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Creating Waves of Awareness

Why the article:

it was the second year of my practice as a homoeopath, a refined looking man came to consult me for his sinus trouble. He was told to get his nose operated as there was some bone deviation / overgrowth. He wanted to avoid surgery and asked, “homoeopathy / homeopathy being a slow mode of treatment how long will it take to relieve the thing?” “Three days”, I said. The man looked most perplexed and suddenly lines of anxiety appeared on his face, with eyes full of suspicion he asked “Dr. do you give steroids?” I had to work hard to convince him that I did not. Medicines were given for ten days and he never returned. About two years later an 11-year-old boy entered my clinic and asked if I had time to see his father who was waiting outside in his car. I told him to bring his father in. The same man who suspected me two years ago entered. Only this time his face was sheepish, apologetic, and his eyes downcast. He wanted the same medicine again.

When Raashi came to me for treatment of her rash she asked me “uncle, what can you give me when my father has already given me the ultimate medicine?” “What is the ultimate medicine?” I asked her. “Steroids”, said she. She was the daughter of late Dr. Bakshi of DLF 2 and was on steroids for the last one year. I told her what Burnett (a great homoeopath) had said about allopaths, and the quotation was, “what they don’t know is not knowledge; what they can’t cure is incurable.” It indeed was the most stubborn case of rash and I nicknamed her Rashy. She took a year approx to get cured of her rash. Has lost some of her extra kilos too. (In such cases neutralizing the ill effects of steroids takes most of our time. A normal case of similar rash, without steroid abuse, never takes more than three to six weeks).

A lady from Garden Estate once asked one of my friends if he could guide her to some good homoeopath in the vicinity. My friend told her about me. She asked him “does your friend give powders also?” “Occasionally,” answered my friend. “Then I will never go to him he must be giving steroids”. Concluded the lady.

A lady who had recently shifted to Gurgaon from Chandigarh had been told by her homoeopath back at Chandigarh to be wary of homoeopaths of Delhi as,“all of them use steroids.” According to the gentleman.

We the gullible of India have shown a special knack for believing the hearsay without ever trying to find out the facts. Rumour mongering has always been our favourite pastime. One thing we never forget is adding a pinch of salt to the rumours before peddling them further. We all know that many generations of Indians kept believing that crossing the oceans would bring misfortune to the person doing so. And none of the Indians ever ventured out into the sea. It took another race to cross the oceans and beat us out of our superstitions. Today Indians are found hiding in cargo containers trying to sneak into their dreamlands overseas. Had ignorance been bliss for these miserable beings I would never have tried to bring them out of it but I see so many people suffering and not trying homoeopathy / homeopathy for things so easily curable with our medicines that I could not help writing this article.

The information used in writing the article is common knowledge freely available on various websites. Here is what most of the sites tell about the side effects of steroids:

'The Truth About Steroids:
Steroids affect your heart. Steroid abuse has been associated with cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. These heart problems can even happen to athletes under the age of 30.
Steroids affect your appearance. In both sexes, steroids can cause male-pattern baldness, cysts, acne, and oily hair and skin. Steroids affect your mood. Steroids can make you angry and hostile for no reason. There are recorded cases of murder attributed to intense anger from steroid use.

For Guys: Baldness. Development of breasts. Impotence. For Girls: Growth of facial hair. Deepened voice. Breast reduction. For Both: Jaundice (yellowing of the skin). Swelling of feet or ankles. Aching joints .Bad breath. Mood swings. Nervousness. Trembling.

According to another website; Side effects depend on how much, and how long the medication is taken. The most common side effect of steroids taken for a short time is an increased appetite. Some people also have more energy, feel a sense of well being, have trouble sleeping. Others feel sad or irritable. Side effects of oral steroids taken daily, for long periods of time, and/or at high doses can be serious and may take a long time to go away once the medication is stopped.

