This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Family Doctor" book
In the pages over which we have passed, our effort has been, as the reader will perceive, to describe the various ailments with which man is afflicted and the accidents or injuries to which he is liable; also, the remedies to be applied or the methods to be adopted in the treatment of the sick or the injured. This, while a great part of the story, is not the whole story. There is a further very important phase of the subject. It is one thing to know how to get well; it is another to know how to keep well. There is a science of health as well as a science of sickness. The former we call hygiene. This deals with the rules to be observed to enable us to avoid ill-health. These are of the highest importance, and it is incumbent upon us here to give the leading laws and principles of hygiene science.
The world we dwell in is full of the seeds of disease. They come to us in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe. We cannot stir abroad or confine ourselves at home without exposing ourselves to some unwholesome condition. The germs of disease lurk everywhere. We may escape them in part, but cannot altogether. But what effect they will have upon us depends largely upon ourselves. A sound, vigorous constitution and healthy normal condition of the organs of the body, enable us to expose ourselves, with impunity to conditions which might prove fatal to those of feeble powers of resistance or weakness in some of the vital organs. Therefore, in addition to care in avoiding exposure to injurious influences, it is very important to strengthen our powers of resistance by a reasonable amount of exercise, the breathing of fresh air, attention to suitable clothing, heedfulness of any organic weakness, and everything adapted to give us strength and powers of endurance.