Sore throat is quite common in children. When the tonsils are involved, it is called tonsilitis; when the larynx is involved, the child's cough will be croupy--this is named catarrhal croup; and when the pharynx is involved, it is named pharyngitis. But what is in a name"? These different names are given to catarrhal sore throat, depending on the part of the throat involved in the inflammation.
The cause is gastric (stomach) indigestion, brought on from overeating, or improper eating; or the eating may not be excessive or particularly unsuitable, but the child may be enervated from excessive play, excitement, or anxiety in school work. It is common in children of low resistance--delicate children, children of neurotic parents--to have frequent sick spells. They will be sick at the stomach, or constipated, have a sore throat, or be croupy. Frequently these nervous children are put to bed apparently as well as usual, but often awaken during the night coughing, croupy, or vomiting, and by morning develop quite a sore throat or acute gastritis, vomiting frequently throughout the day, with more or less fever, pungent breath, and thirst, which later, if satisfied with water, increases the vomiting.
Too great a variety of food is bad for neurotic children. Fresh bread or cooked breakfast foods are bad forms of starch to feed them; for their tendency is to eat too fast--they rush such food into their stomachs without sufficient insalivation. This induces fermentation, bringing about a continuous acid state of the stomach. If jam, jelly, syrup, or honey is eaten with the fresh bread, or if sugar and cream are used on the breakfast mushes, the sweets intensify the fermentation--acidity of the stomach--building catarrh of the stomach, chronic catarrh of the throat, enlargement of the tonsils, nasal catarrh, adenoids, etc. These children have the so-called catching-cold habit, which in actuality means that they have frequent crises of Toxemia. Such children are always more or less enervated and toxemic, resulting in crises such as are explained above with the various names--distinctions without fundamental differences.
Sugar and too much butter, and the foods made by combining sugar, cream, or butter and flour together, are stomach-disturbers. Candy, chocolate, and sweets cause neurotic children lots of trouble.
Children who are allowed to eat between meals, except an apple or a like quantity of some other fresh fruit when they get home from school in the afternoon, will certainly come to grief sooner or later. Eating between meals is a pernicious habit, and those who do so are children whose resistance is so broken, who are so enervated and toxemic, that they become easy--ready--victims of every so-called epidemic influence, which should be defined as: Any marked fall or rise in the temperature of the weather, or continued wet, dry, cold, or hot weather. Any of these changes adds, so to speak, the last straw--the last modicum--of enervating influence (to an already enervated and toxemic body) necessary to create a crisis of Toxemia. Just what character the crisis will assume, or what organ or organs will be involved, will depend upon what part of the child's organism is the most vulnerable. After feast-days or holidays, most children have been overindulged, and their stomachs rebel at the abuse given them. Possibly the throat is the most sensitive portion of the mucous membrane; it may be that the cecum and colon have been rendered vulnerable because of constipation; or other parts of the mucous membrane may be the most sensitive. The crises--the so-called diseases--will take place at whatever point (organ or tissue) has the least resistance.
This is the reason why so large a number of children in a populous center, and their so-called disease, are so similar that it has given rise to the superstition named epidemics of colds, "flu," angina (sore-throat type), eruptive fevers, etc., etc. This is why the medical mind works overtime in perfecting its superstitions, such as contagion, germ influence, quarantine, vaccination, immunization, and, neither last nor least, fear, which when once started, adds the most potential influence for breaking down the community's last remaining resistance.
So solid is the superstition built about epidemics, contagion, and vaccination that it presents a veritable Gibraltar against the walls of which rationalism makes little progress.
No one is susceptible to the physical changes of environment, however extreme they are, to the extent of going down with the first contingent who fall before a so-called epidemic influence, unless he is enervated and toxemic. This is true of children also. Sharp physical changes enervate these already enervated beyond their resistance. A monotonous state of heat, cold, wet, or dry further enervates the enervated and forces them into a crisis of Toxemia. Parents who would have their children escape the so-called epidemics should build their children's resistance when they are well by giving them proper care before they get sick.
If this is neglected, and the children get sick with sore throat or any other so-called disease, stop all food and wash out the bowels with warm-water enemas, night and morning. Give the child all the water desired, if there is no nausea or vomiting. Keep something warm to the feet. If there is any discomfort in the bowels, keep on a hot pack. Do not disturb the stomach and bowels by giving laxatives. Why give drugs? Why not get away from the superstition of curing disease? All that people need when they are sick is to stay in bed, keep warm, and let food religiously alone until the tongue is clean and the patient is absolutely comfortable. Break the fast by giving orange juice and water, equal parts, morning, noon, and night for the first day. If all goes well, the second day give an orange in the morning, vegetable soup at noon, and a little toasted bread and butter, eaten dry and followed with a cup of hot water and two teaspoonfuls of cream, for the evening meal. If all is going well, regulation meals may be given the next day, holding the child back so that it will not overeat.
