Presented at the European Congress of Homeopathy, Riga, Latvia, May, 2011
“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.” – Hippocrates
This sentence truly applies to a patient of Diabetes mellitus who is finding it increasingly difficult to do away with the reasons for his illness, given the changes in life style, the abundance of denatured food, stress and strain of modern life and the eddy around which he has to revolve himself!
Diabetes Mellitus is a heterogeneous chronic metabolic disorder characterized by hyper-glycemia resulting from a defect in Insulin action and or deficiency of Insulin secretion. It is a systemic and multi-faceted condition that affects each cell in the body and also the mind.
Diabetes mellitus is a syndrome – ubiquitous and dynamic. The prevalence of diabetes in adults was 4 percent worldwide; this means that over 143 million persons are now affected. It is projected that disease prevalence will be 5.4 percent by the year 2025, with a global diabetic population reaching to 300 million. WHO predicts that India will have the largest number of diabetics, around 80.9 million, by 2030. Worldwide, every ten seconds, at least one person dies from diabetes and its complications (Siegel & Narayan, 2008).
In view of the alarming rise of diabetes, the holistic therapy of homeopathy should not lag behind and every effort should be made to utilize its benefits for the sake of ailing humanity. The questions that baffle a conscientious homeopath are – What is diabetes? Is diabetes-increased blood sugar or is it vascular changes? Which is the cause and which is the effect? Is it inherited? Is it psychosomatic? What role do emotions play? What role does life style plays? What should the diet be? Are diabetic pills to be lauded or banned? Is insulin therapy as dramatic as it was made out to be? Is mere control of blood sugar level, a real solution?
Research findings in conventional medicine put toward the limitations and side effects of hypoglycemic agents, insulin therapy, zinc overdose and also side effects of sweeteners. A homeopath should know their side effects as he is confronted with people who are consuming these agents. Artificial sweeteners such as Saccharin, Aspartame, Acesulfame potassium, Sucralose, and Neotame, Cyclamate, Fructose, Sorbitol, Fructofiber, and Civiocid are often used and some of them are found to be carcinogenic.
Oral hypoglycemic agents were clinically tried in America. They put 205 patients on placebo and 205 patients on the pills for an eight-year period. Heart attacks were three times more frequent in the experimental group, than in those on placebos. It is said that increased BSL leads to heart attacks, but researchers found that the very pills which control the sugar, cause heart attacks.
Dr. Manu Kothari, one of the distinguished physicians of India, writes, “We seem to know that there is diabetes and there are anti-diabetic drugs. But I think we are kidding! Diabetes is a multi faceted problem. Protein metabolism is disturbed, fat metabolism is disturbed, sugar metabolism is disturbed, arterial health is disturbed. At the moment we have only one parameter, glucose level. So we give a drug to bring the glucose to the doctor’s desired level, not necessarily to the patient’s comfort. And you call it curing diabetes, treating diabetes! You’re kidding”. Dr. Manu Kothari points out thatDM is not a specific disease pathology, but the innate program of an individual that embraces protein, fat & carbohydrate metabolisms.As a parallel event, DM controls the course of a wide variety of tissues, esppecially blood vessels, either primarily and /or as a consequence of the metabolic, vascular and nervous personality of an individual. For this very reason, its course and cure are unknown and shall remain so.
On this background, the success of homeopathy has to be measured in terms of maintaining blood sugar level, prevention and management of complications – Macrovascular / Microvascular / Neuropathic, and their consequences in multiple vital organs. The role of Constitutional, Intercurrent and organ remedies and the importance of miasmatic assessment in the clinical stages of complications should become mainstay of homeopathic management. The homeopathic approach towards each patient is essentially holistic and more so in DM.
The Seven Factors and Homeopathic Remedies
The following seven factors are implicated in the etio-pathogenesis of Diabetes mellitus, according to ‘The American Diabetes Association: A new etiologic classification system for diabetes mellitus is listed below with corresponding prominent homeopathic remedies.
Genetic defects of ß-cell function or in insulin action:Desoxyribonucleicum acidum (DNA), Nosodes: Carcinocinum, Medorrhinum, Tuberculinum, Syphilinum
DM resulting from diseases of exocrine pancreas: Ars alb, Bar mur, Calc ars, Carb an, Carb veg, Conium, Hydrastis, Iodum, Iris ver, Kali bich, Kali iod, Merc sol, Natrum sulph, Nux vom, Pancreatinum, Parathyreoidinum, Phosphorus, Uranium nitricum
DM resulting from endocrinopathies: Bar-carb, Carcinocinum, Pituitaria posterior, Corticotropinum (ACTH), Cortisonum (Cortisone and Corticoids), Adrenalinum, Iodides, Ferrums, Nat-mur, Sepia, Thyroidinum, Phosphorus
Drug/Chemical induced: Agaricus, Agnus cast, Arsenic album, Bryonia, Camphor, Carbn-sulph., Carb-veg, China off, Coffea, Corticotropinum, Cortisonum, Hydrastis can, Kali-iod, Lachesis, Laurocerasus, Mag-sulph, Nat-mur, Nit acid, Nux vomica, Opium, Phos-acid, Pulsatilla, Secale cor, Sulphur, Thuja, Thyroidinum
Infections: Carcinocinum, Medorrhinum, Tuberculinum, Syphilinum, Silicea, Parotidinum, Penicillinum, Streptococcinum, Staphylococcinum
Gestational DM (GDM):Lacticum acidum, Helonias, Sulphur
Immune-mediated diabetes: The role of constitutional therapeutics and the remedies as listed under no.1.
