Diseases of the Digestive Organs. Toothache.
Plantago. Great sensitiveness of the teeth, and feeling of elongation; pain worse from cold air or contact; neuralgic form. A dose every ten minutes, if necessary.
Chamomilla. Toothache from a draught, suppressed perspiration, or mental emotions, jerking, shooting, tearing, intolerable pains, affecting the whole side of the face; worse after eating, from warmth, and at night; especially in children. A dose every fifteen minutes to an hour.
Mercurius Viv. Decayed teeth, with tearing pains extending to the glands and ears; worse from cold food or drink; cool, damp air, or the warmth of the bed. A dose every one or two hours.
Belladonna. Drawing, cutting, or shooting pains in the teeth, face and ears; worse at night, in the open air, or when lying down. A dose every fifteen minutes to one or two hours.
Pulsatilla. Throbbing or digging pains, extending from the decayed tooth to the eye; worse at night, in a warm room, from warm drinks or food. Better in cold air and from cold drinks. Toothache, especially in quiet, sensitive women.
Decayed teeth should be filled at once, whether belonging to the permanent set or not. A pledget of cotton wet with plantago or creosote may be placed in a cavity to relieve pain.
Inflammation of the Tongue.
INFLAMMATION Of the tongue begins with great congestion, redness and swelling. The tongue may protrude beyond the teeth, and is tender and painful; a grayish white secretion forms on the surface; the tongue becomes dry, cracked and ulcerated; chewing and swallowing are difficult. Burning the tongue, chemicals or the bites or stings of insects may cause this affection. The disease may be acute or chronic.
Belladonna. Tongue red, smooth, slimy with intense heat, pain and swelling. Later on give Mercurius sol. if the tongue is covered with a slimy coating, and is swollen and flabby, with much watering of the mouth. Hepar sulph. when suppuration occurs, with sharp, splinter like pains.
Arsenicum. Tongue dry, burning, cracked and ulcerated, especially if the inflammation is chronic. A dose of the indicated remedy may be given every two hours in acute cases; three times a day, in chronic.
Rinse the mouth frequently with some mild antiseptic, listerine or glyco thnmoline, one to four. Ice in the mouth is generally grateful. The diet should be liquid, and nourishment should be given by rectal injections if necessary.
Stomatitis. Canker and Thrush.
THERE are many kinds of inflammation of the mouth, the simple, the aphthous, where little ulcerated patches form; the putrid, which is even more severe than the aphthous, and affects the gums causing them to shrink, ulcerate, and recede from the teeth; the parasitic, called thrush, and caused by a parasitic plant or fungus; the gangrenous or cankerous, causing sloughing in bad cases.
Canker generally appears first, as little, hard sore spots on the inner surface of the lips, cheeks, or gums; these may ulcerate, and when on the cheek it may be perforated in from three days to a week. Severe cases often result in death. Canker occurs most frequently in feeble, sickly children, but may affect adults.
Borax. Irritable stomach; mucous membrane of mouth shriveled; red blisters on the tongue; may be easily bleeding, ulcerated patches; thirst; sometimes vomiting.
Mercurius Sol. Ulcerative sore mouth; gums ulcerated and bleed; foul breath; watering of mouth; tongue swollen, and shows prints of the teeth which may be loose.
Sulphuric Acid. Mouth very sore; recurrence or extension of sore spots or ulcers; watery, greenish diarrhea.
Arsenicum. Great debility and prostration; mouth reddish blue, tongue red and blistered; bad breath; gums swollen and bleeding; emaciation; disease resists treatment.
Also Sulphur. Blisters on the tongue and in the mouth; great dryness; feeling of heat and burning; irritable stomach; diarrhea. Kali chlor. Mucous membrane of the mouth red and swollen; grayish ulcers, foul breath; tough, stringy saliva. A dose of the indicated remedy every three or f our hours.
In simple catarrhal inflammation of the mouth or where there are ulcerative patches, washing the mouth frequently with ten grains of boric acid to an ounce of water is recommended. For the curdy spots in thrush which can be brushed off, but which rapidly reform, use a wash of bicarbonate of soda, one drachm to one ounce of water. A baby's mouth should be washed before and after nursing; plain boiled water may be used, or the above named wash. When there is extensive ulceration with great foulness use one part peroxide of hydrogen to ten parts water. Another excellent mouth wash consists of three grains of potassium chlorate to an ounce of water. Absolute cleanliness; light, nourishing food; pure air; sunshine; warm, but not excessive clothing are absolutely essential, also hygienic surroundings. Persistent ulcerative spots or ulcers may have to be cauterized with nitric acid.
Between the back of the mouth and the esophagus, or canal leading to the stomach, is the portion of the throat called the pharynx. This is liable to the same inflammatory conditions from cold or extension of disease from nearby parts. There is chilliness, dryness and soreness of the throat, with constant desire to clear it, and the tonsils and palate may be swollen. Cough, swelling, and tenderness of the muscles of the neck may occur, and although an acute attack may pass off in two or three days, the condition may assume a chronic form. Consult the remedies under "Sore Throat." The first three will be called for in the order there given. The other remedies are equally valuable when called for.
