Rheumatoid Arthritis Case Study – Paula
Paula, 36 years old diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 18 months previously (after birth of first baby).
Presenting symptoms: severe swelling and pain in knuckle and finger joints, with stiffness, these symptoms were aggravated by her work using a keyboard. Pain was now being experienced in the knees and ankles which were also swollen and affecting her ability to exercise. Paula had tried conventional treatments including steroids and NSAIDS which she found either didn’t help or caused some nasty side effects.
Paula reported that pain and swelling got worse at time of menses. She found that certain foods aggravated her symptoms and she could no longer drink alcohol without it affecting her symptoms. A very individual symptom for this person was that the pain moved around, unpredictably from joint to joint. She also felt that depression was creeping in and she was suffering with low mood. As she talked about her symptoms she was crying and said she felt better for it.
Prior to pregnancy and before this diagnosis Paula described herself as shy and timid, she felt she was an emotional person who cried easily. Her menses didn’t start until she was 15 years old and gave her no problems except for headaches which she found were better for having some fresh air. Generally a chilly person who didn’t have any food cravings and was not thirsty. Childhood was happy, she was a quiet child. Her pregnancy was good and delivery was normal but with an epidural as she has a very low pain threshold. She loves cuddling her baby as this makes her feel safe and loved.
I prescribed the remedy PULSATILLA based on the changeable position of the pain, and the weeping whilst talking to me her details. This remedy also has late menses, liking fresh air, low pain threshold and whilst it is not typically a pain remedy, I felt it could be her constitutional remedy.
We got great results with reduction in pain and swelling. We continued with a treatment plan which involved some more Pulsatilla along with other remedies including Calc Carb, Belladonna and Nat Mur as they were indicated. Paula’s mood has improved and Blood tests have shown steady improvement in ESR/CRP as well as her RF and X-rays show no further deterioration.
I continue to treat Paula and see her approx. twice a year to maintain her good health and progress. She can now self prescribe for acute flare ups but these are few and far between. Paula also follows an anti-inflammatory diet and has identified foods that didn’t suit her. She is currently not taking any conventional medications.
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