Chronic Inflammation of the Spleen.
THIS prevails most in fever and ague districts, and is a frequent result of chills and fever. It is generally very stubborn, often lasting many years.
Symptoms. A feeling of weight, tightness, and sometimes pain in the left side, the pain being increased by pressure, or an attempt to lie on the left side. The organ sometimes enlarges very much, so that it can be felt by the hand. This enlarged mass passes under the common name of 1, ague cake." There are sometimes numbness, weakness of the legs, difficulty of breathing, palpitation of the heart, inability to exercise much, obstinate constipation, vomiting of food, piles, dry skin, tongue coated white or red, low spirits, and occasionally dropsical affections.
During the chill in fever and ague, the spleen becomes enormously loaded with blood. Surfeited and stretched in this way again and again, it is not strange that the organ should become diseased.
Treatment. This should be about the same as the treatment for acute and chronic inflammation of the liver.
After the active symptoms of inflammation are subdued, the warm bath may be used one or twice a week.
In the chronic form of the disease, counter irritation with the compound tar plaster, with mustard poultices, croton oil, or tincture of iodine, will be particularly needed.
Among medicines, muriate of ammonia (53), has a high reputation.
To keep the bowels open, podophyllin, quinine, and nux vomica (46), have a fine effect. Iron may be given (73) when the patient is bloodless and pale.
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