THYROIDINUM – A MUCH NEGLECTED HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE.
Dr Suriyakhatun Osman MBBCh, MFHom (UK)
I first became interested in Thyroidinum when an online friend sent me a scanned copy of an out of print book by Ghosh (has been reprinted since then by BJain) that described the sarcodes and nosodes and his experience with it. I noted some characteristic symptoms and found success in cases which would have otherwise been a lot more difficult to treat. I am sharing the key characteristics of Thyroidinum in this article. Studying the thyroid hormone thyroxin as part of physiology and thyroid deficiency in pathology adds a depth of understanding of the wide yet specific range of action of Thyroidinum. Thyroidinum is usually used as an intercurrent and will move a case towards cure or make the case clearer when it is indicated. In many cases, it is what is needed to complete the cure. I also had a opportunity to treat family members that seemed to have some pathology in the thyroid function and saw first-hand all the symptoms related to this medicine. I will relate about them in the case histories section.
A Sarcode, trituration of the fresh thyroid gland of sheep or calf, attenuation of a liquid extract of the gland.
Most sarcodes are not as well known as Thyroidinum and this is because a preparation of sheep thyroid was administered subcutaneously to patients by doctors starting in 1882 when it was introduced as a treatment for myxoedema . Overdoses resulted in side effects which are well documented by Clarke and first reported in the journal Homeopathic World.
Seat of action
The effects on the body would correspond with the actions of the thyroid hormone hence it is not surprising that the areas affected are the thyroid gland, eyes, hair, skin, and muscles. The mind symptoms are also seen in patients with hyperthyroid states such as restlessness and mania as well as the low states of stupor and apathy.
|seat of action|
Thyroidinum has some characteristics which are hard to miss if one is aware of them. In times when there is a demand for energy and the body fails in its function, thyroidinum is often indicated. Headaches and spasmodic conditions which occur during times of high demand call for thyroidinum. These conditions include adolescence, menstruation, coitus, pregnancy, lactation and menopause.
In all of the conditions requiring thyroidinum, the edema will be noticed. In allergies, the patient is puffed up, and the mucous membrane edematous. In skin conditions, itching is predominant and scratching brings about edema. Urticaria triggered by cold will also look puffed up. As in cases of myxoedema, there is a non-pitting edema which could also have a rash as well, a condition known as brawny edema.
Headaches and spasms occurring during periods of high energy demand point to thyroidinum. This will be made clearer in the case examples. Spasms and rigidity come hand in hand.
As in thyroid dysfunction, a deficiency at birth produces symptoms and signs of cretinism and in the adult signs and symptoms of myxeodema with weight gain, low energy and cold intolerence. Hence cachexia and obesity may call for thyroidinum when the symptoms match.
Affections of the heart are due to the muscles of the heart weakening. The thenar and hypothenar eminences of the palms are a good place to look, to see if thyroidinum is indicated. While the thyroid hormone may be normal, the atrophy indicates thyroidinum . The patient will complain of a weak grip of the hands.
Menstrual dysfunction, dysmenorrheas, fibroid tumours and ovarian cysts may all point to a prescription of thyroidinum.
- New borns with vomiting and jaundice or diarrhea especially born of mothers who were physically ill during pregnancy
- During pregnancy; Eclampsia in pregnancy with convulsions and edema
- After pregnancy; Diarrhea turning chronic, more indicated if there is edema and weight loss
- Ailments during dentition
- Malnourished children and failure to thrive as a adjunctive treatment
- Ailments before menses
- Ailments after coition including headaches cramps convulsions
- Allergic conditions during periods of high metabolic demand accompanied by edema and angioedema
- Headaches of various causes: wakes up with a headache
Modalities and Aggravations
Typically, a patient requiring thyroidinum will have aggravations by cold weather or applications as well as aggravation by exertion.
Cases cured or ameliorated by Thyroidinum
A lot more could have been said about thyroidinum and all the side effects of overdose could be mentioned but it has all been documented in Clarkes Dictionary of Materia Medica, under Thyroidinum and Ghosh has also gone into details of its indications so for this article I will instead note down the cases which did well on Thyroidinum in my own practice.
An epileptic child
A chubby child of 12 was brought to see me by her mother, she had been diagnosed with epilepsy and the symptoms were worse when the weather was cold and wet. The fits occurred during sleep.
There was nothing in her symptoms except aggravation by cold that would lead me to prescribe Thyroidinum, I instead found this in her family history.
- Her mother had atrophy of both thenar and hypothenar eminences and while she was not hyperthyroid, the condition was cured within 3 months of prescribing Thyroidinum
- Her uncle had Thyrotoxicosis with heart involvement
- Another aunt had a fibroid uterus.
All of these cases would have had indications for thyroidinum. I eventually treated the aunt who was cured from menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea and she was well enough not to undergo hysterectomy although the fibroid did not shrink fully.
As for the girl, while she improved considerably on the first prescription of Bufo, the cure came after a prescription of Thyroidinum.
Headache after coitus
A 30 year old woman came complaining of headache after coitus, this case was cured with Thyroidinum 30c, 5 doses
Eczema of the whole body
A 5 year old child who had eczema soon after birth was brought to see me. She was a quiet child who spent all her energy scratching. I treated her for more than 6 months and at one point the mother reported she was quite naughty. I thought that it was because the energy to be her real self had come back since she did not spend all her energy scratching. Among the remedies she had were tuberculinum and thyroidinum because of the aggravation by cold. I did not see her for the next 5 years but the mother came to see me about another daughter and reported that this girl was not only the healthiest of her children but also the brightest and tallest.
Vasomotor rhinitis with allergic sinusitis and headache
A 28 year old lady with symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis, with edema of the mucous membrane accompanied by headaches did well on Nux Vomica but the condition kept lingering over a few weeks until it was discovered that she used to get urticaria which looked edematous and the appearance of the mucous membrane was noted. The itching accompanying the rhinitis also pointed to Thyroidinum which was given with clearing up of the rhinitis and headache within 24 hours. After giving her the thyroidinum I realised I should have thought about it earlier since she worked in a demanding profession and was stressed from her job..a metabolic high demand situation!
Compare with the following remedies:
Compare with the following remedies:
- Iodum which is an important component of the thyroid hormone has many of the symptoms of Thyroidinum but Iodum is aggravated by heat
- Arsenicum Album has a complementary relationship and has been known to cure myxoedema and psoriasis when characteristics match
- Bacillinum: Cases needing thyroidinum are frequently easily infected with the TB bacillus and thyroidinum is frequently needed to complete the actions after Bacillinum in PTB
- Lachesis : wakes up with a headache
This article does not record all of the symptoms and indications for thyroidinum since it has been better stated in several books including the two that I have referred to earlier that is:
1. Clinical Experience with Some Rare Nosodes, Thyroidinum, page 1 -27: by Ghosh S.K.
2. A dictionary of practical materia medica , Volume 3 page 1437-1443: By John Henry Clarke
Instead, I have attempted to make it easier to spot cases in which there is a possibility that a prescription of Thyroidinum could help in the healing.