Looseness of the Bowels. Diarrhea.
LOOSENESS, or relax of the bowels, is manifested by frequent, copious, and thin or unusually liquid discharges. The excessive discharge may be caused either by irritating and unwholesome food, by inflammation and ulceration of some portion of the bowels, or by debility.
Symptoms. Rumbling noise in the bowels, with more or less weight and bearing down and uneasiness in the lower part of the bowels. This pressing down and uneasiness are relieved as soon as the evacuation takes place, but returns when another is near at hand. Griping is generally present, the strength is reduced, and the skin is pale, dry, and, after a time, sallow.
Treatment. When the complaint is caused by irritating food, it will generally stop as soon as the offending substance is removed, and not much medicine will be required.
To neutralize any acidity, to remove wind, allay irritation, and strengthen the stomach, the compound syrup of rhubarb and potassa is well adapted, given in teaspoonful doses, every hour, till it operates. A little paregoric added to it occasionally, or essence of peppermint, or spearmint, may aid its good effects.
If nausea and vomiting are present, put a mustard poultice of one third strength upon the stomach, and give one tenth grain of cocaine in a teaspoonful of water every fifteen minutes. If there is much griping, give an injection (248), with twenty drops of camphor in it. A common diarrhea may generally be arrested at once by prescriptions 159 or 162 ' in teaspoonful doses, after each discharge.
When there is inflammation and ulceration of the bowel, the treatment must be similar to that for dysentery, fomentations externally, and the occasional use of starch injections, mild cathartics (9), (10), and poultices externally.
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