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
The above is a true picture of the physical states of the great majority of those operated upon in the past two or three decades, and those who are now on their march to a surgical hospital. It must be continued; for it is certainly obvious to the discerning, with the illumination above given, that removing any one, or a half-dozen, of these organs will not remove the disease. Removing the lymphatic system of the lower bowels and pelvis, were it possible, would not cure a derangement of this kind.
Lymphatic or scrofulous diathesis is a structural evolution of the lymphatic system favoring the development of tubercular diseases. The word "diathesis" is out of date, and "germ infection" is made to cover all diseased states once ill understood under the name "diathesis." It may be said of disease, the same as of a rose: "What's in a name?" This is true when a name carries no meaning.
Names only confuse, and help to hide from the mind's eve the true cause.
If we may look upon every child, born of well-disposed parents, as a purified lump of protoplasm with the potentialities of health and mental development normal, we can use the child as a standard of ideal health.
There are children, born of vicious parents, who are said to be born with venereal disease. It may be true; I believe that children are born with disease; but they were infected after conception.
My practice has been confined to a superior class of people, While I have always enjoyed a large private practice, it has been with those of a middle to a superior class of intelligence. The ignorant and vicious have always sidestepped me, because I require the giving-up of bad habits as a first step to a cure. Consequently, children born with venereal infection have never occurred in my practice. If they had, I should not believe that nature allowed the infection to take place before conception; for nature makes sterile all who are unfit to propagate.
Starting with perfect physical health, a child is fed too frequently, and kept from fresh air and sunshine. Many are bathed too much, handled too much, and subjected to too much noise. As a result the child's resistances--its enzymes and body defenses--are inadequate to meet the enemies of health; and the result is that a catarrhal state is developed. The child "catches cold" easily. The stomach and bowels are made sensitive, and ready to take on a state of indigestion; then toxin poisoning takes place, resulting in an effort, during the cold months, to throw off the poison by the skin and mucous membrane--gastritis, sore throat, and the exanthemata (eruptive fevers). It is a fact that the eruptive fevers--skin diseases--occur all the year around; yet their tendency is to appear more frequently in the winter, or during cold weather; whereas diseases of the stomach and bowels--mucous membrane--occur oftener in the summer, or during hot weather. Gastritis, bowel diseases, and the various eruptive fevers are a necessary sequence to feeding beyond the child's nutritional needs, and catarrhal inflammation of the mucous membrane is established as a habit. Finally resistance is broken, making the child susceptible to epidemic influences. When the heat of summer comes, it adds the last link to a chain of causes that ends in cholera infanturn. If treatment is unsuitable and the nursing bad, the child may die; indeed, many do die.
Children who get over the diseases peculiar to the teething age, carry, and further develop, enlarged tonsils, adenoids, gastric irritation, intestinal indigestion, constipation, intestinal parasitic diseases, the so-called contagious diseases, glandular enlargements, adenitis, tuberculosis, rickets, lymphangitis, scrofula, etc.
These diseases develop from childhood to puberty. Those children who are not swept out of existence will have seasons of betterment; a few will be carried by the force of development, which in a cyclonic fashion sweeps everything before it into health--and that, too, often in spite of wrong life, and a medical treatment that might prove fatal if administered at any other time in life.
These health storms, typhoons, revolutions, often sweep invalids into health, starting up without apparent cause, and carrying many victims of ill-health into physical states approximating good health. Then, if they are fortunate in having sense enough to follow proper advice, they may recover from the ill-health of youth and live to a ripe old age, enjoying life, health, and success. A few will enjoy approximately good health from early puberty to early middle life. Perhaps it would be better to say that there are a few who, through the impetus of development, will enjoy fairly robust health until perhaps the end of the first ten years of business life; then, because of neglect of exercise, and the practice of bad eating, and other habits, they break down and die of acute or chronic disease.
There are others who reach middle life before they have, by vicious habits, broken down their resistance and placed themselves in a physical state out of sympathy with health's revolutionary forces. These go down and out with tuberculosis, Bright's disease, diabetes, tabes dorsalis, apoplexy, and other diseases.
There is still another class who die between fifty-five and sixty-five of kidney, heart, brain, blood vessel, and nerve diseases, because they have lost their resistance to such an extent that they fail to attract the evolutionary forces that would carry them on another decade.
We hear of disease influences, but never of health influences. The truth is that there are more epidemic influences for health than the reverse. Indeed, if man ever learns to court heatth--cultivate resistance, attune himself to the harmonies of nature--he can make himself immune to disease-producing influences.