The discoveries of Ross respecting the cause of cancer show very clearly the reason for the special frequency of cancer in the pelvic colon and the rectum. According to Ross, cancer is due to an abnormal stimulation of the processes of normal cell growth. He has shown by elaborate laboratory researches that cholin and cadaverin, two of the products of the putrefaction of flesh or protein, are powerful augmenters of cell action, and in recent experiments he has been able by these poisons to produce in guinea pigs growths which have all the characteristics of cancer. Certainly no part of the body is more exposed to the influence of these putrefactive products than is the lower bowel. It is evident, then, that this portion of the body should receive prompt attention on the occurrence of the slightest symptoms of disease, and that as a protective measure putrefaction of the feces should be prevented by proper regulation of diet and of the bowel movement.

Tuberculosis Of The Bowels

Intestinal tuberculosis appears to be increasing. That this should be the case is not surprising, in view of the fact that constipation is becoming more and more prevalent each year. The contact of poisonous fecal matters with the mucous membrane lowers its resistance and renders it susceptible to the infectious influence of the tubercle germ. All forms of tuberculosis, as the history of shows, are almost invariably preceded by chronic constipation for a prolonged period.


Aside from symptoms which relate to the rectum, backache is perhaps the most common of all local symptoms arising from constipation. In women this symptom is usually attributed to disease of the womb or ovaries. It is safe to say that in by far the larger number of cases the pain is due not to disease of the organs peculiar to women, but to a diseased condition of the colon, set up by long continued contact with putrefying fecal matters. In many cases tender points can be felt by deep pressure along the iliac or the descending colon. Sometimes the pelvic colon may be located. By the aid of the X-ray and the fluoroscope it is possible to locate and make pressure upon every part of the colon, as well as to note its form and size, and thus the presence of disease may now easily be located when present.

The pain is reflex in character, and may often be produced by pressure upon a contracted and tender part of the colon. Fains over the sacrum are quite as often due to disease of the rectum as to disease of the uterus or ovaries. As constipation is so constantly associated with disease of the pelvic organs, it is a question of interest whether the pain usually attributed to pelvic disease, when this is present, may not in many cases be really due to disease of the colon or rectum. Tender spots in the lower part of the back are usually due to the same cause, and only rarely indicate disease of the spine.

The congestion of the abdominal organs which results from chronic constipation is the cause of a great variety of reflex pains in the back and sides. Coldness, numbness, prickling and creeping sensations, and points of tenderness in the abdomen, a sense of weight, dragging and pressure, are only a few of the distressing symptoms which arise from visceral congestion due to the absorption of toxins from the intestinal tract, and the infection of the intestinal mucous membrane resulting from chronic constipation.

Exophthalmic Goitre

This serious disorder, which is becoming constantly more common, is unquestionably due to chronic intestinal poisoning, and hence may be the result of constipation, which in some form is always present in cases of chronic intestinal autointoxication. To treat this malady simply by removal of a part of the thyroid gland by a surgical operation, or by partial destruction of the gland by the X-ray without giving attention to its cause, is certainly irrational, since the enlargement and activity are the effects, no doubt, the absorption of toxins from the intestinal canal. The gland enlarges because of the extraordinary amount of work demanded of it, its special function in the body being to aid in the destruction of poisons, especially those developed in the intestine by the decomposition of protein. Animals whose thyroids have been removed soon develop convulsions and die when fed on a meat diet, but thrive indefinitely on a diet which excludes meat.


A disease which is the antithesis of exophthalmic goitre, myxedema, is really due to the same cause. The thyroid gland becomes worn out by excessive work, and its function is lost In consequence, the whole body suffers from peculiar degenerative changes. The skin and hair become dry, pale and sodden in appearance, the speech is thick, the expression is peculiar and characteristic, and the intellect is dulled. The cause of this peculiar disease was wholly a mystery until the function of the thyroid was discovered. It is now known to be-due to the failure of this important gland to do its work, as the result of degeneration, which is in most cases the result of the excessive work imposed upon it by the autointoxication induced by a high protein diet: that is, by the free use of meat and eggs, especially when associated with constipation.

Hypothyroidism, incipient myxedema, is a very common malady. The thyroid is less active than it should be though its function is not wholly lost. Dryness of the hair, falling of the hair, and dryness of the skin are common symptoms of this condition, seen associated with chronic constipation, and the natural result of long overwork of the thyroid in destroying colon poisons.