XV. Whites-Leucorrhoea. (Catarrhs).
This disease may occur at any period of female life, but is most common during the time between puberty and the critical age, i.e., during the menstrual period of a women’s life. It is a catarrh of the mucous membrane of the uterus and vagina, the result of previous inflammation or irritation.
SYMPTOMS. A discharge of a whitish, yellowish, or greenish colour, either thin and watery or thick and gelatinous, sometimes of an excoriating character, or having an offensive smell, from the vaginal orifice. In severe ceases the whole system suffers: the face becomes pale or sallow; the functions of digestion are impaired; there are dull pains in the back, loins, and abdomen; cold extremities; palpitation and dyspnoea after exertion; debility and loss of energy; partial or entire suppression of the menstrual flow. Sometimes the discharge appears to be more or less vicarious of menstruation. In slight cases the disease may exist for years without giving rise to any very marked symptoms.
CAUSES. Cold; congestion; defective health; scrofulous habit; the irritation of worms; want of cleanliness; disease of the uterine organs, or of the ovaries, etc. Leucorrhoea is very common in the rich, indolent, luxurious, and dissipated, and in those who live in crowed cities; it is less frequent in persons of industrious and regular habits, and in those who live in the country. When the disease occurs in children of tender years, it is generally the result of uncleanliness, of worms, or of some irritating substance introduced into the vaginal passage.
Other causes are-the employment of purgatives; tight-lacing; the excessive use of tea, coffee, and spices; menstrual derangements; abnormal growths; uterine debility and relaxation consequent on difficult parturition, or too early exercise after confinement; general debility and relaxation of the muscular and membranous structures, whether form natural organization or previous disease.
TREATMENT. Pulsatilla. Suitable in the majority of cases; in Leucorrhoea during pregnancy, when the discharge is a thick white mucus, or is corrosive, with itching; or in girls who have not menstruated. Shifting pains in thee abdomen, flatulence, and the Pulsatilla temperament, act., are further indications.
Sepia. Yellow, greenish, or fetid discharge, worse before the menses; scanty menstruation; bearing-down pains; costiveness; sensitiveness to cold; languor; unhealthy skin.
Calcarea. Chronic Leucorrhoea in children and in women of weak, scrofulous, and lymphatic constitution, particularly those who menstruate too frequently and too profusely the Leucorrhoea has a milky appearance, is worst just before the menses, is often attended with itching or burning, or with pains shooting though the parts, and with falling of the womb.
Iodium. In constitutions similar to those mentioned under Calcarea, when there is an offensive, thin discharge, with emaciation.
Sulphur. Chronic cases and scrofulous constitutions. It may follow either of the two foregoing remedies, or be given in turns with one of them-sulph. one week, the other the next week, and so
Mercurius. Leucorrhoea of a yellowish character, containing matter (pus), with soreness and itching; profuse menstruations, the discharge being thin and unhealthy-looking; weakness, coldness, sallow complexion, etc.
China. After long-continued or excessive discharge, for the consequent debility; also after other debilitating diseases which have induced Leucorrhoea.
Hamamelis. Moderate or excessive discharge, more or less taking the place of menstruation, with much pain about the groin, scalding when passing water, etc.
Other remedies are-Helonias, Ferrum, Collinsonia, Aloes, Arsenicum, Hydrastis, etc.; the last named may be used locally also-twenty drops of the strong tincture in half a pint of water.
Administration. A dose thrice daily, for a week or ten days; in chronic cases, night and morning for a longer period.
ACCESSORY MEANS. There are several conditions which are absolutely essential to the successful treatment of “Whites,” the most important of which are-active exercise in the open air, short of inducing fatigue; avoidance of all sexual excesses, indulgence in the pleasures of the parties, lascivious imaginings, etc.; and, lastly, frequent injections of cold water, and daily ablutions, including the hip-bath, 1 For a full description of the hip-bath, and the great advantages consequent on its proper use, see The Lady’s Manual of Homeopathic Treatment are necessary, in order to ensure the most perfect cleanliness of the utero-genital organs.
