Synonym.—Congestion of the Liver.
Definition.—An excess of blood in the liver; this disease is usually of short duration.
Etiology.—The physiological hyperemia that occurs during digestion should hardly be considered in this connection, except in high livers, who habitually overeat and overdrink, in which case it frequently leads to functional derangement, and, in case of too free indulgence of alcohol, may lead to structural changes. It may occur as a result of certain infectious fevers, especially dysentery, malaria, yellow fever, enteric fever, and Weil's disease. It has followed suppressed menstruation.
Symptoms.—The symptoms are not very characteristic, usually those of gastro-intestinal catarrh. There is a sense of fullness in the right hypochondriac region, and sometimes tenderness on pressure. The tongue is coated; there is a bad taste in the mouth, with nausea, and sometimes vomiting. There is usually headache. The skin is of a brown or muddy color, and sometimes there is slight jaundice. Constipation is the rule, and the patient is irritable or despondent; dizziness and mental depression are common.
Diagnosis.—This can only be made after a careful study of the case.
Prognosis.—This is favorable; the condition is not dangerous, although it may pass into the passive form, and sometimes results in structural changes.
Treatment.—The diet must be light and nutritious. Rich and highly seasoned food must be prohibited, and alcohol positively forbidden. A milk diet is perhaps the best. The bowels should be kept open. Podophyllin is just as effective to-day as it was when used by the fathers, if the indications for its use, full tissues, full tongue, with dirty, moist coating, from base to tip, and a dirty, muddy complexion, and more or less headache are present. Of the second trituration, three grains every three hours will give good results, and, if the patient does not object to its harsh action, from a fourth to a half of a grain of podophyllin may be given. In place of this, the patient may visit some one of the many mineral springs, drinking freely of its waters.
The Eclectic Practice of Medicine, 1907, was written by Rolla L. Thomas, M. S., M. D.