Also Capsicum. Chilliness down the back; the palate feels longer than it should; the throat sore, smarting and biting. Gelsemium. The back of the mouth dry, irritated and burning; the tonsils inflamed; burning in the esophagus. Hepar sulph. The throat feels scraped, and as if a fish bone had stuck in it. Argentum nit. Chronic pharyngitis; palate and back of the throat dark red; much thick, tenacious mucus, which has to be hawked up, rawness and scraping in the throat. Nux vom. Throat raw, sore, rough as if scraped, in the morning, when swallowing, or on inhaling cold air; voice hoarse; has to clear the throat constantly, especially in the morning; indigestion or disorders of the liver.
A dose of the indicated remedy every one or two hours in acute cases; three times a day in chronic cases. The observance of hygienic laws is essential. Local treatment will be found under "Sore Throat."
HICCOUGH may accompany serious diseases, such as inflammation of the kidneys, liver or stomach. Generally, however, it is but a symptom of indigestion from improper food, or a spasmodic manifestation of simple nervousness or hysteria.
In ordinary acute cases due to indigestion, give Nux vom., a dose every fifteen minutes. Moschus or Ignatia in hiccough accompanying hysteria. Arsenicum. Hiccough after eating, and in malarial cases hiccough instead of fever at the hour fever should appear. Pulsatilla. Hiccough when smoking, or after eating rich or fat foods.
Holding the breath sometimes gives temporary relief, sipping water, or taking a little sugar or lemon juice.
THE, causes and symptoms of dyspepsia are described at length in the first part of this book. It should be especially noted in this connection that indigestion may be of nervous origin, or due to an inflammation of the lining membrane of the stomach, gastritis. So far as possible find and remove the cause, and select the remedy in accordance with the general condition of the patient, and not from the stomach symptoms alone.
Headache is often of sympathetic origin, and due to indigestion, so also is pain and palpitation of the heart, heartburn or waterbrash, dizziness and blurred vision.
Nux Vom. Distress in the stomach, coming on an hour or so after meals; sour, or bitter taste in the mouth; flatulence; distention of stomach; hiccough; sour risings; heartburn; nausea; sometimes vomiting; palpitation of the heart. Indigestion, especially in dark-haired, nervous, energetic, irascible persons, and those of sedentary occupations, with tendency to constipation or piles, also after using patent medicines, cough syrups, etc.; nervous dyspepsia. A dose three times a day.
Sulphur. Follows Nux well, especially in chronic cases, with constipation and piles; canine hunger, flatulence, and desire for sweets. A dose morning and night.
Bryonia. Indigestion, in warm and wet weather, and in bilious and rheumatic persons, with constipation; bitter taste and bitter or sour risings; nausea, or bilious vomiting. A dose every four hours.
Pulsatilia. Indigestion from pork, pastry, ice cream or ice water, with sour risings; heartburn; furred, white tongue; nausea and flatulence ' especially in lymphatic persons with fair hair and complexion and easy disposition. Indigestion from exposure to wet or cold. A dose every four hours.
Arsenicum. Burning pains with anguish; painful distention of the stomach; nausea or vomiting excited by eating or drinking; very thirsty but can drink but little at a time; water seems to disagree; rapid prostration. A good remedy after the excessive use of ice water or tobacco. A dose every three hours.
Antimonium Crud. Tongue heavily coated white; catarrh of the stomach; loathing of food, constant nausea and tendency to vomit. Indigestion from overloading the stomach with fats, sweet things, sour wines, etc. Give as above.
Lycopodium. Great flatulence; excessive hunger, but a small quantity of food fills the patient up; sour taste in mouth, and sour eructations. Indigestion after eating starchy foods, and chronic cases with liver troubles or gout. Give as above.
Carbo Veg. When Nux vom. has not given relief, and after the abuse of rich food or stimulants; great flatulence; aversion to meat, fat foods and milk; acrid risings; heartburn; sensitiveness and burning in the stomach. Indigestion from salt or spoiled meat or fish. Give as above.
Also Ignatia when indigestion follows grief, hysteria or great nervousness; weak, empty, sinking feeling in stomach; frequent sighing, and melancholy. Ipecac. Tongue clean, constant nausea and inclination to vomit; after ice cold food or drinks, pastry, pork. Cinchona. Indigestion, following loss of blood, exhausting diarrhea, or from malarial influences, with fullness and distention of stomach, flatulence ' and drowsiness after eating. A dose three times a day.
The general advice given in the corresponding section in the first part of the book is very good. In acute attacks always empty the stomach of irritating substances by provoking vomiting, as with tepid water or tickling the throat with a feather. Then give it rest, especially if there is vomiting. White of egg, Vichy and milk, and light gruels are generally borne best in acute cases. All errors of diet, constipation and mode of living must be rectified. Consult the sections on "Constipation" and "Headache."
Bleeding from the Stomach.
