THESE deposits are indicated by a state of the urine just the opposite of that which contains the uric acid gravel. They are contained in urine which is either alkaline when passed, or becomes so very soon by standing.
As the urine cools, a white sand falls to the bottom, and frequently a film forms upon the surface of the water. Looking at this film in different lights, you may see in it the several colors of the rainbow. Skim off this pellicle, place it upon paper, and let it dry; and you may then see the little shining crystals. This urine quickly grows putrid and offensive. Sometimes it smells strongly of ammonia. The more phosphates it contains, the sooner it becomes alkaline.
These deposits are generally the triple phosphates. Healthy urine contains the phosphate of magnesia in a state of solution. Under some circumstances, the urea of the urine is decomposed in the kidneys, and ammonia is disengaged. This combines with the phosphate of magnesia, and forms the triple salt of the phosphate of ammonia and magnesia, which is not soluble.
Symptoms. A sallow complexion, a languid, spiritless state of mind, and an exhausted, debilitated condition of body. The urine is pale, rather copious, slightly turbid, has a low specific gravity, and smells unhealthy, having sometimes the faint odor of weak broth. There is generally derangement of the digestive organs, windy stomach and bowels, nausea, i3onstipation, or diarrhea, stools of various colors, and sometimes, in diarrhea, resembling yeast, and an aching pain and weakness in the loins.
Causes. These deposits are produced by great debility of the constitution, by injuries of the spine, dyspepsia, defective assimilation of food, bad diet, irritation of the neck of the bladder, and organic disease of the kidneys. But they are caused more especially by whatever wears and exhausts the nervous system, as heavy cares, depression of spirits, sedentary habits, great mental exertions, masturbation, and venereal excesses.
Treatment. These deposits being connected with great debility, care must be taken not to make the matter worse by taking active purgatives, by extreme fasting, or by any means which will increase the weakness.
On the contrary, the strength must be supported by all the means that can be commanded. With this view, the citrate of iron (75) may be taken. Arsenic combined with iron (80), to allay irritability, and impart strength at the same time, may be used. The valerianate of iron (93) is excellent for the same purpose.
Connected with a state of urine just the opposite to that which holds the uric acid deposits, this form of gravel calls for the opposite remedies. Instead of the alkalis, the acids are wanted. The nitric and muriatic acids, with a vegetable tonic (76), may be used. Borax is spoken of in high terms, and is thought by some to have great power in turning alkaline urine acid. The compound balsam of Sulphur is highly spoken of, and the compound infusion of trailing arbutus is also mentioned with approbation.
It is all important to throw off care, and to give the mind a chance to rise up with all the elasticity it has. To bring this about, journeys and amusements are useful. The society of lively, laughing, witty friends will do a great deal to give the spirits a rebound, and the whole health an upward movement. Such persons are a blessing to the world; and he who reckons a few of them among his friends will live the longer for it.
The skin should have the benefit of the daily tonic effect of a sponge bath, with water at first tepid, and afterwards cool; and exer6ise, out of doors, should be habitual, and connected, as much as possible, with objects of pleasure.
The drinking of hard water is highly injurious; and if none other can be had, it should be distilled, and then spread out to the atmosphere, in shallow vessels, that it my recover its pleasant taste by reabsorbing air and carbonic acid.
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