Chapter I.-Toxemia, the Efficient (First) Cause of All Disease
Chapter II.-Causes of Constipation
Chapter IV.-Constipation as Found in Various Derangements
Chapter V.-A Few Personalities
CAUSES OF CONSTIPATION
IT should be generally understood that there are severaltypes of constipation coming under the head of lost functioning of the bowels. Oneis where there is a movement daily, leaving a full colon, the movement being fromthe rectum; a type where there can be no movement without forcing measures; and atype marked by periodic attacks of diarrhea. Catarrh is found in all types, and mucuscan be found in the stools. Constipation is always accompanied by proctitis or colitis,if indeed it is not the exciting cause. In all long-standing cases there is a gastro-intestinalcatarrh, and this should be looked upon as the genesis of most of man's discomforts.
The organic derangements that must develop sooner or lateras sequels of constipation are chronic kidney, heart and lung diseases, also goutand arteriosclerosis.
When constipation is developed, adding toxemia to toxemia,the victim is in line for any disease his heredity, occupation and environment favor.
Constipation, like all other so-called diseases, is an affection--asymptom--not a disease; hence, whatever the cause of perverted health--pervertedsecretions and excretions--it must be sought out and removed. Where enervation andtoxemia are established, there is always a lowering of all organic functioning. Constipationmeans lowered bowel functioning--lack of secretions and excretionsand to restorelost tone to the bowels, the nervous system must be brought back to the normal. Tocure constipation then means to restore the nervous system and blood to the normal,and that means correcting or removing any influence that uses up nerve energy, loweringthe health standard. How is one to know when energy is being used beyond normal supply?The blanket term discomfort may be used. Health means comfort. By a flaggingof organic functioning--by pain and various discomforts: sluggish bowels--symptomsof indigestion-gas distention--malnutrition--headache--short breath-palpitation -tiredfeeling--bad taste in mouth--bad breath--coated tongue--under weight-over weight--anunpoised state of the emotions--mental dullness and inefficiency, etc. Suppose thereare no symptoms such as these named, yet common sense and observation declare habitsare like those of people who are suffering. Then one must be governed by reason.It is rational to believe that bad habits will in time break the strongest constitution;then the prudent will not wait until compelled to reform, for it may be too late.
In constipation there is always more or less gastro-intestinaldecomposition with the developing of toxins which are absorbed. The blood is chargedwith these toxins, which in time lower the functional activity of all the organsof the body. Enervation (lost nerve power) is developing all the time, and when broughtbelow the point of organic resistance or below the point where an inherited or acquiredtendency to take on disease can not be resisted longer, then disease will develop.Or it may be that enervating habits will be indulged to such an extent that organicresistance is brought so low that general enervation does not need to drop so verylow to allow a diathetic organ to develop the disease for which it is inclined. Forexample: Cancer of the stomach or breast will develop in those predisposed to thedisease before there is very great constitutional enervation. Those predisposed totuberculosis will develop the disease before constitutional enervation has been developedvery far.
Enervation is a veritable Proteus, for its causes are multitudinous.They are worry, fear, envy, jealousy, anger, grouchiness. There is a lack of success;also misanthropy and even dishonesty. Excess of work or pleasure may lead to enervation.A consuming passion leads to excess of venery and more enervation. Overeating, imprudenteating, the use of alcohol or other drugs, tobacco, coffee, tea, sugar, starch, wrongcombinations of food, excessive use of water, over- or under-use of clothing, sittingtoo much and lack of exercise, all tend to enervation; everything that uses energylowers energy. All must be corrected before a cure can be made. Whatever the errorsof life, they must be corrected. Anything that causes the bowels to move--be it drugs,laxative waters, laxative foods, oils, agar-agar, drinking great quantities of water,or using enemas large or small--is a palliative and in no sense curative. Whateverthe influence that uses up nerve energy must be corrected, for it is curative; allelse is palliative.
