HOME PAGE HYGIENELIBRARY CATALOG
Introduction to Toxemia
Enervation Is General
The Causes of Enervation
But it appears to be unlikely that in the present state of medicine there would be any great dissimilarity in the proportions of diagnosed and undiagnosed eases in many series of investigation such as we have made. The proportion depends, not on the skill or training of individual practitioners, but on the unsatisfactory state of all medical knowledge. The similarity of the statistical records from the institute and from private practice goes far to support this view. In spite of the additional time given at the institute to the examination of cases which are undiagnosable in general practice, and the assistance given by the special departments--clinical groups--in their investigation, they remain profoundly obscure, although we know that it is from among them that there will gradually emerge the cases of advanced organic disease and the end-results which form so large a proportion of the inmates of hospital wards. And the tragedy is that many of them suffer from no serious disabilities, and might, but for our ignorance, be checked on their downward course.
Isn't this about as sharp a criticismof medical inefficiency as Tilden has ever made?
This brings vividly to mind the statement,made only a short time ago, by Dr. Cabot, of Boston, that he himself was mistakenin his diagnoses about fifty per cent of the time--that he had proved it by post-mortems.Such a statement as this, coming from a man of his standing, means much. To me itmeans that diagnosis is a meaningless term; for, as used, it means discovering whatpathological effects--what changes--have been brought about by an undiscovered cause.Diagnosis means, in a few words, discovering effects which, when found, throw nolight whatever on cause.
Again I quote Mackenzie: "Theknowledge of disease is so incomplete that we do not yet even know what steps shouldbe taken to advance our knowledge." This being true, there is little excusefor laws to shut out or prevent cults from practicing less harmful palliations. Howmany reputable physicians have the honesty of Sir James Mackenzie ?
In spite of Mackenzie's high and worthyambitions, he could not get away from the profession's stereotyped thinking. Theearly symptoms of disease he declared held the secret of their cause, and he believedan intense study of them would give the facts. But functional derangements are ofthe same nature and from the same universal cause that ends in all organic so-calleddiseases. All so-called diseases are, from beginning to end, the same evolutionaryprocess.
The study of pathology--the study ofdisease--has engaged the best minds in the profession always, and it surely appearsthat the last word must have been spoken on the subject; but the great Englishmanbelieved, as all research workers believe, that a more intense and minute study ofthe early symptoms of disease will reveal the cause. There is, however, one greatreason why it cannot, and that is that all symptom-complexes--diseases--from theirinitiation to their ending, are effects, and the most intense study of any phaseor stage of their progress will not throw any light on the cause.
Cause is constant, ever present, andalways the same. Only effects, and the object on which cause acts, change, and thechange is most inconstant. To illustrate: A catarrh of the stomach presents firstirritation, then inflammation, then ulceration, and finally induration and cancer.Not all cases run true to form; only a small percentage evolve to ulcer, and fewerstill reach the cancer stage. More exit by way of acute food-poisoning or acute indigestionthan by chronic diseases.
In the early stages of this evolutionthere are all kinds of discomforts: more or less attacks of indigestion, frequentattacks of gastritis--sick stomach and vomiting. No two cases are alike. Nervouspeople suffer most, and some present all kinds of nervous symptoms--insomnia, headaches,etc. Women have painful menstruation and hysterical symptoms--some are morose andothers have epilepsy. As the more chronic symptoms appear, those of the lymphatictemperament do not suffer so much. As the disease progresses, a few become pallidand develop pernicious anemia, due to gastric or intestinal ulceration and putridprotein infection; in others the first appearance of ulcer is manifested by a severehemorrhage; others have a cachexia and a retention of food in the stomach, whichis vomited every two or three days, caused by a partial closing of the pylorus. Theseare usually malignant cases.
To look upon any of these symptom-complexesas a distinct disease, requiring a distinct treatment, is to fall into the diagnosticmaze that now bewilders the profession and renders treatment chaotic.
It should be known to all discerningphysicians that the earliest stage of organic disease is purely functional, evanescent,and never autogenerted so far as the affected organ is concerned, but is invariablydue to an extraneous irritation (stimulation, if you please), augmented by Toxemia.When the irritation is not continuous, and toxin is eliminated as fast as developed,to the toleration point, normal functioning is resumed between the intervals of irritationand toxin excess.
For example: a simple coryza (runningat the nose--cold in the head), gastritis or colonitis. At first these colds, catarrahs,or inflammations are periodic and functional; but, as the exciting cause or causes--localirritation and Toxemia--become more intense and continuous, the mucous membranesof these organs take on organic changes, which are given various names, such as irritation,inflammation, ulceration, and cancer. The pathology (organic change) may be studieduntil doomsday without throwing any light on the cause; for from the first irritationto the extreme ending--cachexia--which may be given the blanket term of tuberculosis,syphilis, or cancer, the whole pathologic panorama is one continuous evolution ofintensifying effects.
