This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
Diarrhea; chilliness or rigor, followed by fever; severe pain in the bowels; constant desire to stool; burning pain in the rectum; watery or mushy discharge, with considerable quantity of tough mucus, which is often streaked with blood; pain, not removed by movement of the bowels; jaundice; headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears; inability to sleep; little appetite; great thirst; tongue at first white, afterward smooth and slimy; bowels painful to the touch; putrid discharges.
Acute dysentery occurs in two forms,-in isolated cases, in which the disease originates spontaneously, and is not communicated to others; and in epidemics, in which large numbers of persons are affected at once, the disease seeming to be communicated from one to another. The symptoms in the course of the two diseases are essentially the same, the isolated cases generally being milder in character, however. The principal causes of dysentery are decayed or irritating food, unripe fruit, imperfect mastication, indigestion, constipation of the bowels, and taking cold. Epidemic dysentery is supposed to be excited by some specific poison, probably of the nature of germs, though this point has not been determined as yet. All of the causes mentioned as giving rise to the simple form of dysentery, and also to catarrh of the bowels, are predisposing causes of epidemic dysentery, as they prepare the way for the action of the germs of the disease.