It is true that dancing attendance on the bowels daily withone or more of these palliatives will prevent building a fatal toxemia from constipation,and the strictest vigilance in securing an action daily will prolong life, but itcan not be said that the use of such remedies will in time cure the constipation,for indeed such treatment confirms constipation and leads to nowhere except to strongerand stronger dosing and premature old age and early death.
To use anything--any one remedy or any hundred remedies--isequivalent to adding to cause, and that shows a fallacious understanding of whatconstipation is. No cure can come from a treatment based on a false conception ofcause.
Constipation may be said to be one prominent symptom in asyndrome (defined as the aggregate symptoms of any so-called disease, from the inititivecause to full organic development) which starts with enervation, toxemia, indigestion,catarrh of the stomach, and develops catarrhal inflammation of the throat, larynx,bronchi, lungs, nasal passages, from the stomach to the duodenum, gall-duct and bladder,pancreas, small intestine, colon, appendix, rectum. Some of the symptoms accompanyingconstipation are: indigestion, gas distention, headaches, heart palpitation, chilliness,cold hands and feet, dizziness, fermentation of starches, decomposition of proteids,acidosis, proctitis, colitis and others; all of them natural crises of toxemia, withconstipation often the most pronounced symptom, and one of toxemia's most pronouncedallies. No organic disease can exist alone, for its initiative cause or causes aregeneral, and the union of organism must stand united, for divided it falls. A housedivided against itself must fall. Enervation--lowered nerve energy--is the generalfirst cause, but the causes of that cause are protean. It is as impossible to finda single cause as it is to find a single effect or a single remedy. The cause ofall the ills (crises named above) is toxemia, but the causes of that cause may beenumerated as follows: Any influence of a mental or physical character that usesup nerve energy faster than it is generated. Under this head may be listed work orplay to excess; love or hate; joy or sorrow; overwork or underwork of all the emotions;excessive eating; imprudent eating, eating wrong combinations causing indigestion,fermentation, decomposition; all ending in the establishing of Toxemia--the first,continuous and last cause of all so-called diseases.
All these causes and effects it is possible to find in anysubject, but not necessarily pronounced, for there are very few people who have notan inherited diathesis, as the tuberculous or gouty, or organic--confined to an organ--oran acquired diathesis, that accounts for a general breakdown or causes a giving downof the defective organ in advance of other organs. For example: Some are more inclinedto develop nasal catarrh; others, liver derangements; others, colitis; others, constipation,etc.
There is one cause of constipation that is of my own discovery,so far as I know, and it is more far-reaching than thinkers on these lines will bewilling to admit for years to come, namely, excessive water drinking.
It should be obvious to the discerning that if constipationis a prominent link in the chain of affections above enumerated, it would be foolishto undertake to isolate that particular symptom and give it special treatment. Theidea of finding a specific remedy for constipation is as absurd as it would be toundertake to discover a single remedy for catarrh, typhoid fever, malaria, syphilis,or a single remedy for toxin poisoning. Constipation should be looked upon as a leadingsymptom of a constitutional derangement for which the blanket term chronic toxinpoisoning is quite fitting. And when the disease is cured, it will have to becured by righting the errors of life, so as to bring the general health back to thenormal. This we shall endeavor to describe in the following.
Peristalsis means rolling. It is a vermicular motion or movementof the bowels--a contraction of the transverse or circular muscular fiber of themuscular coat of the intestine. When the contraction takes place, the movement startsat the head of a section of intestine with a circular contraction--perhaps constrictionwould be a better term. No sooner does the constriction begin than starts a wave-likemovement to descend rapidly, passing to the end of that particular section of thebowel. If it starts at the head of the small intestine, the wave-like constrictionends at the ileo-cecal valve (a valve that guards the passage between the ileum andcecum). This constriction may be likened in effect to stripping a rubber tube withthe thumb and finger; whatever the content of the tube, it is forced ahead of thestripping and the tube dilates behind the fingers as they pass. The peristaltic movementproduces the same effect; it forces the contents of the intestine onward.
Peristalsis is under the control of the nervous system, hencethose who are enervated from any cause must give up a part of their bowelefficiency. It is only a step farther to see that a short supply of nerve energymust check secretions and excretions, thereby causing Toxemia. Constipationis one of the commonest crises. Heavy eaters--those of the vital, sanguine, lymphatictemperament--have bowel movements daily, yet they may be enervated and toxemic.
