This section is from the "Nature Cure: Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure" book, by Henry Lindlahr.
Every time this precipitation of uric acid from the circulation is repeated, some of the morbid materials remain and accumulate in different parts and organs. If these irritating substances become lodged in the joints and muscles, arthritic or muscular rheumatism is the result. If acids, xanthines and oxalates of lime form earthy deposits along the walls of arteries and veins, these vessels harden and become inelastic, and their diameter is diminished. This obstructs the free circulation of the blood and causes malnutrition of the brain and other vital organs. Furthermore, the blood vessels become brittle and break easily and there is danger of hemorrhages.
This explains the origin and development of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and apoplexy.
Apoplexy may also be caused by other acids and drug poisons which soften, corrode and destroy the walls of the blood vessels in the brain.
In individuals of different constitutions, accumulations of uric acid, xanthines, oxalates of calcium and various other earthy substances form stones, gravel or sandy deposits in the kidneys, the gall bladder and in other parts and organs.
The diseases caused by permanent deposits of uric acid in the tissues are called arthritic diseases, because the accumulations frequently occur in the joints.
Thus we distinguish two distinct stages of uric acid diseases: the collaemic stage, marked by an excess of uric acid in the circulation and resulting in occlusion of the capillary blood vessels, and the arthritic stage, marked by permanent deposits of uric acid and other earthy substances in the tissues of the body.
During the prevalence of the collaemic symptoms, that is, when the circulation is saturated with uric acid, the urine is also highly acid. When precipitation of the acid materials from the blood into the tissues has taken place, the amount of acid in the urine decreases materially.
I have repeatedly stated that xanthines have the same effect upon the system as uric acid. Caffeine and theobromine, the narcotic principles of coffee and tea, are xanthines; and so is the nicotine contained in tobacco. Peas, beans, lentils, mushrooms and peanuts, besides being very rich in uric acid-producing proteins, carry also large percentages of xanthines, which are chemically almost identical with uric acid and have a similar effect upon the organism and its functions.
From what has been said, it becomes clear why the meat-eater craves alcohol and xanthines. When by the taking of flesh foods the blood has become saturated with uric acid and the annoying symptoms of collaemia make their appearance in the forms of lassitude, headache and nervous depression, then alcohol and the xanthines contained in coffee, tea and tobacco will cause the precipitation of the acids from the circulation into the tissues of the body, and thus temporarily relieve the collaemic symptoms and create a feeling of well-being and stimulation.
Gradually, however, the blood regains its alkalinity and its acid-dissolving power and enough of the acid deposits are reabsorbed by the circulation to cause a return of the symptoms of collaemia. Then arises a craving for more alcohol, coffee, tea, nicotine or xanthine-producing foods in order to again obtain temporary relief and stimulation, and so on, ad infinitum.
The person addicted to the use of stimulants is never himself. His mental, moral and emotional equilibrium is always unbalanced. His brain is muddled with poisons and he lacks the self-control, the clear vision and steady hand necessary for the achievement of success in any line of endeavor.
We can now understand why one stimulant craves another, why it is almost impossible to give up one stimulant without giving up all others as well.
From the foregoing it will have become clear that the stimulating effect of alcohol and of many so-called tonics depends upon their power to clear the circulation temporarily of uric and other acids. Those who have read this chapter carefully, will know why this effect is deceptive and temporary and why it is followed by a return of the collaemic symptoms in aggravated form, and how these are gradually changed into chronic arthritic uric acid diseases.
In order to give a better idea of the various phases of uric acid poisoning, I have used the following illustration in some of my lectures:
A man may carry a burden of fifty pounds on his shoulders without difficulty or serious discomfort. Let this correspond to the normal solving-power and carrying-capacity of the blood for uric acid. Suppose you add gradually to the burden on the man's back until its weight has reached one-hundred and fifty pounds. He may still be able to carry the burden, but as the weight increases he will begin to show signs of distress. This increase of weight and the attendant discomfort correspond to the increase of uric acid in the blood and the accompanying symptoms of collaemia.
If you increase the burden on the man's shoulders still further, beyond his individual carrying-capacity, a point will be reached when he can no longer support its weight and will throw it off entirely. This climax corresponds to the saturation point of the blood, when the limit of its acid-carrying capacity is exceeded and its acid contents are precipitated into the tissues.
The treatment of acid diseases is the same as of all other diseases that are due to the violation of Nature's laws: purification of blood and tissues from within and building up of the vital fluids (blood and lymph) on a natural basis through normal habits of eating, dressing, bathing, breathing, working, resting and thinking as outlined in other parts of this volume.
In severe cases which have reached the chronic stage, the treatment must be supplemented by the more aggressive methods of strict diet, hydrotherapy, curative gymnastics, massage, manipulation and homeopathic medication.