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Taking homepath remedies, is it making my immune system low???

(20 Posts)
extraconfusedhelp Fri 24-Jun-11 16:50:54

Ive been taking something given to me by the homeopath because of my PCOS.

But within the last 2 weeks I have had 2 colds. The first one I was feverish now 2 weeks later I have a really bad cold.

I really think it is making my immune system low and wondering if I should continue... Any advice or experience of this?

inthesticks Fri 24-Jun-11 16:58:08

Just coincidence I would say.
Homoeopathic remedies are really just placebos and have no active ingredient in them so cannot be responsible. They are made by using water that has only been in contact with an active ingredient but doesn't contain it. The water is supposed to remember somehow.

Flisspaps Fri 24-Jun-11 16:59:30

No. Water is good for you.

extraconfusedhelp Fri 24-Jun-11 17:02:10

what about those homepath tablets that you can buy in the health shops?

the homepath i saw said i am likely to get a cold or flu when i start taking the things she gave me.

LetThereBeRock Fri 24-Jun-11 17:04:59

The tablets are sugar pills. There is no active ingredient in them.

seeker Fri 24-Jun-11 17:06:14

Nope. Water is good for you. You probably aren't drining enough, though. There's a useful gadget in your house called a "tap" where you can get homeopathic remedies by the gallon and all for free!

Seriously - are you looking at your diet? PCOS is usually improved if you lose any extra weight you might be carrying, and eat a healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetablea. I know someone who swears by a low carb diet - and she's got 3 children so she must be doing something right.

extraconfusedhelp Fri 24-Jun-11 17:14:42

I am going to start following the low gi diet as really dont like low carb, and i only want to loose about 10lbs...

inthesticks Fri 24-Jun-11 21:52:41


extraconfusedhelp Sat 25-Jun-11 10:33:19

inthesticks - i'm not too sure what [bicuit] means? Are you telling me to eat biscuits? smile

extraconfusedhelp Sat 25-Jun-11 10:34:02

I mean biscuit

edam Sat 25-Jun-11 10:46:42

Probably coincidence - I think adults catch, on average, eight colds a year, children rather more as their immune systems are less experienced.

Equally if you believe in homeopathy, it could be the homeopathic remedies clearing all the 'yuck' (can't remember the term) out of your system. I had homeopathy for migraines once - didn't do a thing for my headaches but did give me the worse case of thrush I had ever had. My homeopath was really pleased as she said the remedies were working to clear everything out of my system. I was NOT pleased as I hadn't bargained for a massive dose of thrush. BUT interesting thing was I haven't had thrush ever again - and this was 14 years ago.

I think it suggests there may be something in homeopathy, given in my case it seems to have had side effects and cured a recurrent infection that had originally been caused by antibiotics (damn that GP). Until taking homeopathy, I had repeated thrush infections. Took homeopathy, no more thrush, ever again.

Could be coincidence but a very strange one. And the definite fact is conventional medicine caused the thrush, while it's possible that homeopathy took it away.

Btw, for all the homeopathy-haters who get very, very narked at the idea patients may find some benefit from something that isn't properly understood, perhaps you should consider that plenty of conventional and widely-used drugs aren't fully understood either. And that one of the most important things in medicine is how the patient feels. A cure would be nice, but isn't always possible, however good the medicine/surgery is. If the patient feels better, job done, however that has been achieved - whether that's because the GP listened or because you took homeopathy.

DBennett Sat 25-Jun-11 14:55:09

"Btw, for all the homeopathy-haters who get very, very narked at the idea patients may find some benefit from something that isn't properly understood, you should consider that plenty of conventional and widely-used drugs aren't fully understood either"

It's not that homeopathy has an unknown mechanism with consistent and repeatable effects.

It doesn't have any effect when tested correctly.
And we understand very well why it might seem to have an effect.

In addition, if homeopathy works through the mechanisms homeopathic supporters propose (and use which results in these anecdotes) then the majority of what we know, from decades of anatomy, biology, chemistry, pathology and physiology is wrong.

So the question then becomes:

If homeopathy works, how do other drugs work?

seeker Sun 26-Jun-11 08:30:50

One of the very few things that can be said in favour of homeopathy is that it categorically has no side effects!

DBennett Sun 26-Jun-11 10:09:02

"One of the very few things that can be said in favour of homeopathy is that it categorically has no side effects"

I don't think this is the case.

