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Impaired Health Its Cause And Cure by J. H Tilden, M.D.


   Definition.--The definition for syphilis, as given by the modem text-books, is that it is a specific disease caused by the Spirochaeta pallida, and that it is developed by infection. That is when it is acquired, or derived by hereditary transmission--congenital syphilis.

   Etiology.--This is a disease which the medical world feels that it knows all about. Indeed, laymen generally think they know positively that syphilis is a specific disease. It would require volumes to hold the literature that has grown up around this subject. The popular idea is that syphilis starts with an inoculation or infection incurred by cohabiting with a person who has the disease, and that, when it is once started, the ending is doubtful, notwithstanding the fact that the medical profession has discovered many specific remedies. The regular profession is quite positive that there is no such thing as a specific remedy for a specific disease. The idea of specifics has been denounced by the best-educated physicians throughout modern times. But this one disease has been associated with mercury, arsenic, and iodide of potassium as specific remedies. In the last decade a remedy has been discovered that is recognized as more specific than the old remedies; yet, in spite of this new synthetic remedy of specific fame, the old remedies are still in use. Indeed, in institutions where the disease is treated the synthetic remedy commonly known as "606" is used, and at the same time mercury, arsenic, and iodide of potassium are given--probably on the principle that, if one should fail, the other may be the thing needed. This simply shows that, in spite of the so-called specific remedies, the medical mind is not yet ready to accept the fact that there is a specific.

   Syphilis, like everything that has a bad reputation, must be the scapegoat for every smaller or minor disreputable thing of its class. If people of pronounced diathesis, and who live in such a way as to create derangements of all kinds--derangements of the blood, nervous system, glandular system, and circulatory system--consult a modern physician, there is a strong probability that most of these symptoms will be charged to syphilis. So cocksure is the profession that this is true that it will not even believe in the negative findings of a Wassermann test, notwithstanding it has as much faith in this test as it has in syphilis itself.

   To see a physician struggle with all his might and main to force a blood-test to show a positive reaction is pathetic, to say the least. I have many patients coming to me during the year, from different parts of the world, bringing written examinations and reports showing the results of many examinations; and if there should be nine negative examinations and one positive, that one is sufficient to settle the question that the patient has syphilis. Occasionally I have patients who have been treated for syphillis, and whom the physicians have positively declared to have syphilis, despite the fact that several Wassermann tests have shown a negative reaction. The fact of the matter is that the mind of the medical profession is positively settled on this subject, and that there is no hope of anything contrary to the general belief receiving any attention whatever.

   As I am not at all in sympathy with any part of the medical history of syphilis, or the present general beliefs, I shall recommend those who want to know what the popular opinions are on this subject to consult the leading text-books; for I have no desire or inclination to write from that standpoint. Hence, what I have to say in the following pages will be strictly my individual opinion, with no apologies for differing with the whole world, if I do. I can very well afford to stand alone, when I stand with as clear a conscience in the matter as I do, and have as fine a list of cured subjects as I have.

   Symptoms.--The disease begins with a very small denuded surface. This may look like a speck of herpes; and, indeed, that may be, and probably is, the initial stage in many cases. After that, from this small denuded spot it will spread. There is a hypersecretion about the foreskin or glans. If watched carefully, the parts will be seen to be quite moist; they should be looked at every three hours, and the secretions removed. In a day or two the spot begins to be a defined ulcer in shape. If not treated properly, the ulcer grows quite rapidly, swelling of the prepuce takes place, and a sensitive and swollen condition of the glands in the groin appears. The lymphatics in the groins take on enlargement. If the treatment is of an irritative character, such as cauterizing or cleaning with peroxide of hydrogen, the parts become quite sensitive, and the ulcer spreads with a thickened, indurated border. If taken hold of by the fingers, there will be a sensation of hardness. The thickened and indurated parts will present a ring of hardness standing all around the ulcer. If the patient has quite an acid condition, shown in a white tongue--one that is broad, pallid, and with prints of the teeth on the edges--and if the case is treated with local applications of mercury, the ulceration will take on a very active growth, because of the local poisoning caused by the mercury coming in contact with the acid secretion.

   Treatment.--In the beginning of the treatment, Dr. Osler says in his work on practice--
   That the later stages which come under the charge of the physician are so common, results, in great part, from the carelessness of the patient, who, wearied with treatment, cannot understand why he should continue to take medicine after all the symptoms have disappeared; but, in part, the profession also is to blame for not insisting more urgently that acquired syphilis is not cured in a few months, but takes at least three years, during which time the patient should be under careful supervision.

