Muriaticum acidum; a case of gastroesophageal reflux in a newborn
C. was born on the 26th November 2007, the third child in a healthy family, after a long and painful labour at Hyeres Hospital: 18 hours of contractions and back pain labour without epidural. Birth weight: 3470g.
Right from the start, C’s mother noticed that something was wrong: constant colic, small episodes of cyanosis, and hypothermia. The duty doctor thought it could be a milk allergy and persuaded the mother to breastfeed. The child was kept in under observation, for a few days.
C. came out of hospital on the 8th day; all seems to be fine clinically.
The next day, however, while the mother is changing C., she becomes suddenly very ill with a serious cyanosis, her eyes roll, and she stops breathing until the mother stimulates her to get her started again. The Hospital paediatrician is immediately consulted and the child has two more serious episodes before admission to the ward. Oxygen is given and C.’s heart is monitored.
It is soon discovered that the cardio-vascular tests are fine but a gastroesophageal acid reflux shows up on x-ray, with a gastric fold and an open cardiac sphincter.
C. is given antacid treatment and must stay upright at all time; as soon as one tries to lay her down, an imediate large gastric reflux occurs, even with the allopathic medicine.
A paediatric surgeon from Marseille is consulted, who thinks it best not to intervene until she has gained some weight.
Meanwhile, despite the treatment, C. continues to twist and turn in pain and occassionally has short cyanoses. This situation prompts the parents to consult a homeopath in Hyeres, who prescribes Asafoetida, Argentum nitricum, Nitricum acidum, Arsenicum album, and Conium maculatum, with no significant result.
Three weeks later, C. is still not thriving and is still in hospital. The parents ask for hospital transport to my consultation room in Frejus, which is refused by the peadiatric doctor who considers this case as strictly physical and which can only be solved by surgery. He kindly phones me to explain his position.
I suggest that the parents come to see me anyway, without their daughter, and an appointment is made for 21 December 07.
My first question is: “Tell me about your pregnancy?”
The mother then tells me that her main worry during the pregnancy was her own mother, who was in the final stages of a cancer that had spread all over. During the whole pregnancy, her mother’s main talk was: “I have to hang on to see this baby!”
It so happens that on my shelves I have a materia medica by Hahnemann, translated by Jourdan at the begining of the 19th century. I had already, from another case, looked at the pathology of Muriaticum acidum (chloric acid in 30CH) and here he notes: “The fourth night, I dream that my mother is dying.” (Sx 545 ) To my knowledge this is the only materia medica that mentions the ‘death of my mother’; it is not even mentioned in Kent’s repertory, where one can only find: ‘dreams, death, relatives of.’
While pregnant, the mother is stressed by the fear that her mother may well die and enters a ‘Muriaticum acidum” state. As a result, her unborn child puts her own life in danger with a gastric reflux of hydrocloric acid and, indeed, she will need hydrochloric acid, but in homeopathic doses!!!!
Accordingly, I prescribe Muriaticum Acidum in ascending doses : 15, 18, 24, 30CH, one dose every other day to be taken by the mother, who is breastfeeding.
The situation improves very quickly: three days later, the child is no longer having episodes of cyanosis, she is able to lie down, and is discharged from hospital.
I follow C. every threee months : there is no more problem. The allopathic treatments are stopped within the first month and six months later, she is a healthy baby, weighing 6950g.
Homeopathic treatment can be very effective, even in cases seen as purely physical. To get the right prescription for a newborn baby, it is imperative to question the mother about her pregnancy. To know the picture, the feel of a remedy is a PLUS, and this research has amazed me and helped me to get straight to the heart of the problem.
Grandgeorge Didier: The Spirit of Homeopathic Medicine, 2005
Hahnemann S: Chronic Diseases, tr. A. J. L. Jourdain, 2nd Vol., printer: J. B. Baillere 1846 Paris
Photos from Wikipedia
Keywords: gastroesophageal reflux, pregnancy, cyanosis, dream of mother's death
Remedies: Muriaticum acidum