BLOOD from the stomach is generally dark, often clotted, and frequently mixed with food. It may be vomited or spit up in ulcer or cancer of the stomach; be due to injuries, or many diseases such as typhoid fever, smallpox, yellow fever, scarlet fever or diphtheria. It may also first have been swallowed from the nose or throat.
Ipecac. Sudden attacks, with pale face; nausea; vomiting of blood, great faintness; oppressed breathing; feeble pulse. A dose every fifteen minutes.
Hamamelis. Thin, dark blood; fullness and gurgling in the abdomen; patient tremulous, weak, and cold; quick pulse; profuse perspiration. Give as above.
Also Arsenicum in recurring bleeding from the stomach when the patient has an ulcer or cancer; constant nausea and retching; great thirst for water often and in small quantities; quick, threadlike pulse; much anxiety. A dose three times a day between attacks.
Turpentine, the first solution, in drop doses on sugar is highly recommended in bleeding from the stomach due to injuries. Arnica may be given in these cases if turpentine is not available or effective. Phosphorus. Bleeding from the stomach; blood with mucus, black or like coffee grounds; persons who bleed easily.
Bits of ice may be swallowed; the patient should remain in bed, and the room be kept quiet; an ice bag may be applied to the spine, and ice cold compresses to the stomach; nourishment must be given by rectal injections only.
Nausea and Vomiting. Seasickness.
NAUSEA and vomiting are symptoms of some derangement of the stomach or of disease elsewhere in the body, and also may occur during pregnancy. Consult the section on "Indigestion," where WM be found the indications for the application of Nux vom., Pulsatilla, Bryonia, Ipecac, and Arsenicum.
With the nausea and vomiting of seasickness and carsickness nearly everyone is familiar. While there may be no cure for seasickness always to be depended upon, the writer is confident much may be done to prevent and mitigate this affliction, for such it is to most travelers.
Nux Vom. A dose three times a day, several days before sailing.
Cocculus, 6 x. Great nausea, vomiting, or inability to vomit; faintness, giddiness, palpitation of the heart; seasickness, especially from passive motion of the vessel, as when there is a swell on. A dose every hour or two; should follow nux.
Also Ipecac. Persistent nausea with frequent, free, copious vomiting. Apomorphia, 3 x. Ordinary seasickness, with vomiting whenever the head is raised.
Let the sufferer stay on deck, have plenty of warm wraps and a hot water bottle; persist in eating but do not take soups or gruel; coarse, simple, solid food, little and of ten, is by far the best; coarse, stale graham bread and an underdone chop, or rare steak and pilot bread are suggested. Strong, boiling hot tea without milk or sugar, or coffee may be taken, or iced champagne. It is well to drink a cup of tea and eat a cracker before leaving one's berth in the morning. A strip of flannel pinned tightly about the abdomen gives a feeling of comfort and support.
Looseness of the Bowels. Diarrhea.
THE very old and the very young are most liable to attacks of diarrhea. Its causes are for the most part avoidable; improper or too much food, exposure to cold, wet or dampness, as sitting on the cold ground; cold drinks or ices taken when heated; tainted foods; impure drinking water; excessive emotion. Other causes are sudden changes in temperature; exposure to sewer gas or working among chemicals; the retention of irritating substances in the intestines. The symptoms are familiar to all, and are mentioned under the remedies.
Aconite. After cold or damp, or checked perspiration, frequent, scanty, loose, green stools with straining; fever, and restlessness. Ferrum phos. instead when fever and restlessness are slight, and diarrhea follows checked perspiration.
Podophyllum. Early morning diarrhea, frequent, painless, profuse, yellow, watery stools, preceded by retching and vomiting; protrusion of rectum during stool; also diarrhea during teething. A dose every two hours.
Aloes. Involuntary, bloody, jellylike, mucous stools, preceded by pain and rumbling in bowels; morning diarrhea, followed by great weakness. A dose every two hours.
Mercurius Cor. Stools slimy, bloody or black, with great urging and straining " never get done" feeling; cutting, pinching pains; colic before stool. A dose every hour.
Chamomilia. Very useful for children, especially during teething and from taking cold; green, watery stools smelling like rotten eggs, with colic.
Sulphur. Diarrhea some hours after midnight, or driving patient out of bed early in the morning; pappy, greenish yellow, fetid, slimy stools.
Caprum Ars. Crampy, colicky pains; restless tossing; straining of the rectum and bladder; violent, greenish or grayish stools.
Veratrum Alb. Violent, painful, watery, copious discharges, with profuse perspiration, followed by great prostration.
Gelsemium. Diarrhea in nervous subjects, excited by depressing emotions or "stage fright."
China. Painless, watery, sour diarrhea, or stools containing undigested food; evacuations mostly at night; pinching colic; also when there is great exhaustion following diarrhea.
Arsenicum. Small, watery, foul, mucous or bloody discharges, with much burning in the rectum; rapid exhaustion; thirst; restlessness.
Also Colocynth. Diarrhea with severe colic, relieved by bending double. Bryonia. Diarrhea in hot weather; brown, thin stools, worse in the morning on moving about. Ipecac. Greenish, mucous, yeasty stools, with colic and constant nausea.
