Some Important Hints on Treatment.
As I have stated previously, the homoeopathic doctor and the wise lay practitioner is not much concerned with the name of the disease or disorder of which the patient complains, but with the causation of the trouble. The causation of the trouble is all important.
A nervous girl can be given bromide or luminal or some other sedative, but the sedative, however carefully chose, will be of little avail if the girls nervousness is due to grossly faulty menstruation, to self-reproaches or to0 the fact the she dances half the night and embraces herself up with cocktails, strong tea and coffee, and innumerable cigarettes.
It is useless to give reducing medicines to the obese if they eat too much or eat the wrong food. I remember a woman telling me, with tears in her eyes, that she was getting stouter and stouter although she ate so very little. I asked her: ” What do you have for breakfast ?” She sobbed, and said: ” A dry roll. ” ” What do you have for luncheon ?” She wept, and told me: “Another dry roll.” Ten I asked her what she took in the way of liquid. She took in bed two large cups of tea with plenty of milk and four or five lumps of sugar in each cup.
She took another two large cups of tea with her breakfast, another two at eleven o clock, another two with her second dry roll at luncheon. Altogether she had twelve to fifteen cups of tea with an incredible quantity of milk and a pound of sugar. I then asked her what she took between meals. It came out that she took large and expensive ices in the course of the morning, rich chocolates, etc. She had been given thyroid by her doctor, but naturally that medicine had only upset her heart.
There are some only common causes of ill-health and disease which are only too frequently disregarded by prescribers. One of the most common causes of health trouble lies in chronic constipation, which is almost universal among the civilized. The average doctor disregards this factor. If appealed to, he orders his favourite laxative. Constipation is not a triviality but is an extremely serious matter. Doctors do not take much notice of it because most doctors are themselves constipated, and therefore pooh-pooh the complaints of their patients with regard to this matter.
Constipation leads only too frequently to autointoxication, to self-poisoning. The bowel swarms with disease products, with the organisms of putrefaction cannot always be detoxicated by the body. If the trouble is very acute, the defensive mechanism breaks down, the organisms of putrefaction enter by way of the bowel finally into the blood stream and poison the whole system. The resistance of the bowel wall is considerable, but laxative and purgative are true bowel irritants. They weaken the bowel wall, and further weakening takes place if unsuitable food is eaten which weakness the power of repair.
Everyone knows some of the consequences of constipation, because the manufacturers of laxatives tell us in their advertisements that constipation leads to degeneration of the skin, a poor colour, anaemia, jaundice, pimples and diseases and disorders, malfunctioning of the liver, deep depression, pyorrhoea and forth and so on. It cannot be doubted that numerous diseases and disorders are entirely due to constipation, and it stands to reason that every disease and disorder know to medical science is bound to be greatly aggravated if the patients blood is thoroughly fouled by organisms of putrefaction.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, stated 2,300 years ago, that insanity was frequently due to constipation, and that insane patients could be cured by vigorous laxatives. The most important section in mental hospitals is that containing those individuals who suffer from melancholia. Melancholia is almost invariably due to chronic constipation and auto-intoxication. The odour in the wards of the mental hospitals tells its own tale. When the brain cells have been destroyed by the organisms of putrefaction, then a cure is hopeless or almost hopeless, at least to the orthodox medical practitioners.
One can cure innumerable diseases and greatly relieve patients by correcting the faulty condition of the bowel. Cancer patients suffer almost invariable from bowel poisoning. As soon as the bowel is regulated patients of every kind, including cancer patients, feel greatly relieved. They become cheerful, their jaundice or pallor disappears, they become merry, gain weight, and are full of hope.
Many skin diseases can be cured by bowel regulation. In cases of inflammation of the bladder. auto-intoxication from the bowel is responsible in the great majority of cases. Instead of washing out the bladder, an idiotic procedure favoured by doctors and bladder specialists, the patient should be put on a lacto- vegetarian diet, and his chronic bladder inflammation will disappear rapidly, especially if he is given plenty of liquid.
Patients suffering from tuberculosis, diabetes, diseases of the kidneys and liver, etc., respond splendidly as soon as their bowel is put into order. In practically all cases improvement takes place when bowel foulness is eliminated. This is after all, only logical.