The importance of this last point cannot be too strongly stated, for without a due attention to cleanliness, all other efforts may prove futile. This morbid secretion is at best exceedingly irritating, but when it is permitted to accumulate and remain for a long time in contact with the mucous membrane, it becomes partially decomposed, fetid, and highly pernicious to the healthy condition of the parts. On this account the constant and thorough use of local applications of tepid or cold water should be strictly carried out. The use of the enema-syringe, having the vaginal tube attached, is the best means of carrying out the important directions now given.
XVI. Falling of the Womb-Prolapsed Uterus (Uterus Prolapsus).
This troublesome derangement occur most frequently in married women beyond the middle age, but it also occurs in others of relaxed constitution, and after dancing, running, or too severe exertion during menstruation.
Three degrees of descent of the womb are recognized, viz, relaxation, where the slightest descent had happened; prolapsus, where it exists to a greater extent; procidentia, where there is protrusion through the external part. A slight relaxation often exists a long time without attention being called to it.
SYMPTOMS. Bearing-down, dragging sensations in the lower part of the abdomen; drawing from the small f the back and around the loins and hips; weariness, soreness, and faintness, with indisposition to stand; Leucorrhoea discharge, increased menstruation, and frequent desire to pass water; nervousness,, irritability of temper, constipation, dyspepsia, etc.
CAUSES. A relaxed condition of the system, which may be natural, or acquired by sedentary habits, too high living, etc. The immediate exciting causes are-getting up too soon and engaging in too active employments after confinement; Leucorrhoea; sexual excesses; injuries from falls, strains or lifting heavy weights; purgatives; long-continued coughs, severe vomitings, tight lacing, etc.
TREATMENT. Belladonna. Sense of weight, and bearing down, in the region of the womb, with heat and tenderness; especially suited to plethoric females who menstruate profusely.
Sepia. Prolapsus attended with great irritability and disposition to faint, or consequent upon Leucorrhoea, or when the menses are irregular, scanty, and attended with loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, bearing-down after exercise, frequent desire to urinate, drawing pains in the thighs, and a feeling as if the contents of the pelvis would fall out, Sepia is suited to women of feeble and delicate frame, sensitive skin, nervous habits, and whose muscular system is easily strained. A yellowish Leucorrhoea discharge, itchings, and eruptions, and tendency to uterine complaints and piles, are further indications.
Nux Vomica. Constant dribbling discharge, prolapsus of the womb and vagina, and constipation, especially when these symptoms occur in dark-complexioned women of irritable, active disposition, who are subject to piles, dyspepsia, sick headache, etc.
Stannum. Excessive sense of bearing-down: it is one of the best remedies.
Sulphur. May be given in alternation with Nux V.; and when the affection is associated with a strumous constitution.
Arnica. When a fall, over-exertion or other injury has led to the condition.
Helonias, Calcarea, Ferrum, and China, are other remedies. Professional treatment is, however, nearly always necessary.
Administration. In severe cases, a dose every three or four hours; in mild or threatened cases, every six or twelve hours.
ACCESSORY MEANS. In slight cases, the recumbent posture, maintained for some time, with raised hips, and the use of one or more of the above remedies, will ordinarily suffice to effect a cure. In severe forms of procidentia it may be necessary to employ mechanical means to support the womb until, by the administration of suitable remedies, the parts have recovered their natural tone and contractility. A good pessary, accurately adapted to the size of the vagina, may be used with advantage, if properly applied and not worn too long. Its injudicious use aggravated the mischief. A medical man should always be consulted.
The application of cold water to the body generally, and the daily use of the hip-bath, followed by vigorous friction, are remedial agents whose great value is authenticated by long practice.
Prolapsus uteri is so often associated with constitutional causes as to render it desirable, if possible, to confide the treatment to a homoeopathic practitioner.
This is a condition of general debility chiefly affecting young women about the age of puberty, in which there is Anaemia, or deficiency of the red corpuscles of the blood, which gives the skin a pale, yellowish, or greenish hue.
The temperature of the body diminished, and the patient morbidly sensitive to cold. Menstruation, though occasionally natural and regular, is more frequently either delayed, suppressed, or imperfectly performed. The breathing is short, the circulation and nervous system are easily disturbed, digestion is imperfect, and the appetite lost or depraved.