A dose of the indicated remedy every one or two hours. Perfect rest in bed is essential in acute cases; no food for twelve hours, then only barley water; arrowroot, flour or rice gruel, later mutton broth, thickened with rice or cracker crumbs; the return to the usual must be gradual, A hot water bag to the abdomen is grateful.
Chronic diarrhea may follow an acute attack, accompany other diseases, or develop in camps, prisons, etc. from bad hygiene, exposure, fatigue and improper food. In the beginning the sufferer may seem in fair health, but very slight causes excite looseness of the bowels; diarrhea may alternate with constipation. The size of the stools is frequently indicative of the extent and severity of the disease, usually the amount is from two to four ounces.
The indications given for Mercurius cor. and Arsenicum under "Looseness of the Bowels" should be read. Pus, blood and much mucus may be present in the stools when the former remedy is called for. Under Arsenicum in chronic cases there is little or no straining, the stools are frequent and variable in character, and worse after food and exercise; great prostration and emaciation. China follows this remedy well. Aloes is serviceable with yellow stools passed unintentionally when making water or emitting gas; slight colicky pains; dull headache in forehead. Sulphur. Early morning diarrhea with excessive emaciation and prostration. Calcarea carb. Chronic diarrhea in scrofulous persons, or fat, plump children, with clay colored, sour, undigested stools; head sweats during sleep. Any of the remedies mentioned under "Looseness of the Bowels" may be required for cases with corresponding symptoms. A dose of the indicated remedy may be given three times a day.
The cause of the trouble must be sought, and removed if possible. Even in mild cases as much rest as possible should be taken, especially before and after meals; fruits and vegetables must be omitted from the diet as a rule; milk, plain, peptonized or malted is excellent; warm baths and cold sponge baths are beneficial and necessary; gentle friction and massage of the extremities tend to lessen congestion of internal organs.
DYSENTERY is often a serious affection and may be fatal. Its chief characteristic symptoms are griping pains in the abdomen, followed by scanty stools of mucus and blood, accompanied by much straining and often ineffectual urging to stool. An extended description of the disease in both its acute and chronic form, is given in the early part of this book. Dysentery is probably a germ disease and, hi many cases, capable of being transmitted from one person to another. The causes mentioned under "Looseness of the Bowels" favor the development of dysentery; it is also very common in hot climates. Mild, catarrhal or mucous cases last from five to ten days; more severe ones from three to four weeks; the epidemic, tropical form may result fatally or merge into the chronic form, or recovery be slow and tedious.
Mercurius Cor. Stools frequent, slimy, scanty, composed of offensive mucus tinged with blood, or containing shreddy matter like the scrapings of hog's intestines, with severe, cutting, griping, abdominal pains, persistent urging to stool, and straining; flabby, coated tongue; burning and urging in the bladder and rectum.
Arsenicum. Severe cases, with much exhaustion; stools of thick, dark green mucus, or dark, bloody, watery; very offensive; burning pain in the rectum, which is sore and raw; feeble pulse; great thirst, but for only a little water, at a time.
Belladonna. Violent fever; retention of urine; nausea; vomiting; scanty, bloody, slimy stools, with urging and straining; spasmodic, clutching pains; marked stomach symptoms; abdomen distended, hot and painful.
Cantharis. Blood streaked, mucous stools like scrapings of the bowels; cutting and burning in anus; straining in bladder as well as in bowels.
Aloes. Loud gurgling in abdomen; fullness and weight before stool, faintness after stool; bloody, jellylike mucous discharges.
Colchicum. Dysentery in the autumn; transparent, jellylike mucus or bloody mucus containing white particles; griping colic before stool with much urging; pain better after a movement; great prostration; aversion to the smell of food.
Nux Vom. Violent urging; pressing pain in the back and loins, the back feels broken; great heat and thirst, with red face; the pains and urging cease with the evacuation. After the abuse of diarrhea mixtures.
Also Ipecac. Green, frothy, mucous stools; violent colic and urging; loathing of food; nausea and vomiting. Capsicum. Frequent, mucous stools mingled with dark blood; cutting colic; drawing pains in the back; great thirst, but after every drink shivering. Nitric acid. Chronic dysentery, especially when the bowels are ulcerated and there is pus in the discharges; green or bloody mucous stools, very foul; much urging during stool and exhaustion afterwards. Sulphur. Chronic, obstinate cases, slimy, blood streaked stools; worse in the early morning. A dose of the indicated remedy every hour or two in acute cases, and three times a day in chronic.
Absolute rest in bed in a sunny, well ventilated room is of the greatest importance; the patient should use a bed pan containing a little disinfectant, and the evacuations should be disinfected before being emptied out. For the urging and straining the intestines may be flushed out with a four quart injection of hot water, temperature about 110 ', using a fountain, not a bulb syringe, and letting the water run in gently, or give a rectal injection of two or three ounces of boiled starch to which ten to twenty drops of laudanum have been added. Hot sponge baths are soothing, also a flannel binder about the abdomen, or hot fomentations to the abdomen, or a partly filled hot water bag. The nourishment may be the white of egg; hot milk, plain, peptonized or malted; hot, thin gruels of rice, arrowroot, cornstarch; soda water and milk or barley water may be given, and in some chronic cases beef juice may be well borne or scraped raw beef.
