Air Swellings. Tympanites.
IT is quite common for persons in delicate health particularly females to have their stomach and bowels swell up, sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly, so that they cannot bring, their clothes together. They do not know what to make of it; it sometimes alarms them; and they ask their medical adviser what it means.
These swellings may occur from an accumulation of air within the bowels, and also within the abdominal cavity. This latter gives the belly a peculiarly hard feel, like the head of a drum, and when it is pressed upon with the finger no indentation remains. It usually is the result of a weakened sympathetic nervous system, brought about by some one of the many abdominal diseases.
Treatment. If the air be in the intestinal tube, a stimulating injection may bring away the wind. It may be composed of one pint of infusion of peppermint, one gill of tincture of prickly ash berries, half a gill of tincture of castor, and a teaspoonful of ginger. The bowels of the patient should be rubbed for a long time; and in all forms of the complaint, it would be well to do this every day. Some. times the wind may be drawn off by inserting into the rectum a long rubber tube. Treatment often resolves itself into a cure of some existing uterine or ovarian disease and the various phases of peritonitis, in which latter case there is fever and other well marked symptoms.
The best constitutional remedies are tonics, iron, quinine, mineral acids, and bitters, (48), (55), (59), (60), (62), (63), (64), (71)9, (73).
Exercise in the open air, and a careful regulation of the diet, will do much towards removing these troubles. Costiveness must be care. fully guarded against.
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