   Knowing, as I do, that syphilis is as easily cured as any infection--knowing, as I do, that without gastrointestinal decomposition, no disease, not even syphilis, can put up a winning fight against real health and normal elimination--I am surprised at what the leading English teacher of medicine has to say on the subject.

   On the treatment of syphilis is where I part company with modern medical science. I have been in the profession many years; I have treated many cases of syphilis; and, where I have been favored with an early call, about two to four months is as long as I have ever kept a case under my supervision. No wonder there is a universal taint, when a patient is kept under treatment for three years! He will certainly have a medicine disease built in that time which probably will last for the remainder of his life. Every symptom developed during those three years will be attributed to the disease, when, in reality, it comes from a ridiculous manner of living on the part of the patient and the drugs be has been given.

   The chancre should be treated the same as any ulcer. It must be kept clean. What I mean by keeping the chancre clean is that it should be washed with a very mild soap two or three times a day, and rinsed with warm soda water--a heaping teaspoonful of the soda to a pint of warm water. The parts should be bathed thoroughly with this alkaline water, so as to remove any soap. Then a little white vaseline may be used, and a light dressing of cotton, retained by a T-bandage. Under no circumstances should a dressing be put on that is retained by a cord, or, what is worse, a rubber band. Anything that constricts the organ will cause a puffiness in the foreskin. The more the circulation is interfered with, the slower the ulceration will be in getting well, and the more absorption and systemic infection will take place. If the primary disease is taken care of in a sensible, rational way, it will heal just the same as any ordinary sore; and if this can be carried through, and at the same time the inguinal glands prevented from becoming involved, there will be no constitutional derangement to be overcome.

   The general care of the patient should be the same as would be given to overcome or prevent the spread of any disease; namely, a five-to-ten-minute warm bath, followed with a cold sponge-bath; and the cold sponge-bath should be followed with ten minutes' dry towel-rubbing before retiring. If the bathroom is warm of a morning, the bath should be taken at that time, and a dry rubbing given at night.

   Until the disease is thoroughly under control, the patient should have nothing at all to eat except fruit--fresh, uncooked fruit morning, noon, and night, and at no other time. Water should not be taken. It is a mistake to drink freely of water; for the kidneys are forced to do vicarious work for the bowels, and this leaves the bowels constipated, causing infection.

   The bowels should be moved every day. If the bowels do not move during the day, before retiring a small enema--a pint of water--may be put into the rectum and held for five minutes, and then a movement solicited.

   The above treatment is so simple and so effective that it is hard for some patients, and many doctors, to believe that it can be trusted.

   Sometimes I am not consulted until the ulceration is very great and the glandular involvement is pronounced. This means that infection has taken place, Now the question is, what kind of infection has taken place? Septic infection. I insist that syphilis is nothing more nor less than a badly treated septic infection, coming from maltreatment of a common ulcer. We do not believe in the doctrine that, unless patients are fed, the disease will master them; indeed, we know positively that feeding patients only feeds disease. The chancre or ulcer should be taken care of, it matters not how large it is, just as an ordinary ulcer would be managed. There is nothing in specific medication. The fact of the matter is that nature is fully capable of throwing off any and all diseases, if they have not advanced to such organic destruction that there can be no hope; and if nature cannot effect a cure--if nature cannot throw off disease--it will be because she is prevented by treatment and nursing.

   Those who would have no further symptoms, no nervous diseases--tabes, or any of the diseases said to be due to syphillis--twenty-five to fifty years after, should live correctly.



   Definition.--This is a septic infection of the mucous membrane of the urethra. I have some views that are not strictly orthodox in regard to this disease as well as to syphilis; and all I have to offer as proof that my particular views are well founded is that my plan of treatment works, and works better than any other plan of treatment of which I know. If my ideas are wrong in regard to the cause of syphilis and gonorrhea, or any other disease, I want someone to prove to me that I am wrong, by producing a treatment that is as good as mine, or better.

