With Decreased Actions of other Cavities and Membranes.
Many of the diseases of this genus are attended with pain, and with cold extremities, both which cease on the exhibition of wine or opium; which shews, that they originate from deficient action of the affected organ. These pains are called nervous or spasmodic, are not attended with fever, but are frequently succeeded by convulsions and madness; both which belong to the class of volition. Some of them return at periods, and when these can be ascertained, a much less quantity of opium will prevent them, than is necessary to cure them, when they are begun; as the vessels are then torpid and inirritable from the want of sensorial power, till by their inaction it becomes again accumulated.
Our organs of sense properly so called are not liable to pain from the absence of their appropriated stimuli, as from darkness or silence; but the other senses, which may be more properly called appetites, as those by which we perceive heat, hunger, thirst, lust, want of fresh air, are affected with pain from the defect or absence of their accustomed stimuli, as well as with pleasure by the possession of them; it is probable that some of our glands, whose sense or appetite requires or receives something from the circulating blood, as the pancreas, liver, testes, prostate gland, may be affected with aching or pain, when they cannot acquire their appropriated fluid.
Wherever this defect of stimulus occurs, a torpor or inaction of the organ ensues, as in the capillaries of the skin, when exposed to cold; and in the glands, which secrete the gastric juice, when we are hungry. This torpor however, and concomitant pain, which is at first owing to defect of stimulus, is afterwards induced by other associations or catenations, and constitutes the beginning of ague fits.
It must be further observed, that in the diseases of pain without fever, the pain is frequently not felt in the part where the cause of the disease resides; but is induced by sympathy with a distant part, whose irritability or sensibility is greater or less than its own. Thus a stone at the neck of the bladder, if its stimulus is not very great, only induces the pain of strangury at the glans penis. If its stimulus be greater, it then induces pain at the neck of the bladder. The concretions of bile, which are protruded into the neck of the gall-bladder, when the disease is not very great, produce pain at the other extremity of the bile-duct, which enters the duodenum immediately under the pit of the stomach; but, when the disease is great from the largeness of the bile-stone, the pain is felt in the region of the liver at the neck of the gall-bladder.
It appears from hence, that the pains enumerated in this genus are consequences of the inactivity of the organ; and, as they do not occasion other diseases, should be classed according to their proximate cause, which is defective irritation; there are nevertheless other pains from defect of stimulus, which produce convulsions, and belong to Class III. 1. 1.; and others, which produce pains of some distant part by association, and belong to Class IV. 2. 2.
1. Sitis. Thirst. The senses of thirst and of hunger seem to have this connection, that the former is situated at the upper end, and the latter at the lower end of the same canal. One about the pharinx, where the œsophagus opens into the mouth, and the other about the cardia ventriculi, where it opens into the stomach. The extremities of other canals have been shewn to possess correspondent sensibilities, or irritabilities, as the two ends of the urethra, and of the common gall-duct. See IV. 2. 2. 2. and 4.
The membrane of the upper end of the gullet becomes torpid, and consequently painful, when there is a deficiency of aqueous fluid in the general system; it then wants its proper stimulus. In the same manner a want of the stimulus of more solid materials at the other end of the canal, which terminates in the stomach, produces hunger; as mentioned in Sect. XIV. 8. The proximate causes of both of them therefore consist in deficient irritation, when they are considered as pains; because these pains are in consequence of the inactivity of the organ, according to the fifth law of animal causation. Sect. IV. 5. But when they are considered as desires, namely of liquid or solid aliment, their proximate cause consists in the pain of them, according to the sixth law of animal causation. So the proximate cause of the pain of coldness is the inactivity of the organ, and perhaps the consequent accumulation of sensorial power in it; but the pain itself, or the consequent volition, is the proximate cause of the shuddering and gnashing the teeth in cold fits of intermittent fevers. See Class I. 2. 2. 1.
Thirst may be divided into two varieties alluding to the remote cause of each, and may be termed sitis calida, or warm thirst, and sitis frigida, or cold thirst. The remote cause of the former arises from the dissipation of the aqueous parts of our fluids by the increased secretion of perspirable matter, or other evacuations. And hence it occurs in hot fits of fever, and after taking much wine, opium, spice, salt, or other drugs of the Art. incitantia or secernentia. The thirst, which occurs about three hours after eating a couple of red herrings, to a person unaccustomed to salted meat, is of this kind; the increased action of the cutaneous vessels dissipates so much of our fluids by insensible perspiration, as to require above two quarts of water to restore the fluidity of the blood, and to wash the salt out of the system. See Art. III. 2. 1.
