Obscure Pathology.


In searching for the real cause of a disease, the student is often an object of pity. He honestly desires to obtain data whereby he may benefit his fellow man by curing the disease. He is met at every turn by varied conjectures, by wordy explanations that do not explain anything, and by the presentation of clinical cases, that simply show dense ignorance as regards the true pathology of the disease. The name of a disease seldom enables us to form a correct idea of the cause or character of the disease, in the patient under consideration.

Diabetes is a very common disease, but the average doctor does not generally explain to his patient the pathology involved. When sugar is not chemically split up, into carbon, lactic acid, and water, it reaches the kidneys as sugar, and acts as an irritant, and results in the condition named.

If the uninformed student desires a knowledge of the cause and cure of this disease, he will consult the so-called authorities, Ebstein, for instance, who says "The diminished elimination of CO2 which is characteristic of diabetes causes a check upon the diastatic ferment;" or Catani, who declares that the diminished CO2 is the result, and not the cause of the disease; or Professor James Anderson, who says "We must go back to the nervous centers, central and local, by which this is controlled;" and again he says: "It must be remembered that there is both defect and excess, both paralysis and stimulation, an under and over action, at the same time." Think of any ordinary, untrained mind, trying to grasp the pearl of wisdom encased in that fearful and wonderful sentence.

Dr. G. Arthrund says: "By irritating the centrifugal vagus nerve, different varieties of diabetes, such as insipidus, azoturic, and glycosuric, can be produced." But as he neglects to tell us how to cure these dreadful conditions, the student will carefully avoid irritating the centrifugal vagus nerve.

The celebrated French Scientist Lamereaux says: "I removed the pancreas of a dog, and diabetes mellitus immediately set in.'" Strange that nothing worse than diabetes "set in," but as the dog only lived forty-eight hours, probably nothing else had time to "set in." Let us appeal from this scientific array of words and foreign phrases to the plain statement of biochemistry: "the phosphate and sulphate of sodium, when in proper amount, and properly distributed through the body, will split up, decompose and properly eliminate sugar and water and carbonic acid, in a normal manner. When these salts are deficient the sugar will ferment, and will produce the undesirable substances, when an extra amount of water is required to carry the irritating waste from the body. The structure of the kidneys thus becomes irritated and inflamed, not through any disease of these organs, but solely and wholly because sugar and its accompanying acid, must pass through these delicate eliminating structures."

Kali phos is often an indicated remedy, for the depleting influence of this draft upon the nervous system. It contains the mineral basis of the nerve structure.

Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.