Chapter 9 - Diseases of the Abdominal Cavity
Introduction to Diseases of the Abdominal Cavity
Acute Inflammation of the Liver
Chronic Inflammation of the Liver
Congestion of the Liver
Passive Congestion of the Liver
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Acute Inflammation of the Spleen
Chronic Inflammation of the Spleen
Gall Stones
Acute Inflammation of the Stomach
Chronic Inflammation of the Stomach
Heart Burn
Cramps in the stomach
Water Brash
Milk Sickness
Acute Inflammation of the Peritoneum
Chronic Inflammation of the Peritoneum
Acute Inflammation of the Bowels
Chronic Inflammation of the Bowels
Cancer of the Intestine
Intestinal Obstruction
Air Swellings
Bilious Colic
Painters' Colic
Chronic Diarrhea
Cholera Morbus
Asiatic Cholera
Chronic Dysentery
Acute Inflamation of the Kidneys
Chronic Inflamation of the Kidneys
Acute Inflammation of the Bladder
Chronic Inflammation of the Bladder
Disease of the Supra Renal Capsules
Bright's Disease
Simple Home Tests for Urine - Diagram
Bleeding from the Kidneys
Suppresion of Urine
Retention of Urine
Inability to Hold Urine
Uric Acid Gravel
Phosphatic Deposits
Oxalic Deposits
Urate of Ammonia Deposits
Hippuric Acid Deposits
Cystine Deposits
Bladder Stones
Dropsy of the Belly
General Dropsy

9.29 Bilious Colic

Bilious Colic.

THIS is a dangerous disease. There is pain of a griping, twisting, tearing kind, what the ancients called atrocious pain. It is chiefly about the navel, but sometimes tortures the whole belly. It comes and goes in paroxysms. Sometimes the abdomen is drawn in, at other times it is swelled out, and stretched like a drumhead. At first the pain is relieved by pressure ; after a time the belly is tender to the touch. There is thirst and heat, and a discharge of bilious matter from the stomach. In the worst cases, the pulse is small, the face pale, the features shrunk, and the whole body covered with cold sweat. While the head is hot the feet are cold. In advanced stages of the disease, the action of the bowels is sometimes reversed, and the fecal matter forced up through the mouth, owing to impaction of feces or other obstructions of the bowel.

Causes. Costiveness, irritating substances in the bowels, thick, vitiated bile, long exposure to cold, torpidity of the liver and skin, great unnatural heat, with dampness, obstructed gall duct, etc.
These attacks are usually the result of indigestion in the upper bowel, near the bile ducts, creating a thick mucus which obstructs the passage of bile from the ducts into the bowels. A regulation of the duct, small doses of podophyllin or the acids, with daily doses of some mild bilious laxative, will prevent their return. Crab orchard water, sal muscatelle, and other simple medicines answer every purpose.

Treatment. Administer an active purgative injection immediately (251),(252). Internally, dioscorin, camphor, etc. (340), every fifteen minutes until relief is obtained, at the same time covering the whole belly with a large mustard poultice. A strong decoction of the wild yam root, drunk freely, is a medicine of some value, so is a decoction of skullcap and high cranberry bark, equal parts. This latter article is excellent in spasmodic affections, on which account it has gained the name of cramp bark. The sickness at the stomach may frequently be allayed by effervescing drafts, to which twenty five or thirty drops of lavender are added. Croton oil, given in one drop doses, done up with crumb of bread, will sometimes succeed well as a purgative medicine; or castor oil and spirits of turpentine, equal parts, in two great spoonful doses, may be tried before the croton oil.
The warm bath is worth remembering, and trying, too, if the means are at hand. Hot fomentations of the bowels with a decoction of poppy leaves, stramonium leaves, hops, wormwood, boneset, or peppermint leaves, should not be overlooked. Bottles filled with hot water, or hot bricks rolled in flannel, should be placed at the back and feet to promote perspiration.
Persons subject to this complaint may derive advantage from one pill composed of extract of high cranberry bark, etc. (100), taken after each meal for some months. At the same time a reasonable amount of exercise should be taken out of doors, and a sponge bath, with friction, be employed daily. Care should be taken not to be often exposed to the hot sun.

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