The Symptoms of Chronic Bright's Disease

Increasing debility; pallor; viscid urine; if the urine is shaken in a bottle, much froth, which lasts for a long time; urine coagulates with nitric acid, and when heated after adding acetic acid; whitish sediment containing casts; dropsical swelling of the face, feet, hands, and abdomen; bronchitis; watery diarrhea; pleurisy; peritonitis; oedema of the lungs; enlargement of the heart; valvular disease of the heart; frequently headache; when the disease is far advanced, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, convulsions, coma; after attacks of coma, partial or complete blindness, due to rupture of a blood-vessel in the eye.

This disease is much more common than is generally supposed. It usually exists some time before its presence is known, as it is rarely accompanied by pain in the region of the kidneys, more often originating as a primary disease than following acute Bright's disease. The nature of the disease is such that the kidney gradually loses its ability to perform its duty. It is usually divided into three stages, in the first of which the organ is enlarged and pale of color. In the second stage, after degeneration has begun, it becomes yellow. The third stage is the stage of degeneration and atrophy in which the organ becomes almost useless as an excretory organ although it may continue to excrete large quantities of water.

The Causes of Chronic Bright's Disease

The principal causes thought to be productive of this dis case are exposure to cold and dampness, long-continued use of alcoholic liquors, and employment of irritating diuretics, as cubebs, copaiba, and excessive use of meat. It also frequently occurs in consequence of long-continued congestion, chronic gout, syphilis, scrofula, and malaria.