Indium in paediatrics

Key symptoms
These patients have finished their work, but they are being overtaken and they are clinging on.
Headaches, constipation and problems with sexual identity.
Indium is often indicated in paediatrics, especially in cases where there is some confusion of sexual identity.

Case history
13-year-old girl Vanessa comes to see me in November 1997. She has been suffering from headaches for 6 months. These are violent attacks, notably in the forehead, and can be accompanied by vomiting. They are worse in damp weather, and tend to climax at about 3 or 4 in the afternoon. At that time she becomes particularly irritable, and feels completely washed out and sleepy.

She has also had bad constipation for years, and her headaches can coincide with her constipation and the production of a really hard stool.

She is a very serious girl, calm and sweet-voiced. She is a finely-featured brunette. But she has a strikingly masculine air about her. Her mother says, too, that she acts like a tomboy. During the consultation Vanessa looks around the office, noting the books on the desk. She says that there are no problems at school, and that she’s easily on top of her schoolwork. “She’s almost too perfect – a real perfectionist,” her mother confides.
 
She’s a violin player, and she loves things that are traditional and antique around her – she hates modern furniture, and her room is decorated in the style of the 19th century. She also hates modern music and singers. She only listens to ‘high quality’ classical music.

She plays in an orchestra, which she enjoys, although she gets very annoyed when other members of the orchestra don’t play their parts well enough.

She collects ancient coins, declaring that our modern coins are horrible.
She’s very keen on her collection and belongs to a group of young numismatists.

She likes salty food, meat and fried sweet potatoes. She hates bread, which balloons her up, so she no longer eats it.

She sleeps on her front.

At the first consultation I prescribe Natrum Sulphuricum, which seems to help her for 8 days, but the headaches come back as soon as she stops the treatment. 3 weeks later I try her on Rhus tox., which has no effect.

A month later she returns, pale and exhausted, repeating that she hates everything about this modern world, it’s so ugly.

I prescribe Indium 1M.

Repertory
Generalities: Afternoon, one p.m. – six p.m.: agg.: three p.m.: six p.m., until.
Mind: Irritability: drowsiness, with.
Head pain: general: afternoon: agg.: three p.m.
Head pain: Shooting: stool, during.
Rectum: Constipation: difficult stool.

Reaction
Her fatigue and headaches disappear, and at the next consultation she’s wearing a skirt for the first time!
 
Comments
Her extreme reaction to humidity indicated NATRUM SULPHURICUM or RHUS TOX. But they did not fit with her perfectionism and pride in her art, which explains why they weren’t effective enough. Then there was the afternoon aggravation, which is found in many of the Silver series metals. It was her love for old things and antiques which confirmed Indium , as well as her tomboy side.

Pharmacy and history
Murphy Materia Medica

Pharmacy
Ind. INDIUM. A metal. Trituration of the pure metal. Historical dose: Trituration and all potencies, sixth to 200c potency. Planets: Venus, Moon.

History
Indium receives its name from the indigo blue line in the spectrum through which its presence was discovered in Zinc-blende (the mineral sphalerite). It is a rare metal, nearly like lead in appearance and in softness. Indium has been proved under the direction of Bell, mostly in the potencies and the symptoms mark it out as allied to Selenium and Titanium in its general action.

The clinical indications of Indium
Murphy Materia Medica

General symptoms
Indium has effects on the male sexual sphere. There is diminished power and control, frequency of nocturnal emissions, sexual dreams of perversion which should render it of service in some cases of sexual psychopathy. Backaches. Headaches and migraine. Seminal emissions.

There is also a headache with sleepiness and nausea. There are many marked symptoms in the throat, the characteristic condition being worse in the evening and better by eating and by drinking cold water. The urine is horribly offensive after standing a short while.
 
Clinical signs
Backache. Chronic fatigue. Depression. Foot-sweats. Headaches. Migraine. Nosebleed. Paralysis of the sphincters. Pollutions. Sexual perversion. Sore throat. Throat, ulceration. Uvula, enlarged, ulcerated.

Constitutions
Tubercular types.

Modalities
Better out of doors, in cold air, by drinking or washing in cold water. Worse in a warm room. Worse by motion. On the other hand, there is restlessness compelling one to move about. Several symptoms occur in early morning 3 to 4 a.m. and in afternoon, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. There is faintness at 11 a.m.

