It is very common to refer those little ailments which children are so liable to have, and for which no cause can readily be found, to worms, when in reality worms have nothing to do with difficulty. The presence of worms, is often looked upon as the cause of all the suffering. This is a mistake, for notwithstanding certain symptoms are coincident with their presence, yet these symptoms are usually a coincidence merely, or the result of an irritation, which gives rise to worms, or which disturbs them in their usual quiet. Worms often exist in the system, when no unpleasant symptoms are present. Worms may be developed in every part of the system, but they are more frequently found in the intestinal canal. Some of the prominent varieties we shall briefly notice.
a. Ascaris lumbricoides, unusually occupy the small intestines, sometimes in great numbers, and occasionally accumulating in the form of a ball. They are usually from three to twelve inches long, occasionally find their way into the stomach, and may be discharged through the mouth or nostrils.
b. Taenia, or tapeworm, is white, flat und very long, often twenty feet, and sometimes it is said even sixty or seventy feet in length. It is usually found in the small intestines, and is one of the worst variety of worms.
c. The long thread-worm is usually found in the upper portion of the large intestines. It is from an inch to two inches in length, the anterior portion of the body being slender like'a hair, and the rest much thicker.
d. Ascarides, or pin-worms, are very small, white, and slender, and are found in large numbers in the large intestines, and especially in the rectum, from whence they may often he wiped away with a cloth.
Diagnosis.. - Preceding and accompanying the appearance of worms, are derangements of the stomach and bowels. There may be disgust of food; appetite sometimes nearly gone, at others voracious, or each alternately; hiccough; fetid breath, nausea and mucus or acid vomiting; belching of wind, umbilical colic, sometimes constipation, at others glairy or mucus diarrhoea.
To these symptoms are added puffiness of the face, emaciation and weakness, tickling cough, headache, agitation, sleeplessness, dilated pupils, itching and picking of the nose, grinding of the teeth, creeping of the skin, and some fever. There may be more or less pain about the bowels, and swelling of the abdomen, and the urine is generally yellowish, or whitish, like milk and water. There is also, sometimes, bleeding at the nose, and convulsions.
The signs indicating pin-worms are, violent itching in the anus, difficulty in making water, and if in the female, often leucorrhoea.
This variety of disease occurs principally in infancy, and may give rise to an almost innumerable variety of symptoms. Particular attention should be directed to the general health. The food should be simple and easy of digestion, the whole body bathed every day, either with cold or tepid water, moderate exercise should be taken; and unventilated rooms and impure air carefully avoided.
Aconite is particularly indicated in the commencement, where febrile symptoms are present, with restlessness at night, and irritability of temper; and also where there is continued burning and itching at the anus.
One drop, or six globules in a tumbler half full of water, a teaspoonful during the presence of fever. once in two hours.
Ignatia may follow Aconite after the febrile symptoms have subsided, especially if there are spasmodic twitch-ings in the muscles of the anus, or intense itching in the anus, indicating the presence of pin-worms.
Same as Aconite.
Boring at the nose, irritable temper, fits of crying when touched, restlessness, a desire for things which are rejected when offered; paleness of the face, with livid circle around the eyes; constant craving for food; colic pains and hardness of the bowels, constipation or diarrhoeic evacuations, great restlessness at night, tossing about, starting, talking or calling out suddenly during sleep; weakness of the limbs; occasional delirium; face at times pale and cold, at others red and hot; nausea and vomiting, prostration and occasionally convulsive movements in the limbs; itching in the anus, and crawling out of pin-worms; urine white and turbid, sometimes passing involuntarily.
Prepare same as Aconite. Give once in six hours.
Especially where the symptoms recur at about the same time of the day; there may be colic, diarrhoea and craving for food, also fever.
Where the symptoms are violent, the same as Aconite. In chronic cases every night.
Great nervous excitement; delirium at night with starting during sleep, severe colic, headache and fever.
Same as Aconite, with which, if much fever be present, it may by alternated.
A powder, or dry globules, morning and night.
Diarrhoea, distension of the bowels, and increased secretion of saliva.
A powder, or three globules, morning and night.
Derangement of the stomach, with constipation, nausea, and painful sensibility of the stomach and bowels.
Same as Mercury.
Long-continued diarrhoea, distension and painful sensation of the abdomen and stomach; debility, great nervous excitability with spasmodic twitching of the muscles.
The drops, in a tumbler half full of water, a teaspoonful morning and night.
After the prominent symptoms have subsided, to complete the cure.
A powder, or three globules, every night.
Fruits and vegetables should be prohibited, as well as pastry and sweetmeats.The diet should consist principally of meat broths, except in acute cases, when it should be the same as in fevers.