GALL STONES. (Biliary Calculi, Cholelithiasis)
Categories: Digestive Organs
Cases of gall stones are
rare under the age of twenty-five years. They are very common after
forty-five, and three-fourths of the cases occur in women. Many people
never know they have them. Sedentary habits of life, excessive eating and
constipation tend to cause them. They may number a few, several, or a
thousand, or only one.
Symptoms. There are usually none while the stones are in the gall
r, but when they pass from the gall bladder down through the
(channel) duct into the bowel they often cause terrific pain, especially
when the stone is large. Chill, fever, profuse sweating and vomiting,
which comes in paroxysms or is continuous. The pain may be constant or
only come on at intervals. The region of the liver may be tender, the gall
bladder may be enlarged, especially in chronic cases and very tender. In
some cases the pain comes every few weeks and then may be scattered,
sometimes seeming to be in the stomach, and then in the bowels, or in the
region of the liver. When a person has such pains and locates them in the
stomach or bowels, and they come periodically, every week or two or more,
he ought to be suspicious about it being gall stones, especially if the
symptoms do not show any stomach trouble. If the stone is large and closes
the common duct, jaundice occurs; the stools are light colored; the urine
contains bile. The attacks of pain may cease suddenly after a few hours,
or they may last several days or recur at intervals until the stone is
passed. The stones may be found in the bowel discharges after an attack.
Death may occur from collapse during an attack.
MOTHERS' REMEDIES. 1. Gall Stones, Sweet Oil for. "Massaging the part
over the region of the liver lightly night and morning is very good,
following by drinking a wineglassful of sweet oil at bedtime." The patient
should take some good cathartic the next morning, such as a seidlitz
powder or cream of tartar. Teaspoonful in glass of water each morning.
This treatment should be continued for several weeks and is very
2. Gall Stones, Tried and Approved Remedy for. "Drink about a wineglass
of olive oil at bedtime followed in the morning by a cathartic, as
seidlitz powder, or cream of tartar and phosphate of soda; teaspoonful
each morning in wineglass of water. This treatment to be pursued several
weeks. Massage the part over the liver lightly night and morning. If the
suffering is intense use an injection of thirty drops of laudanum to two
quarts of water." In many cases the cathartic may not be needed as the
olive oil will move the bowels freely. Massaging the parts over the liver
will cause it to work better and has proven successful in many cases.
PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT for Gall Stones. 1. For the pain. Morphine must be
used and by the hypodermic method; one-fourth grain dose and repeated, if
necessary, and chloroform given before if the pain is intense, until the
morphine can act. Fomentations can be used over the liver.
2. Soda. The bowels must be kept open by laxatives, Sodium Phosphate or
Sodium Sulphate, (Glauber's) salt.
3. Olive Oil. Olive oil is used very extensively. I do not know whether
it does any good; some people think it does. From two to ten ounces daily,
if possible. The phosphate or sulphate of sodium should be taken daily in
one to two teaspoonfuls doses each day. Some claim these salts prevent
formation of gall stones.
4. Powder for the Itching. For the intolerable itching you may use the
following powder, dust some of it over the skin:
Starch 1 ounce
Zinc Oxide 1/2 ounce
Camphor 1-1/2 drams
Mix into a powder.
Diet. This must be thoroughly regulated. The patient should avoid the
starchy and sugar foods as much as possible. He or she should also take
regular exercise. If a person afflicted with gall stones keeps the stomach
and bowels in good condition, they will be better. Pure air, sunshine,
exercise, and diet are big factors in the treatment of chronic diseases. A
woman so afflicted should not wear anything tight around the stomach and
liver, corsets are an abomination in this disease; olive oil if taken must
be continued for months.
Surgery. The operation is indicated when the patient is suffering most of
the time from pain in the liver region or when the person is failing in
health, or during an acute attack. When there are symptoms of obstruction
or when there is fever, sweating shows that there is pus in the gall
bladder. Also an operation is then necessary, and in most cases it results