Over 30 years ago, before I became a homeopath, my husband developed a severe pain in his leg one day, which the doctors thought was simple but severe leg cramps and sent him home with a heavy duty muscle relaxant. The next day he had a severe chest pain that hurt when he breathed in. He was in emergency a second time in a week. The ER doctor said he had a blood clot in his lung that likely was caused from a blood clot that travelled from his leg. The doctors started him on heparin injection shots. After a week or so my husband developed severe water retention, he gained an excess of 60 pounds of fluid retention. They recommend diuretics for him. Needless to say, I appreciated they were treating him, but they were throwing drugs at him without investigating what was going awry. I insisted that they determine why he was retaining water and developing blood clots. He was then referred to an excellent nephrologist, who determined he had an autoimmune disease called “FSG aka focal segmental glomerular sclerosis”, which was is similar to lupus nephritis. The blood clots developed because the kidneys were leaking out a protein that prevents blood clots. The doctor said that this condition is very rare and in adults the prognosis was not good. He said often that in five to ten years, he would likely need dialysis due to complete kidney failure. A kidney transplant was not an option because his immune system would attack the transplanted kidneys. He would require long term immune-suppressants and courses of prednisone. As one would imagine, this was devastating news to us but we would rather have him alive with medication than without.
After I had my son, I went back to school to become a homeopath. I was so inspired by the success we had with my son’s Erb’s palsy after a traumatic birth. He had damaged nerves to his brachial plexus and the doctor’s told us he would not have good use of one arm. This arm would be smaller than the other. Of course I didn’t want that for him and brought him to a homeopath in our little town. She gave him a simple remedy for injuries called arnica montana 30CH, twice a day for ten days. When we went back to Sick Kids hospital for physiotherapy, they did physio on the wrong arm because they could not tell the difference between the good and bad arm. I was amazed that these little pills brought him back to normal!
With the stress and worry about my husband, I brought him to many healers over the years, herbalists, homeopaths and naturopaths. I never gave up on his case being an eternal optimist and after 30 years, he is alive and well and has not had a need for dialysis. What we did do for him was continue to work with his nephrologist and our medical doctor, improve his diet and I combed the homeopathic literature for remedies that were more indicated in his case. This research and complementary treatment helped him avoid complete kidney failure, dialysis and minimize side effects from medication. Homeopathic remedies don’t just merely suppress symptoms, but they improve organ function, reduce side effects from medication and help the person be as healthy as they can whether they are curable or incurable.
Over my twenty years of practice, I have had people with certain autoimmune diagnosis, never have a relapse and others who manage to tolerate their pharmaceutical medications better and have a much better prognosis in the long run. Being a regulated homeopath in Ontario, we are not allowed to legally say we treat or cure any disease. In actuality treating the human being’s symptoms in front of us. Individualizing medicine is the key to good health and why homeopathy is a beautiful thing in the long term.
Homeopathy is a medicine that is suited to one’s unique symptom picture, so two people suffering with symptoms of kidney disease may require different remedies according to their symptoms. Homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 6CH does not carry any side effects. There are many remedies for symptoms of kidney disease but here are a few that are most commonly indicated:
Apis Mellifica is indicated when there are symptoms of edema, puffy swelling under the eyes, hands and feet. They are thirstless. They tend to retain urine or have urinary incontinence. Expelling urine may burn like fire. They may have albumin and blood in their urine. This is a remedy for symptoms of acute nephritis. They feel better with cold applications, bathing or in open air. They are worse from heat or getting wet.
Arsenicum Album is a remedy that is helpful when there are symptoms of extreme fatigue, anxiety and restlessness. These types are physically weak but still have a need to move. They may be nauseated, have diarrhea, nausea, feel ill with the sight or smell of food and drink small sips of water. They retain water, look waxy and pale. These types have albumin in the urine, dark or black urine. They have pus, fibrins and epithelial casts in their urine. The urine can be foamy like beer. They are worse from cold and better for heat.