SYMPTOMS. Besides thee indications given above, there is a state of habitat inertia and melancholy (Ignatia); the patient is somber and taciturn, weeps without cause, and sighs involuntarily (Pulsatilla, Aurum); the face is bloated, and the expression, as it were, veiled (Arsenicum, Plumb.); the eyes are sad and languishing; the eyelids, which are often swollen, especially in the morning, are encircled by blackish rings, contrasting strongly with the pearly colour of the whites of the eyes and the pallor of the lips; there is also often a dropsical swelling of the ankles; the pulse is frequent, rather full, and easily compressed; the alvine evacuation are white and hard (Plumb.), or fluid; and palpitations and creeping chilly turns are frequent, with debility, lassitude, and a desire for repose.
As the disease advances these symptoms become more strongly marked. Physical or mental exertion is attended by a sense of sinking and fainting, palpitation and hurried breathing; these symptoms often occur also during the night; there is frequently paroxysmal and periodic headache, chiefly affecting one temple, and greatly aggravated by emotional influence; the catamenial discharge is superseded by profuse Leucorrhoea; a slight hacking cough occurs on rising in. the morning, and after exercise; and, in few words, prostration of all the energies, and derangements of almost every function of the body, mark the disease.
Chlorosis has often been confounded with Consumption. But though many symptoms of the latter disease, a slight hacking cough, and dyspnoea, are often observable in Chlorosis, the absence of hectic, and of wasting to any great extent, as well as the low temperature of chlorotic patients, are unmistakable diagnostic sings.
CAUSES. Confinement in over-heated, ill-ventilated, or dark rooms; studious and sedentary habits; disordered menstruation; unrequited love; masturbation; frequent hemorrhages; indigestible food; chronic inflammation of the intestinal canal; enlargement and inaction of the mesenteric glands.
“Mothers should not hesitate,” says Dr. Hempel, “to find out whether the disease may not be induced by secret habits: great delicacy and caution are required in endeavoring to obtain certainty concerning this important subject.”
These and similar cause may develop a condition of the reproductive organs that must lead, sooner or later, to a watery condition of the blood, and to the whole train of symptoms which are incident to such an impoverishment of that vital fluid.
TREATMENT. In so complicated a disease a homeopathic practitioner should be consulted. IF, however, professional advice cannot be obtained, a selection may be made from the following remedies.
Ferrum. This is often a prime remedy for the whole condition.
Calcarea. Inveterate cases, with lost appetite, chronic acidity of the stomach, Leucorrhoea, pallor of face, etc.; especially in the scrofulous.
Pulsatilla. Indigestion, scanty or absent menses, weeping- mood, etc.
Helonias. Atomic conditions of the womb, with defective digestion and assimilation. Our experience fully justifies the designation it has received of a uterine tonic.
Graphites. Too late, scanty, painful menses; constipation with large knotty stools; unhealthy skin.
Sepia. Pelvic congestion with deficient or too profuse menstruation; constipation; Leucorrhoea; sick-headache.
Ignatia. Constant melancholy, or rapid emotional changes, nervousness, etc.
Arsenicum. Shortness of breath, languor, etc.
Natrum M. Sadness, oppression, anxiety, and heat in the face.
Plumbum. With obstinate constipation.
Phosphoric Acid. When traceable to masturbation.
Sulphur. With chronic bad health.
Administration. As dose twice or thrice daily. As soon as improvement is manifest, the medicine should be given at longer intervals, and gradually discontinued.
ACCESSORY MEANS. Good nourishing food, including milk and milk diet generally; frequent fatigue; good ventilation; and cold bathing, particularly in sea water, are much to be commended. In some cases bathing should be commenced with tepid water, and the temperature gradually diminished, so as to suit patient’s strength. Cold bathing is very necessary, and tends to remove the extreme sensitiveness of chlorotic patients to cold.
As a preventive measure it is also important, as may bee inferred from the remarks of Hempel quoted under “Causes,” that girls should be unobtrusively watched, and not allowed, if possible, to remain alone.
XVIII. Hysteria-Hysteric Fits (Hysteria).
The term hysteria is derived from the Greek word hystera, a womb-from its being formerly supposed that the disease depended on the uterus; but since it may exist in those in whom the uterine functions are undeveloped or have ceased, in persons born without a womb, and even sometimes in men, the uterus in not the seat of thee disease. At the same time, derangement of uterine functions may co exist and materially contribute to the intensity of thee malady.
