This section is from the "Impaired Health: Its Cause And Cure" (Volume 1) book, by John H. Tilden. Also available from Amazon: Impaired health its cause and cure: A repudiation of the conventional treatment of disease
To keep food away from a man slowly starves him to death. Disassimilation continues, and it is supposed that death comes after forty per cent of the weight is lost. This may be true of those who are very thin, but it is not true of those who are overweight.
The loss of the various tissues is not equal. Fat diminishes ninety-five per cent. The organs lose most in the following order: spleen, liver, muscles, kidneys. The heart, nerves, and brain are most resistant. It has been said that the brain shows no loss from starvation.
Fat goes first; then the muscle or nitrogenous substance. When the muscle begins to go, there is an increase in the urea; albumin appears in the urine; the temperature falls, and the symptoms become serious.
Drinking water enables the one starving to live longer. Fear will cause a fatal termination much earlier than fasting and going without water; for fear inhibits elimination, if it does not also generate a poisonous toxin.
A dog, deprived of food and water, died in twenty days; another, deprived of food but given water, was still living at thirty days. Much depends upon the weight at the beginning of the fast, and the treatment during the time. If warmth is supplied, life will be prolonged.
People who take a fast to control disease must be kept warm. Chilling during a fast is very dangerous.
Unless much water is used during a fast, toxin poisoning will take place; and that, with chilling, is liable to kill the one fasting in ten days. When fear is added, death will come in from three to seven days.
The first common cause of disordered digestion is improper chewing. Next comes overeating, or eating of improper combinations.
When more food is taken than can be prepared for absorption, the food is caused to ferment because of the ever-present germ of fermentation. The result is fermentation, catarrh, or inflammation of the mucous membrane; gastritis, dilation of the stomach, diarrhea of the lienteric type; then poverty of flesh, nervousness, etc.
In those cases where too much sugar and starch are consumed (in children), gastritis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, enlarged tonsils, adenoids, constipation, polyuria, and nervousness are common; in adults, rheumatism, glycosuria, diabetes, flatulency, headache, eczema, heart palpitation, constipation, colitis, piles, and prolapsus of the rectum.
It is hard to define exactly, or clearly to draw the line between cause and effect, when a mixed diet is being used; but it is safe to say that there will be no putrid or septic poisoning from food decomposition unless animal alburninoid is mixed in the dietary.
When animal foods are taken to excess, a severe type of whatever disease is developed may be looked for. In children, a tonsilitis will be diphtheria or scarlet fever. Fevers will take on a typhoid or septic character. Wounds and puerperal derangements will take on septicemia.
The glands of the body--the lymphatic, liver, and ductless glands--are probably quarantine stations for the purpose of arresting and detaining septic toxins. These glands probably secrete enzymes which neutralize the septic toxins. The liver undertakes to care for the surplus protein and fit it for cell nutrition; it stores the sugar in the form of glycogen.
If the liver is out of condition, from overwork, it allows the sugar to escape. Then the kidneys take up the task of eliminating it. This is a glycosuria, caused by hepatic insufficiency. It is not diabetes proper. Real diabetes is a nervous derangement, and must be cured by restoring nerve energy.
The different acts of nutrition in man are now to be reviewed, with their perversions.