Q. Are steroids addictive?
A. Yes, they can be. Withdrawal symptoms include mood swings, suicidal thoughts and/or attempts, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, and sleeplessness.
Q. How long do steroids stay in your system?
A. The length of time that steroids stay in the body varies from a couple of weeks to more than 18 months.
Q. What can I do to excel in sports if I don't use steroids?
A. Focus on getting proper diet, rest, and good overall mental and physical health. These things are all factors in how your body is shaped and conditioned. Excelling in sports is achievable and done by millions of athletes without relying on steroids.”


it is a common knowledge that homoeopathic / homeopathic medicines do not produce any such side effects. But does that mean a homoeopathic / homeopathic medicine does not produce any other effect than the one it was intended to? No is the answer. If we carefully observe a person undergoing constitutional treatment with homoeopathic / homeopathic medicines we can see various interesting changes taking place in his/her body, mind and emotional plane. Can you believe homoeopathic / homeopathic medicines can convert an introvert into an outgoing person, a diffident child into a confident one a jealous and restless lady into a milder and relaxed one? Change the lines on your palm or your handwriting? Alter the hew of your eyes and skin, texture of your hair? Even your features and physique change to a great extent and that too always positively. If you feel generally better after taking a constitutional medicine that does not mean the medicine contains steroids. It happens because usually most of the polycrest (a medicine of many uses) medicines have a broad sphere of action and they affect almost every part of human body including the endocrine system and improved hormonal levels and a generally improved health is what is responsible for feeling of well being; rather it is the first sign that the medicine is working well and is the right medicine for the patient and ideally this feeling should not be temporary like in case of artificial hormones.

Let’s see what the web says about the taste of steroids and how do homoeopathic / homeopathic medicines compare.

McKesson Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 2002.1

How is it taken?

"Oral steroids can be taken as pills or syrup. Steroid medicine has a bitter taste. Swallow the pills quickly and do not hold them in your mouth. The syrup also has a bitter taste or after taste and is best swallowed quickly. After swallowing, quickly take a drink of another liquid to rinse your mouth. It is best not to take this medicine on an empty stomach.

Masking the Taste of Oral Steroids

Not an easy task, no matter how you look at it. Ever taste the stuff yourself? It truly is vile. But during a severe flare, they're the only thing that kept Ed alive so we HAD to find a way to get them (and keep them) down. Here are our experiences...

Ed promptly gagged and vomited every oral steroid dose they administered in the hospital, which was extremely frustrating, as he couldn't go home until he proved he could keep it down. We tried mixing it with juice, ice cream; you name it, and still no luck. Finally, our pediatrician suggested Pediapred, a pediatric formulation of prednisone. It worked! It comes in two versions - syrup, which is clear, and a liquid, which is cloudy. We only found success with the clear syrup.

The drawback is that because it is only available in a low (pediatric, hence the name) concentration, the patient has to take a higher quantity, say, two tablespoons as opposed to two teaspoons. But if it means keeping it in the stomach, it’s well worth it. Our local hospital does not carry Pediapred (their on-site pharmacy only stocks Prelone) so I learned to bring it with me whenever we headed off to the ER. Most of the medical staff I encountered were agreeable to me administering (their prescribed dosage of) Pediapred once I explained the situation.”

I give every child the right to sue the person who said that better medicines are always bitter. We frequently get calls from panicked parents that their little kids have eaten all their medicines. We have to work hard to assure them that no harm will come to the little ones. So if the medicines your homoeopath gives you taste sweet you be sure they are steroids free. Moreover a homoeopathic / homeopathic medicine can be taken on an empty stomach and rather we encourage our patients to take the first dose in the morning empty stomached.

The powders we use at times with homoeopathic / homeopathic medicines have often been maligned as steroids. Nothing can be further from truth. The powder used in homoeopathy / homeopathy is a benign thing derived from pure milk usually imported from Holland has a taste somewhat like glucose and is called sugar of milk. It is neutral in nature and has a long shelf life. The only purpose of the powder is to keep the medicine intact and save it from moisture etc. It also increases the efficacy of the dose as it sticks to the tongue and gives the body extra time to react to the medicine given.

Some people say the mother tinctures some homoeopaths give contain steroids. First of all I would like to mention that the use of mother tinctures internally is not recommended in pure/classical homoeopathy / homeopathy. The three basic principles to select the right homoeopathic / homeopathic medicine are: mono (single medicine at a time), mini (minimum / very small quantities of medicinal substances; any homoeopathic / homeopathic medicine above thirtieth potency is diluted to the extent that not even a single atom of the element it was made from is traceable), and simi (that is the medicine should be similar to the patient and it should be capable of producing similar symptoms in a healthy person if given in crude form, like mother tinctures). The mother tinctures do not fulfill the second condition as these are crude extracts of a medicinal substance and to qualify as a proper homoeopathic / homeopathic medicine must first be diluted/potentised.