M. M. Cold water. Vegetable acids. Warm bath.
The remote cause of sitis frigida, or cold thirst, is owing to the inaction of the cutaneous, pulmonary, urinary, and cellular absorbents; whence the blood is deprived of the great supply of moisture, which it ought to receive from the atmosphere, and from the cells of the cellular membrane, and from other cysts; this cause of thirst exists in dropsies, and in the cold fits of intermittents. The desire of fluids, like that of solids, is liable to acquire periods, and may therefore readily become diseased by indulgence in liquids grateful to the palate.
Of diseased thirst, the most common is either owing to defect of the action of the numerous absorbent vessels on the neck of the bladder, in which the patient makes much paleish water; or to the defective absorption of the skin and lungs, in which the patient makes but little water, and that high-coloured, and with sediment. In both the tongue and lips are liable to become very dry. The former in its greatest degree attends diabætes, and the latter anasarca.
M. M. Warm water, warm wine, warm bath. Opium. Cold bath. Iced water. Lemonade. Cyder.
2. Esuries. Hunger has been fancifully ascribed to the sides of the stomach rubbing against each other, and to the increased acidity of the gastric juice corroding the coats of it. If either of these were the cause of hunger, inflammation must occur, when they had continued some time; but, on the contrary, coldness and not heat are attendant on hunger; which evinces, that like thirst it is owing to the inactivity of the membrane, which is the seat of it; while the abundant nerves about the cardia ventriculi, and the pain of hunger being felt in that part, gives great reason to conclude, that it is there situated.
The sense of hunger as well as of thirst is liable to acquire habits in respect to the times of its returning painfulness, as well as in respect to the quantity required to satiate its appetency, and hence may become diseased by indulgence, as well as by want of its appropriate stimulus. Those who have been accustomed to distend their stomach by large quantities of animal and vegetable food, and much potation, find a want of distention, when the stomach is empty, which occasions faintness, and is mistaken for hunger, but which does not appear to be the same sensation. I was well informed, that a woman near Lichfield, who eat much animal and vegetable food for a wager, affirmed, that since distending her stomach so much, she had never felt herself satisfied with food; and had in general taken twice as much at a meal, as she had been accustomed to, before she eat so much for a wager.
3. Nausea sicca. Dry nausea. Consists in a quiescence or torpor of the mucous or salivary glands, and precedes their inverted motions, described in nausea humida, Class I. 3. 2. 3. In the same manner as sickness of the stomach is a quiescence of that organ preceding the action of vomiting, as explained in Sect. XXXV. 1. 3. This is sometimes induced by disagreeable drugs held in the mouth, at other times of disgustful ideas, and at other times by the association of these actions with those of the stomach; and thus according to its different proximate causes may belong to this, or to the second, or to the fourth class of diseases.
M. M. Lemonade. Tasteful food. A blister. Warm bath.
4. Ægritudo ventriculi. Sickness of stomach is produced by the quiescence or inactivity of that organ, as is explained in Sect. XXXV. 1. 3. It consists in the state between the usual peristaltic motions of that organ, in the digestion of our aliment, and the retrograde motions of it in vomiting; for it is evident, that the direct motions of it from the cardia to the pylorus must stop, before those in a contrary direction can commence. This sickness, like the nausea above described, is sometimes produced by disgustful ideas, as when nasty objects are seen, and nasty stories related, as well as by the exhaustion of the sensorial power by the stimulus of some emetic drugs, and by the defect of the production of it, as in enfeebled drunkards.
Sickness may likewise consist in the retrograde motions of the lymphatics of the stomach, which regurgitate into it the chyle or lymph, which they have lately absorbed, as in Class I. 3. 2. 3. It is probable, that these two kinds of sickness may be different sensations, though they have acquired but one name; as one of them attends hunger, and the other repletion; though either of them may possibly be induced by association with nauseous ideas.
