Sources: Papers On Health

There are two more or less distinct stages of this serious

trouble; the first stage is generally curable, the second stage

generally incurable. Yet good natural means of cure will very much

alleviate even the incurable stage. The earlier as well as the later

stages are marked by extreme thirst. This, in the case of some poor

sufferers, is enormous. Gallons of water are taken, and the more is

taken the more is wanted. But this thirst is not the effect of heat, as

fever thirst is. It cannot be quenched by means of cold cloths often

changed over the stomach, as fever thirst can. A sufferer in this

disease will set a large pitcher down at the bedside to serve for the

night, and drink it all before morning; but there is no extra heat

anywhere to account for this. The thirst is more like that which is

caused by eating very salt food. It points to the character of the

juices which are affecting the stomach, and not to any heated condition

of the stomach itself. The drinking is a desperate effort to dilute

these juices; and, at least by cold water, that cannot be done. A

wineglassful of hot water taken every ten minutes for an hour, or two

hours, or three, or ten hours, as is felt to be comfortable, will do

wonders in the early stages of this disease. This water, when taken at

the right heat, at once mixes with the strongly concentrated juices of

the stomach, and causes them to be easily managed by that and other

organs. It is truly wonderful what this very simple remedy will effect

by itself alone. The next thing to be noticed is the excessive hunger.

The food, whatever it may be, fails to quell this hunger. Here, again,

it is clearly the stomach with which we have to do. When the hunger is

developed we should think the case further advanced than when thirst

alone is experienced. The hot water meets this symptom as it meets the

other. It is also of the very greatest moment to give right food.

Oatmeal and buttermilk steeped together for a time and then moderately

boiled, a very little salt or sugar being added, produces a food which

we do not expect to see excelled by the most costly that can be got

anywhere. Wheaten meal, or barley meal, will do as well as, and perhaps

in some cases better than, oatmeal, but these may be chosen according

to taste. The chief thing is the ease with which this food is converted

into a large supply of the best of blood for all purposes of

nourishment. Food containing much starchy matter, as white bread, rice,

and all sugar, must be forbidden. To make up for this, an abundance of

fat should be consumed. The bowels should be kept open by a suitable

diet and exercise.

Now we come to the excessive urinary discharge which is so strong a

feature of this disease. The body seems as if it were melting away in


We can benefit the kidneys vastly through acting on the liver, as well

as on themselves. By a large hot bran poultice over the liver we can

add new life to that, and whatever does so tends to benefit the

kidneys. After using this large poultice, with plenty of oil rubbed on

before and after, say three or four times, place it over the kidneys

and use it as often there. If the heat is well kept up for an hour at a

time, one poultice a day would do, but, if the patient desires it,

twice a day will be all the better. It is good to do the best that can

be done with the skin. By means of soap and oil rubbing, and the

cleansing effects of diluted acetic acid, very considerable help may be

gained. Good can be done by a hot fomentation of the feet and legs to

the knees, with oiling after, so as to have these extremities in a

comfortable state. Tea, coffee, and sugar must be avoided.