OXALATF, of lime in the urine is the cause of this kind of gravel It appears in the form of dumbbells, and octahedral crystals. (P119, 120, and 121.)
The urine has a specific gravity of 1.015 to 1.025, and is generally of a dark amber color, and clear and bright; it is generally acid, though occasionally alkaline or neutral. Urea is generally found in it, and epithelial cells (Fig. 122). Unlike the uric and phosphatic urines, it is quite free from sediments, except, as often happens, there is a large amount of urea in it, in connection with the oxalate of lime.
When the urate of ammonia is combined with the oxalate of lime, it often happens that the latter has to be dissolved with a little liquor potassa, before the former can be seen with the microscope.
Symptoms. Great depression of spirits, excitable state of the nervous system, painful susceptibility to external impressions, dyspeptic symptoms, and disturbances of the liver, a fear and dread of consumption, emaciation, inability to make exertion, the smallest exertion causing fatigue; in men, a deficient sexual power, a pain and weight across the loins, and some irritability of the bladder.
Causes. These deposits are supposed to result, like most other derangements connected with loss of flesh, in too great a degree of oxidation. Vegetables produce oxalic acid by just the opposite process, namely, deoxidation.
Whatever depresses the vital powers, may generate this deposit, as mental depression, overwork of the brain, burdensome cares, idleness of mind or body, masturbation, debaucheries, intemperance, venereal excesses, and injuries of the spine.
This deposit may also be produced by certain articles of diet, which contain the oxalic acid. Among these may be named the rhubarb plant, which in summer is largely used for tarts; and sorrel.
Treatment. The treatment for these deposits should be very much like that for the phosphatic. The stomach and liver should receive some special attention. A pill of leptandrin, podophyllin, etc. (39), may be used with advantage. The preparation of nitric and hydrochloric acids (76) must generally be taken for some time. In cases of great irritability, the sulphate of zinc (82) does well.
The diet should be plain, digestible, and nourishing, an articles containing oxalic acid being rejected, as the rhubarb plant, sorrel, tomatoes, onions, etc.
For the rest, follow the directions for the treatment of phosphatic deposits.
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