5. Cardialgia. Heartburn originates from the inactivity of the stomach, whence the aliment, instead of being subdued by digestion, and converted into chyle, runs into fermentation, producing acetous acid. Sometimes the gastric juice itself becomes so acid as to give pain to the upper orifice of the stomach; these acid contents of the stomach, on falling on a marble hearth, have been seen to produce an effervescence on it. The pain of heat at the upper end of the gullet, when any air is brought up from the fermenting contents of the stomach, is to be ascribed to the sympathy between these two extremities of the œsophagus rather than to the pungency of the carbonic gas, or fixed air; as the sensation in swallowing that kind of air in water is of a different kind. See Class I. 3. 1. 3. and IV. 2. 2. 5.
M. M. This disease arising from indigestion is often very pertinacious, and afflicting; and attended with emaciation of the body from want of sufficient chyle. As the saliva swallowed along with our food prevents its fermentation, as appears by the experiments of Pringle and Macbride, some find considerable relief by chewing parched wheat, or mastic, or a lock of wool, frequently in a day, when the pain occurs, and by swallowing the saliva thus effused; a temporary relief is often obtained from antiacids, as aerated alcaline water, Seltzer's water, calcareous earths, alcaline salts made into pills with soap, soap alone, tin, milk, bitters. More permanent use may be had from such drugs as check fermentation, as acid of vitriol; but still more permanent relief from such things as invigorate the digestion, as a blister on the back; a due quantity of vinous spirit and water taken regularly. Steel. Temperance. A sleep after dinner. A waistcoat made so tight as slightly to compress the bowels and stomach. A flannel shirt in winter, not in summer. A less quantity of potation of all kinds. Ten black pepper-corns swallowed after dinner. Half a grain of opium twice a day, or a grain. The food should consist of such things as do not easily ferment, as flesh, shell-fish, sea-biscuit, toasted cheese. I have seen toasted cheese brought up from the stomach 24 hours after it had been swallowed, without apparently having undergone any chemical change. See Class II. 1. 3. 17. and IV. 1. 2. 13.
6. Arthritis Ventriculi. Sickness of the stomach in gouty cases is frequently a consequence of the torpor or inflammation of the liver, and then it continues many days or weeks. But when the patient is seized with great pain at the stomach with the sensation of coldness, which they have called an ice-bolt, this is a primary affection of the stomach, and destroys the patient in a few hours, owing to the torpor or inaction of that viscus so important to life.
This primary gout of the stomach, as it is a torpor of that viscus, is attended with sensation of coldness, and with real defect of heat, in that part, and may thence be distinguished from the pain occasioned by the passage of a gall-stone into the duodenum, as well as by the weak pulse, and cold extremities; to which must be added, that it affects those only, who have been long afflicted with the gout, and much debilitated by its numerous attacks.
M. M. Opium. Vinous spirit. Volatile alcali. Spice. Warmth applied externally to the stomach by hot cloths or fomentation.
7. Colica flatulenta. The flatulent colic arises from the too great distention of the bowel by air, and consequent pain. The cause of this disease is the inactivity or want of sufficiently powerful contraction of the coats of the bowel, to carry forwards the gas given up by the fermenting aliment. It is without fever, and generally attended with cold extremities.
It is distinguished, first, from the pain occasioned by the passage of a gall-stone, as that is felt at the pit of the stomach, and this nearer the navel. Secondly, it is distinguished from the colica saturnina, or colic from lead, as that arising from the torpor of the liver, or of some other viscus, is attended with greater coldness, and with an aching pain; whereas the flatulent cholic being owing to distention of the muscles of the bowel, the pain is more acute, and the coldness less. Thirdly, it is distinguished from inflammation of the bowels, or ileus, as perpetual vomiting and fever attend this. Fourthly, it is distinguished from cholera, because that is accompanied with both vomiting and diarrhœa. And lastly, from the colica epileptica, or hysteric colic, as that is liable to alternate with convulsion, and sometimes with insanity; and returns by periods.
M. M. Spirit of wine and warm water, one spoonful of each. Opium one grain. Spice. Volatile alcali. Warm fomentation externally. Rhubarb.