Most genetic defects in insulin action involve the insulin receptor. The metabolic consequences of these defects range from modest hyperglycemia to severe diabetes. Although the constitutional remedy approach has to be underscored here, the use of intercurrent remedies must be emphasized. Diabetes has also been regarded as an autoimmune disease and the role of DNA has been increasingly observed in genetic and autoimmune disorders. P. Robbins who did a wonderful proving of DNA suggests, “This remedy would be good for genetic damage.” Bladder – urination – urging to urinate – frequent and scorbutic gums are reliable proving symptoms of DNA. Family history of serious diseases and past history of multiple infections (like Carcinocinum) are key indicators for selecting DNA. I recall a case of Juvenile Diabetes with non-healing ulcer on the dorsum of the leg, where the best indicated remedies failed to act, but a dose of DNA 200 healed the wound.
The Nosodes, the multi-polychrests, assume a very important place in clinical practice. A nosode is a blend of the disease-potential and the host-response; hence, it represents the dynamic potential of germ, host and their inter-action to become a powerful and complex healing force to meet the inveterate morbific conditions like DM. The incidence of cancer is increasingly found in the family tree and in order to deal with the cancer miasm, which is responsible for bringing onto the fore a condition like diabetes, Carcinocinum must be used. In a case of diabetic ulcer with a history of cancer in the family, where the life and death issue was the prominent one, Crot. horridus 10M, three hourly, during acute crisis, followed by Carcinosinum not only saved the amputation of the feet but has kept the patient alive and healthy until now (see photographs). Who can forget the inter-relation between tuberculosis and diabetes? A diabetic person is prone to infections and more to tubercle bacilli. Further, the emaciation which a DM patient exhibits is typically tubercular in nature as are also the many complications. Hence the intercurrent use of Tuberculinum helps a diabetic patient in many ways.
A case of carbuncle that was being partially helped by Tarentula cubensis finally resolved under the action of Tuberculinum. Syphilinum, a representative of syphilitic miasm, is a major remedy that can be interpolated when a case manifests syphilitic miasmatic complications that carry a patient towards destruction. I remember a case of a young perverted psychotic with homosexual and incendiary impulses, addicted to narcotics and diagnosed as a juvenile diabetic, who presented with fistula-in-ano, that yielded finally to Syphilinum, when Fluoric acid did only lip service.
Insulin is required in this group and no homoeopath should try to reduce it in an abrupt way. However, side effects of Insulin can be treated with homoeopathic remedies and Insulin in potentized form can be used. Apart from side effects like allergic reactions, thickening of skin, weight gain, peripheral oedema, lipodystrophy at injection sites, and IgG and IgM against insulin (I-G Insulin antibodies of high levels lead to immune-mediated Insulin resistance), new research suggests that Lantus, an artificial form of insulin, may increase the risk of developing cancer.Anotherstudy suggeststhatinsulin use increases the risk of colon cancer. Hence, Carcinocinum and Scirrhinum should assume a place in all diabetics who become insulin dependent.Hyperinsulinemia, a side effect of insulin, is known to cause vascular changes and it is suspected that at least some of the vascular complications in diabetics could also be due to insulin therapy. A point of note is that the long-term safety of Insulin analogues has not yet been established and there is growing evidence of mitogenic effects.
Zinc plays a key role in the synthesis and action of insulin, both physiologically and in the pathologic state of diabetes. I must mention zinc toxicity. Excess of zinc may lead to copper deficiency and may also inhibit the anti-carcinogenic effect of selenium. The other toxic effects are electrolyte imbalance, respiratory distress, pulmonary fibrosis, intestinal bleeding, thrombocytopenia, hypotension, tubular necrosis with renal failure, pancreatitis, gastric ulcer, muscular Inco-ordination, dizziness, anemia, reduction in chemo-taxis, phagocytosis, and platelet aggregation.
The relationship between diabetes, insulin and zinc (Zn) is complex with no clear cause and effect relationships. Since Zn plays a clear role in the synthesis, storage and secretion of insulin, as well as conformational integrity of insulin in the hexameric form, the decreased Zn, which affects the ability of the islet cell to produce and secrete insulin, might then compound the problem, particularly in Type 2 diabetes. Some researchers conclude that zinc atoms, not the insulin molecule itself, provide the switch-off signal from the beta cell to the alpha cell to initiate glucagon secretion during hypoglycemia.
I recommend Zincum salts in homeopathy for the states of both deficiency and excess of zincum.
Diseases that damage at least 60-70% of the pancreas (islet cells) can cause diabetes in any individual. Individuals with genetic risk factors for T2DM are more susceptible to developing diabetes from pancreatic damage. Trauma/pancreatectomy, Pancreatitis, Hemochromatosis, Cystic fibrosis and Neoplasia are implicated in DM. We have on our record a case of chronic pancreatitis where pain in abdomen was present at 3-4 am and it was associated with Type2 DM, and Kali bich helped the case not only in controlling blood sugar level but also in alleviating the pain and discomfort in the abdomen. Another case of chronic pancreatitis with uncontrolled diabetes, characterized by profound weakness and emaciation improved with Uraniumnitricum 30 given once daily for over 3 months. The following indications of Uran-nit. are worth mentioning.