IN cholera morbus there is moderate diarrhea; nausea with abdominal pains; and gas in the stomach and bowels; or the attack comes on suddenly with colicky pains, vomiting, diarrhea, with frequent and copious evacuations, and, in severe cases, great prostration, cold, clammy sweat; voice husky; blueness of the skin, and pulse small and feeble. Response to the indicated remedy is generally prompt. Consult the section on "Asiatic Cholera " for the indications for Veratrum alb., Camphor, and Arsenicum. Cuprum may be needed in severe cases. Also Podophyllum, when the vomiting and pain are not severe, or are entirely absent, and the stools are profuse, watery, yellow, and of an offensive odor. Ipecac. The milder class of cases, with green discharges, and the nausea and vomiting much more severe than the other symptoms. A dose of the indicated remedy every fifteen minutes to one hour.
Liquid diet and rest in bed during the acute attack; large, hot rectal injections three or four times a day with a fountain syringe; cold drinks in small quantities only; hot applications to the abdomen. or a hot bath.
Preventive measures include avoidance of unripe or overripe fruit, of stimulants or large quantities of ice water, getting in a draught. When overheated, sitting on damp ground. Wear a flannel binder about the abdomen if subject to bowel troubles.
Cramps or Neuralgia of the Stomach .Gastrodynia.
THE symptoms of this affection are intense, griping, agonizing pain in the stomach usually extending to the back, with belching of gas, faintness, and intermittent pulse. Pressure on the stomach is well borne. The attack lasts from a few minutes to half an hour or more. Sometimes the paroxysms subside very slowly. True neuralgia of the stomach is of nervous origin.
Nux Vom. Persons of sedentary habits suffering from overwork, constipation, irregular eating, excesses in tobacco, alcohol, tea or coffee; griping, clawing pains especially in the morning.
Fowler's Solution. One to three drop doses three times a day, for burning neuralgic pains of the stomach, radiating in different directions, and occurring in debilitated persons with impoverished blood.
Argentum Nit. Gnawing pains which come on and depart slowly, especially in weak, emotional delicate women; pain much worse from eating; pressure and bending double gives some relief; indigestion between the attacks.
Cuprum Ars. Severe, tormenting contracting pains in and about the stomach; loss of appetite; hiccough; nausea, especially in those suffering from nervous dyspepsia. Give as early in the attack as possible.
Also Belladonna for attacks appearing and passing off suddenly, pressing, drawing, cutting, wrenching pains in the stomach, causing patient to bend backward and hold his breath; periodical attacks, with trembling, especially at night.
Take a dose of the indicated remedy every ten or fifteen minutes during the attack, and three times a day in the intervals. Apply over the stomach during pain, flannel wet with chloroform and alcohol, equal parts. In very acute and distressing attacks, ten drop doses of Chloroform may be taken internally. The bowels should be kept free; simple digestible food taken in small quantities; solid food must be eaten slowly, thoroughly masticated; do not eat when tired; avoid worry and overwork; cheerfulness, change of air and surroundings are important.
Cancer of the Stomach.
CANCER of the stomach is a disease stealthy in its approach, its early symptoms being simply those of indigestion, with great acidity, flatulence, loss of appetite, and foul breath; then the general health is undermined, the sufferer loses flesh and strength; gnawing, burning pains develop, with vomiting after eating or some hours later, depending upon the location of the cancer. As the disease progresses there is bleeding, which darkens the color of the vomited matter, causing the "coffee ground" vomit; the skin becomes earthy and waxy in appearance; the pulse small, weak, and quick, and respiration is quickened; the ankles swell; emaciation increases, also prostration; the tongue is pale and heavily coated. The disease is not common in persons under forty, and runs its course in from two months to two years. Treatment must be directed toward making the patient as comfortable as possible.
Arsenicum. Frequent vomiting, intense, burning, cutting, shooting pains often accompanied by throbbing.
Conium. Violent vomiting of "coffee ground" vomit; pressing, burning, stitching or cutting pains in the stomach, extending up through the chest; trembling of the limbs; exhaustion and faintness. Carbolic Acid, 2 x. Vomiting, pain and frequent,, light hemorrhages; great acidity of the stomach; very foul breath.
Kreosotum. Nausea and retching, with much saliva in the mouth; everything tastes bitter; burning in the mouth; tongue coated white; face pale or bluish; great prostration.
Also Nux vom. for the vomiting of sour mucus; bitter, sour eructations; pressure and fullness in the stomach, with much wind, and gas in the bowels; scraped, raw feeling from the mouth to the stomach. Kali bich. where much ropy, glairy mucus is vomited, with burning in the pit of the stomach; tongue coated thick, yellowish white, or smooth, red and cracked. Argentum nit. Violent belching of gas; vomited matter stains bedding black; violent neuralgic pains in the stomach, with throbbing, and painful swelling.