Calcarea Arsenicosum is a remedy that in the materia medica says it is for extreme anxiety but it is helpful for kidney disease when there is albumin in the urine, edema and a tendency to blood clots or thrombosis. These types have a soreness in their kidney region and they are worse after consuming wine or any other alcohol.
Eupatorium Purp is a remedy that is used for an irritable bladder, edema, albuminuria, cystitis and enlarged prostate. The symptoms of this remedy are nephritis with back pain after taking cold. It is indicated in diabetes insipidis, dull aching pains in the kidneys.
Lycopodium is a remedy that helps with symptoms of liver and kidney problems. These types tend to suffer with flatulence and constipation. They feel full quickly and may have performance anxiety or a bravado type of personality that compensates for their self esteem and shy nature. The urine flow is slow in coming. They may have frequent urination at night and the urine may have a red sediment in it. They are worse in the afternoon from 4 until 8pm and better with warm drinks and loose garments.
Natrum Sulph is a remedy that is great for symptoms of edema and kidney disease that are worse with humid weather and damp environments. These types suffer from water retention. This remedy according to homeopathy is excellent for the miasm called sycosis. These types may have kidney disease from diabetes and have symptoms of frequent urination and burning pain in the urethra. They have a yellow or brick colour sediment in the urine. This type may tend to urinary, prostate, bladder and sinus problems along with blood clots.
Serum Anguillae is a remedy that is useful for symptoms of edema, hypertension and kidney failure. It is indicated when there is a lack of urination with albumin in the urine. The kidneys are failing in their function. Urea is high without urine flow but there also may be no edema, which is unusual.
Mother tinctures are herbal preparations that are often used in homeopathic prescribing. They are herbal remedies so they may have side effects as opposed to homeopathic remedies however, if prescribed properly they should have minimal side effects compared to prescription drugs.
Ampelopsis quinqefolia is a remedy made from the plant called Virginia Creeper. It is a remedy that is useful in symptoms of edema, nephritis, hoarseness and vomiting.
Berberis Vulgaris is a tincture prepared from barberry. It is a good remedy for the symptoms of kidney disease and diabetes. It is indicated for symptoms of cystitis where there is pain that extends to the thighs and loins on urinating. There may be cutting pain in the urethra after urination. These types may suffer from kidney stones, kidney colic and a bubbling sensation in the kidneys. They have pain in the back where the kidneys are that can be affected by motion or jarring. The urine may contain mucous and have red sandy or slimy sediment.
Helonias is a remedy that is indicated in those who suffer from symptoms of nephritis during pregnancy. These types may have burning in the kidneys with constant aching and tenderness.
Solidago is a remedy made from the plant goldenrod. It is used when a person has symptoms of kidney disease and suppressed urination. They may suffer from chronic nephritis, with tender, aching pains in the kidneys. That pain may travel down to the abdomen, bladder or down the thighs.
Zingerber is a homeopathic remedy made from ginger root. It in general is an excellent anti-inflammatory that may be well indicated in autoimmune disease.
As you can see homeopathic medicine is very individualized and two people may get different remedies depending on their unique symptom picture. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a homeopath and a medical doctor and they don’t disparage the other person’s treatment. This way the patient can have the best of both worlds.
In my years of practice, I have treated many people with autoimmune disease. Their cases are difficult and those who do the best, know that healing is a process and one remedy will not be a wonder pill cure all. One remedy helps for the constitution and another may be needed at different times for acute problems or side effects from medications. Logical people know that pharmaceutical drugs like immune suppressants or diuretics don’t heal anything they just suppress symptoms and cause other problems over time. They may be completely necessary. The beauty of homeopathy is that it can work in conjuction with these medications so that the patient can have the best of both worlds to experience their best outcome using homeopathy.
Heather Caruso is a homeopath and holistic nutritionist for the past 20 years in Guelph Ontario. For more information or to book a free get acquainted chat go to www.carusohomeopathy.com