Mental symptoms
Depression. Psychologically exhausted, cannot work. Sleepy and irritable, with pain in the occipital region. State of indifference. Sexual psychopathy.

Physical symptoms
»» Back
Pain in the back. Stiffness at the nape of the neck. Stiffness in neck and shoulders.

»» Chest
Burning pain behind the sternum. Pain in the left side of the thorax and towards the left axilla.

»» Ears
Painful pustules on the outer ear. Helix red and feels sharp, needle-like pains.

»» Eyes
Uncertain sight in the evening. People seem pale or yellow.

»» Face
Painful suppurating pimples. Corners of mouth cracked and sore (Cund.).
 
»» Female
Menses prolonged. Drawing pains in the lower abdomen with marked irritability.

»» Head
Sudden violent or beating headaches, especially in the right occipital region. Pruritus of the scalp with internal head pains. Pain in head when straining at stool. Bursting in head during stool. Dull pains in temples and forehead with nausea, weakness, sleepiness.

»» Kidneys
Horribly offensive smell of urine after standing a short time. Urine foul-smelling.

»» Limbs
Pain, especially in left arm. Legs restless and weary. Toes itch (Agar.). Pains in the limbs. Jerking in the legs. Pain in the muscles, especially in the right ankle, then moving to the left ankle and spreading over the whole foot. Muscular shuddering. Weakness of the legs, feels particularly tired after walking, becomes restless and needs to move again.

»» Lungs
Must breathe deeply.

»» Male
Emissions too frequent. Diminished power. Testicles tender. Drawing pains along spermatic cord. Testes soft, heavy. Increased sexual desire, nocturnal discharge followed by insufficient erection, premature ejaculation.

»» Mouth
Pharyngeal muco-viscous secretions, sticky and yellow.

»» Nose
Violent attack of sneezing.

»» Rectum
Loses control of the anal sphincter when urinating. Headaches during difficult evacuation of the bowel.

»» Sleep
Hallucinatory dreams.
 
»» Stomach
Acid dyspepsia. Nausea with headaches at breakfast. Weakness in the stomach around 11 a.m.

»» Throat
Uvula enlarged, ulcerated, thick tough mucus in back part of pharynx, worse evening.

Additional comments
The mental condition of Indium is one of depression, curiously not unlike that of INDIGO, whose colour it shows in the spectrum. Headaches were very marked in the proving and one notable symptom appears: “Violent pain in the head when straining at stool.” This is not infrequently met with in practice and I have given great relief with Indium 200c to a patient who had this symptom.

Berridge reports this case: “A boy, 10, constipated five or six years. Stool about once a week, dark and short, sometimes with blood, anus sore after stool. He has to strain much, seizing his thighs with his hands and straightening himself forcibly, the effort makes his face red and the head feels as if it would burst. Indium in high potencies cured him.”

Comparisons with other remedies
Compare:
1) Sel., Titan. (male sexual organs).
2) Bell. (headache, menses), Aspar. (urine), Sang. (headache, rheumatism).
3) Phos., Nat-c., Sulph. and Zinc. (faintness, 11 a.m.).
4) Ferr. (headache, ebullitions, lameness of shoulder muscles).
5) Brucea, Lach., Nux-m., Op., Stann. and Stry. Headache with sleepiness. Ind. has nausea as well as sleepiness.
6) In throat symptoms better from eating and drinking Ind. resembles Aesc., Benz-ac., Cist., Lach.
7) Mur-ac. Adynamic types, red face, dry tongue, cannot urinate without evacuating the rectum.
8) Tub. Constant need to move about, changing, erratic pains, has to make an effort to urinate during the stool.
 
Indium in paediatrics
1. An excellent remedy for headaches
Headaches occurring in the Silver series. Concerns creative (but not inventive) children. They are children who enjoy old, ancient things and classical music.

2. Remedy for constipation
This is a precise application – when constipation is accompanied by a headache which comes on from the effort of trying to pass a stool.

3. Remedy for problems of sexual identity
Girls are tomboys, and boys too have confusions, liking to dress up as girls.

4. Remedy for children who are passionate about things from the past.
They are model children, passionate about classical music or collecting old things. They may become museum curators as adults.

In conclusion: Indium is indicated for headaches, constipation and sexually confused children.

Author: Patricia Le Roux
Published by Narayana Verlag GmbH