8. Colica saturnina. Colic from lead. The pain is felt about the navel, is rather of an aching than acute kind at first, which increases after meals, and gradually becomes more permanent and more acute. It terminates in paralysis, frequently of the muscles of the arm, so that the hand hangs down, when the arm is extended horizontally. It is not attended with fever, or increase of heat. The seat of the disease is not well ascertained, it probably affects some part of the liver, as a pale bluish countenance and deficiency of bile sometimes attends or succeeds it, with consequent anasarca; but it seems to be caused immediately by a torpor of the intestine, whether this be a primary or secondary affection, as appears from the constipation of the bowels, which attends it; and is always produced in consequence of the great stimulus of lead previously used either internally for a length of time, or externally on a large surface.
A delicate young girl, daughter of a dairy farmer, who kept his milk in leaden cisterns, used to wipe off the cream from the edges of the lead with her finger; and frequently, as she was fond of cream, licked it from her finger. She was seized with the saturnine colic, and semi-paralytic wrists, and sunk from general debility.
A feeble woman about 40 years of age sprained her ancle, and bruised her leg and thigh; and applied by ill advice a solution of lead over the whole limb, as a fomentation and poultice for about a fortnight. She was then seized with the colica saturnina, lost the use of her wrists, and gradually sunk under a general debility.
M. M. First opium one or two grains, then a cathartic of senna, jalap, and oil, as soon as the pain is relieved. Oleum ricini. Alum. Oil of almonds. A blister on the navel. Warm bath. The stimulus of the opium, by restoring to the bowel its natural irritability in this case of painful torpor, assists the action of the cathartic.
9. Tympanitis. Tympany consists in an elastic tumor of the abdomen, which sounds on being struck. It is generally attended with costiveness and emaciation. In one kind the air is said to exist in the bowels, in which case the tumor is less equal, and becomes less tense and painful on the evacuation of air. In the other kind the air exists in the cavity of the abdomen, and sometimes is in a few days exchanged for water, and the tympany becomes an ascites.
Air may be distinguished in the stomach of many people by the sound on striking it with the fingers, and comparing the sound with that of a similar percussion on other parts of the bowels; but towards the end of fevers, and especially in the puerperal fever, a distention of the abdomen by air is generally a fatal symptom, though the ease, and often cheerfulness, of the patient vainly flatters the attendants.
M. M. In the former case a clyster-pipe unarmed may be introduced, and left some time in the rectum, to take off the resistance of the sphincter, and thus discharge the air, as it is produced from the fermenting or putrefying aliment. For this purpose, in a disease somewhat similar in horses, a perforation is made into the rectum on one side of the sphincter; through which fistula the air, which is produced in such great excess from the quantity of vegetable food which they take, when their digestions are impaired, is perpetually evacuated. In both cases also, balsams, essential oil, spice, bandage on the abdomen, and, to prevent the fermentation of the aliment, acid of vitriol, saliva. See Class I. 2. 4. 5.
10. Hypochondriasis. The hypochondriac disease consists in indigestion and consequent flatulency, with anxiety or want of pleasureable sensation. When the action of the stomach and bowels is impaired, much gas becomes generated by the fermenting or putrescent aliment, and to this indigestion is catenated languor, coldness of the skin, and fear. For when the extremities are cold for too long a time in some weak constitutions, indigestion is produced by direct sympathy of the skin and the stomach, with consequent heart-burn, and flatulency. The same occurs if the skin be made cold by fear, as in riding over dangerous roads in winter, and hence conversely fear is produced by indigestion or torpor of the stomach by association.
This disease is confounded with the fear of death, which is an insanity, and therefore of a totally different nature. It is also confounded with the hysteric disease, which consists in the retrograde motions of the alimentary canal, and of some parts of the absorbent system.
The hypochondriasis, like chlorosis, is sometimes attended with very quick pulse; which the patient seems to bear so easily in these two maladies, that if an accidental cough attends them, they may be mistaken for pulmonary consumption; which is not owing primarily to the debility of the heart, but to its direct sympathy with the actions of the stomach.
M. M. Blister. A plaster on the abdomen of Burgundy pitch. Opium a grain twice a day. Rhubarb six grains every night. Bark. Steel. Spice. Bath-water. Siesta, or sleep after dinner. Uniform hours of meals. No liquor stronger than small beer, or wine and water. Gentle exercise on horseback in the open air uniformly persisted in. See Cardialgia, I. 2. 4. 5.