I have mentioned in the foregoing that people who suffer from inflammation of the bladder should be put on a lacto-vegetarian diet. I give a lacto-vegetarian diet not merely to those who suffer from bladder trouble, but to all patients, not because I am a vegetarian myself but because I wish to eliminate the organisms of putrefaction by starving them out of existence.
The orthodox doctor frequently prescribes some horrible drug, especially drugs derived from carbolic acid, which we are told, detoxicate the bowel. these powerful drugs are no doubt very excellent antiseptics and they will detoxicate the bowel contents if they are poured over a foul motion contained in a vessel.
Unfortunately these drugs act very differently when they are taken by the mouth. The body possesses the most wonderful chemical laboratories. Dangerous substances are chemically altered so as to make them innocuous. Many of the antiseptics which people faithfully swallow because they are supposed to cleanse the bowel, are totally altered in composition by the time they enter the bowel.
Consequently, they do not fulfil the purpose for which they are given, but only embarrass the body by forcing it to alter the composition of the these dangerous drugs. The idea that one can detoxicate the bowel contents by swallowing some nauseous drug is a delusion.
The only way which I know consists, not in allowing the patient to eat putrefactive foods and then trying to prevent putrefaction by giving him yeast and derivatives of carbolic acid, etc., but the only way which is reliable, as I have proved during many years, consists in placing the patient on a lacto-vegetarian diet. Then the organisms of putrefaction which swarm in the bowel in untold millions are starved out of existence.
The bowel flora becomes completely changed, and there is no need for giving the patient horrible drugs such as carbolic acid derivatives disguised and made palatable in some way or other.
Those who wish to treat constipation should deal, of course. with the cause. The cure of constipation is not found in the use of certain pills and salts but in correct dietary. The civilized take daily doses of opening medicine, but we do not give such doses to our domestic animals, to horses, cattle, sheep and pigs, nor are primitive races dependent on the chemists shop for the daily evacuation.
We take it as a matter of course that all animals have freely working bowels and that all human beings are constipated. The thing is, of course, absurd. Constipation is due in about 95 per cent. of the cases to a faulty diet.
Primitive races and animals live on natural food in the most natural condition. The civilized live on refined and over- refined food from which the most important food elements have been abstracted. The abstracted portions are those which ensure health and strength and bowel normality. In the olden days, when people lived on coarse wholemeal bread,on porridge made of entire wheat, barley or oats, on entire sugar, etc., constipation and the diseases of constipation are little known.
Now constipation and the diseases of constipation are universal. Animal have normally working bowels. They empty their bowels several times a day exactly as do normal babies. When babies grow up they are taught that they should have only one motion a day, and constipation is artificially created in them. Growing children and adults are taught that it is unbecoming to retire for an evacuation, and they suppress their natural needs. In addition we discard all the food which promote bowel activity and live on those which impede bowel action.
Florence Nightingale pointed out about a century that innumerable people can overcome their chronic constipation merely by replacing white bread by wholemeal bread. Major-General Sir Robert MacCarrison, the eminent food investigator and dietician, has fed thousands of animals on the refined diet of civilization, and he has produced in them chronic constipation and auto- intoxication, appendicitis, colitis, gastric and duodenal ulcer, goitre, skin disease, etc. We should live on foods rich in mineral elements and vitamins not only in order to have a regularly working bowel, but in order to have healthy strong teeth, good eyesight, good bones and muscles, etc.
The civilized and the uncivilized are physically tremendously different. The uncivilized have, as a rule, magnificent teeth good eyesight, a marvellous skin, strong bones, good feet with strong ankles and good arches, obesity and emaciation are rare among them, and they are practically never afflicted by pyorrhoea, tonsillitis, adenoids, narrow mouths a narrow pelvis, which is becoming increasingly frequent among women, affecting their ability to bear children. Besides, primitive races hardly ever suffer from the numerous diseases of the digestive tract which afflict us, bringing about invalidism and death.
Every prescriber, professional and lay, should study practical dietetics, guided by such men as Mac Carrison, Professor Plimmer and others. I have studied the writings of these men assiduously, and have quoted them in all my books, particularly in my book, ” Chronic Constipation–The Most Insidious and the most Deadly of Diseases.” It may appear to my readers a gross exaggeration to call chronic constipation the most insidious and the most deadly of diseases, but I think that I have proved that this is the fact in the volume mentioned.