The sufferer must be made as comfortable as possible, "d in the later stages of this disease probably nothing will relieve pain except opium or its derivatives; perhaps morphine is the best form in one eighth grain doses, combined with five grains each of bicarbonate of soda and sub nitrate of bismuth. Nourishment should be given every three hours, predigested liquid foods being borne best as a rule, such as malted or peptonized milk; other foods are allowable if desired; it may be necessary to give nourishment by the rectum. Washing out the stomach is of importance when vomiting is severe, but must be done by a physician. Sipping iced champagne or swallowing small pieces of ice may relieve vomiting. Operation may benefit some cases.
Cancer of the Liver or of the Intestines.
To give a separate section to each of these subjects is unnecessary, because neither physician or layman can treat these cases with any expectation of curing them. A few facts about this dreaded disease are of especial interest, for instance, that cancer of the intestines is very rare, constituting only from four to eight per cent. of all cases of malignant growth, that in the beginning there are no absolutely constant symptoms, even pain may be absent for a long time, or again a vague pain may be persistent and worse at one spot. Constipation and diarrhea may occur in alternation, and, in the later stages of the disease, the stools contain blood, pus, and a fluid having a very foul, putrid odor. The patient's countenance has the waxy, pinched appearance characteristic of cancer; emaciation takes place, and death ensues in from six months to three years. Often the location of the cancer can be determined on examination.
Cancer of the liver follows in frequency cancer of the uterus and of the stomach, is more common in men than women, and in the latter generally follows cancer of the breast or uterus. A dull, boring pain and tenderness, with enlargement are the most constant symptoms; jaundice occurs in about one-half the cases, but may be slight. Death occurs in from three to fifteen months.
In both cancer of the liver and cancer of the intestines, the remedies given under "Cancer of the Stomach" may be used to relieve the pain and stomach symptoms, especially Arsenicum, Conium, and Nux vom. The diet may be the same recommended in the section referred to, broths and lean meats being also permissible. As the disease progresses some form of opium becomes a necessity, and should not be withheld. Operation in some cases, especially in cancer of the rectum, prolongs life.
Inflammation of the Liver.
THERE are various forms of inflammation of the liver, acute and chronic, from simple congestion to the formation of abscesses. The excessive use of alcohol is the cause of some of the most serious affections. In acute cases there is generally a drawing sensation on the right side in the region of the liver, slight chill, fever; headache, indigestion, even to nausea, and vomiting; jaundice; scanty urine; sometimes hiccough; weakness and loss of flesh.
Aconite. May be given early when there is a decided chill, followed by high fever, with unbearable, stitching pains in the region of the liver; nervousness, anxiety, and restlessness.
Belladonna. Early in the attack, with throbbing and oppressive pain in the region of the liver, extending to the shoulders; worse on motion; nausea; retching; vomiting; continued fever; moaning and starting in sleep; congestion of the head.
Nux Vom. Enlargement and hardening of the liver, shooting, pulsating pains; great tenderness in the region of the liver; feeling of pressure in the abdomen and chest,. with short breath; constipation; inflammation from excess of stimulating food or alcohol.
Mercurius Viv. Fullness over the liver; soreness and swelling; pricking, burning, pressive pains, worse on motion; clay colored or yellowish green stools; tongue coated yellow, bad breath; patient cannot lie on right side.
Bryonia. Acute, sharp, stitching pains, worse by motion; coated tongue, with bitter taste; severe headache and constipation.
Chelidonium. Chronic congestion; constant pain under the inner angle of the right shoulder blade; sallow skin; yellow coated tongue; dull headache; constipation; fullness in region of the liver.
Also Sulphur in chronic cases, with constipation or early morning diarrhea; frequent weak, faint spells, with flashes of heat. Podophyllix. Feeling of fullness in the right side, with acute pain in one spot; much biliousness; diarrhea; bitter taste; jaundice; protrusion of the membrane about the anus. Hepar sulph. when, in abscess of the liver much pus has formed. Arsenicum when, in cases of abscess, there is much poisoning of the whole system; great prostration; dry, brown tongue; restlessness, and irritability of the stomach. A dose of the indicated remedy every two hours in acute cases; three times a day in chronic.
The diet must be liquid, especially skimmed milk and milk, while there is fever; hot fomentations or antiphlogistine may be applied to the affected region; an abundance of pure water should be taken. During convalescence eat mostly fruits, fresh vegetables, cereals and milk. If pus forms during inflammation of the liver the abscess should be opened promptly.
Inflammation of the Spleen.
THE spleen, being an associate purificatory organ with the liver, is liable to similar affections. When inflamed, it is manifest by pain in the left side, below the ribs. The same remedies that affect the liver will also affect the spleen. For congestion of the spleen caused by running, immoderate laughter, etc., China, a single ordinary dose, will answer.
