NAUSEA AND VOMITING – MORNING SICKNESS
THE stomach of course sympathises generally and acutely with the functions of gestation. In every accident, and in every disease, the appetite is affected; and during so mighty a change, we can hardly anticipate the digestive organs would remain unaltered. It is common, during the earlier periods, or until the arrival of the FIFTH MONTH, for nausea and vomiting to be endured every morning.
I have separated the two words, because in some instances, a sensation of nausea or qualmishness is alone present; and this sensation generally departs with breakfast, the appetite for which meal it does not destroy. On the other hand, VOMITION is sometimes violent and distressing, and, so far from its being arrested by feeding, it positively prevents the patient taking any food whatever.
In the generality of cases, however, vomition ceases with the “quickening” of the child; but well-authenticated cases are on record of ladies who have been starved by the continued irritability of the stomach; they have sunk from want of nutriment, the spasm not having ceased by day or by night. Nay, in extraordinary instances, delivery, when the patient has lived to undergo that process, has not terminated the suffering, but vomition is reported to have continued for two months subsequently.
The earliest case of nausea on record, is that of a lady who was led to the hymeneal alter on a Monday, and on the first Saturday of the “honeymoon” she began to sicken. Any earlier notice than this I am unacquainted with; but there can be no reason why the sensation should be even so long delayed.
During these retchings, very frequently nothing is voided; occasionally, a small quantity of water, or mucus, only more or less discoloured, is thrown up; and the patient may, or may not, be relieved by the act.
For these symptoms bleeding is a favourite practice with the Allopathists, notwithstanding that this operation is one of the best-known means of producing abortion; leeches, purgatives, counter-irritants, enemata of asafoetida and turpentine, salines, narcotics, and almost every known process or drug recognised in medicine, are sometimes adopted by the advocates of the general or so-called orthodox doctrine. For my own part, I should hesitate to recommend the mildest of the foregoing measures.
In Homoeopathy, VOMITION is successfully allayed by apparently insignificant doses of either Arsenicum, Ipecacuanha, * Ipecacuanha, in scruple doses, is a well-known emetic. The daily experience of Homoeopathists, however, proves, that in small doses it will allay vomiting.* kreosote, Nux Vomica, or Pulsatilla.
Dr. Simpson, of Edinburgh, was heard to relate a case of chronic vomiting, which has defied every known remedy in the British Pharmacopoeia, until he took the advice of Dr. Arnth, a Homoeopathic physician, and gave half-grain doses Ipecacuanha, which very soon stopped the sickness. As an act of gratitude for this “kind hint,” the great obstetrician of the North undertook the laborious task of compiling the “largest mass” of nonsense ever published against Homoeopathy.
Some of the more enlightened and advanced Allopathists of the present day, have at last deemed it WISE to investigate the leading principles of Homoeopathy, and have embodied in their works numerous and valuable illustrations of the benign efficacy of that mode of practice. Amongst the most prominent of these is Dr. Ringer, Professor of Therapeutics at University College, and one of the physicians to University College, Hospital, London. Few remedies, says that author, are so efficacious in checking some kinds of vomiting as IPECACUANHA. The author in numerous instances has witnessed the efficacy of the wine administered in one-drop doses every hour, or three times a day, according to the urgency of the case, in checking the following kinds of sickness:-
FIRST-It will check the vomiting of pregnancy. This vomiting is not always of the same kind. It occurs only in the morning in some cases, and is excited by the first waking movements. In most instances this from will yield to IPECACUANHA, taken in the way just described. Should it fail, however, relief in many cases follows the administration of the medicine to the patient on WAKING, and some time before any movement is allowed. In other instances, the vomiting occurs not only in the morning, but frequently during the day; recurring whenever food is taken; and may be so severe that no food is retained; while during the intervals of meals, there may be constant NAUSEA, and great LOATHING of all kinds of food. Ipecacuanha may check the nausea and vomiting, with the exception of the attack recurring on the first moving in the morning, when, on on taking a dose IMMEDIATELY on waking, this will also generally cease; but in some very obstinate cases, this early-morning nausea and vomiting continues in spite of the treatment.