THERE is a tendency to consider Mezereum merely as a skin medicine-for the case with the typical Mezereum skin irritation followed by the development of the Mezereum rash. But this is one to the very useful medicines for acute gastric ulcer. The ulcer tends to be near the pyloric end of the stomach, but it is definitely a gastric ulcer.
Apart from the pathological condition, there are certain indications which lead one to Mezereum. Outstandingly, these gastric patients tend to be hypochondriacal, and their main complaint is that everything feels dead and useless, nothing seems to make a definite, vivid impression. They are depressed and weepy, with a general feeling of dullness, a slight sensation of confusion and a marked forgetful tendency.
As a contrast to their general state, they have spells of irritability and anger, which are characterised by a desire to irritate other people and say something that will vex them.
Their main physical complaint is a general feeling of sickliness, accompanied by a burning sensation in the stomach and a gradually increasing sense of uneasiness. This feeling of discomfort is temporarily relieved by eating. The patients often say that the whole stomach feels raw and that eating makes it more comfortable for the moment.
As a result, Mezereum patients often acquire the habit of eating almost continuously, in their desire to relieve their discomfort. Not only is their local condition ameliorated by eating; the patients themselves feel better for it.
There are various contradictions as regards their sensitiveness to heat and cold. The patients as a whole are sensitive to cold air, and yet, when they have the feeling of sickness and nausea, their nausea is aggravate by going into a close room and relieved by going out into the open air. Again, these patients are liable to suffer from acute neuralgic headaches which are definitely aggravated by warmth. It is exactly the same with their eruptions : an irritating eruption is definitely aggravated by warmth and is worse at night, possible from the warmth of the bed.
The tongue in Mezereum tends to be whitely coated, with a sensitive, burning tip. The patients often complain of a peppery taste in the mouth, almost a sensation as if the tongue had been burned, and this burned sensation very often spreads right down the oesophagus into the stomach.
Mezereum patients are very sensitive to any fatty food, which seems to increase their distress. They have a desire for bacon and coffee, and have a definite aversion to meat. As a rule, they are thirsty.
In their gastric upsets, they are very liable to develop attacks of diarrhoea. These attacks are accompanied by rectal tenesmus which, though not severe, is very definite. The stools tend to be sour, watery and undigested. Far more important than the actual appearance of the stool is the sensation of extreme chilliness from which the patients suffers after the bowels have acted.
Mezereum is a very useful drug, and I do not know anything that quite takes its place, and yet it is one that is not very often thought of for this particular condition.
There is one condition, quite apart from its digestive symptoms, in which Mezereum is very useful. You will find it extremely helpful for an acute ciliary neuralgia following excision of the eyeball. This is particularly true if the patient get-and many do-a severe sensation of coldness in the eye socket from which the eyeball has been removed. It is quite a common complaint after excision, and is very marked in Mezereum, which gives enormous relief in these cases.