JAUNDICE, is not a disease but a symptom of disease, calling attention to the fact that there is some interference with the work of the liver, that the bile is not being properly manufactured, or that it cannot flow freely through the bile ducts because of gall stones, swelling of the lining membrane, pressure from growths, etc. Other organs may be diseased, or pregnancy or fever may cause jaundice, also some poisonous substances. The most noticeable condition caused by jaundice is the yellowness of the skin, eyes, tissue and excretions of the body. For a more extended description seepage 331.
Mercurius Viv. Complete jaundice; skin very yellow; thickly coated, flabby tongue; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; loathing of food; pain in the region of the liver; urging to stool; scanty, dark red urine.
Chelidonium. Yellowness of the eyes and skin; pain in the liver and right shoulder; bitter taste; tongue clean; stool white; urine dark red; distention and pain in the region of the liver.
China. Malarial jaundice; oppressive headache; liver swollen hard and tender, with spasmodic, stitching pains; capricious appetite or ravenous hunger; dingy, yellow complexion.
Chamomilla. Jaundice, especially in children; white of the eyes and face yellow; green, watery diarrhea, with colic; bitter taste and bitter vomiting; also, jaundice following a fit of temper.
Also Nux vom. in the beginning if the attack seems due to the use of stimulants or errors of diet; indigestion; constipation. Aconite. Fever; stitches in the liver; yellow skin; scanty, dark urine; clay colored stools; local pain. Podophyllin. Enlargement of the liver, with severe pain; scanty, dark yellow urine; nausea and vertigo; clay colored stools; especially when there are gall stones.
Hot applications may be made to relieve pain; much water and skimmed milk should be taken; in acute cases a diet mostly of milk, in chronic cases, broths, oysters, fish, vegetables and fruits; a warm bath daily; fresh air at all times. Cheerfulness and amiability assist recovery,
IT is stated that about one tenth of all persons have gallstones, but many who have them are never aware of the fact. Gallstones are formed in the gall bladder from the bile; occur oftener in women than in men, vary in number from one to a thousand or even more, and in size from that of a grain of sand to a hen's egg. Increasing age, high living, irregular habits, a sedentary life, an excess of starches and fats, and whatever retards the flow of the bile favors their formation. Men gallstones pass from the gall bladder in the ducts, and are too large to move freely, they cause a sudden, agonizing, cutting, tearing or shooting pain on the right side of the abdomen, which spreads over the abdomen and to the right chest and shoulder; the muscles of the abdomen are cramped and tender; there is nausea and vomiting; profuse sweat; a small, feeble pulse; cool skin; pale, distorted, anxious face; sometimes even fainting, chills, and convulsions from the excruciating pain. There may be great tenderness over the gall bladder, jaundice, and a temporary rise of temperature to 102 or 104 degrees. The paroxysm lasts from an hour or two to several days, with remissions, ceasing as the stone passes into the intestines.
Berberis. Violent sticking, digging, tearing pain in the region of the gall bladder. Give at the time of the attack, and also afterward, for pain, soreness, and burning.
Chelidonium. As an aid to the expulsion of the stones, and to prevent their formation; much jaundice, especially of the forehead, nose, cheeks, and whites of eyes; bitter taste when eating or drinking, tongue coated yellow; pain in the region of the liver, and in right shoulder
China. One of the most useful remedies to prevent the recurrence of gallstones and overcome the conditions they have caused. A physician of large experience recommends that six pills be taken twice a day until ten doses have been taken; then six pills every other day, till ten doses are taken; then every third day to the same extent, and so on, until a dose is taken only once a month.
Also Colocynth during the attack, for griping, cutting, tearing pains, bending the patient double; feeling in the abdomen as if the intestines were being squeezed between stones. Nux vom. between attacks for biliousness and symptoms of indigestion mentioned in the sections on " Dyspepsia," and under " Inflammation of the Liver." Unless otherwise specified, a dose of the indicated remedy every fifteen minutes during a paroxysm, and three times a day between the attacks. Two tablespoonfuls of olive oil to one of glycerin, taken two or three times a day for several days is very helpful in procuring the painless passage of gallstones. In severe paroxysms of gallstone colic a few whiffs of chloroform may be given, or morphine in one eighth grain doses, but the use of the latter should be avoided if possible. Hot fomentations should be applied over the liver or hot baths taken. From two to four quarts of distilled or mineral water should be drunk daily; vegetables and fruit eaten freely; all stimulants and excess of sweet or starchy foods avoided, and much time spent out of doors. Surgical interference is called for when there are repeated and very severe attacks of colic, or a greatly distended gall bladder, with attacks of pain and fever.
The number of persons troubled with constipation is very large, yet it is a difficulty removable in most cases. Its causes indicate this, the most usual ones being, neglect of nature's calls; overeating; insufficient exercise; drinking too little water; eating improper foods; taking purgatives. Among other causes are weakness of the abdominal muscles from too much fat; the pressure of tumors; derangements of liver; excessive nervousness, debility, or hysteria. Constipation may ultimately cause diarrhea, ulceration or distention of the bowels, headache and indigestion.
Nux Vom. Ineffectual urging to stool; irregular and incomplete action of the bowels; headache; nausea; bad taste in the mouth; indigestion; especially serviceable for those who have used stimulants, purgatives, highly spiced food, or who lead a sedentary life.
