Painful contraction of the bowels, compelling the patient to bend double, due to indigestible articles of food; drinking cold water; chills; or lead poisoning. The last is especially found in painters.
Diagnosis.–The absence of all signs of fever separates colic from inflammation of the bowels; also in inflammation the patient cannot bear the least pressure, whilst in colic pressure relieves. The passage of gall stones may be taken for colic, but in that case the pain is more definitely localised, and there are accompanying liver symptoms, as yellow skin, and even jaundice, with light coloured stools. The passage of renal calculi (kidney-stones) causes pains like colic, but these pains are lower down in the body, are confined to one side, and are accompanied by frequent urging to pass water, which is scanty.
General Treatment.–The patient must be kept at rest, and take only liquid food until the attack is over. To prevent future attacks he must avoid the causes which bring them on. Painters must be scrupulously careful in washing their hands before they eat. When caused by overloaded stomach, give coffee without milk.
Medicines.–(Every half-hour, or less frequently according to the urgency of the case.)
Nux vomica 3.– Pinching, drawing, compressing pains in body, making patient bend double, worse at every step, when due to indigestible food and constipation.
Flatulent colic; intolerance of pain; aggravated at night and by warmth. After violent indignation.
Pains very violent, constant or only ceasing for a short time, most violent at a spot near navel. Relieved by pressure or bending double.
Pulsatilla 3.– From overloaded stomach. Wind that can not be got rid of; abdomen painful to touch; pains worse when lying down; tearing shooting about the navel; diarrhoea, yellow grey evacuations, pressing tensive headache.
Opium 3.– For lead colic.
Dioscorea 3.– Colic relieved by moving about.