In the light of the truths set forth immediately preceding namely: that all transmissible alterations must be organized in the nervous system--the subject of diathesis can be understood to better advantage, Scrofula--adenitis, or tuberculosis--is an organic change in the structure of the lymphatic glands. The cause of the change is chronic toxin poisoning. The special toxin is the alcoholic or acetous from sugar and starch. This causes a chronic catarrhal or inflammatory state, which defined means lost resistance--an enervated state. In this state the body fails to adjust itself to heat and cold; the radiating power of the skin is disturbed, and the mucous membranes are made to do vicarious service. This overworks or over-stimulates, and, as a consequence, the membranes exude--secrete an exaggerated quantity of mucous.

The hypersecretion of mucous serves a double purpose: that of excretion and, by coating the mucous surfaces, that of preventing the absorption of poisonous toxins. In this the lymphatics assist; for one of the functions of these glands is to arrest poisonous toxins and neutralize them. When the glands are forced to do excessive work in this line, they take on a state called adenitis or lymphangitis--a catarrhal state of the lymphatic glands. Like the mucous membrane, the lymph glands are made exceedingly sensitive to the influences of the toxins developed by putrefaction of animal proteins.