   Etiology.--It is generally understood that this disease is caused by a germ, gonococcus. As I have stated all specific infections are at the base septic or toxic. Septic inflammation of the urethra is accompanied by the gonococcus. A septic inflammation of Peyer's glands in the bowels develops a typhoid fever, and the character of the septic material is that it is accompanied by the typhoid bacillus. A septic inflammation in the lungs is accompanied by the tuberculous bacillus; etc. etc. The stock-in-trade toxin that accompanies all suppurative inflammations is septic. The location of the disease in the body determines the character of the germ that is found in the necrosed or broken-down tissues and in the excretion and it will never be found in the early stages of any disease.

   Symptoms.--Gonorrhea starts with a feeling of uneasiness at the meatus, or the mouth of the urethra; perhaps a feeling of itching--just enough to call the attention of the patient to it; and perhaps, on examination, he finds a little discharge. Certainly by the next day the disease will have developed to such an extent that there will be no question about its existence; for, on getting up in the morning, there will be a feeling of discomfort, and, on examination, there will be quite a copious discharge. The patient experiences considerable discomfort in urinating, such as burning or smarting. This discomfort seemingly grows worse every time urine is passed, until the patient is very uncomfortable. Much, however, depends upon the constitutional state of the patient. If he has been living in such a way as to cause a decidedly acid urine, then the smarting, burning, and discomfort in urinating will be more pronounced.

   Some cases develop an edematous state of the prepuce or foreskin. It sometimes swells to such an extent that the glans is completely covered, making it very difficult to keep the parts clean. This complication, however, is unnecessary; it is brought about by maltreatment. Any irritating treatment aggravates the symptoms and causes what would be a very light inflammation to develop into a very intense inflammation. Where the swelling is very great, sometimes the circulation is so cut off that there is danger of gangrene.

   Treatment--As soon as the disease is discovered, the patient should stop eating, and clear out the bowels by enemas or mineral water. He should put on a belt next to the body; then double a towel and pin it to the belt in front. This is for the purpose of cleanliness, and will prevent any discharge from coming in contact with the underclothing. As soon as the towel is soiled it should be replaced by a clean one. The penis should be bathed in hot water--as hot as can be borne--for from ten to fifteen minutes three times a day. The parts must be kept absolutely clean, even if bathing in hot water is necessary every three hours.

   The patient should not eat anything until absolutely comfortable. Then, for the first three days after eating is started, a pint of buttermilk may be given morning, noon, and night. The patient should be instructed to retire early, and the mind must be free from irritations--certainly from lascivious thoughts. A general bath may be taken before retiring at night. Have the water as hot as the body will bear. The patient may stay in this bath for five minutes. Then follow with a quick cold sponge-bath. Follow this with dry rubbing. Where it is possible for the patient to stay in bed, a disease of this kind can usually be gotten rid of in from one to four weeks. If it is impossible to go to bed, the disease will last from three to six weeks. If the patient has hard work to do, this has a tendency to prolong the disease. Riding horseback--any kind of jolting of the body--increases the trouble and has a tendency to prolong the disease. But where the patient can take proper care of himself, there is very little discomfort, and the disease is brought to a successful termination in from four to six weeks. Many cases that I have treated have considered themselves well in two weeks--but not so; they must be cautious about taking the proper care of themselves, for if they indulge in overeating, or indulge sensually in any way, the disease will be reestablished, and a chronic state may develop. The longer any disease runs on, the more difficult it is to cure.

   All the time during the treatment of this disease the bowels should be kept open, by enemas, if necessary. After three days of buttermilk as suggested, light eating of fruit and vegetables may be taken for three days more. If there is no irritation developing and perfect comfort is experienced, light regulation eating can begin.

   This treatment is so very simple that those who believe in doing something--believe in copious douches, passing gallons of water through the urethra into the bladder--will really think that it is almost no treatment at all; but in the course of a year I see many cases hunting cures who have been treated with copious douches of hot water and permanganate of potash, and the use of other drugs.

   Systemic Infection.--I have seen gonorrheal rheumatism that was very intractable. This is a disease that resists treatment. I do not know but that this should be a diagnostic symptom. It often follows gonorrheal infection of the testes. Abscesses frequently form, and burrow in such a manner as to make their way into the bladder. I remember a case that I had thirty years ago, where pus would sometimes amount to fifty per cent of the urine passed , and no urine was passed that did not show ten to twenty-five per cent pus. The case had been diagnosed as gonorrheal infection of the left kidney, and an operation for the removal of that organ was recommended when the young man came into my hands. I gave it as my opinion that there was, no need of kidney extirpation. I based that opinion on his general systemic condition, which was altogether too good to have anything seriously wrong with a kidney. I told him that the proper thing for him to do was to be careful about his eating; in fact, I put him on a strict diet. In the course of three years he ceased to have pus in the urine.