One thing to be kept in mind is that we regularly get patients with ill effects of steroids where we have to both detoxify the body and cure the patients. A lady who had gained about thirty-two kilos of weight after taking steroids lost it within three four months under our treatment and got relieved of the asthma also for which she was given steroids by doctors at Gangaram hospital. One cannot expect us to treat the side effects of steroids with steroids again.

What homoeopaths can do about it:

First of all homoeopaths should be aware of the strength of their own medicines. They should realized that our medicines are capable of acting much faster and more effectively than steroids in any acute or chronic condition. Any homoeopath wasting his time with steroids should spend his energies on studying & understanding his materia medica. Furthermore, homoeopaths should be more open and willing to tell the names of the medicines given to their patients. We at Panacea, for example, do write the initials of the medicines on the bottles given and if any of the patients is interested to know the prescription we never deny him/her the same. Medicines are prepared in the presence of the patients and if someone is overcautious he/she can even procure the medicines from outside.

For us homoeopaths a case starts where the conventional medicine fails to give a breakthrough. So any improvement a patient feels with homoeopathic / homeopathic medicines remains a mystery for many. Medicine and teaching used to be missions, once we converted these into professions profits and losses became part and parcel of these, like any other profession. Pecuniary considerations became the chief guiding force in decision-making. Modern physician’s obsessive dependence on labs/ costly tests shows the same. One should be aware that by recommending tests worth Rs. 100,000 to his patients in a day a physician earns commission up to at least Rs. 30,000-40,000 daily, Something a young homoeopath can only dream of earning in a month. He or she cannot afford to give you costly steroids in addition to his medicines even if it was intended. The stupendous resurgence of homoeopathy / homeopathy and its growing popularity across all the strata of society is alarming for many. For people of vested interests spreading rumors to sabotage homoeopathy / homeopathy is only natural but before believing them a patient should at least try to know the facts. Knowledge was never so freely available; websites are vying with each other to give you more and more of it. The only test I can suggest for any medicine to be truly homoeopathic / homeopathic is that it should be sweet, it should be swift and above all it should be safe.

Written by - Dr. Shikhar Kaushal. (First published in 2003).

Views: 11749

Comment by Debby Bruck on February 25, 2010 at 12:06pm
Dear Dr Shikhar ~ This is as meaningful today as it was in 2003. We need to explain the long-term side-effects of steroid use on the body and mind as an addictive substance and how it affects the immune and hormonal systems.

Providing actual stories of cure to person's who have had chronic conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, asthma and chronic infections and used steroids over many years gives people some better understanding. I am looking forward to hearing more cases of this nature and there is a place on HWC to post them.

I think when people recognize their own condition and see your approach using homeopathy they will be intrigued and maybe give it a try. It is important to stress that this must be done by a well-trained expert homeopath over the course of weeks to months. And, those who have had long-term use of steroids, it could be years to uncover the changes in the body back to a normal state.
Comment by Gina Tyler DHOM on February 25, 2010 at 1:51pm
Glad you brought this subject up
Steroids The Sleaziest of Drugs
Steroids mimic the action of the adrenal glands, the body's most powerful regulator of general metabolism. The problem is, like antibiotics, steroids appear to be a miracle 'cure'. Patients with crippling arthritis or asthma seem to be instantly better on steroids.The wheeze, the swelling, the pain go away. So doctors turn to steroids as the first, rather than last, line of attack for their anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects.

As with antibiotics, what was once reserved for the extreme emergency is now being used on the most trivial of conditions. Steroids are now handed out as readily as antibiotics, even to babies, at the first sign of inflammation of any sort. The latest drug set to replace gripe water for babies with croup is a steroid (budesonide); hydrocortisone is included in the latest over-the-counter medication for piles. Steroids make up many OTC skin drugs, and are considered the drug of choice for asthma, eczema, arthritis, back problems, bowel problems like ulcerative colitis-indeed, for any and all inflammations or allergic reactions-and new uses are still being invented.

