A Case of Incapacitating Menses
Faculty Case – Homeopathy School International
January 1994, Boulder, Colorado
“I have had these terrible periods all my life, probably since I was 13 years old. My mother used to take me to so many doctors. We drove long distances to go see yet another doctor. Nobody had anything to offer.”
This petite 40-year old woman seems scattered and seems to dislike answering questions, but she tells me: Her periods last 7 days, heavy, painful and clotty, putting her in bed every time. She gets absentminded and apathetic. She wants to be alone. Usually she is a very active person. She bikes, hikes and plays tennis. During her period she cannot go out.
Sometimes she has sharp or shooting backaches for 2 weeks before the period starts. Every month before her period she has stomachaches for one week, “like a band reaching to both sides of the body.” If she eats sweets the pains get more intense.
Her periods were never regular until she turned 20. She throws up during her periods, mostly yellow bile. She is very “crampy” and bloated. She feels like she doubles the size of her clothes during the PMS, and can only wear her “period clothes”. Then once the blood clots start to discharge, she feels a little better. Her eyelids and feet swell before her period. She has headaches, feeling very heavy at the back of her head and her eyes get really tired easily. She can’t take bright light. She has to urinate a lot.
Homeopaths like to be able to pin point a remedy that will not only eliminate the symptoms during a current episode but also address the underlying disturbance that may keep causing the symptoms in the first place. The idea of working with classical homeopathy is to start a healing process that will help the person to get well on all levels: mental, emotional and physical. This is only possible when the homeopath, besides knowing the physical symptoms, also gathers an understanding of what may have possibly caused the dis-eased state. In this case, I needed to know more than the physical symptoms. I continued to find out about her personality, sensitivities and mental/ emotional approach to life in order to find a remedy that could address the whole person.
This is a summary of her report: She is generally shy, “not the office flirt”, she can only cry if someone very kind and caring is with her, she is anxious about spots and blemishes she may get at times (she fears cancer), she has been biting her fingernails since 19 years old, she gets sunburned easily, is light-sensitive, her lips crack easily. She likes ice cream, salty food, chocolate and popcorn. Spicy foods don’t agree with her, they burn her lips. She gets sick from every flu that comes around. At the end of the homeopathic conversation (case-taking) a piece of information came out that I didn’t have previously. Her brother died when she was 12 years old.
With some more questioning I then understood that this was a very traumatic event and I pieced the puzzle together. Her emotional pain had most likely weakened her vitality, and also became expressed in physical pain (her period starting shortly after her brother’s death).
Homeopaths translate the suffering person’s descriptions and symptoms into what is called: Rubrics. The rubrics are listed in the Homeopathic Repertory, and when cross-referencing a sufficient number of rubrics in the Repertory, the curative remedy will be the one that is listed in the majority of symptoms described.
In this case I used the following rubrics:
Mind, Ailments from grief
Mind, Solitude, fond of
Mind, biting, nails
Head pains worse light, worse sun
Head pains, heaviness, occiput
Back, pain stitching, lumbar region, menses before
Food, chocolate desires
Food, salty food desires
The majority of her symptoms indicated a remedy called Natrum Muriaticum. This remedy has been used in homeopathy for a couple of centuries, especially in cases with a history of suppressed or deep-seated grief.Result:
After a one-time dose of Nat. Mur (homeopathic preparation of table salt) she felt generally better within a week. Her period following the remedy was mild, no vomiting, no cramping before her period started, no back aches, absence of clots, just some aching but no pain. A rash she had on her leg was gone, the red spots she had around her lips were gone. She did not wear her “fat clothes” and never had to wear them again. In the following 15 years after taking a one-time dose of Natrum Muriaticum she never experienced these terrible, incapacitating periods again.