   This disease is most liable to take on this intense form in those who are most dissipated--alcohol and tobacco users--and those with sensual minds and a disposition to be as lascivious as possible.

   In women this disease cannot develop to such an intensity as, in men, because the drainage can be so much more efficient through copious vaginal douches. These douches should free the patient of the disease in half the time necessary in men, but those unfortunate enough to get the disease should be very willing to be extra careful. Sex life certainly should be given up absolutely until perfect health is established. While the disease is at its most acute stage, copious alkaline douches can be used--a dessert spoonful of baking soda in a quart of hot water--two to four times a day, depending upon the amount of discharge.

   The suggestions for eating should be the same as for such cases in men. If there is a chronic catarrhal inflammation of the womb, great care should be used in using the douche to keep from forcing the infection into the mouth of the womb. Where this complication is established, there is no telling how far it will go. Intra-uterine infection may pass to the fallopian tubes and bring on infection of the tubes. These cases often have to go to the surgeon or go to bed for about four months.



   Definition.--The definition, according to modern medical science, is an infectious disease caused by the bacillus tuberculosis. The lesions are characterized by nodular bodies, called tubercles. These tubercles undergo cheesy degeneration, sometimes a hardening or fibrous degeneration, and again they become limy. This is the ending in spontaneous recoveries.

   Etiology.--The disease is universal. It is found in animals. Cattle are supposed to be afflicted with the disease a very great deal. Forty to forty-five years ago Koch declared that bovine tuberculosis was similar to human tuberculosis, and that man could contract tuberculosis from cattle. The last years of his life he recanted, but I think his followers persisted in advocating his first declaration in this matter. Those who wish to be thoroughly informed on this subject from a bacteriological standpoint should get special works on the subject. I recognize the disease as coming from perverted nutrition brought on from crowded digestion, in those who are predisposed to take the disease.

   Such people are very imprudent. Young men and young women, at the time when they are enjoying the best of health, practice gross imprudence, such as dancing until very warm, then standing in a draft or sitting in a draft; also persisting in eating wrong combinations, overeating, and taxing the nervous system in every kind of way. Young men use tobacco, and abuse, the stomach by eating all kinds of trash between meals; in fact, it seems that young people who are predisposed to this disease are born with a lack of judgment. Self-abuse enters largely into the cause of this disease by breaking down digestive power, enervating the subject, and forcing indigestion, decomposition, and the generation of toxins in the intestine, which are absorbed and poison the system. Besides the causes that I have mentioned, there is no question but that vaccination, inoculation, and serum injections have much to do with starting up a glandular derangement. A morbid process set up by vaccination in just the right individual--one with a dyscrasia--may be the beginning of the development of tuberculosis. Infection in childhood may run on, and show itself, or its evil influence, at forty-five or fifty years, of age. Instead of the cause of disease being unitary, it is, decidedly multiple; and this is especially true in tuberculosis. No two persons will be broken down in exactly the same way. All, however, must have their resistance brought to a very low ebb before the disease will manifest itself.

   The Beginning of TubercuIosis.--Indigestion, characterized by frequent symptoms of derangement of the stomach, brought on from overeating or imprudent eating. These patients will be troubled with cough. After they have gotten over one attack of indigestion, they have a period of comparative health. Then they will have another spell of indigestion, developing a similar derangement that may be diagnosed as bronchitis. The coughing may be quite persistent, but after running on for some time there may be a complete respite, the patient having quite good health; but there is always a little inclination for coughing and expectorating that will be recognized as perhaps a little bronchial irritation. At last there may be an attack of bronchitis, so-called. There will be a hacking cough with some temperature. The temperature may run up to 102 degrees in the morning or evening, but the temperature will not last twenty-four hours. However, it will return in the form of a periodic fever. Some cases may be treated for malaria. Particularly will this be true in malarial countries. In sections of the country where there is no malaria, the present day diagnosis will be an infection from streptococci.

   Such cases will have fits of indigestion, perhaps sore throat, and it will be diagnosed streptococcus infection. The cough and expectoration becomes continuous, and a little fever will show every day-not much-perhaps less than one hundred, with an increase to 102 degrees. By this time the doctors will be diagnosing tuberculosis. They will begin the regulation treatment for that disease. The patient suffers psychologically from this diagnosis, He will be inclined to be despondent and hopeless, and will require a great deal of encouragement from family and friends. There are a few temperaments which will always be looking on the optimistic side-they expect to be cured, but they are not cured.