Constipation is the opposite of diarrhea. In constipationthere is a lack of normal secretion into the bowels; in diarrhea there is an undueamount of fluid thrown into the bowels from irritation, but not necessarily an abnormalamount of the normal secretions into the bowels; in truth, a deficient secretionis the rule. There is always a deficient secretion and excretion in all irritatedorgans.
In excessive eating the digestive system calls upon the organismfor an extra supply of solvents. This demand is interpreted as thirst, and wateris taken, but drinking does not relieve; the water goes out by the kidneys, or adiarrhea may be developed, carrying enzymes that are needed and would be used todigest the oversupply of food if drinking had not been indulged in. Indigestion alwaysfollows a too hearty meal when the thirst that must follow is indulged. From thebabe at the breast to the tottering grandsire there is an unnatural thirst, the penaltyfor overeating, and if it is indulged, indigestion must follow, with an ever-increasingflow of urine and an ever-decreasing bowel secretion, which must end in obstinateconstipation.
Restitution for overindulgence can not be made except inone way, namely: suffer the pangs of thirst until enough fluid is taken from thegeneral circulation to supply the demand for fluid. When fluid is taken, the forthcomingenzymic supply is turned back and excreted by the kidneys, leaving an uncontendedfield for bacteria.
Two important elements are necessary, and they are fluidand solvents--enzymes. Water will not do, and if taken it does not quench thirst,but passes out of the system through the kidneys, leaving the bowels dry. When thisimprudence is continued, polyuria, albuminuria and obstinate constipation are sureto follow.
Water drinking after eating--after leaving the table--isdisease-producing. I mean drinking anything, any of the table beverages. In this,as well as eating and other habits, there will be people who break all laws withapparent impunity, but they are the exception and they will pay in full in time.
In eating, the food should be so balanced as to supply nature'sdemands for fluid without drinking water or other table beverages. The water in thefresh fruits, vegetable salads and milk will supply all fluids needed if eaten inproper amounts. Dry food, such as meat, bread, potatoes, pies, puddings, and cakes,causes thirst. It is a safe statement to make that all meals making a demand forwater or fluid within one or two hours after eating are not properly balanced, oran excess has been eaten.
Drinking after meals checks digestion, invites fermentation,causing stomach acidity. The foods that create thirst are the potentially acid--bread,meat, etc.; and the thirst is a demand for the alkaline fluid of the blood whichis potentized with enzymes or digestive ferments. Few people there are who do notfly impulsively and instanter for a drink when conscious of thirst. There are a fewwho have learned that if they do not drink after eating, they feel better--more comfortable--andthat they do not have to suffer thirst very long until the desire is gone and thenthere is no more thirst. The fact that the desire to drink, or the feeling of thirst,passes away without being gratified should cause the most skeptical to see the plausibilityof an argument against drinking. Where the thirst is gratified, one drink usuallycalls for another and another, until the victim is waterlogged and uncomfortable,and perhaps will pay for this dissipation with "biliousness," sluggishto constipated bowels, bad taste in the mouth, headache, and too free flow of urineof light specific gravity. While the kidneys carry off water, they do not carry offenough of the solids peculiar to normal urine. These solids are left in the systemto cause toxemia. Even water drinking may cause toxemia!
My observation in this line can be verified by anyone whodesires to find the simplest, most common, and the most potent factor in the buildingof constipation.
The physician may start his observations with the constipationof the infant. Feed half as much as the child is taking or have it nurse half asoften. Keep the child quiet; do not allow it to be handled; keep it lying on-eitherside or abdomen, not on its back; allow it to sleep; do not allow nurse nor anyoneelse to disturb it, even if it does not get more than one meal in twenty-four hours.After observing the babe, then watch the influence of no drinking after eating ongrown people; do not allow them to drink even if the thirst is driving.
