LIVER, CIRRHOSIS OF THE.--A chronic inflammatory disease charac terised by morbid formation of connective tissue with subsequent atrophy of the liver-cells. The most frequent cause of this affection is excessive use of alcohol, but it may occur independently of the use of alcohol.
Treatment.--•he essential feature is total abstinence from alcoholic drinks ; but, as a matter of fact, the disease is incurable, although the patient may long live on in fair health. Bluepill and taraxicum may alleviate the symptoms. During the term of treatment, which to be effective must be conducted under the supervision of a physician, the diet should consist 01 easily digestible foods, such as milk, eggs, soup, fish, lean meat, fruits, and vegetables easy to digest. The waters of certain mineral springs are also beneficial to persons suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. Of these, Carlsbad, Kissingen, Contrexeyille, Strathpeffer, and Clifton are recommended. Of recent years the disease has occasionally been checked by surgical treatment.
LUMBAGO.—Rheumatic pain in the loins. It is generally the result of a cold, or may be due to a straining of the muscular tissue by a wrench.
Treatment.—Daily " ironing " of the affected parts (see BAcKAciw.) or massage, three times a week, with the parts well oiled, will prove beneficial in the after-effects. A sinapism or mustard plaster over the affected area will relieve the pain. Or, instead of the mustard plaster, hot poultices such as linseed (see AIMONIINAL PAINS) or hop (see BOILS) may be apphed every night. Dry cupping is followed by good results. Or a blister. such as Spanish flies, etc., may be required. In severe cases it will he essential to give the muscles an absolute rest ; then it will be necessary to apply a large piece of adhesive plaster from the floating ribs to the iliac crests. Or the following liniment should be rubbed in for ten minutes, night and morning : Jlrthyl salic.ylate, r ounce ; spirit of chloroform, ounce ; soap liniment, enough to make 3 ounces. Or place the patient on his abdomen, and rub the back
briskly for five minutes with the following : Menthol, ounce ; oil of gaultheria, z ounce ; white wax, t ounce ; yellow wax, ounce ; wool-fat, I ounce ; vaseline, I ounce. I he back is then covered with a Nvann, damp cloth and " ironed " for about ten minutes. This is to be done three times a day.
Another method of treatment includes giving the patient a hot-air or vapour-bath, or hot tub-bath (to5° Fahr.), followed by hot blanket pack, twice a week. So-called local shock douches are very effective also ; they consist in alternate sponging of the affected parts with hot (ilo° Fahr.) and. cold water (5o° Fahr.), or, better, alternating hot (Ito° Fahr.) and cold water (5o° Fahr.) thrown from pails against the lumbar region. These shock douches are very similar in action to the so-called Scotch douche, described in SPRAINS.
Internally, a powder or cachet containing 5 grains phenacetin should be given t\N ice a day. In chronic cases give a dessertspoonful three times a day, with intermission on the seventh day, of : Powdered guaiacum, 5 grains ; potassium iodide, 5 grains ; wine of colchicum-seed, 15 minims ; cinnamon-water and syrup, of each, 4 drachms. Or give a teaspoonful in a glass of water every four hours of : Potassium acetate, 4 drachms; sodium salicylate, 3 drachms ; gaultheria-water, enough to make 3 ounces.
If the patient suffers also from rheumatism, give to grains of sodium salicylate every three hours, under medical sanction. The New York Medical Journal sums up the treatment of lumbago as follows : " Hot vapour or hot tub-baths twice a week ; local shock douches every day ; general massage, with special attention to the lumbar region, three times a week ; fomentations 'applied to the lumbar region every night."