11. Cephalæa. Head-ach frequently attends the cold paroxysm of intermittents; afflicts inebriates the day after intoxication; and many people who remain too long in the cold bath. In all which cases there is a general inaction of the whole system, and as these membranes about the head have been more exposed to the variations of heat and cold of the atmosphere, they are more liable to become affected so far as to produce sensation, than other membranes; which are usually covered either with clothes, or with muscles, as mentioned in Sect. XXXIII. 2. 10.
The promptitude of the membranes about the scalp to sympathize with those of other parts of the system is so great, that this cephalæa without fever, or quickness of pulse, is more frequently a secondary than a primary disease, and then belongs to Class IV. 2. 2. 7. The hemicrania, or partial head-ach, I believe to be almost always a disease from association; though it is not impossible, but a person may take cold on one side of the head only. As some people by sitting always on the same side of the fire in winter are liable to render one side more tender than the other, and in consequence more subject to pains, which have been erroneously termed rheumatic. See Class IV. 2. 2. 7. & 8.
M. M. The method of cure consists in rendering the habit more robust, by gentle constant exercise in the open air, flesh diet, small beer at meals with one glass of wine, regular hours of rest and rising, and of meals. The cloathing about the head should be warmer during sleep than in the day; because at that time people are more liable to take cold; that is, the membranous parts of it are more liable to become torpid. As explained in Sect. XVIII. 15. In respect to medicine, two drams of valerian root in powder three or four times a day are recommended by Fordyce. The bark. Steel in moderate quantities. An emetic. A blister. Opium, half a grain twice a day. Decayed teeth should be extracted, particularly such as either ache, or are useless. Cold bath between 60 and 70 degrees of heat. Warm bath of 94 or 98 degrees every day for half an hour during a month. See Class IV. 2. 2. 7. and 8.
A solution of arsenic, about the sixteenth part of a grain, is reported to have great effect in this disease. It should be taken thrice a day, if it produces no griping or sickness, for two or three weeks. A medicine of this kind is sold under the name of tasteless ague-drops; but a more certain method of ascertaining the quantity is delivered in the subsequent materia medica, Art. IV. 2. 6.
12. Odontalgia. Tooth-ach. The pain has been erroneously supposed, where there is no inflammation, to be owing to some acrid matter from a carious tooth stimulating the membrane of the alveolar process into violent action and consequent pain; but the effect seems to have been mistaken for the cause, and the decay of the tooth to have been occasioned by the torpor and consequent pain of the diseased membrane.
First, because the pain precedes the decay of the tooth in regard to time, and is liable to recur, frequently for years, without certainly being succeeded at last by a carious tooth, as I have repeatedly observed.
Secondly, because any stimulant drug, as pyrethrum, or oil of cloves, applied to the tooth, or ether applied externally to the cheek, so far from increasing the pain, as they would do if the pained membrane, already acted too strongly, that they frequently give immediate relief like a charm.
And thirdly, because the torpor, or deficient action of the membrane, which includes the diseased tooth, occasions the motions of the membranes most connected with it, as those of the cheek and temples, to act with less than their natural energy; and hence a coldness of the cheek is perceived easily by the hand of the patient, comparing it with the other cheek; and the pain of hemicrania is often produced in the temple of the affected side.
This coldness of the cheek in common tooth-ach evinces, that the pain is not then caused by inflammation; because in all inflammations so much heat is produced in the secretions of new vessels and fluids, as to give heat to the parts in vicinity. And hence, as soon as the gum swells and inflames along with the cheek, heat is produced, and the pain ceases, owing to the increased exertions of the torpid membrane, excited by the activity of the sensorial power of sensation; which previously existed in its passive state in the painful torpid membrane. See Odontitis, Class II. 1. 4. 7. and IV. 2. 2. 8.
M. M. If the painful tooth be found, venesection. Then a cathartic. Afterwards two grains of opium. Camphor and opium, one grain of each held in the mouth; or a drop or two of oil of cloves put on the painful tooth. Ether. If the tooth has a small hole in it, it should be widened within by an instrument, and then stopped with leaf-gold, or leaf-lead; but should be extracted, if much decayed. It is probable that half a small drop of a strong solution of arsenic, put carefully into the hollow of a decayed aching tooth, would destroy the nerve without giving any additional pain; but this experiment requires great caution, lest any of the solution should touch the tongue or gums.
