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Case Study

A Peculiar Presentation
Dr Subhash Chandra Paul. 
` Bar-c

An old widow, 72 years came to me in 1988 with the following complaints-
While eating rice, the morsel of food suddenly lodges in the oesophagus compelling her to sit still like a statue with no power to talk or to indicate her sufferings. Only tears roll down her cheeks with signs of agonising pain. After a few minutes the crisis passes off and she lies in bed, exhausted. Except for weakness no other sequelae remain.

This type of attack occurs a couple of times each month since one year. The attacks are irregularly spaced. She consulted several allopaths and was treated by antispasmodic drugs with little effect.

I was confused whether to prescribe on this local symptom alone, as no other guiding symptom was available. I finally analysed the case on the following lines-

Due to her old age, the muscles of the oesophagus had become weak. During continuous deglutition of solids, the oesophageal muscles get fatigued and the action of automatic contraction and expansion to propagate food to reach the stomach becomes difficult.

On this basis, I prescribed Baryta carb 30 twice daily for two weeks. After this she did not report a single attack. After a month a mild attack was felt. So the medicine was repeated for one week. She has not complained of any attack since then. She is still alive and enjoys good health.

Editor : We wish the doctor had mentioned the specific indications which led him to Baryta carb. However, on referring to Kents Repertory we found the following rubrics which lead to Baryta carb-

Old people K 1376
Throat difficulty, swallowing solids K 486
Oesophagus, Sensation as if food lodged in K 452
Throat, choking on swallowing K 449.