Lifestyle

Regular self-examination of the breasts is very important. It should be done at the same time every month, first standing in front of a mirror to observe any visual changes to the breasts or nipples, then lying down to feel any lumps, thickening, or tenderness in the breasts or armpits. Breast-feeding women with mastitis should bathe the affected breast in hot water, then breast-feed with the baby positioned lower than the affected area of the breast so as to drain the area of milk. A fish- and vegetable-rich diet with no caffeine is advisable for women affected by breast lumps.

CAUTION

• If there are changes to the nipple shape or color, or to the skin texture or hang of the breast, or if there is a hard or tender area or persistent pain, see a doctor as soon as possible.

• If there is discharge from the breast that is not associated with lactation, consult a doctor.

CASE HISTORY

Catherine, a 43-year-old former teacher, first started having mild mastitis after a kidney infection. She was prescribed the contraceptive pill, which helped. She also felt better when pregnant. After a couple of miscarriages, however, the mastitis got worse. She was given vitamin B6 and a hormone regulator, which made the condition worse. Catherine had an irregular menstrual cycle.

PERSONAL DETAILS

Catherine appeared to be easy-going, but inside she was a great worrier, and very anxious about what others thought about her. A highly sensitive woman, she was deeply moved by sad stories. At times she felt that she would go mad with pain and discomfort.

FOOD PREFERENCES

Catherine had a craving for boiled eggs, especially when she was premenstrual or pregnant. She also had a desire to eat indigestible items, such as chalk, coal, and pencils, and had a sweet tooth.

GENERAL DETAILS

Catherine felt the cold very easily, but tended to sweat profusely in bed, particularly on the back of her head so that the pillow would become damp. Her feet were often so hot that she had to stick them out of the bed during the night. She felt worse in cold, northeasterly winds, and better when the weather was warm and dry.

PRESCRIPTION & FOLLOW-UP

Catherine was prescribed a variety of homeopathic remedies, including Conium, Lachesis, and Phytolacca, and advised about dietary changes, but nothing brought more than temporary relief. When she was given Calc. carb., however, the mastitis symptoms disappeared completely. After that she had the occasional dose of Calc. carb., but remained largely free of pain and discomfort. During menopause, Catherine developed the first symptoms of mastitis that she had experienced in five years. She again responded well to Calc. carb., needing just two or three doses during menopause. She has remained symptomfree ever since.

PROSTATE PROBLEMS

Disorders of the prostate gland rarely occur in men under 30. Enlargement of the prostate, and the consequent pressure on the bladder and urethra, commonly occur among men over 45. Prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate, usually affects those in their thirties and forties, while prostate cancer generally affects men over 60.

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