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.
Apply hot fomentations and administer a hot enema. Repeat applications at intervals of half an hour for two or three hours, if not relieved before. Cramp in the bowels will usually yield to the same remedies.
Hot fomentations to the back and stomach afford most prompt relief, though sometimes they must be continued for some hours when the pain is severe, and the patient must be kept very quiet. Daily rubbing of the painful parts, and the use of alternate hot and cold applications, together with the abdominal girdle worn nights, are also useful measures.
Generally due to disorder of the stomach. Relieved by fomentations over stomach, with daily rubbing, and the application of moist or dry heat to the seat of pain.
The various unpleasant sensations felt under the lower ribs upon the right side are partly attributable to disease of the duodenum, and partly to congestion and inactivity of the liver. Fomentations applied daily, with rubbing and percussion of the side, together with the judicious use of electricity and the moist abdominal bandage worn at night, constitute the principal measures of treatment.
A dull pain is frequently felt in this region, due to enlargement or congestion of the spleen. The best remedy is the abdominal bandage worn night and day for a month, and the use of hot and cold applications used in the form of the douche or of compresses rapidly changed. Eminent German authorities pronounce this the best of all remedies for enlargement of the spleen.
In relieving the bowels, many persons suffer with pain, the most common cause of which is hemorrhoids, or. piles, which also often occasion a considerable hemorrhage in addition to a dull, heavy pain. A sharp, acute pain is generally due to a fissure or fistula. In some cases the pain is greatest in the act of defecation, in others it is most severe half an hour later. The latter is the case when the pain is the result of fissure. Of course the proper mode of treatment will include radical measures or surgical interference; nevertheless, much can be done to mitigate the sufferings of the patient without a surgical operation. One of the very best means we know of is evacuation of the bowels in steam or warm water. Instruct the patient to sit over a vessel nearly full of hot water, as hot as can be borne without burning. This will so relax the parts as to greatly diminish the pain; and if the contents of the bowels have been softened by an enema, as should always be done, the patient may get along with scarcely any pain at all. We have often relieved in this way persons who had suffered for twenty years without any mitigation of their suffering.
This unpleasant symptom is best relieved by an injection into the rectum of cold or even iced water at frequent intervals. Cool or cold hip baths, quite shallow, are also useful in these cases. In some cases, hot enemas give most prompt relief.
Apply the cold douche daily, and follow with vigorous rubbing. An abdominal supporter is necessary and useful in many cases.
Sun-baths, daily massage and inunction, and general tonic treatment, are indicated. Give patient simple food served attractively and not more than three times a day. Let the patient drink a glassful of hot water half an hour before each meal. Create a demand for food, and the appetite will soon come if there is power to digest it. The use of bitters and various tonics is not necessary to relieve these cases. We have frequently remarked a great increase in appetite and recovery from an actual aversion to food by a change from highly seasoned food to simply prepared food consisting chiefly of fruits and grains.
Self-control is the only sure remedy; but the disuse of stimulating food$ will aid very much in enabling a person to control his appetite. We have often recommended persons troubled in this way to eat a morsel of food half an hour before the time for the regular meal. This will often lessen the craving for food sufficiently to enable the patient to keep himself within reasonable bounds.