Chronic Inflammation of the Liver. Chronic
There, are few chronic diseases for which the physician is more often consulted than this. In the warm climate of the South, in the bilious districts of the West, and indeed even in the Middle and Eastern States, it meets us continually, and demands our attention. That it is difficult to cure must be admitted; but a constant familiarity with chronic diseases, for several years, has convinced me that it is generally curable.
Symptoms. A sense of fullness and weight in the right side with some enlargement, and shooting pains felt in the same region, particularly when it is pressed, with pains in one or both shoulders, and under the shoulder blades; uncomfortable sensations when lying on the left side; yellowness of the skin, eyes, and urine; bowels irregular, loose, or costive; appetite disturbed; sometimes a dry, hacking cough; shortness of breath; tongue whitish, and brown or yellow towards the root; a bitter and bad taste in the mouth in the morning. The urine deposits a sediment on standing. There is generally a low and desponding state of mind~ with irritability and peevishness of temper.
The skin is often covered with yellow spots and with a branny substance. The various symptoms of dyspepsia are often present. The nervous system is generally much disturbed, and there is a disinclination to apply the mind. There is frequently a great dread of imagined evil, supposed to be impending.
Treatment. This does not require to be as active as that for the acute form of the disease. If there be much tenderness of the liver, begin with mustard poultices, and the compound pills of podophyllin, or the compound pies of leptandrin, or (36).
I have abandoned the use of mercury in this disease, as in most others; but if any prefer to use it, the blue pill (52) will be found the most useful form.
The compound tar plaster placed over the liver, in bad cases, is often very serviceable.
An alterative (138), (146) will be found useful.
The daily alkaline sponge bath must on no account be omitted. Vigorous friction must follow it. Vigorous constitutions will bear the shower bath; in such cases it may, occasionally, take the place of the sponge bath.
The diet must be simple, yet nourishing and wholesome, and embracing but a small amount of fat, as this is composed largely of carbon, and the liver is unable to remove what is already in the blood.
Especially and above all, outdoor exercise must be taken to the full amount of the strength, and the thoughts be occupied with cheerful subjects. Let the hot sun be avoided, and the summer exercise be taken in the cool hours of the day
The recovery from this, as from all other chronic diseases, must necessarily be slow.
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