Hysteria is a nervous disease, caused by some irritation supervening upon a condition of depressed nerve-per from emotional causes. A predisposition to the disease may transmitted from the parent, and may be fostered by the force of the example of a nervous mother or elder sister.
SYMPTOMS. Hysteria is remarkable for the wide range and indistinctive character of its symptoms. It usually assumed one of three forms: first, that in which there is the sensation of a ball rising in the throat (globus hystericus), or a sense of suffocation, without convulsions; second, the paroxysmal form, in which there is thee globus hystericus, succeeded by shrieks and screams, irrepressible crying or laughter, convulsions, etc.; third, those irregular forms which often arise in the intervals of severe attacks. There is often a great variation in the discharge of urine, which may be at one time scanty, at another profuse and watery.
It is very common for the patient to imagine herself the victim of some serious disease of the heart, uterus, etc., but the belief rests only on imaginary grounds, the pains and sensations she complains of being of a purely nervous character.
HYSTERICAL FIT AND EPILEPSY. In Hysteria there is not the suddenness of seizure, the complete loss of consciousness, the bitten tongue, the dilated pupils, and the total disregard of injury to person and clothes that mark Epilepsy. There are much sobbing, crying, panting, and exhaustion, but no perfect stupor or profound sleep, after an attack of Hysteria.
TREATMENT. For the condition (to be administered chiefly during the intervals between the fits). Ignatia, Pulsatilla, Cimic., Gelsemium, Platina, Cocc., Hyoscyamus, Belladonna, Asafoetida, etc.
For the fits. Camph., Mosc., Aconite, etc.
Ignatia. Frequent changes form high spirits to dejection; sense of a ball or suffocation in the throat; Hysteria associated with grief, or mental excitement.
Pulsatilla. Suppressed or scanty menses, pains in the back, weeping mood, especially when the temperament corresponds with this remedy.
Asafetida. Inertia or irritability of the biliary system; burning dryness of the throat; Crampy pains in the abdomen; nausea; constipation, or diarrhoea, with frequent urging; high- coloured, strong-smelling urine; globus hystericus;; premature, painful menses; uterine excitement; depressed, fitful spirits.
Platina. Excessive menstruation; constipation, and depression.
Cimicifuga. Nervousness, pain under the breast and in various parts of the left side; uterine disturbance; despondency; sinking at the stomach, etc.
Cocculus. Copious discharge of pale urine; irritability; dejection; menstrual colic.
Gelsemium. Nervous shiverings, with chattering of the teeth without chilliness; excessive irritability of body and mind; nervous excitement; pains in the back, etc.
Camphor and Moschus. One of these may be given during a paroxysm. Two or three drops of the former on a piece of sugar, or a few drops of the latter in a little water, thee dose being repeated every few minutes if necessary. Or thee strong tincture may be administered by olfaction.
Chamomilla, Coffea, Valeriana, Senecio, and other remedies, are also sometimes required.
ACCESSORY MEANS. Occupation of both mind and body; removal from sympathizing friends; the shower-bath, in the use of which an oiled silk covering may be applied over the head to keep the long hair dry, tepid water being used at first; the disuse of stimulants. The daily consumption of alcoholic beverages for the debility of Hysteria is a delusion which should be strenuously opposed. Stimulants yield but the semblance of strength, while they tend to confirm the worst symptoms of the complaint. Of this fact the patient is not easily to be persuaded, but Dr. Habershon asserts that the exhaustion arising from defective nervous supplied “is really increased by the stimulant; and that is she will withhold the irritating draught, the nerve-power will recover, the appetite return, and the functions be restored.” Crowded and badly-ventilated buildings, theatrical exhibitions, sensational novel-reading, late hours in retiring and rising, and tight stays, should be resolutely avoided.
The diet, rest, study, recreation, as well as the various bodily functions, should receive inelegant and uniform attention.
During fit, the patient’s clothes, especially about the neck and chest, should be loosened, nd an abundance of fresh air supplied. The nose and mouth may be held for a short time to prevent breathing, or a jug of cold water poured directly over the face from a considerable height.
Prolonged attacks are remarkably benefited by the temporary constraint which these expedients impose. The patient is induced to “draw a long breath,” and this vigorous inspiration is usually followed by a relaxation of all spasm, and a disappearance of the fit.