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

D. DISEASES OF THE TONSILS
I. ACUTE TONSILITIS

   Etiology.--This is a disease of childhood. It is, however, not infrequently met with in grown people. An attack of this disease is supposed to be precipitated by wet and cold weather, and bad hygienic surroundings. The weather and surroundings will have little to do with bringing on a disease of this character until nutrition is very much impaired. Some of our leading writers declare that sewer gas is regarded as a common exciting cause. I agree in full that this is true, but I do not agree with them as to the location of the sewer. In all the cases that I have ever been called upon to treat, the sewer has been below the diaphragm. Unless there is a sewer there, the outside sewer--city drains, grease traps, etc.--will have little to do with developing the disease. According to our best authorities, one attack renders a patient more liable to subsequent attacks. Why? Because these patients will be treated for sewer-gas poisoning, instead of correcting the cess-pools under their diaphragms; and so long as they know nothing about proper living, and continue to generate sewer gas in their own stomachs and bowels, they will be subject to frequent attacks of this disease. The disease prevails more in the fall. Why? Because the first cold weather is accompanied by chilly winds. The throat already being sensitive from imprudent eating all summer, the cold air creates irritation. The patients put on heavy underwear just as soon as the weather turns cold, the body is over-heated, and they are thrown into a cold.

   The cold is often repeated quite frequently during the fall and winter. There is nothing peculiarly wrong with the weather in the fall, so that anyone need be affected by it, indeed, it is usually delightful; but for years I have noticed that tonsilitis is a very common disease following within a week after the people start fires in their homes and put on their heavy underwear. It is worth while to know that after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and other feast-days, there is always an epidemic of tonsilitis, la grippe, colds, pneumonia, etc. Where conditions are favorable, diphtheria is developed, which is nothing more or less than a septic development or infection of ordinary tonsilitis. Most authorities look upon it as epidemic and contagious. It is so only in appearance, however; for people generally have much the same habits of eating, housing, clothing, etc., and there is nothing strange in the fact that all enervated people should be affected alike. When the habits of the people are analyzed, they will be found to live in much the same way; then it would be unnatural if physical agencies did not act on all alike.

   Symptoms.--Chill and fever, with aching all over, but particularly in the back and legs, are the symptoms with which this disease is ushered in. In children the temperature often runs to 105 F. Accompanying the disease there is always more or less gastritis; for the origin of the disease is gas poisoning from the gastro-intestinal canal.

   The first symptoms may be a soreness in the throat; if not, this will come soon after the fever starts. On examination after the angina has commenced, the throat will be found intensely red, and the mucous membrance engorged, congested, and much swollen; the tongue is usually coated, and the breath very foul; the urine, as in all cases of fever, is highly colored and filled with mineral elements. Children frequently breathe very heavily, the pulse is quite rapid, and swallowing in some cases almost impossible. The fever is somewhat self-limited, usually lasting about a week. Then the patient will be almost well, unless there is a complication of quinsy setting in. That means that the tonsilar inflammation has extended to the soft palate, and an abscess will form. This form of tonsilitis is what is known as quinsy. It is an infection from an ordinary tonsilitis. The tonsils remain enlarged after this disease for quite a while, but will gradually shrink to their normal size, if the patient is properly fed; if not--if the patient continues the ordinary haphazard living--other attacks of tonsilitis will follow, a few weeks or months apart, until a time comes when the tonsils will be very much diseased. The constitutional derangement is great. Rheumatism will develop in some, and pulmonary tuberculosis in others.

   Treatment.--Inasmuch as tonsilitis always comes from gastro-intestinal fermentation, the first, last, and about the only consideration in the line of treatment should be given to clearing out the intestinal tract and fasting until the disease is controlled. Copious enemas should be given two or three times the first twenty-four hours, and after that every night before bedtime. Positively no food should be taken until the inflammation in the throat has entirely subsided, but all water desired may be taken. Then the eating should be confined to fruit for the first twenty-four hours; the second twenty-four hours, fruit moming and night, with a combination salad and cooked, non-starchy vegetables for the noon meal. The third day a little meat may be used if desired, or a soft-boiled egg, with a salad or a grapefruit. At the end of the fourth or fifth day, toasted bread and butter, with uncooked fruit, may be taken for breakfast; meat and salad, with cooked, non-starchy vegetables, for the second meal; and fruit for the third meal.

 

II. CHRONIC TONSILITIS

   This is a catarrhal state of the pharynx and posterior nasal passages. Sometimes the eustachian tube, and even the middle ear, are involved. This disease is often accompanied by adenoids. By the best authorities, enlargement of the tonsils is given credit for being the cause of mental derangements and lack of bodily development in some children, It is too bad that extraordinarily smart teachers sometimes hook up the cart before the horse. The cause of the tonsilitis is the cause of the mental and bodily derangement. As soon as the improper habits of life, practiced daily, which cause this disease, are corrected, the disease will gradually decline, and the tonsils will grow smaller from month to month, until they entirely disappear. The adenoids will disappear in much less time. Operations are not necessary--and, in fact, are injurious, because they give the patient hope of a cure without removing the cause. The cause is wrong eating, and wrong care of the body generally. Children that are fed on a diet lacking in raw fruit and raw vegetables develop a catarrhal state early; and so long as the bad habits are practiced, the condition grows worse. The children most afflicted in this way are those inheriting the scrofulous diathesis. Then, when they arrive at puberty, a large percentage are taken off with tuberculosis.

   Children who have very large tonsils are mouth-breathers. They are not bright in school; their general health is, very much impaired. But, as stated before, this is not due altogether to the enlarged tonsils. The majority of children who do not breathe well through the nose will be entirely relieved of this symptom in one week, if confined to fruit morning, noon, and night. Possibly there may be cases so severe that they will require ten days on a fruit fast; but if the children are started on the fruit diet, they should be kept on it until their breathing is natural. By that time the redness, swelling, puffiness in the throat, and a great deal of the enlargement of the tonsils, will have vanished, and the adenoids will no longer interfere with breathing.

   Treatment.--See to it that the bowels move every day. In pronounced cases the child should be kept away from food for three days. Then this should be followed with three fruit meals each day--moming, noon, and night--for three days. If all the symptoms are improving by that time, two meals of fruit, with one of toasted bread and butter, followed with an apple or an orange, may be given. This can continue for three days. At the end of that time, toasted bread in the morning may be given, followed with an apple. An egg, or a small bit of lamb, chicken, or fish, with cooked, non-starchy vegetables and a salad may be taken for dinner every other day. The alternate days, baked potatoes may be given, with vegetables and salad. The third meal for the day may be fruit and nothing else.

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