Barry came to me from a town 60 miles from Cincinnati with the chief complaint of chronic & severe right-sided sore throat. Other symptoms included dry mouth, inability to gain weight, anxiety, poor sleep due to early awakening. He had been examined by several physicians including an ENT specialist and a GI specialist, and was told that his sore throat was caused by acid reflux. But, he had no heartburn or chest discomfort. His upper endoscopy did show some evidence of esophageal inflammation. Proton pump inhibitor failed to relieve his sore throat.
I gave him acupuncture during his initial visit for reflux esophagitis per his request. He returned 1 week later without any improvement. After carefully analyzing his case, I told him that I questioned his diagnosis based on two reasons :
1. Why did he not have esophageal symptoms if reflux was so severe to cause throat irritation?
2. Why did he only have sore throat on the right side?
During his second visit, two new acupuncture points were added for sore throat. He felt immediate relief. A mixture of herbs was also prescribed for sore throat and Yin deficiency. To his surprise, he had only minimal residual throat discomfort when he came back for the third session. In addition, he felt more relaxed and more energetic.
This is a case successfully treated based on principles in TCM. Undoubtedly, having 30 years of practice experience in western medicine also helped me nailing down his problem accurately.