Chronic Inflammation of the Peritoneum.
WHEN the acute inflammation of the peritoneal membrane is not successfully treated, it may run on for a time, and then subside into a lower grade of inflammation, called chronic, and in this state remain for an indefinite time. But it often arises independently of the acute disease, and attacks persons of both sexes, and of all classes and ages. Scrofulous children have it, and, wasting away under it to mere skeletons, are said to have consumption of the bowels.
Symptoms. These are sometimes very obscure, and the advances of the disease stealthy. At first there may be only a little soreness of the belly, so slight as not to be noticed except after hard work, or upon some wrenching motion. Generally, there is a sense of fullness and tension of the belly, although it may not be increased in size. After a time, it enlarges a little, and its tension or tightness increases, especially towards evening. By pressing carefully with the hand, a deep feeling tension may be detected, giving to the hand a sensation as of a tight bandage underneath, with the skin and integuments sliding loosely over it. If water has been poured out into the abdominal cavity, its fluctuation may be frequently detected by pressing upon one side of the belly with the palm of one hand, and striking the other side with the ends of the fingers.
As the disease goes on, the features become sharp and contracted, and the countenance grows pale and sallow. Costiveness comes on, sometimes chills and fever, with debility, loss of flesh, cough, difficult breathing, hectic, and swelling of the legs.
Treatment. Costiveness, if present may be relieved by Mettauer's aperient, or the neutralizing mixture, assisted by coarse bread, and boiled cracked wheat.
Daily bathing is especially necessary, particularly the alkaline sponge bath, with vigorous friction over the bowels. The warm bath once or twice a week will be useful. In some cases, a wet towel laid upon the bowels over night, and well covered by flannels, win afford relief ; or the compound tar plaster may occasionally be used.
If there be dropsy of the belly, iodide of potassium (138) should be taken freely, and the skin made sore over the inflamed part, by tincture of iodine, well rubbed in, once a day.
If the patient be pale and bloodless, give iron, quinine, etc. (74) (75), and let the diet be nourishing; and if nervous symptoms be connected with the debility and paleness, add some nerve tonic (93), (81), (316). When the disease is known to be the outcome of a deposit of tubercles on the peritoneum, it is now customary to open the abdomen under antiseptic methods and wash out the cavity. The effect of a mild salt,. solution and the light and air oftentimes arrests the disease.
Any statements made on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA
and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or condition.
Always consult your professional health care provider.
copyright 2005, J. Crow Company, New Ipswich NH 03071