Germs and other so-called causes maybe discovered in the course of pathological development, but they are accidental,coincidental, or at most auxiliary--or, to use the vernacular of law, obiter dicta.
The proper way to study disease isto study health and every influence favorable or not to its continuance. Diseaseis perverted health. Any influence that lowers nerve-energy becomes disease-producing.Disease cannot be its own cause; neither can it be its own cure, and certainly notits own prevention.
After years of wandering in the jungleof medical diagnosis--the usual guesswork of cause and effect, and the worse-than-guessworkof treatment, and becoming more confounded all the time--I resolved either to quitthe profession or to find the cause of disease. To do this, it was necessary to exilemyself from doctors and medical conventions; for I could not think for myself whilelistening to the babblings of babeldom. I took the advice found in Matt. 6:6. Accordingto prevailing opinion, unless a doctor spends much time in medical societies andin the society of other doctors, takes postgraduate work, travels, etc., he cannotkeep abreast of advancement.
This opinion would be true if the sciencesof medicine were fitted to a truthful etiology (efficient cause) of disease. But,since they are founded on no cause, or at most speculative and spectacular causes,as unstable as the sands of the sea, the doctor who cannot brook the bewildermentof vacillation is compelled to hide away from the voices of mistaken pedants andknowing blatherskites until stabilized. By that time ostracism will have overtakenhim, and his fate, metaphorically speaking, will be that of the son of Zacharias.
An honest search after truth too often,if not always, leads to the rack, stake, cross, or the blessed privilege of recanting;but the victim, by this time, decides as did the divine Jew: "Not my will, butshine, be done;" or, as Patrick Henry declared: "Give me liberty or giveme death!" The dying words of another great Irishman is the wish, no doubt,of every lover of freedom and truth:
That no man write my epitaph; for, as no man who knows my motives dares now vindicate them. let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me rest in peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, and my memory in oblivion, until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not until then, let my epitaph be written. (Emmet).
The truth is larger than any man, and,until it is established, the memory of its advocate is not important. In the lastanalysis, is not the truth the only immortality? Man is an incident. If he discoversa truth, it benefits all who accept it. Truth too often must pray to be deliveredfrom its friends.
I must acknowledge that I have notbeen very courteous to indifferent convention; and the truth I have discovered hassuffered thereby. It has always appeared to me that the attention of fallacy-mongerscannot be attracted except by the use of a club or shillalah; and possibly my styleof presenting my facts has caused too great a shock, and the desired effect has beenlost in the reaction.
That I have discovered the true causeof disease cannot be successfully disputed. This being true, my earnestness in presentingthis great truth is justifiable.
When I think back over my life, andremember the struggle I had with myself in supplanting my old beliefs with the new--thethousands of times I have suspected my own sanity--I then cannot be surprised atthe opposition I have met and am meeting.
My discovery of the truth that Toxemiais the cause of all so-called diseases came about slowly, step by step, with manydangerous skids.
At first I believed that enervationmust be the general cause of disease; then I decided that simple enervation is notdisease, that disease must be due to poison, and that poison, to be the general causeof disease, must be autogenerated; and if disease is due to an autogenerated poison.what is the cause of that autogeneration? I dallied long in endeavoring to tracedisease back to poison taken into the system, such as food eaten after putrescencehad begun, or from poisoning due to the development of putrescence after ingestion.In time I decided that poisoning per se is not disease. I observed where poisoningdid not kill; some cases reacted and were soon in full health, while others remainedin a state of semi-invalidism. I found the same thing true of injuries and mentalshock. It took a long time to develop the thought that a poisoned or injured body,when not overwhelmed by Toxemia. would speedily return to the normal, and when itdid not, there was a sick habit--a derangement of some kind--that required some suchcontingency to bring it within sense-perception.
To illustrate: An injury to a jointis often complicated with rheumatism; the rheumatism previous to the injury was potentiallyin the blood.
Just what change had taken place inthe organism which, under stress of injury or shock of any kind, would cause a reactionwith fever I could not understand until the Toxemic Theory suggested itself to mymind, after which the cause of disease unfolded before me in an easy and naturalmanner. And now the theory is a proved fact.
After years of perplexing thought and"watchful waiting," I learned that all disease, of whatever nature, wasof slow development; that without systemic preparation even so-called acute systemicdiseases could not manifest.
In a few words: Without Toxemia therecan be no disease. I knew that the waste-product of metabolism was toxic, and thatthe only reason why we were not poisoned by it was because it was removed from theorganism as fast as produced. Then I decided that the toxin was retained in the blood,when there was a checking of elimination. Then the cause of the checking had to bedetermined. In time I thought out the cause. I knew that, when we had a normal nerve-energy,organic functioning was normal. Then came the thought that enervation caused a checkingof elimination. Eureka! The cause of all so-called diseases is found! Enervationchecks elimination of the waste-products of metabolism. Retention of metabolic toxin--thefirst and only cause of disease!
Those who would be freed from the bondageof medical superstition should study "Toxemia Explained."