Short Gut Syndrome. Chronic diarrhea stopped with Croton tiglium.
Filed under Clinical Cases
She had no ileum, a three and a half to four meter long piece of the small intestine. It had been surgically removed over four years ago. As a result, she was having frequent diarrhea and had to be extremely careful about everything she put in her mouth. She was seventy years old and I had earlier treated her successfully for a skin condition: urticaria or hives.
The ileum is the third portion of the small intestine. Its wall is made up of many folds containing villi–minute, finger-like projections capable of absorbing large quantities of the products of digestion, namely, bile salts and vitamin B-12. It also secretes many enzymes crucial in the digestion of protein and carbohydrate. The ileum also absorbs fatty acids. Because of the villi, the ileum presents a vast surface for absorption. When the ileum is removed, the partially processed products of digestion go straight into the colon or large intestine. The result: frequent diarrhea and vitamin B-12 deficiency requiring life-long supplementation.
My patient suffered from trigger-quick diarrhea. Daily she had diarrhea immediately after eating or drinking. She had to be constantly vigilant to drink small quantities and eat small portions. Anything more set off diarrhea within minutes. She had what is known as “Short Gut Syndrome” or “Short Bowel Syndrome.”
The question: could homeopathy help in spite of the fact she was missing a long, crucial segment of the small intestine? I thought it worth a try and took the following symptoms from the Repertory.
- Diarrhea immediately after eating
- Diarrhea immediately after drinking
- Diarrhea, sudden
These symptoms suggested the homeopathic medicine, Croton tiglium which is made from Croton oil. Croton oil is a powerful purgative, causing the stool to be evacuated in a sudden gush, like a shot. My patient described her diarrhea in just those terms. When Croton oil is prepared homeopathically, it has the potential to reverse and cure sudden, gushing diarrhea.
She took a single dose and the diarrhea ceased. She was able to eat and drink normally.
This kind of result cannot be satisfactorily explained physiologically. The loss of the ileum means the loss of the existing gut’s ability to absorb nutrients. Usually, after the removal of the ileum, the remaining gut partially takes over some of the duties of the ileum. This adaptation takes about two years and even then most people with no ileum still have diarrhea. Some even need parenteral (intravenous) nutrition. My patient’s diarrhea went away within a few days and her operation had been four years earlier.
My explanation: Croton tiglium–an energetic trace of Croton oil– re-ordered the vital energy or Vital Force, putting it into dynamic balance. The now revivified Vital Force then exerted its influence on the existing gut causing it to act and work normally.
The annals of homeopathy contain innumerable unlikely cures and that is what spurs homeopaths the world over never to say never and always to offer hope.
But my patient may not have needed to have her ileum removed. Here is the rest of the story. In 2006, she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. The uterus and both ovaries were surgically removed. She then underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy. “It took me two years to recuperate,” she said. “And then I needed supplemental potassium and a B-12 shot once a month in addition to Loperamide to control the diarrhea.”
It was the radiation that nearly did her in. Here is her story:
“As I was nearing the end of the radiation treatments in 2007, I knew I had had enough. I was sure the radiation treatments were harming me. I begged my doctors not to do anymore.”
She was part of a research protocol which called for chemotherapy and radiation therapy in addition to surgery. As she was one of only five patients with the exact same pathology, the doctors were adamant she continue and refused her request.
“I told them, ‘I’m not coming back.’ Then they said they’d bring the radiation equipment to my house. My answer: ‘I’ll tell the people at the gate not to let you in.’ Then they shifted from trying to persuade me to persuading my husband. They told him, ‘If she doesn’t receive the radiation the cancer will return and we won’t be able to stop it.’
“So I consented. I lay on the table crying. About three months later, if I swallowed food, I’d vomit it up so violently it would end up across the room. I went back to the hospital for a barium swallow. I couldn’t keep the barium down. Then they did a CT scan which showed the ileum was non-functioning. Four days later, I was in surgery and they removed the ileum.”
That is how she ended up with Short Gut Syndrome and daily diarrhea, extra potassium daily and a monthly shot of B-12. Could things have worked out differently? It’s hard to know. The doctors were wedded to their research protocol and refused to alter it. Yet she knew the radiation was harming her. It is difficult for doctors to listen to patients when they know what their protocol calls for. Had she not had the final radiation treatments, would the cancer have returned? No one will ever know. The surgeon cleaned up the mess caused by too much radiation and, thankfully, homeopathic Croton tiglium was able to undo some of the havoc caused by the loss of her ileum.