I want to look good: a case of Calcarea fluoratum
I first met my patient, a 40 year old male, in September of 2011. His chief complaint was a recent diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and high blood pressure.
His appearance was neat and well dressed, slim but athletic. His eyes exhibited slight exopthalmia. He was meticulous about his appearance and his health, and presented his case with much detail. He lives a healthy lifestyle, exercises regularly and measures his body fat, weight, and blood pressure regularly. He was very aware of all aspects of his health; he experienced anxiety when anything was ‘off’ and so the hyperthyroidism was causing him considerable anxiety, especially with regards to his ability to support his young family.
My patient did not display the typical picture of hyperthyroidism - that is to say, he was not feeling restless, hungry, or hot, nor was he losing a great deal of weight. He felt tired and had not been sleeping well, although this was normal for him since the birth of his children. His appetite and energy levels were the same as usual. He did feel some ‘jitteriness’ and palpitations when his blood pressure was high. He was diagnosed with Graves disease by a specialist. When he first noticed that he did not feel well, he weighed 170 lbs, and at the time of our first appointment, he weighed 163 lbs.
His other symptoms included pain in the middle of the lower back, which was worse when driving and worse from standing. He complained of weak, loose ligaments, so that his muscles compensate, resulting in tensions. He wears glasses and he was told that the ligaments around his eye sockets were loose.
Anxiety about health
and supporting his family
“What if I never get healthy again; how can I support my family?”
He tries to look at the bright side, “but, times like now, my symptoms are not getting better, I’m not convinced right now. Will my heart rate get back to what it used to be?”
He worried that when he had to go for a blood pressure test, the stress and anxiety would elevate his blood pressure.
“I’m vain that way; looking good and dressing well is important to me. It was traumatic when I was losing my hair, I never expected it to happen. I was just leaving my parents' home for university; it took a long time, years, for me to get over the issue of not having hair on my head. It’s important for me to look good, I want to have a good build, a good frame, and it’s a big motivating factor to look good. I could never see myself gaining weight, I have a fat scale and I constantly monitor that.”
Although he has a good relationship with his parents and his relatives, he sometimes feels rejected by his family; he feels they did not spend enough time together when he moved to Ottawa. Earlier in life, he felt that his father was more devoted to religion than to his immediate family. He was shy and self conscious as a child but “I grew out of my shell at university”.
Calcarea fluoratum is not the first remedy considered for hyperthyroidism. It fits, however, the overall picture of anxiety about health, loose ligaments, and early hair loss, as well as the atypical hyperthyroid symptoms. I prescribed one dose of Calcarea fluoratum 200CH.
He reports feeling better overall. “My pulse rate was 82 but now it’s 72 or better. I have more energy. I am not noticing the palpitations like before. I’m now at 165 lbs.”
Repeat Calcarea fluoratum 200 CH, one dose.
He reports feeling tired again, although in November his energy had improved again for a few weeks, after the second dose of the remedy. He is under more stress at work, as he is changing jobs in January and has been finishing projects. His heart rate is still at 72 and his weight is at 166. His specialist reported that his T3 and T4 levels had dropped slightly. He is having difficulties with family relationships and his back pain is worse.
Calcarea fluoratum 200CH, one dose.
“Both times I took the remedy, I noticed an increase in my energy level but it didn’t last. But my thyroid levels have improved; one is in the normal range now.” He was very busy starting a new job and working longer hours. Back pain has continued to worsen. He says he feels more relaxed about family relationships and can “let things go".
Calcarea fluoratum 1M, every 2 weeks.
“Since I’ve been taking the 1M dose, (I’ve taken it four times now), I’ve noticed a huge improvement in how I feel. I don’t even feel I have the thyroid problem anymore.” He reports good energy, sleep, and no more palpitations. “I’m playing basketball since January and my back is holding up now, before it wouldn’t.” His latest tests show that his TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) level is still slightly lower than normal, but the T4 has gone back to the normal range, the T3 is slightly elevated. “I’m better with my family. My sister and family have turned a corner; they are making more of an effort now. We spent a week with our parents and things are great. My outlook on life has changed, so have my expectations; we haven’t argued.”
No remedy given.
“My T3 and T4 are both in the normal range now, but despite the TSH being still slightly low, they are no longer recommending medication. Work has been very stressful but my back is holding up.” He was in a difficult situation with a very demanding boss and, since the rest of his team is in China, it made for difficult hours. He said he felt worn down.
Calcarea Fluoratum 10M, one dose.
He reports feeling well; his thyroid symptoms are still gone, his back is better, and his work stress is much better also, because his boss left. “My boss moving was like a gift from God. I didn’t know what I was going to do, other than look for another job. It happened out of the blue.” “Things are great with my parents - in fact, in the past month, they’ve turned a corner and they show much more attention to us, they make more of an effort to call us. They came to visit us twice; things are… this is the best they’ve been since we’ve been here.” He is planning to do a 10 km run in the fall and his weight is back at 170 lbs. He has some knee pain and some ringing in his ears.
No remedy given.
Gaela Nelson lives and practices in Ottawa, Ontario.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bald head; Smobserver
Keywords: hyperthyroidism, loose ligaments, conscious of appearance, conscious of health
Remedies: Calcarea fluoratum