Far from being a wonder drug 'cure all', steroids cannot cure one single condition. All they do is suppress your body's ability to express a normal response. But more often, the effect is immediate, devastating and permanent damage. And we are only now realizing just how quickly damage can occur. Despite what doctors say, that steroids only have side effects after many years of use, there is no such thing as a safe dose.

Studies show that steroids cause permanent, debilitating effects after a single dosage. With long term use, some of the more common side effects of steroids include changes in appearance, such as acne, development of a round or moon-shaped face and an increased appetite leading to eight gain. Steroids may also cause a redistribution of fat, leading to a swollen face and abdomen, but thin arms and legs. In some cases, the skin becomes more fragile, which leads to easy bruising. These take weeks to begin appearing.

Psychological side effects of steroids include irritability, agitation, euphoria or depression. Insomnia can also be a side effect. These changes in appearance and mood are often more apparent with high doses of steroids, and may begin within days. Injected Triamcinalone (see above), or oral dexamethasone seem to cause these changes less, but as they stay in the body an undesirably long time, rendering them second choices.

An increase in susceptibility to infections may occur with very high doses of steroids. Prednisone may also aggravate diabetes, glaucoma, and high blood pressure, and often increases cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. In children, steroids can suppress growth. These effects are reversed once the steroids are stopped.

Long-term damage: quick and dirty
Steroids don't take years to damage your system, as doctors maintain. Permanent, crippling damage can occur weeks after you've begun treatment.
Osteoporosis can occur within a matter of months. Steroids cause 8 per cent reduction in bone mass after four months (Ann Int Med, November 15, 1993), the equivalent of the effect on your bones of having your ovaries removed. Even low doses of inhaled steroids (400 micrograms per day) reduce bone formation (The Lancet, July 6, 1991).
Low doses (10-15 mg prednisone) for a year can cause cataracts (Surv Ophthalmol, 1986; 31: 260-2).
Topical steroids may begin to cause eye damage or raise pressure after two weeks. Extensive visual loss can be caused by a 1 per cent hydrocortisone ointment, which is available OTC (BMJ, August 20-27, 1994).
Rub-on steroids have caused Cushing's syndrome in children as soon as a month after treatment has begun (Arch Dis Child, 1982; 57: 204-7).
Inhaled steroids slowth growth in children after six weeks (Acta Ped, 1993; 82: 636-40. See also, The Lancet, December 14, 1991).
Bilateral cataracts and glaucoma induced by long term use of steroid eye drops
Dr. Al-Bayati - "High doses of corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive agents cause AIDS" Dr. Al-Bayati
Side effects that may be caused by the long-term use of steroids include cataracts, muscle weakness, avascular necrosis of bone and osteoporosis. These usually do not occur with less than four weeks of treatment.
Avascular necrosis of bone, usually associated with high doses of prednisone over long periods of time, produces hip pain and an abnormal MRI scan. It occurs most often in the hip, but it can also affect the shoulders, knees and other joints. Caught early, the joint can be saved by "decompression" by an orthopedic surgeon. Once full developed, Avascular necrosis is painful and often requires surgical joint replacement for pain relief.

Steroids reduce calcium absorption through the gastrointestinal tract which may result in osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones. Osteoporosis can lead to bone fractures, especially compression fractures of the vertebrae, causing severe back pain. Calcium, at least 1500 mg of the calcium carbonate form or equivalent, should be taken. There are new medications (Fosamax in particular) that also may help to prevent osteoporosis.

There is also a relationship between steroids and premature arteriosclerosis, which is a narrowing of the blood vessels by fat (cholesterol) deposits. In general, there is a close relationship between the side effects of steroids and the dose and duration of their use. Thus, a high dose of steroids given over a long period of time is more likely to cause side effects than a lower dosage given over a shorter period of time.

"Furthermore, investigation revealed that the majority of AIDS patients suffer from metabolic and endocrine abnormalities [1]. The high prevalence of adrenal insufficiency observed among AIDS patients provides strong evidence that AIDS in these patients is caused by the use of corticosteroids" Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati Ph.D Toxicologist, and Pathologist Toxi-Health International, 150 Bloom Dr., Dixon, California 95620, USA more

Dr. Al-Bayati discovered that the steroid treatments, Prednisone and Azathioprine had completely destroyed my immune system and were the culprits that were not allowing my bodily systems to repair themselves. In essence my HMO gave me the appearance of medication induced "Aids."