Much cold or much heat are equally injurious to the teeth, which are endued with a fine sensation of this universal fluid. The best method of preserving them is by the daily use of a brush, which is not very hard, with warm water and fine charcoal dust. A lump of charcoal should be put a second time into the fire till it is red hot, as soon as it becomes cool the external ashes should be blown off, and it should be immediately reduced to fine powder in a mortar, and kept close stopped in a phial. It takes away the bad smell from decayed teeth, by washing the mouth with this powder diffused in water immediately. The putrid smell of decaying stumps of teeth may be destroyed for a time by washing the mouth with a weak solution of alum in water. If the calcareous crust upon the teeth adheres very firmly, a fine powder of pumice-stone may be used occasionally, or a tooth instrument.
Acid of sea-salt, much diluted, may be used; but this very rarely, and with the greatest caution, as in cleaning sea-shells. When the gums are spongy, they should be frequently pricked with a lancet. Should black spots in teeth be cut out? Does the enamel grow again when it has been perforated or abraded?
13. Otalgia. Ear-ach sometimes continues many days without apparent inflammation, and is then frequently removed by filling the ear with laudanum, or with ether; or even with warm oil, or warm water. See Class II. 1. 4. 8. This pain of the ear, like hemicrania, is frequently the consequence of association with a diseased tooth; in that case the ether should be applied to the cheek over the suspected tooth, or a grain of opium and as much camphor mixed together and applied to the suspected tooth. In this case the otalgia belongs to the fourth class of diseases.
14. Pleurodyne chronica. Chronical pain of the side. Pains of the membranous parts, which are not attended with fever, have acquired the general name of rheumatic; which should, nevertheless, be restricted to those pains which exist only when the parts are in motion, and which have been left after inflammation of them; as described in Class I. 1. 3. 12. The pain of the side here mentioned affects many ladies, and may possibly have been owing to the pressure of tight stays, which has weakened the action of the vessels composing some membranous part, as, like the cold head-ach, it is attended with present debility; in one patient, a boy about ten years old, it was attended with daily convulsions, and was supposed to have originated from worms. The disease is very frequent, and generally withstands the use of blisters on the part; but in some cases I have known it removed by electric shocks repeated every day for a fortnight through the affected side.
Pains of the side may be sometimes occasioned by the adhesion of the lungs to the pleura, after an inflammation of them; or to the adhesion of some abdominal viscera to their cavity, or to each other; which also are more liable to affect ladies from the unnatural and ungraceful pressure of tight stays, or by sitting or lying too long in one posture. But in these cases the pain should be more of the smarting, than of the dull kind.
M. M. Ether. A blister. A plaster of Burgundy pitch. An issue or seton on the part. Electric shocks. Friction on the part with oil and camphor. Loose dress. Frequent change of posture both in the day and night. Internally opium, valerian, bark.
15. Sciatica frigida. Cold sciatica. The pain along the course of the sciatic nerve, from the hip quite down to the top of the foot, when it is not attended with fever, is improperly termed either rheumatism or gout; as it occurs without inflammation, is attended with pain when the limb is at rest; and as the pain attends the course of the nerve, and not the course of the muscles, or of the fascia, which contains them. The theory of Cotunnius, who believed it to be a dropsy of the sheath of the nerve, which was compressed by the accumulated fluid, has not been confirmed by dissection. The disease seems to consist of a torpor of this sheath of the nerve, and the pain seems to be in consequence of this torpor. See Class II. 1. 2. 18.
M. M. Venesection. A cathartic. And then one grain of calomel and one of opium every night for ten successive nights. And a blister, at the same time, a little above the knee-joint on the outside of the thigh, where the sciatic nerve is not so deep seated. Warm bath. Cold bath. Cover the limb with oiled silk, or with a plaster-bandage of emplastrum de minio.
16. Lumbago frigida. Cold lumbago. When no fever or inflammation attends this pain of the loins, and the pain exists without motion, it belongs to this genus of diseases, and resembles the pain of the loins in the cold fit of ague. As these membranes are extensive, and more easily fall into quiescence, either by sympathy, or when they are primarily affected, this disease becomes very afflicting, and of great pertinacity. See Class II. 1. 2. 17.