Many diseases and disorders are produced by inflammatory conditions of are accompanied by inflammation. If a dog suffers from inflammation, an angry-looking skin rash, boils or ulcers, etc., the experienced vet. will immediately tell the owner: “Dont give him meat. Put him on a plain diet with bread and milk, etc., until he is well.” That is quite good advice, but ordinary doctors do not care to interfere with the diet of their patients. They wish to be popular and people do not like to have their diet altered.
I remember an illuminating case. A well-to-do business man told me that his wife was afflicted with horribly ulcerated legs which made movement impossible, that she had become enormously stout in consequence, and that she was visited every day by her doctor. On my enquiry he told me that her doctor treated her with an arsenic wash from the outside and with an arsenic-containing mixture from the inside. He had not altered her diet. The wretched woman ate between five and six eggs a day.
She had flesh, fish or fowl at every meal, she ate as much as a healthy navy, and concentrated on the most heating food. I explained to her husband that her condition was due to her amazing diet, that the heating and putrefactive food which she was taking was poisoning her blood, and that legs which discharged foulness from the body in the form of large quantities of pus. His wife was satisfied with her doctor and his treatment, and the husband explained to me that his wife would probably disregard my advice.
In the afternoon I saw one of the leading London specialists and I told him with indignation of the faulty treatment given to the woman by her doctor. He answered smilingly: “What else could the poor devil of a doctor do ? The woman enjoys gorging. She does not move. She sits and eats every day and all day long, and if the doctor would insist upon a simplified dietary or upon a complete abstinence from flesh, fish and fowl in every from, she would merely send him away and engage another doctor. We doctors have learned by experience that it is unwise to interfere with the food habits of our patients”.
I have found it not only decent, but advantageous to insist upon patients following that diet which I consider is demanded by their condition. It is true in number of cases I have been curtly dismissed, but I have acted in accordance with my conscience by insisting upon an alternation which I though absolutely necessary. I remember a certain prince making a scene because I had ordered his wife to leave off flesh, fish and fowl. I politely but firmly replied to the prince that if he wished to treat his wife he was welcome, but as long as I was treating her I could not allow interference with my directions.
A well-known and immensely wealthy nobleman had a swelling which looked cancerous. A prominent Harley Street specialist was treating him. The patient was not at all satisfied with his progress. One day he told him: “I wonder whether my trouble has something to do with diet ? Please give me a diet.” The specialist smilingly replied: “As far as I am concerned you eat anything you like except roast crocodile.” Lord Blank looked at him with indignation and sharply replied: “I have not called you in to make jokes but to give me helpful advice. Please bring Mr. Ellis Barker.” The eminent specialist wished to keep Lord Blank as a patient, and therefore approached me.
I prescribed a suitable fleshless and fishless diet, and in order to make sure that he would get palatable meals, went into the kitchen to interview the cook. His lordship kept a most wonderful cook who worked with a large staff of underlings. The cook did not like my ideas. She was used to producing the richest food. Lord Blank carried out my diet for two or three weeks, and then ordered behind my back the most unsuitable food. I discovered it, challenged him, but to my regret my patient refused to live on a vegetarian diet. I told him that I could no longer be responsible for his treatment. In a few months it became obvious that he was suffering from cancer, and in due course he died.
An immensely wealthy financier had undergone a big abdominal operation and the wound would not heal. As his doctors and surgeon had failed, he sent for me. In investigating his case it became clear to me that the putrefactive foods on which the financier lived had fouled his blood and prevented natural healing. I told him plainly that a reform of his diet was indispensable. He told me: ” I pay my cook L500 a year. All my friends have excellent cooks. We dine n one anothers houses every day. You cannot expect me to live on a simple diet.” He would not have treatment, and I departed expressing my regret at his giving a chance to himself or to me.
The financier was attended daily by a doctor, and occasionally specialists were called in. One day he sent for a heart specialist, and in the afternoon he met a friend of mine and told him: “I have been thoroughly overhauled by a great heart specialist. He spent about an hour in examining me, and at the end of the examination exclaimed, Why, you have a heart like a young man, like a youngster.