   If the lungs are watched, there will be found a growing dullness in one or both lungs--perhaps only the left lung. This means an accumulation of phlegm in the bronchial tubes.

   Treatment.--lf taken to be treated at this stage, an effort should be made to empty the lungs of the accumulation. This can be accomplished more or less by having the patient lie in a position that will allow the accumulation to gravitate to the throat. Every day the patient should get into that position, and he will soon learn from experience that he can unload his lungs or get a freer breathing because of being able to expectorate a great deal of the accumulation.

   This will not benefit the patient at all unless a rigid dietary is introduced. That means cutting out the dairy products and the starch; living largely on raw fruit and raw vegetables. The proteins should be watched. If a small amount can be taken care of without an increase in the cough and expectoration, it can be continued. There is no need for experimenting with starch for it will increase cough and expectoration from the bronchial tubes. From this point on the patient should improve until completely recovered, if the rigid dietary is adhered to. Some cases, if taken at quite an advanced stage, can be relieved within a month, and a very great deal of the dullness in the lungs overcome.

   Scrupulous cleanliness is, necessary. A sponge bath of a morning, after a certain amount of exercise, and a tub bath at least every other night. That means a hot water bath and it should be continued for twenty to thirty minutes. If the patient is a female, vaginal douches should be used every day--if the patient be a virgin or a married woman, the douche should be used just the same. There is sometimes prejudice against young women being treated in this manner, but it is due to ignorance.

   It is not a good thing to have the patient kept too warm. Bed clothing should be just enough to keep the patient comfortable, with the addition of a foot warmer, and the foot warmer is not to be used continuously. It should be kept to one side of the foot of the bed and as soon as the feet begin to show a coolness, the warmer can be brought to the feet. The feet should not be against the foot warmer. In other words, keep the feet warm, but do not allow them to sweat from overheat.

   The patient should be encouraged to read and even study. The mind must be kept off himself by being interested in something outside of himself.

   This line of treatment ought to save every patient, and if this care is begun early in the beginning of the development of symptoms, few would ever get far enough along to have to go to bed. It is curable in its beginning, one hundred per cent. Tuberculosis is doctored to death.

   If this treatment is adopted early, there will be no tubercular bacilli, hence those who believe that there is no tuberculosis except in cases where the bacilli are to be found, will not believe that the disease can be jugulated as I have described. If it is any gratification to the profession and the people to believe in the present diagnosis and treatment, it is up to them to enjoy it. Those who will follow me will not need to develop that kind of tuberculosis.



   We hear occasionally of this disease in the mountains of Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. It is supposed to be produced by the bite of a tick. The disease begins with chill, fever, and severe pain in the limbs. A rash appears from the second to the seventh day. Sometimes there is bleeding. Those who have seen the disease declare the rash to be not unlike that of typhus fever. Some patients have hemorrhage from the mucous membrane. The temperature ranges from 103 to 105 F. When the fever runs very high, there is delirium and stupor. The death-rate in this disease is very great. It is said to run as high as seventy per cent in Montana, but in Idaho not more than two or three per cent. The discrepancy is so great that there must be a very decided difference in the types of the disease found in the two states.

   The disease should yield to the ordinary treatment of fasting, bathing, washing the bowels every day, and absolute quiet. When the temperature runs high, give a warm bath, reduced by cooling the water to 40. The patient should be kept in the bath long enough to reduce his temperature to, 101 or 102 F. This should be done twice a day until the temperature stays below 102. There is no question but that there must be a septic state. A hyperpyrexia, or high grade of fever, must be overcome to prevent the disease from becoming intense.

   We have given this as you will find it in books on the subject, but our belief is, that it is psychological. Doctors scare the patients to death. As soon as people in the Rocky Mountain country find a tick on them, they get the jitters. After a doctor has been called and gives his treatment, the patient is certainly sick. We must not forget that we can kill people by building a psychological pathology. If it were possible for people to call a physician who would make fun of the tick fever, and encourage the patient to understand there is nothing to it further than what follows the bite of the ticks of the middle states, we would bear very little of the mountain fever in a short time. We still believe in the mad dog insanity. This is tick insanity, and if we can keep insanity out of our disease the mortality will drop exceedingly low in a very short time.

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