Eating Disorder and Homeopathy
Eating disorders are a group of conditions characterized by abnormal eating habits. These may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual’s physical and emotional health. An eating disorder is not a disease in and of itself. It is always the symptom or consequence of an inner core disease. Therefore it cannot be truly cured from the outside or with superficial treatments; the cure must come from within. And homeopathic treatment does just that. The most commonly witnessed examples of eating disorders are binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.
• Description – a psychological eating disorder wherein the individual refuses to eat adequately, in spite of hunger. He/she eventually loses enough weight to become emaciated. Anorexia Nervosa usually beings with a normal weight-loss diet. The person begins to continually lower his/her food intake and refuses to stop dieting after reasonable weight-loss. This disease most commonly affects female adolescents and young adults.
• Causative Factors – clinically unknown. However, all patients suffering from Anorexia Nervosa
acquire it while in the midst of fighting internal battles in the form of familial, sexual or emotional conflicts. The risk of the disease increases greatly from peer and societal pressure to be thin. Most patients were at one time in their lives slightly overweight, and have perfectionist, compulsive or overachieving personalities. Psychological stress thus becomes the overarching cause of Anorexia Nervosa.• Signs and Symptoms – loss of at least 25% of body weight without physical illness, high energy levels despite wasting body, intense fear of obesity, depression, appetite loss, constipation, a high intolerance of cold, refusal to maintain a minimum standard weight for age and height, distorted body image, the delusion of being fat even when emaciated, cessation of menstrual periods.
• Description – also known as Bulimina, Binge-Eating Syndrome, Binge-Purge Syndrome or Bulimarexia. A psychological eating disorder characterized by abnormal constant craving for food and binge eating, followed by self-induced vomiting or laxative use. Highly damaging to the brain, central nervous system, kidneys, liver, endocrine system and the gastrointestinal tract. Most commonly affects female adolescents or young adults.
• Causative Factors – clinically unknown. The disease usually begins during or after stringent dieting and is often caused by stress or insufficient food intake. The risk of the disease is increased in those who previously suffered from Anorexia Nervosa, are dealing with depression or stress, are subject to severe lifestyle changes such as moving or starting at a new school/job or have a neurotic preoccupation with being physically attractive.
• Signs and Symptoms – recurrent episodes of binge eating (rapid consumption of a large amount of food in a short time, usually less than 2 hours), plus at least three of the following: preference for high-calorie, convenience foods during a binge, secretive eating during a binge, awareness of abnormal eating patterns
and fear of not being able to stop eating, termination of an eating binge with purging measures, such as laxative use or self-induced vomiting, depression and guilt following an eating binge, repeated attempts to lose weight with severely restrictive diets, frequent weight fluctuations greater than 10lbs from alternately fasting and gorging, no underlying physical disorder.
Eating disorders can be very deep seated. Sometimes the source of the eating disorder begins at birth or early childhood. Therefore, healing these deep cases may take some time. Although patients will see some response fairly early in treatment, monthly follow-ups are necessary for a period of time to monitor the state of the patient and ensure long term healing.
Case of Anorexia:
An 8-year-old girl came to the clinic with her mother. She looked as though she was 3 or 4 years old. She was very malnourished and fragile. Her mother began the case by saying, “My daughter doesn’t eat anything. When she was 2 years old she started to eat by force. Every time we wanted to feed her, we had to grab her hands and put food in her mouth, which she would later vomit back up. As she grew older we tried to convince her to eat but the only thing she ever eats are sour foods and liquids, and only 4 or 5 spoons at that. Every time we start eating she complains of a stomachache, a headache, toothache or anything she can make up to escape the food. Despite the fact that she doesn’t eat anything, she’s very energetic. When she comes home from school she doesn’t rest and she is awake until 11:00 p.m. just jumping around and playing.” She continued by mentioning that she has “an older daughter too. Every time we go out and leave my daughters alone at home, she complains that her younger sister bullies her and forces her to do things by screaming and crying. She never does that in front of us, which makes it difficult for me to believe. But I know my older daughter loves her sister and doesn’t lie, so I don’t know what to believe. My little one is a good dancer. At parties she dances in a way that grabs everybody’s attention.
Remedy Prescribed: Tarantula 200C
First follow up: after the remedy she became calmer than usual and didn’t jump around as much. She was also eating a bit better. However, it only took 2 or 3 days for her to return to her old habits. I asked about her behavior and attitude at school and her mother mentioned that she has many friends but is mean to her close friends and very nice to the popular kids whom she wants to be her friends. She’s rude to her friends, the ones she knows will never leave her, while at the same time she tries to please the more popular girls who don’t pay attention to her. She likes to be the leader when playing with her friends. She’s afraid of being alone at home. She daydreams a lot and had her appendix removed 3 years ago.” Although her mother told me she was very talkative, she didn’t talk to me at all, because I was a stranger.
Rx Prescribed Lycopodium 200c
Second Follow up: She became calmer after the remedy and her eating habits started to improve. On the day she took her remedy she ate her dinner without crying or getting a stomachache. About 10 days after taking her remedy she got a stomachache at school and her mother was called to pick her up. She describes the situation as similar to when she had her appendix removed. They went to the hospital and had x-rays and tests, but there was nothing there. The pain disappeared on the next day, and her eating habits became inconsistent; sometimes she ate well, especially when she was happy, and other times she didn’t eat at all. Her parents decided not to force food on her the way they did before.
