Hardly a civilized man escapes intestinal disorders from the day of the diaper to that of death. The diaper is in truth chiefly responsible for proctitis, and proctitis is in turn chiefly responsible for chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, auto-infection; and hence for mal-assimilation, malnutrition, anemia; and for a thousand and one reflex functional derangements of the system as well.
The inflamed surface of the intestinal canal (proctitis) inhibits the passage of feces. Absorbent glands begin to act on the retained sewage, and the whole system becomes more or less infected with poisonous bacteria.
Throughout history millions of human beings have been sent to untimely graves by these intestinal disorders. Indeed, the body of nearly every human being is a pest-house of absorbed poison instead of being the worthy temple of a wondrous soul.
Naturally the mind of man was first educated to observe external
objects and forces in their effects upon himself, and the external still continues to engross his attention as if he were a child
in a kindergarten.
Fascinated by the Without, he ignores the Within. But, marvel of marvels, Disease (which when looked at with discerning eyes is seen to be an angel in disguise) comes to enlighten him concerning the world within. Disease gradually acquaints him with the fact that there are within him organs and functions corresponding to the objects and forces in the world without, servitors in fact which must not be ignored under penalty of transforming them into foes to
Disease makes him aware that by ignoring the claims of his inner
relations he has been converting his very food, juices and gases into insidious and formidable poisons, which perforce he absorbs into his blood and tissues and circulates throughout his entire system. Thus does the disguised angel admonish the ignorant that the rights of the inner world must not be ignored that one's duties
thereto cannot be neglected without disastrous consequences.
Thus does Pathology, which is really Physiology reversed, become the self-revealer par excellence. Through digestion and assimilation the physiological process takes up the food, juices and gases, to
support and augment the life of man.
The pathological process, on the contrary, because the conditions for nutrition are ignored, reverses the upbuilding processes ; and the organs of life wither, waste and weaken, until life goes out like fire unfed.
Man has been slowly learning to take sanitary measures in reference to everything that contributes to comfort in his surroundings, and hygienic measures in reference to everything conducive to sta-
bility in his health.
Through ages he has learned, by experience and experiment, of the changes that inevitably occur in such perishable nutritive substances as water, milk, meats, vegetables, fruits, etc., if they be left uncared for; and he has been led thus to the inference of the law of decomposition or putrefactive and fermentative
Idle substances, like idle minds, have decomposition and the devil for companions. Substances confined in containers open to the air ponds, cesspools, etc. are every-day object lessons to man
of the fact that the chemical changes they undergo furnish the conditions for breeding bacterial poisons, and that these poi-
sons are a. dread menace to animal life.
If one will observe the analogy between the decomposition of substances in vessels or pools, and the decomposition of food in the reservoir called the stomach ; and its further decomposition in a
long canal (the small intestine), connecting the stomach with other receptacles called the colon and siginoid flexure; and then the decomposition of their contents; he will readily comprehend the chemical putrefactive or ferrnentative changes or bacterial action that take place in the organism, if for any reason the contents
Of the four chief elements that enter into the composition of living bodies three are gaseous, or convertible into gas. I n the physical man water constitutes three-fourths of the weight of the body. This being so we realize why, notwithstanding our sense of solidity and weight, chemical changes occur quite as readily in our organism as in the substances we see about us. There are no waterproof walls in the body of man to impede the percolation of liquids freighted
Passengers from the alimentary canal; passengers designed to
nourish the organs for which they have an affinity. But there are those that have no organic affinity, and these are tramps, vagabonds, and even murderers, disturbing and destroying the normal functions of the system.
Through extravasation, that is, through fluid infiltration of tissues, these passengers come to be one with us, and we make them part of our tissue; but some of the passengers are the de-
molishers of the living temple.
Water is universally present in all the tissues of the body, and it is indispensable for introducing new substances into the
system and for eliminating the worn-out tissues and foreign substances. It is indeed important to emphasize the fact that
properly to eliminate the foreign and waste products from the system requires, in a healthy person, at least five pints of water during twenty-four hours.
The amount of gastric juice secreted in twenty-four hours is from six to fourteen pints ; of pancreatic juice, one pint; of bile there are two to three pints, and of saliva one to three pints. It is estimated that the juices secreted during digestion in a man weighing 140 pounds amount to twenty-three pounds in twenty-four hours. These fluids are poured back and forth in the process of transforming food into flesh and eliminating waste material.
In the alimentary canal there are vessels for holding fluid, semi-fluid and moist masses of substance, in all of which decomposition occurs if the substances be retained beyond the normal length of
time. These vessels or reservoirs are the stomach, duodenum, small intestines, colon, sigmoid flexure, and too often the rectum.
Through the harmonious action of this intestinal retinue of servitors man is well equipped and qualified for health, and he in whom this harmonious subservience prevails is among the blessed and
elect of mankind. Unfortunately the great majority of human beings are sufferers from the inharmonious and insubordinate action of these servitors. How many a human being suffers from chronic
constipation and indigestion, the exciting causes of which are insidious, and the consequences a protean enemy to his happiness!
Medical writers on the subject of chronic constipation have assigned
numerous causes, and likewise prescribed multitudinous remedies to the patient; but as a general rule this patient, after suffering various woes, if still surviving the many years of medication, rebels against taking further remedies and resigns himself to the chronic enemy on the best terms he can make with diet.
For this large class of chronic sufferers we have good news; and for the class that have suffered five or ten years we have better news ; and for the class of infants and children that have started on
the road of ill-health we have real glad tidings. To know that there is only one chief cause for chronic constipation and its train of disorders, and that that cause intestinal disorders overshadows all other causes combined, and is easily diagnosed and treated, is news long hoped and prayed for by a multitude of sufferers the world over.