Topical corticosteroids are often prescribed intermittently for short-term reactive treatment of acute flares and supplemented by emollients. Reactive treatment with corticosteroids offers rapid and effective symptomatic relief for acute flares. However, there are considerable safety concerns associated with their use, particularly when they are applied continuously. Potential adverse events are primarily cutaneous (principally skin atrophy, but also telangiectasia, hypopigmentation, steroid acne, increased hair growth and rosacea-like eruptions), but there may be systemic effects (suppression of the hypothalamicpituitary- adrenal (HPA) axis, growth retardation, increased risk of glaucoma cataract and Cushing’s syndrome).16–20

Hill CJ, Rosenberg A Jr. Adverse effects from topical steroids. Cutis 1978; 21: 624–8.
Ruiz-Maldonado R, Zapata G, Lourdes T, Robles C. Cushing’s syndrome after topical application of corticosteroids. Am J Dis Child 1982; 136: 274–5.
McLean CJ, Lobo RF, Brazier DJ. Cataracts glaucoma, and femoral avascular necrosis caused by topical corticosteroid ointment. Lancet 1995; 345: 330.
Bode HH. Dwarfism following long-term topical corticosteroid therapy. JAMA 1980; 244: 813–4.
Queille C, Pommarede R, Saurat JH. Efficacy versus systemic effects of six topical steroids in the treatment of atopic dermatitis of childhood. Pediatr Dermatol 1984; 1: 246–53.
Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on February 26, 2010 at 1:13am
Thanks for the information.

Even modern medical doctors are much bothered about the side effects of steroids. But they go on prescribing such drugs because they don't have any alternative to suppress the disease. The so called Disease modifying drugs can only modify the pathology, but the disease goes to a deeper level.
Comment by Dr. Meakin Mittu M.D.(Hom.) on February 27, 2010 at 12:51am
Most of or majority of cases that homoeopathic physicians encounter in daily practice are already inder the effect of alopathic medicines and the majority of incurable cases are already given steroids. That is the fact sheet and need of the hour to solve such cases is : -- how to differentiate the symptoms of steroids from the symptoms of man for whom we have to prescribe. For that, understanding of steroids is a must. What to be done in such cases , the technique and how to implement it, is what a homoeopath must understand for the cure of chronic sicknesses or pseudoc chronic cases.
Comment by Dr Dushyant Kamal Dhari on February 27, 2010 at 11:21am
Many a times when a patient experiences relief with homoeopathic medicine which he has not experienced, he feels that might be the physician is using steroids for relief.
Also, if the homoeopathic medicine is checked for steroids, it will give false test for steroids.
An explanation of this is there by an article of Dr Patwardan as below -
Comment by Dr Shikhar Kaushal on February 27, 2010 at 12:19pm
Thanks to all of you for your visits, attention, time and comments!
Comment by Dr. Wequar Ali Khan on February 27, 2010 at 12:38pm
Dr Kaushal, your closing sentence in your blog post

"My failures are misery for many, so my Lord, help me succeed. Amen!"

It touched my heart. I pray that all medical professional,and health care giver in general and Homeopaths in particular emulate such a feeling when they are treating a patient.
Comment by Gina Tyler DHOM on February 27, 2010 at 2:32pm
From the link Dr Dhari posted:
The curative properties of homoeopathic medicines prescribed strictly on the principles of homoeopathy extend much farther than contemporary system of medicine. This might be the reason that our contemporaries have the misconception that homoeopaths use steroids.
Classical homeopathic practicioners dO NOT USE STEROIDS.
Comment by Dr Shikhar Kaushal on March 2, 2010 at 9:07am
Respected Dr. Wequar Ali Khan! ... Larger the heart, more easily touched! One needs a sensitive and compassionate heart to feel someone's heartfelt sentiments. As some great poet said," Dil se dil ko rah hoti hai."
Comment by DR. PAPPUR NIKUNJ on March 22, 2010 at 9:09am
Dear Dr. Shikhar Kaushal,
Really, Your Efforts on prescribing the Right Remedys to the Patients are great...Practise makes the difference with knowledge and Experience...Welldone..and continue to help patients and further we all are with you...........Dr.Pappur Nikunj,M.F.,HOMOEO,(MALAYSIA)


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