Rx prescribed Lyco 200c + alfalfa drop -5 drops per day for a week
Third follow up: Her eating habits were fantastic. She ate all her food and asked for more. She still had a craving for sour foods but sometimes drank chocolate milk.
Her attitude however, hadn’t improved much. She had had a few fighting episodes with her classmates and was rude to one of her teachers. Her parents had a very difficult time convincing her to apologize. Even still, her attitude with her older sister improved immensely, so much so that there were no longer any complaints of crying, screaming or bullying.
Rx prescribed Lycopodium 1M
Fourth Follow up: Her appetite was good, but not as good as when she was taking alfalfa. Her eating habits had normalized so that they were no longer an issue with her family. Her attitude had also improved and she didn’t get angry as often or as easily as before. She also stopped being rude to her friends. In general, her family was very satisfied and didn’t report any major problems.
Rx Prescribed - wait
Fifth Follow up: Two months ago her grandmother passed away. They were very close and after the ceremony her family began to notice a dip in her appetite. She complained of a stomachache every time she ate and stopped eating food again.
Rx Prescribed Lyco 1M
Sixth Follow up: After the remedy she started to show her grief. She cried for her grandmother and came to sleep in her parents’ bed at night. She continued this manner for three days, after which time she returned to her normal life. She started eating well and sleeping in her own room. She no longer complains of stomachaches.
Societal influences such as peer pressure and the media play a huge role in influencing the manifestation of eating disorders and while allopathic treatment can be highly effective for many of the specific types of eating disorders, their consequence may be even more severe than the disease itself. Homeopathy treats the whole person, but not limited to the symptoms of the eating disorder. The remedy therefore works to get to the core of the compulsion.
Whether the issue stems from an emotional, genetic or physiological trauma, Homeopathy can have a huge positive effect on the patient. By balancing the entire system, Homeopathy not only treats the symptoms of the eating disorder, but also works to create equilibrium in the patient. Hence, when the human system is in a state of balance as opposed to chaos, the compulsions of starving, binging and the delusions of a distorted self-image begin to relieve themselves from the body. Over time, there can be a complete transformation from terrible suffering to a whole state of vital health. Homeopathy, thus, heals the cause rather than suppress the symptoms.
Homeopathic remedies are known to have deep effect on human economy and have been found effective in various psychological and developmental disorders. In homeopathic treatment not only the symptoms of Anorexia but also the general physical and mental constitution of the patient, past medical history, medical history of parents, information about pregnancy and vaccination - all are used to find the probable cause in a given case and based on the final analysis a remedy is chosen for a patient. The following medicines may help in the treatment of Anorexia. Please keep in mind that these remedies won’t necessarily cure eating disorders unless the remedy appropriately matches the individual’s personality as you see in both cases I didn’t prescribed any of these remedies because they were not match the whole individual.
Eating disorder remedies
Ars– Extreme fastidiousness especially about germs and dirt. Anorexia coupled with fear of being poisoned. Fear of getting certain diseases so they starve.
Carc – Obsessive compulsive disorder. Perfectionism, fear of becoming fat, fear of rejection. Etiology: abuse, grief or fears, often related to weight. Chronic insomnia, workaholics.
Hyos – Anorexia plus mania, insanity, fear of being poisoned. Could have pathological jealousy, over concern about weight and getting fat.
Ign – Perfectionism, fear of becoming fat, fear of rejection. Hysteria – loss of control of emotions, fainting. Etiology: grief or big disappointment, often related to weight.
Nat- mur. – Most often indicated remedy in anorexia, a lot of guilt. Fear of being rejected, hurt easily, very self conscious. Dry lips, emaciate, dry skin, constipated, loose appetite. Behind this is perfectionism and fear of becoming fat. Nat mur have more confidence.
Phos- acid – Etiology: grief with loss of appetite with emaciation, pining away from loss of love, second stage they get indifferent to all emotions and food. Deadness inside (Sepia, Aurum met). Grief – anorexia than some chronic disease.
Plat. – Obsessed with their appearance, fear of becoming fat. Very obsessive and impulsive personality, egocentric and arrogant, all tied up with their sexuality, religious mania.
Puls – Feeling of worthlessness, unloved, loneliness, fixed ideas about. Food especially certain foods are bad, than amount of foods that are bad grows, fear of gaining weight, pulsatilla’s gain weight easily, they can eat a pastry and swear they gained weight. Ignatia, Puls. and Nat. mur. are constantly weighing themselves. Scanty menses.
Sep – Anorexia plus hormonal problems, nausea, sensitivity to smell. Disgust for food, worse since childbirth, hormones causes lack of appetite.
Staph – Acute of Carcinosin, more visible, visibly upset. Carcinosin can control it more, Staph. may it more. Deep sense of worthlessness and depression, even suicidal. Humiliation, mortified, put down, criticized, zero confidence.
Tarent – Mania could be religious mania. Underneath you have a fear of being poisoned. Obsessiveness about weight, very restless and hyper energy people, they do everything fast – talk, move.
Thuja. – Fear of being impure, dirty blood, anxiety about health, obsessed with idea of have to clean themselves out.
Verat. – Religious mania, loquacious, end of world is coming. Punish themselves, fast to appease god. Behind this you see guilt.
Med – ups and down in the persons energy, very outgoing for 2 or 3 days than wiped out for several days and with that their diets fluctuate from good to binging. Bulimia also with alcohol and drugs.