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Gall-Stones

hot, water, sodium and treatment

GALL-STONES. —A solid stone-like substance found in the gall-bladder, liver, or hepatic ducts.

Treatment.—To prevent the disease, regulate the diet, eating only simple food in moderate quantities. Take plenty of bodily exercise, but select it carefully ; curative gymnastics will be found helpful. That regular movements of the bowels be secured is imperative. To treat an attack, or check the course of the disease one needs the advice of a physician. Until he arrives the pain, during colic due to gall-stone, can be alleviated by applying hot compresses to the parts affected and by drinking hot water, milk, or tea, and by giving a hot bath (Io4° Fahr. or over). Sometimes cold is borne better than heat ; in such cases apply an icebag to the region of the liver.

A case of gall-stone colic demands immediate treatment. Externally, apply to the hepatic area a bottle of hot water, or a flannel dipped into hot water and sprinkled with a few drops of turpentine, or apply a mustard plaster. After pain the next most urgent symptom is vomiting, for which, until the physician arrives, the following may be administered : Bismuth subnitrate, 3 drachms, divided into io powders, and taken every half-hour until vomiting is relieved.

The treatment of gall-stones has now become largely surgical. A surgeon should generally be summoned by the physician if the symptoms are severe.

The distressing paroxysms of gall-stones are controlled by morphine hypo dermically given by the physician. If jaundice is present, calomel should be given, A grain for eight or ten doses in twenty-four hours, without the usual subsequent saline in the morning. Or hot or cold enemas with soapsuds, about 2 quarts of water, will assist in relieving the pain. Or the enema may be composed of magnesium sulphate, glycerine, olive-oil, of each ounce ; oil of turpentine, r drachm ; water, to make 6 ounces.

The treatment between attacks should aim at dissolving an already formed stone, or, at any rate, preventing the formation of others. Use, therefore, sodium glycocholate mass, 3 grains, four times a day, with 5 grains of sodium succinate, dissolved in -.1 glass of water, the treatment to be continued for several months. Sodium succinate may be replaced by salol or sodium salicylate in the same doses.

Olive-oil, a tablespoonful, and sodium oleate have been reported as aids in expelling the stones, to be taken before each meal and at bedtime, four times a day. Or a teaspoonful of sodium phosphate, dissolved in a glass of hot water and repeated three times a day, will also be beneficial. A well-adjusted abdominal support will often prevent •attacks.