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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