Klinefelter Syndrome

Words: Dr Rachel LEVINE

It goes without saying that genital, gonadal and chromosomal variants are neither completely ‘male’ nor ‘female.’ This is primarily because intersex individuals are born with possible anatomical and physiological sexual differences. This also results in different intersex variations. Besides, what used to be a unified classification of hermaphrodite, exploration of gender and sexuality, including their analyses in conventional medicine, has unravelled that at least five intersex variations of nature exist.

Ever since the dawn of civilisation and narration, babies with variant genitals and morphed endocrine presentations have been documented. Such variations include Klinefelter Syndrome [KS], congenital adrenal hyperplasia [CAH], androgen insensitivity syndrome [AIS], Turner’s syndrome, gondal dysgenesis and polycystic ovarian syndrome [PCOS]. The incidence of intersex births is a total of 1.728 of non-dimorphic births out of 100 live births; this also includes all potential variants [Sexing the Body, Anne Fausto-Sterling; Basic Books, 2000].

The Syndrome In Question 

Klinefelter Syndrome [KS] is the most common sex chromosome disorder. The incidence is 1 in 1,000 births. Males with KS carry an additional X on their chromosomal make-up — the result is an XXY genetic formation. This also results in male hypogonadism [sex glands producing little to no hormones], androgen deficiency, and impaired spermatogenesis — the process in which spermatozoa are produced.

The classical signs of KS are gynaecomastia [large development of breast glands in males], small testes, wide hips and sparse body hair. Secondary symptoms — or, complications of primary symptoms — which arise are early onset osteoporosis, a monthly ‘emotional’ menses [without the discharge of blood], asthma and taurodontism, a condition found in the molar teeth, whereby the body of the tooth and pulp chamber are enlarged vertically at the expense of the roots.

How Homeopathy Helps

Homeopathy treats the individual with the integrated approach — the premise being primarily keyed to treating intersex individuals vis-à-vis their secondary symptoms, such as asthma, blurred vision, and so on, that arise from a primary ‘variant’ disposition. The primary is specifically, also obviously, a deviation of and from nature.

Conventional medicine often views intersex individuals with gender identity disorder [GID]. The definition of this term means to be “sick, abnormal, ill, out of order and to suffer a certain stigmatisation, as a consequence of the diagnosis being given at all” [Undoing Gender, Judith Butler; Routledge, 2004]. This diagnosis continues to pathologise gender presentations that are polymorphed, yet it does not recognise that nature has a variety of ways of presenting itself.

Unfortunately, as we all know, the body is viewed and measured by social and cultural meanings which preserve binary ideology. Healthcare systems have also traditionally approached intersex individuals by gender reconstruction and hormone replacements. Conventional medicine obviously views such variations as disorders; it fails to recognise that such variations are not ‘disorders,’ but disparities in individual constitutions.

It is apparent that homeopathy would have immeasurable beneficial results while treating secondary intersex symptoms, which arise from one’s primary disposition. By treating the totality of symptoms, and not anything in isolation, homeopathy offers potentially useful results, while enabling such individuals to live as comfortably as nature intended to.

A Case In Point 

AJ and I started working together in 2009. He was 46 and identified himself as male. His chief complaints were secondary symptoms to KS: asthma, blurred vision, crumbling teeth, a non-existent libido and what he called his monthly ‘emotional’ period.

At the time, AJ had ‘gone off’ testosterone, because he felt it made him incredibly aggressive; he was using cocaine and androgel [a topical testosterone cream] to help his libido. He was also on a low dose of antidepressants. Doctors, in conventional practice, often gauge the levels of testosterone needed in KS patients by administering what levels XY boys require. They fail to recognise the extra X chromosome which adds to the additional female quality.

There are two variables when treating intersex individuals: first, the natural disposition itself and second the mental and emotional state that arises due to cultural experiences.

At the time AJ had a strong desire for ice-cold water and loved ‘chewing’ on ice. His body temperature was extremely warm; it was worse in [hot] humidity. He also perspired on the slightest exertion and on his head, neck and back, at night. His respiration [breath] was worse while ascending stairs. He was often constipated. Apart from his low libido, his teeth crumbled and many were missing — a typical KS presentation.

He had unexpected weeping, which was worse once a month. He did not bleed, but had monthly emotional periods which were extremely difficult to manage. In the last few years, AJ has felt as though he has been going through ‘menopause.’ He also had a sense of shame, ailments from being reproached, anticipatory fear, he dropped things quite easily, he had difficulty finding his words when speaking and his energy was worse in the forenoon. He needed a nap between 1:00pm and 3:00pm.

Healing With Homeopathy 

My first prescription was the homeopathic remedy, Phosphorus 200C. In just three weeks after one dose, AJ stopped instilling eye drops, reduced his anti-asthma puff to once every other day, and he did not use androgel for the entire time. The cramps in his legs went away and there was also a reduction in his lethargy and fatigue. The emotional period after taking the first dose had not reduced though; his sadness heightened in the first few days after taking the remedy.

There was, however, a reduction in perspiration during sleep and on slight exertion. Over the last few years, I have put AJ on Sepia officinalis 1M, alternately with Lycopodium clavatum 10M and Causticum 200C.

Sepia has reduced his ‘period’ symptoms. There is no emotional climax each month. There is also reduced weepiness and increased energy. Now, he does not use his puff at all. Lycopodium has helped his libido considerably, where he is able to have erection and, at times, he has been able to ejaculate and achieve ‘orgasm.’

His body temperature has regulated, so also his bowels. We are constantly working on maintaining his libido. The current obstacle to cure is that he smokes. Ironically, about a week ago, he told me he’s ready to quit. He has been on Causticum consistently; thereafter, with a dose of Lycopodium every couple of months. He now lives openly as a KS man. He’s also left his emotionally abusive marriage, started exercising, quit using drugs and has considerably reduced his alcohol intake. He is also no longer on anti-depressants.

His confidence is stronger; Causticum has helped his concentration considerably as well as his anxiety. It has also improved his libido — Causticum is being as already cited used as an ‘intercurrent’ remedy with Lycopodium.

Since the subject of gender is at the forefront among academicians, researchers, and others, it presents us with the opportunity to collaborate with them and also intersex organisations. This bids fair to a paradigm shift for homeopathy as a safe alternative for such individuals. It will also, one zealously hopes, lead to a healthy upshot — that it is imperative to treat secondary intersex presentations with homeopathy, because this would, in turn, provide the individual concerned with the therapeutic optimism to live, in harmony, as nature intended them to be.

Dr RACHEL LEVINE, MSc, DSHM, is a homeopathic practitioner, researcher, and educator. She holds a Master’s of Science in Integrative Health and is a graduate from the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. She also teaches at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine and is the Chair of the Homeopathic Department. Her research has been presented nationally and internationally and also published in integrative health journals. Her international practice spans from Canada and USA to Italy and beyond.

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