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Glycyrrhiza

goitre, disease, gland, thyroid, liquorice, goitres, public and infected

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GLYCYRRHIZA (LIQUORICE).—The dried root of Glycyrrhiza glabra and other species of Glycyrrhiza, shrubs native to southern Europe, south-western Asia, Persia, and surrounding countries. Liquorice con tains a small percentage of volatile oil and large quantities of sugar, gum, and woody residue. It has a peculiar characteristic taste, and is exten sively used to disguise the flavour of other remedies. Of itself it has very little action. It is thought to give a mild laxative effect, but compound liquorice powder, in which it is used in large quantities, is laxative because of the senna it contains rather than because of the liquorice. Large quantities of the ordinary liquorice are laxative because of the sugar con tained in this confection.

GOITRE.—An enlargement of the thyroid gland, which is situated in the front part of the throat, immediately below the larynx (see Plate IV. 19). Large goitres are greatly disfiguring because of their exposed position (see Fig. 144). This, however, is not the only disadvantage of the condition. Many patients afflicted ‘vith goitre suffer from shortness of breath ; they are unable to lie flat on their back in bed ; and rapid walking and climbing of stairs is disagreeable to them. In many cases attacks of suffocation may occur. The presence of goitres con stitutes a single symptom only in certain diseases, as in EXOPHTHAL NIIC GOITRE (which see). Other goitres may become malignant ; as, for instance, in cancer of the thyroid gland.

In mild cases, and in those accompanied by only slight disturbance, goitre is treated with inunctions and internal remedies. If the goitre causes serious disturbances, 'or if it is very disfiguring, operative removal is indicated. Its removal is imperative if it is cancerous. The operation for the removal of goitre was formerly considered very dangerous. At the present time, however, owing to the refinements in method, it is a comparatively safe procedure. It can he designated as dangerous only in exophthalmic goitre and in cancer. In both cases, however, the danger is because of the disease, and not by reason of the operation. The operator should never remove the entire thyroid gland, but should always allow a portion to remain intact ; for experience has taught that the entire gland cannot be spared by the body. If it is completely removed, a condition develops which will be found described in detail in the article THYROID GLAND, DISEASES OF.

catarrh of the urethra ; vulgarly called " clap." This is a very widespread disease, a " disease of the masses," which is found among an alarming number of patients, especially among the. youths of large cities. It is not an exaggeration to state that the public and private prostitutes of a great city arc almost without exception thus infected. It is greatly to be regretted that many of the young men suffering from gonorrhoea are never thoroughly cured, because of inadequate treatment of the first or of subsequent attacks. It sometimes happens that this disease develops with barely any accompanying symptoms, or at least without much annoyance to the patient. The disease may exist in a latent condition for years, the patient meanwhile considering himself perfectly well. These latent forms of gonorrhoea in young men are a grave social danger, for they are the means of spreading the con tagion further and further, and sad experience teaches that thousands upon thousands of young, innocent women become infected by their husbands.

In women the disease runs a very slow course, is difficult to recognise in its early stages, and shows a tendency to attack the internal female sexual organs, and their neighbouring parts. These inflammatory abdominal conditions may cause serious impairment of the general health, and influence the power of conception. Furthermore, in most cases gonorrhoea in women must be regarded as incurable, or removable only by energetic, dangerous operations (castration) which often cause sterility. All these results make it to be earnestly hoped that finally the public in general will learn to appreciate more fully the dangers arising from gonorrhcea, not only for the individual, but for the public at large as well ; and that instead of regarding the victims as targets for cheap wit, they will be considered as subjects greatly in need of medical attendance. As in syphilis, individual and general modes of prevention must be directed toward a reduction in the number of infected persons—a result which can be achieved only when the prevalent ideas of sexual conditions have become thoroughly changed. Such a change can only take place if the prudery and false morality of the day is overcome, and makes way for the fundamental principles of true humanity.

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