temperature also. Rhus tox. and Pulsatilla did not make appreciable impression. He seemed to be losing weight. I felt worried and sent him to be Xrayed. It was incipient T.B. of lung. On taking the case, found him warm-blooded; emaciating. Prescribed Iod.200. Temperature came down to normal, aches and pains better, although pulse rate continued to be fast. He is now much better).
Another main characteristic feature of the drug is its hunger and relief from eating. its voracious hunger is proverbial but there are cases where there may be anorexia. Iodum patients may not feel any appetite, but on starting to eat, he eats a lot, i.e., more that he expected (cf. Lyc., etc.). This symptom is more constant. In a case of chronic amoebiasis, the patient did not feel hungry, but on starting to eat, she could take an enormous amount, and was fast losing her weight. Iodum 200., one dose, put her on the road to recovery.
More characteristic than voracious appetite is the relief in all its complaints by eating. This is indeed a gem-the most dependable characteristic.
In my diary I have:.
… fits of ravenous hunger, taking to meals like a hungry wolf and eating with vengeance. Committed mistakes and forgot things when hungry. Hurried in eating with no other thought. Could not even take part in table talk.
At meal time patient is extremely restless; he must eat or do something, take up a book or paper or get busy with something.
Hungry Iodum is an extremely ugly sight. While eating he is in best of moods. Iodum patients cannot keep a fast. Most of the pains, mental symptoms or physical ailments, are relieved as long as he is eating. Headache, palpitation, anxiety, even pain in stomach are better from eating. Even diarrhoea and distension of abdomen are better from eating for sometime. Such is the universal application of this modality. Such a symptom with such an intensity is not marked in any other drug of our materia medica. Amongst the halogen group Fluoric acid has it to a fairly strong degree. Our repertories should give this modality under various rubrics. This modality in my understanding of the drug is one of the pivotal points around which the whole symptomatology of ……
Iodum moves. I remember that if I had a very urgent desire for stool in diarrhoea and I happened t o eat something, I would be relieved temporarily from it. Ravenous hunger after stools.
Another feature of the drug is its emaciation. Patient eats well, but he seems to be losing weight for no apparent cause. In chronic cases, emaciation may not be evident in the earlier stages, except that in spite of good food and appetite, the patient does not flourish. It may be noted that emaciation is more marked in hot weather. I remember that as soon as hot weather came, I used to start losing weight without apparent cause. Often my digestion also was upset during the hot weather.
It seems that metabolism is accelerated with lack of proper absorption of fat. Stools show abnormal fat contents in such cases. This drug may be useful in disturbances of the pancreas.
With emaciation it h as been found that glands in general become large and indurated with the exception of mammae and testes. These two glands dwindle with general wasting.
The typically Iodum patient is a very hot blooded patient, likes to be in cold open air. In winter he likes to have the windows open. In debilitated conditions he may feel lack of vital heat, but practically all these symptoms are worse from heat and relieved by cold in general. The patient and his complaints will be aggravated in a warm atmosphere; in hot weather. As I have mentioned above, the patient loses weight rapidly in summer. Most of his complaints will come in summer. I remember that as soon as summer came, I had diarrhoea and headaches which were relieved if I went to hill stations.
Once I was sitting in an examination hall, and it was the cold month of January. Electric heaters had been placed near the candidates. Within few minutes of my entering the hall I had a strange headache with a vise-like sensation. Thinking was impossible. I failed in examination. Later I realised heaters were responsible for my mishap. There are flushes of heat all over the body; face and ears especially. It is better while eating and in cold open air. Cold bathing relieves many of the complaints. I used to have pain in my stomach after stools, which was better either by eating something or by having a cold bath. Even my headache was temporarily relieved by a cold bath.
Iodum like other hot blooded remedies is venous in type.
Like Sulphur, standing is the worst position. Feels very uneasy and gets easily tired while standing. He may walk for hours but standing upsets him in a few minutes. It s quite logical to expect varicose veins and venous stagnation in the symptoms. Here it may be compared with Fluoric acid.
Iodum exhibits great prostration-unusual weakness at times out of proportion to the apparent cause. There is a funny strange symptom that he feels extreme weakness when ascending stairs although he does not feel tired while walking on a level. Great weakness when hungry; when stomach is empty after stool. I quote from my diary, “Got easily tired-even while talking; did not feel like undertaking even least exertion. Getting up, even from sitting posture, seemed like an ordeal”.
He is usually hurried in everything. Perhaps it is the result of the anxious restlessness mentioned as above.
I I shall take up a few particulars which stand out boldly in my experience. Beginning with headache, the only pain that I experienced was band-like constriction and the band would tighten if the patient goes into a warm place or near a fire. Headaches are better as long as one is eating, in the cold open air, and from tight bandage.
Catarrhal discharges are thick, yellow and acrid, e.g. leucorrhoeal discharge. Expectoration is acrid and seems to corrode the tongue if held for some time in the mouth. Cold is better in open air. It has loud croupy cough, like Spongia, in evenings usually before midnight.
We do not usually associate Iodum with skin troubles, but it is a deep antipsoric. It has weeping eczema, extensive impetigo. Itching of the skin alternated with headache in my case. Numbness after itching. After a potency of Iod. 50M., I had virulent type of impetigo, an oozing eruption, especially on the feet. Since that experience, I have had a healthier respect for Hahnemann’s theory of Psora.
In Iodum patient it is noticed that the rate of metabolism is increased. Pulse rate is higher than normal; hair and nails grow at a rapid rate; hunger is increased; lymphatic glands enlarge and all this at the cost of the body which emaciates.
There are gnawing pains in the stomach worse after stools in the morning, better after eating or bathing in cold water. There are loud empty, eructations, sometimes tasting like rotten eggs. In flatulence Iodum vies with China, Lyc. and Kali carb. Everything ….is felt in left hypochondrium. Like Nux it has ineffectual urging to stool, “not done” sensation.
At times copious and frequent urination which would wake me at night. This symptom often appeared after a potency. Another interesting symptom which I recall is the passage of excessive phosphates, a number of times during the day, and each time I felt very hungry after passing urine loaded with phosphates. Sometimes hunger was before urination. I know of no other drug with this peculiar symptom, it should go into repertory.
In the chest I experienced an oppressive bandlike sensation, especially over the praecordial region. I felt anxious during this pain which lasted for a few minutes.
Feels sleepy but cannot sleep. Feels sleepy for sometime, but then wakes up and cannot sleep for hours. Insomnia.
Sexual desire is extremely increased during the earlier stages but later on the desire may die down with the dwindling of the testicular glands. it has violent erethism and the patient walks about the room with violent sexual excitement. Cannot sleep for nights because of violent erections (Personal experience).
Toothache like that of Mag. carb., is better walking about rapidly, worse from hot drinks, better from drawing in cold air.
(To be continued)
12/90 CONNAUGHT CIRCUS
NEW DELHI, INDIA.