Neuralgia of the Heart. Angina Pectoris.
THIS is a strictly nervous disease. It begins with a sensation of p. tin and constriction in the region of the heart. This pain is accompanied with more or less pain and numbness in the left arm. In females it is not uncommon for it to be attended by great sensitiveness and pain of the breasts. When the attack is violent, the pain in the heart is excruciating, and even terrific. There is attending this a feeling of great oppression in the chest, amounting, in the worst cases, to a sense of suffocation. The heart palpitates violently, the brain is oppressed, and fainting sometimes occurs.
The disease is brought on, in nervous subjects, by over excitement of the heart. Walking up hill, against a strong wind, may bring it on. If walking at the time of the attack, the patient is compelled to stop, and stand still till the pain subsides.
The disease is often connected with organic changes in the heart's structure, such as ossifications and other alterations.
Treatment. When the complaint depends on organic disease of the heart, the treatment must be directed to the cure of these diseases.
To relieve a severe attack, the patient should be instantly placed in a quiet position; wind in the stomach, if present, should be expelled by peppermint or anise water, or ether, or (115), or some other aromatic. If there is acidity or sourness of the stomach, it must be corrected by a teaspoonful of soda in half a tumbler of water; and if the stomach be full of undigested food, let the patient take a tablespoon of 'ground mustard, stirred up with a teacupful of warm water. This will cause almost instant vomiting.
These things being done, give some quieting or antispasmodic medicines, or one of the following prescriptions: (285), (97), (135), (124). Inhale 5 drops of nitrite of amyl on a cloth frequently.
Great relief is often obtained by sending a current of magnetism through the region of the heart, by applying one pole of the machine in front, and the other upon the back.
During the intervals, the general health is to be improved by a wholesome, nourishing diet, gentle out door exercise, and a careful control of all the passions. 1/100th of a grain of nitro glycerin every hour while in pain, steadies and slows the heart.
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