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Headache and Giddiness

disease, arsenic, water, symptoms, vomiting, treatment and morning

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Headache (Cephalalgia) is extremely com mon, and is of so many different kinds and arising from so many different causes that one treatment for all is impossible.

It may be a symptom of a disease, rather than a disease in itself. For example, it is one of the commonest and most painful symptoms in disease of the brain and its membranes; head ache, giddiness and vomiting are early symp toms in affection of the brain owing to disease of the ear (see p. 154), and it is usual in fevers and other acute diseases. Further, it is a result of improper conditions of the blood—poverty of blood, or when the blood is impure owing to rheumatic or gouty affections, or owing to dis ease of the kidneys. In fact, headache may be a mere accident, or rather accompaniment, of other diseases, which must be attacked before the headache will be relieved. One of these diseases—Syphilis—deserves special attention. The headache due to syphilis, contracted per haps years before, is of a most painful and per sistent character. It has often lasted for weeks and brought the patient to the verge of suicide. The treatment for it is undoubtedly large doses of Iodide of Potassium, but the drug must be given with certain precautions, for which see under SYPHILIS.

In disorders of digestion, and specially con nected with the liver, headache is generally so prominent a symptom as to be counted almost the real trouble, and hence is called bilious headache. It is usually of an intense char acter, throbbing or bursting and soon accom panied by sickness. If vomiting occurs, the nausea is generally relieved, and the headache then yields to sleep. Often the vomiting does not occur, and hence the popular resort to a glass of warm water with a large tea-spoonful of mustard stirred in it in order to induce vomiting. This treatment may be adopted, and often relieves so quickly that sleep is in duced and completes the cure so far as the headache is concerned.

Constipation is another frequent trouble pro ducing headache. To relieve it, as well as to unload the liver, a blue-pill at night, followed in the morning by a tea-spoonful of Epsom-salts in a tumbler of hot water, is very useful. People

troubled with such disordered digestive organs will find the daily or at least frequent use, in the morning before breakfast, of mild opening medicine like Iltuiyadi Janos mineral water (a wine-glassful), Eno's Fruit Salt, or other saline purgative, of great value. Where flatulence is conjoined with constipation a tea-spoonful of Aromatic Spirits of Ammonia in a glass of water is often beneficial.

Decayed Teeth must not be forgotten as not infrequent producers of headache.

Disease of the womb is a common cause in 11"0111eD.

A rsenical poisoning is accompanied by intense headache. Other symptoms go along with it— sickness, griping pains, depression. Now one of the prettiest green colours is made with arsenic, and this colouring matter is frequently. used for wall-papers. The heat produced by a fire in the room will readily cause the arsenic to come out of the wall-paper, so coloured, is invisible vapour, which the persons sitting in the room will inhale. They may, therefore, suffer from the above- mentioned symptoms. Thus some persons have been accustomed to be plagued with headaches and nausea when they rose in the mornings during the winter months, and when they went away for a short holiday, or with the advent of summer, the headaches disappeared. Careful inquiry has found the cause in their bed-room paper. They used fires in winter, which brought out the arsenic, and so the persons rose in the morning unrefreshed after inhaling arsenical vapours during the night. With the arrival of summer the fires were left off, the arsenic was not vaporized, and the symptoms disap peared. Similarly others have been afflicted with headache after sitting some hours in their drawing-room, or seine particular sitting room or study. Therefore all who are similarly troubled should examine any green papers that may be on their walls; and no householder should permit a green paper to be put on a wall in his house, unless a chemist has certified it to be free from arsenic. Let him not trust the painter or the seller of the paper.

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