Wind Colic. Flatulent Colic. Interalgia.
This is a severe and distressing pain in the bowels, sometimes a stoppage, and a swelling about the pit of the stomach and the navel. What children call bellyache is a mild form of it. The wind passing from one portion of the bowel to another causes a rumbling noise. The pain is not increased by pressure; and this distinguishes it from the pain of inflammation. It moves about, too, from place to place, and is much relieved by the escape of wind up or down.
The complaint may be caused by a weakness in the digestive organs, by eating indigestible food or unripe fruit, by costiveness, and by taking cold. Some persons always have the colic excited by eating certain kinds of fruit.
Treatment. When the complaint is caused by an indigestible substance taken into the stomach, the offending matter should be thrown off by an emetic as soon as possible. If this does not bring relief, let it be followed by a dose of salts, salts and senna, compound infusion of senna, elixir salutis, elixir pro., or sweet tincture of rhubarb. If there is no sickness of the stomach, a little essence of peppermint or spearmint in hot water, or brandy, gin, or whisky, in hot water, may prove sufficient to expel the wind, and relieve the pain. Ginger and hot water does well with some. If there be costiveness, and the pain is obstinate, let the bowels be unloaded by a stimulating injection (248), (249), (250). Inject one dram of ether in a little starch water into the bowels, and relief will often be instant. It can be repeated every half hour. The injection of a tablespoonful of turpentine in suds can also be tried and repeated every two hours.
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