M. M. Venesection. A cathartic. Issues on the loins. Adhesive plaster on the loins. Blister on the os sacrum. Warm bath. Cold bath. Remove to a warmer climate in the winter. Loose dress about the waist. Friction daily with oil and camphor.
17. Hysteralgia frigida. Cold pain of the uterus preceding or accompanying menstruation. It is attended with cold extremities, want of appetite, and other marks of general debility.
M. M. A clyster of half a pint of gruel, and 30 drops of laudanum; or a grain of opium and six grains of rhubarb every night. To sit over warm water, or go into a warm bath.
18. Proctalgia frigida. Cold pain at the bottom of the rectum previous to the tumor of the piles, which sometimes extends by sympathy to the loins; it seems to be similar to the pain at the beginning of menstruation, and is owing to the torpor or inirritability of the extremity of the alimentary canal, or to the obstruction of the blood in its passage through the liver, when that viscus is affected, and its consequent delay in the veins of the rectum, occasioning tumors of them, and dull sensations of pain.
19. Vesicæ felleæ inirritabilitas. The inirritability of the gall-bladder probably occasions one kind of icterus, or jaundice; which is owing to whatever obstructs the passage of bile into the duodenum. The jaundice of aged people, and which attends some fevers, is believed to be most frequently caused by an irritative palsy of the gall-bladder; on which account the bile is not pressed from the cyst by its contraction, as in a paralysis of the urinary bladder.
A thickening of the coats of the common bile-duct by inflammation or increased action of their vessels so as to prevent the passage of the bile into the intestine, in the same manner as the membrane, which lines the nostrils, becomes thickened in catarrh so as to prevent the passage of air through them, is probably another frequent cause of jaundice, especially of children; and generally ceases in about a fortnight, like a common catarrh, without the aid of medicine; which has given rise to the character, which charms have obtained in some countries for curing the jaundice of young people.
The spissitude of the bile is another cause of jaundice, as mentioned in Class I. 1. 3. 8. This also in children is a disease of little danger, as the gall-ducts are distensible, and will the easier admit of the exclusion of gall-stones; but becomes a more serious disease in proportion to the age of the patient, and his habits of life in respect to spirituous potation.
A fourth cause of jaundice is the compression of the bile-duct by the enlargement of an inflamed or schirrous liver; this attends those who have drank much spirituous liquor, and is generally succeeded by dropsy and death.
M. M. Repeated emetics. Mild cathartics. Warm bath. Electricity. Bitters. Then steel, which, when the pain and inflammation is removed by evacuations, acts like a charm in removing the remainder of the inflammation, and by promoting the absorption of the new vessels or fluids; like the application of any acrid eye-water at the end of ophthalmia; and thus the thickened coats of the bile-duct become reduced, or the enlargement of the liver lessened, and a free passage is again opened for the bile into the intestine. Ether with yolk of egg is recommended, as having a tendency to dissolve inspissated bile. And a decoction of madder is recommended for the same purpose; because the bile of animals, whose food was mixed with madder, was found always in a dilute state. Aerated alcaline water, or Seltzer's water. Raw cabbage, and other acrid vegetables, as water-cresses, mustard. Horses are said to be subject to inspissated bile, with yellow eyes, in the winter season, and to get well as soon as they feed on the spring grass.
The largest bile-stone I have seen was from a lady, who had parted with it some years before, and who had abstained above ten years from all kinds of vegetable diet to prevent, as she supposed, a colic of her stomach, which was probably a pain of the biliary duct; on resuming the use of some vegetable diet, she recovered a better state of health, and formed no new bilious concretions.
A strong aerated alcaline water is sold by J. Schweppe, No. 8, King's-street, Holborn. See Class I. 1. 3. 10.
20. Pelvis renalis inirritabilitas. Inirritability of the pelvis of the kidney. When the nucleus of a stone, whether it be inspissated mucus, or other matter, is formed in the extremity of any of the tubuli uriniferi, and being detached from thence falls into the pelvis of the kidney, it is liable to lodge there from the want of due irritability of the membrane; and in that situation increases by new appositions of indurated animal matter, in the same manner as the stone of the bladder. This is the general cause of hæmorrhage from the kidney; and of obtuse pain in it on exercise; or of acute pain, when the stone advances into the ureter. See Class I. 1. 3. 9.