Even if you set aside those you get worse outcomes because the choose homeopathy first or instead of evidence based therapies, homeopathy can cause harm.

The obvious ways are allergies or contamination with regards to the medium of the pill or tincture.
This is especially the case in places where water is not so clean but even in high income countries this can cause problems.
Germany for example, has had cases of homeopathic solutions contaminated with fungus causing liver failure.

The more interesting (and more common) side effects are caused by the Nocebo response.
That isn't a typo, just as people can get beneficial effects from non-pharmacological therapies, they can also get negative effects.

These often come in the form of dermatitis and headaches in homeopathy.
Some practitioners take them as a sign that the therapy is working.

But the most important adverse effect of homeopathic solutions, IMO, is that it makes people more likely to believe/use unproven ideas in the future.

Homeopathy is the gateway to more dangerous alternatives.

strawberryjelly Sun 26-Jun-11 14:16:42

OP I Might have missed something but have you seen a gynaecologist who can help you with your PCOS by using conventional treatment?

PCOS is a serious medical condition and whilst some people might use homepathy for minor- ish chronic conditions (I don't- used to " believe" but no longer do) would you not be better off seeking some good specialist help?

edam Sun 26-Jun-11 17:21:26

Love the idea of homeopathy as a gateway drug that drags you into an underworld where you end up on really dangerous stuff. Makes it sound so glamorous. grin 'Step away from the pills! You will come to a bad end! Just say NO!'

People are allowed to believe different things, you know. Or to use things that aren't evidence based - which includes much conventional medicine, given the EBM movement hasn't been around that long and hasn't finished looking at everything yet. (I used to work with Drug & Therapeutics Bulletin, btw, who are a bunch of expert reviewers. I was on a different title but we worked together on a number of things, including their reviews of complementary medicine.)

If something offers people comfort, it's rather arrogant and against the very purpose of medicine to get all huffy about it. If you don't like homeopathy, don't use it. But equally don't sneer at those who do.

The only reason to intervene would be if they had cancer or an equally serious disease and rejected conventional medicine in favour of comp. And even then, all you can do is to try to persuade them. Fortunately there are very few of those people and very many who use complementary remedies as an adjunct to conventional cancer treatments. They can make a very stressful, painful time with drugs that have very severe effects a little more bearable. That's why comp. therapies are offered at the Christie Hospital and in many cancer wards.

DBennett Sun 26-Jun-11 19:42:34

"The only reason to intervene would be if they had cancer or an equally serious disease and rejected conventional medicine in favour of comp. "

I disagree.

Don't get me wrong, it's a good reason.
But there are others.

If the practice was taking up resources that could be used elsewhere.

Homeopathy on the NHS costs around £4 million a yr.
This amount, though comparatively small should not be free of critique.

If the practice was causing harm elsewhere.

The use of homeopathic preparations in the UK has been used as evidence for using them in low income countries instead of evidence based healthcare.

If their use supports more dangerous ideas.

UK homeopaths have been to be anti-vaccine and to use homeopathic preparations instead of malaria prophylaxis, both medical and non-medical options.

It's about more than personnel choice.

PigletJohn Sun 26-Jun-11 20:03:57

I have some difficulty with teh cxoncept that the purified water sold as a homeopathic remedy contains a "memory" or something that used to be in it until it got diluted away to nothing.

Surely it contains a much bigger memory of the glass bottle, the copper pipe, the cloud it fell from, the earth it fell on, and the sea it rose from?

edam Sun 26-Jun-11 20:12:03

homeopathy costs the NHS peanuts and delivers good value for money because it makes people feel better. Often people who are going through a very grim time indeed with cancer treatment – or chronic diseases where there is very little conventional medicine can do to relieve their suffering. See the Northern Ireland study. There are plenty of other things that cost the NHS money that deliver fuck all benefit for patients - see the whole electronic health record madness.

As for the other things, you can tackle them individually without demanding that all homeopathy is banned. It's not up to you to deny people a choice.

DBennett Sun 26-Jun-11 20:42:48

Firstly, I haven't (nor has anyone else on this thread) demanded homeopathy should be banned.
And, for the record, I don't think it should be.

Secondly, you mentioned homeopathy and cancer treatment again. An area where homeopathy has been studied and been found not to be very convincing.

A review performed by team from the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital found only one in seven suitable trials found good evidence of any effect, which was preventing stomatitis.

This is not sufficient to earn homeopathy a free pass from critique.

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