Tonsilar surgery is one of the little fads indulged in by the profession. In lieu of knowledge of how properly to advise parents to feed their children so as to avoid building the so-called disease tonsilitis--or teach them how to care for the children so that these little enlargements will be absorbed when once established, the profession removes these enlargements, leaving behind the cause, to work out dire consequences in the future in various forms of pathologies.
Children of the scrofulous or tubercular diathesis--in other words, those with an inherited tendency to take on inflammation of the lymphatic glands and tuberculosis--are more subject to sore throat, tonsilitis, croup, or catarrh of the air-passages than other children.
These children, from wrong feeding, develop a sensitiveness to protein--protein sensitization. They have frequent gastric (stomach) crises. A little overindulgence on sweets, butter, sugar and cream, rich foods, ice-cream, and cake, with the usual starch and milk, will develop such symptoms as colds, catarrh, cough, vomiting, bad breath, fever, slight or severe tonsilitis, diarrhea, or constipation. These crises pass off in a few days; but the throat continues red, the cough comes and goes, nervousness and restlessness in sleep are common, and the breath is bad most of the time. These symptoms may be very light and infrequent in some children, while others will be very sick--develop gastric crises (bilious spells?)--three or four times a year. From the lightest to the most severe, there is tonsilar involvement. When not acute, it is subacute. The enlargement of the glands comes and goes. Sometimes the glands fill the throat, and in a week or two or three, under proper care, they are almost normal. Following a severe crisis, the inflammation runs so high, and gastro-intestinal putrescence is so intense, that the mucous membrane of the tonsils ulcerates. For the enlarged tonsils the surgeon says most emphatically: "The rotten tonsils must come out, or they will cause rheumatism or heart disease, or kill by infecting the whole system." The innocent man does not know that those two tonsilar guardsmen have "fought, bled, and died," defending the system from septic gas absorption continuously eructating from a "rotten" stomach. At this state of catarrhal evolution the pulmonary (lung) lymphatic glands are also busy taking up and detoxifying the infectious gases being thrown out through the lungs, and, unless successful, they too will rot. Then nomenclature declares that pulmonary tuberculosis has developed.
Tonsils are guardsmen. The larger they are, the more work they have done in absorbing and detoxifying the infection being evolved from
rotten food in the stomach and bowels.
From the above it should be obvious that tonsilitis, and the diseases of the air-passages, are not primary diseases. These derangements are effects. The cause is overeating and vicious eating, resulting in converting the intestinal canal into a seething gehenna, in which decomposition dieth not and fever (infection) is not quenched.
To cut out the tonsils in no way acts on cause. The operation has no virtue, except that the fee for operating feeds the self-deluded profession, and fools the people into believing that they are doing something for their children.
The operation leaves parents as stupidly ignorant as before, and the children susceptible to the development of eruptive fevers, which are indigenous to this chronic gastro-intestinal status. This stomach derangement will never be normal until parents learn the correct care of their children.
From the army of maltreated children are recruited victims for the army of the Great White Plague (pulmonary tuberculosis) every year. When catarrhal evolution does not end in this way, gouty subjects evolve rheumatism, as well as heart and bone derangements; yes, also rickets.
First of all be it known by those interested: Never feed starch and protein in the same meal. The old familiar phrase that has been used time out of mind by the profession, "diseases peculiar to children," will be a thing of the past when mothers learn that said diseases are due almost absolutely and entirely to this error in diet. Of course, prominent physicians--those supposed to be authorities--will declare that this idea of not combining starch and protein is "piffle"; but, inasmuch as it is quite generally acknowledged that the cause of disease is not known, it ill becomes those who do not know the cause to dispute anything that may be advanced concerning the cause.
A child that is having gastric crises--acute gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach--every two or three months, and from this cause feeding up a little tonsilitis, pharyngitis or laryngitis, must be fed very little for a week or two to overcome the gastric symptoms.
A child that is suffering from gastritis and tonsilitis should be put to bed, and be given no food until the symptoms have subsided. If anything is given at all, it should be only a little fifty-fifty, orange juice and water until decidedly better, then give, for breakfast, orange; for lunch, as much fifty-fifty, milk and water, as desired; in the evening, the same. The second day, orange juice for breakfast; puree of some vegetable, and a glass of fifty-fifty, milk and water, at noon; in the evening, milk straight. The third day, toast eaten properly, followed with fruit for breakfast; cooked vegetables and milk at noon; milk and fruit for the evening meal. If all is going well, the child can be put on the full diet according to instructions for its proper age.
During the stomach crisis the bowels should be moved by enemas until cleared out of any accumulation, after which no enemas should be used unless the bowels refuse to move for two days; then it will be necessary to use the enema again. Avoid, if possible, the enema habit.
In severe cases, with a temperature running to 103 degrees F. or more, hot applications to the abdomen, heat to the feet, and thorough bowel-cleansing, with positively no food until normal. Then feed as instructed above.