This section is from the book "The Transmission Of Life. Counsels On The Nature And Hygiene Of The Masculine Function", by George H. Napheys. Also available from Amazon: The Transmission of Life.
The nourishment of the system depends, of course, very directly upon the proper digestion of the food we eat, and whatever interferes with the process, soon gives occasion for the appearance of a number of other troubles, dependent upon the starvation as it were of the separate organs.
Several authors have insisted that there is little or no connection observable between the functions of sex in the male and those of digestion; in the female, all agree that they are intimately related, and that hardly ever is there a disturbance of the former, but that it is reflected in the action of the latter.
The analogy of conformation leads us to doubt, therefore, their entire independence in the male, and we are inclined to agree with that more numerous party in the profession who maintain that many cases display a strong • sympathy between the parts in question. Our own observation bears this out. Several striking cases have come before us where dyspepsia of long standing disappeared when the disorder of the lower organs was removed.
The fact that many who exhaust their systems by excess are characterized by a voracious appetite, is not sufficient to disprove this view. The demand of the system for food is urgent, but, when consumed, it is often productive of un-pleasant sensations, eructation, water-brush, a sense of weight and fulness, and the other familiar symptoms of indigestion. While it is nearly always observed that such persons, in spite of the amount of food they take, do not increase proportionately in flesh, but are marked by a degree of attenuation which has become proverbial.
Instances have come to our knowledge where attacks of dyspepsia made their appearance only after dissipations of the kind, and gave no trouble where the rules of health in this respect were judiciously observed. In these the sufferers themselves did not hesitate to attribute their complaints to what they justly considered the real exciting cause.
Whatever doubt may exist in reference to the general question of the sympathy of these parts, there can be none concerning the relationship of certain complaints of the lower bowels to disturbances of the masculine function. Obstinate constipation may stand either in the relation of a cause or a consequence to chronic irritation of the parts from any cause, innocent or flagitious. So also the nearness of position which they occupy in the human system leads them to a participation in the same disturbances.