You are marvellous.” The financier was tremendously pleased and celebrated the occasion with champagne. Next morning the valet knocked at his masters door at the usual time and got no reply. He knocked a second and a third time, and then entered the room. the financier lay in bed. The doctor arrived and the death certificate stated that the financier had died of heart failure. That happened five or six months after interview with him. His big abdominal wound had never healed.
The conscientious doctor or lay prescriber should never strive to please his b playing the courtier. If a woman refuses to be examined, she should be told kindly but firmly that such and such an examination is necessary, and that if she is unwilling to be examined she had better see another doctor. If a patient desperately needs a very different diet, or an operation or a complete rest, or whatever may be needed, the doctor should insist and he should not only point out the danger of disobedience, but should add: ” I can no longer be responsible for you if you do not follow my advice.
As a conscientious man I must insist upon it. I cannot allow you to injure yourself or to endanger your life, and unless you what I find necessary for you, I must withdraw from the case.” In most cases the patient will fall in the doctors demand, and will have a much higher opinion of his adviser than he had had previously. A man who acts in this manner cannot be suspected of mercenary motives.
Speaking of mercenary motives reminds me that there is a well- known scandal in the medical profession. There are medical men who recommend an operation and have made arrangements with the surgeon whereby the fee obtained is shared between the surgeon and the doctor who suggested the operation. Such conduct seems to me outrageous. It induces doctors to recommend totally unnecessary operations, and to persuade their patients that they should pay an exorbitant fee for such operations.
There are not only arrangement between doctors and surgeons, as we have been told by Dr. Cronin in his book, The Citadel there are similar arrangements between doctors and dentists, doctors and X-ray workers, doctors and laboratory men, doctors and nursing homes, etc. If I find it necessary to recommend a patient to spend money on a surgical appliance or on seeing a specialist, I frequently mention that I am in no way financially interested. I think it is as well to mention this in order to avoid suspicion.
Most surgeons and specialists thank doctors for sending them patients. If I received such thanks I always say: ” If there is gratitude, it should not be on your part towards me who have sent you the patient. the gratitude is on my part because you have helped me to cure my patient.” The financial consideration should be a very secondary matter.
A doctor or lay healer who understands his should never be anxious about money matters. Health is very precious. Grateful patients will press money on those who have benefited them, and they will recommend able prescribers to all their friends and acquaintances. If a doctor is anxious for his money, one is entitled to suspect that he is not a very successful doctor. A successful doctor has so large a clientele that he does not are if patents pay him less than he expects, or do not pay him at all.
At the same time, doctors should not allow themselves to be defrauded. Unfortunately, the professional man is the one who has to wait longest for his money. A well-known specialist once told me that ninety per cent. of his patients kept him waiting an unconscionable time or did not pay him at all. Possibly he was not a business man. There are immensely wealthy people who go from doctor to doctor and forget to their bills.
Doctors should not be exacting. They should certainly ask for adequate fees from those who an afford them, but I think it a mistake to charge high fees to those who are in straightened circumstances. Besides, I do not think it right if doctors change standard amounts whether they have been successful or unsuccessful. One does not pay the butcher for an uneatable joint, or the tailor for clothes which do not fit. A doctor charges the identical amount for treatment whether he succeeds or fails. He charges the same amount whether he had saved a life or whether his patient has died.
One should charge adequately if one has done good work, but if a patient should have died under one,s treatment, one should charge the minimum amount, unless the family can easily afford to pay, or one should not change anything at all. I have received touching letters for the relatives of my deceased patients thanking me for all I had done, and asking me to state the amount of their indebtedness.
Such letters make me feel very uncomfortable. I do not think it fair to press the bereaved for payment, especially if their circumstances have suffered through the loss of the breadwinner. Of course, struggling doctors are not always able to be generous or to be just, but I think generosity and fairness are not only right but are worldly-wise. One changes ones butcher if he insists on payment for uneatable meat which he has provided.
The wise prescriber will, as stated before, not treat disease because of its name but will try to discover the cause of the disorder and to deal with the causation. An automation can prescribe the open-air cure, a rich diet and cod liver oil for the tuberculous, or a restricted diet and insulin for the diabetic. Such prescription may be quite correct from the orthodox medical point of view, but in most cases it is disappointing or worse. If a doctor mechanically prescribes what everyone else prescribes, his patients will see him an ordinary doctor.