Bryonia. Large, hard, dry brown stools, passed with great difficulty; bitter taste in the mouth; tongue heavily coated white; pressure after eating as if from a stone; no urging to stool; irritability; headache; especially in those of a rheumatic tendency.
Sulphur. Feeling of heat, fullness and discomfort in the rectum, ineffectual urging; stools hard, and accompanied by itching and pressure in the rectum; habitual constipation, especially in scrofulous persons or those having hemorrhoids.
Opium. Complete inaction of the bowels; stools of dry, hard, round, black balls; headache, dizziness, and drowsiness; constipation from lead poisoning, and during acute diseases.
Hydrastis. Indigestion; pain in the liver; hard stools coated with mucus; habitual constipation, especially after the continued use of laxatives; gone feeling in the stomach; headache in the forehead; belching of gas.
Lycopodium. Ineffectual urging to stool, owing to contraction of the rectum, which protrudes during stool; stools hard, and small, with a feeling that much remains; gas in the bowels and rumbling.
Also Collinsonia when constipation is due to piles, with sharp, sticking pains in the rectum. Alumina. Even the passing of a soft stool requires great straining; stools hard and knotty, like sheep dung, with cutting pains at the entrance of the rectum (anus), followed by blood; constipation from blood poisoning. A dose of the indicated remedy night and morning.
The excessive use of purgatives irritates and inflames the lining membrane of the bowels, and torpor follows the unnatural activity induced by them. If constipated, avoid pastry, white and fresh bread, cake, fried food, cheese, hearty meals, stimulants and much tea or coffee. Eat coarse bread, fresh meats (rare mutton and beef), ripe, juicy fruits and vegetables, stewed prunes, figs, etc. Drink plenty of water, a glassful in the morning before breakfast, and eat an orange then. Keep the skin clean and active; walk, run, ride horseback, play golf and bal[; massage the abdomen; wear the clothing loose, and be prompt in answering nature's calls. In obstinate constipation a teaspoonful to a tablespoonful of pure olive oil may be taken by mouth before breakfast.
While the excessive use of mechanical measures to empty the bowels is to be deprecated, the bowels may require a thorough emptying in the beginning, and a small injection of eight ounces of olive oil may be given, followed in an hour by an injection of hot water by means of a fountain syringe, a soft rubber tube being introduced as far as it can easily be passed. Useful laxatives are the mineral waters, such as Carlsbad and Hunyadi.
PRESSURE of accumulated fecal matter in constipation interferes with the free flow of blood in the rectum. The veins become distended in little lumps in which the blood partially coagulates. These little lumps are called piles, and may be wholly within the rectum or protrude from it, may be bleeding or "blind" piles; the latter do not bleed. They vary in color, and are often very painful. Indolent habits, luxurious living, sedentary pursuits, the free use of stimulants, patent medicines, cathartics, diseases of the liver and sexual excesses favor the appearance of hemorrhoids.
Aesculus. Large, purple, painful piles, like ground nuts, with itching and burning; dryness, heat, and severe, pricking pain in the rectum; constant aching pain in the back; stools hard and dry; accompanied by protrusion of the rectum.
Nux Vom. Blind or bleeding piles, from abuse of stimulants, use of highly spiced foods, or sedentary habits; bleeding, burning and protrusion of piles; weight in abdomen; pain in small of back; constipation.
Sulphur. Blind or bleeding piles, with stinging, burning, and soreness about the anus; protrusion of the rectum; itching and straining, after blood streaked stools. Can be used following Nux, or in alternation, i. e., Nux in the morning, Sulph. at night.
Collinsonia. Old, obstinate, blind, or bleeding piles, with a feeling in the rectum as if sand or sticks had lodged there; severe, sticking pains; chronic constipation. Stools lumpy and light colored.
Hamamelis. Profuse bleeding piles; burning, itching, rawness, and soreness of anus; discharges of dark blood; weakness and pain in back.
Aloes. Piles, with flow of hot, blackish blood; constant bearing down in the rectum; protrusion of piles which are hot and tender, better from the application of cold water. A dose of the indicated remedy morning and night.
Open air exercise is desirable; avoid the use of coffee, spices, alcohol, tobacco, highly seasoned or rich food, and overeating; eat vegetables and fruits; drink plenty of water; take cold baths, and, sleep on a firm mattress; mental and physical excesses must be avoided; be prompt in attending to nature's calls.
Suppositories of cocoa butter, intended for insertion in the rectum where they slowly dissolve and lubricate and medicate the surface, can be obtained from large pharmacies, especially Boericke & Tafel, Philadelphia, or Otis Clapp &~ Son, Boston. These suppositories contain hamamelis, aesculus, aloes, hydrastis, or collinsonia, and are to be selected in accordance with the indications given under these remedies. Hydrastis is to be chosen when there is great relaxation of the mucous membrane of the rectum, and copious mucous secretion. A suppository may be inserted at night and in the morning, also after each stool.
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