There are people who will not deny themselves the gratificationof a single impulse. Nothing can be done for them outside of doctoring them. I sendthem to the regular profession where they can be physicked, X- rayed and operatedupon. Of course, they are not benefited, but their compensation is that they havenot been cheated out of anything good to eat and drink, they have the satisfactionof knowing that they have all that is coming to them.
3--Lack of Coarse Food
There is much waste of paper and printers' ink in enumeratingmany causes of constipation which are in fact only effects; a deficiency of bulkyfood is thought to be primary and one of the first causes of constipation, hencecoarse food, food containing much cellulose, is thought to be, not only a preventive,but a cure for constipation.
This theory was thoroughly tested in my practice forty yearsago, and the conclusions reached were unfavorable and were abandoned so far as lookingupon the plan as curative was concerned. Indeed, cellulose was placed with drugsas a palliative and like drugs was not an unmixed good. It was tried when at a lossfor anything better; since going out of the drug practice it has been abandoned entirely.
4--Carelessness in Responding to Nature's Call
Another very common cause of constipation is neglectin answering nature's calls. After this, enervation from the infection of absorbedexcretion makes possible catarrhal inflammation of gastro-intestinal mucous membranes.The writer has often observed that reflex irritation from constipation often causessymptoms denominated cold, catarrh, "flu," etc.; infection having no partin the symptom complex, infection taking place only in cases where there is ulceration.
Postponing a desire to stool tends to blunt sensation andeducates a toleration for rectal accumulation. It is no uncommon thing to find obstinateconstipation in people who have very large, pouchy rectums, which have become enlargedand sensationless from being allowed to pack with waste matter; and proctitis (catarrhalinflammation) follows with piles and prolapsus. The prolapsus is produced by bearingdown at stool. It is unwise where there is prolapsus of the rectum to spend a longtime at stool. When there is a desire to evacuate, immediate attention should begiven, and all effort at bearing down should cease as soon as the evacuation takesplace and relief is had. A slight feeling or desire for bearing down should not beindulged, for it will work havoc in time by increasing the irritation and causingmore constipation and more discomfort, and finally prolapsus of the rectum.
DAILY MOVEMENTS NECESSARY
When normal health obtains there will be a movement daily;but there is too much concern by doctors and patients when the bowels do not move;perhaps not too much under their regimen, for they must eat to keep up the strength,and the bowels must move daily or a calamity will overtake them. On this point theprofession has spent enough energy to build a system of rational medicine, but thesame lack of common sense is used today in treating constipation that has been usedfor centuries.
What can happen when the bowels won't move and eating issuspended until they do move? Nothing except that the patient grows lighter and alittle weaker.
The fear of starving to death is idiotic. Feeding and physickinghas built much acute and chronic disease; has complicated diseases, and has beenthe cause of so many deaths that if laymen knew how many, they would shun druggingas they would shun a pestilence.
If eating stops when constipation begins, and no food istaken until the bowels move, what will happen? Thousands of unnecessary operationswill be avoided; thousands of unnecessary sicknesses will be avoided; thousands ofpeople would have their lives prolonged; thousands of doctors would be sent to arespectable job. Penitentiaries, jails, hospitals, poorhouses, insane asylums, sanitariumswould have fewer inmates and the world would be more prosperous; intelligence wouldbecome more popular; and high-browed intellect would take on a little common-sense.Why not all this change? The intellect is constipated when the bowels are. The usualtreatment shows a chronic type of intellectual constipation of years' standing.
When the bowels fail to move, don't think in the languageof pills, laxatives and enemas, but miss a meal or meals; when they move, eat, buteat more rationally. (Read the "Pocket Dietitian.")
MAN IS NOT A MACHINE
The prevailing idea concerning the bowels is that they acton the order of a sausage mill. Quantity, coarseness, bulkiness is thought necessary;hence food like bran, coarse bread and vegetables and fruit carrying much celluloseare recommended to give bulk and stimulate or irritate the bowels to move. This mechanicalidea belongs to the machine shops, but man is not a machine. Constipation is dueto enervation checking secretions and excretions. Laxatives, physic, foods that irritate,bran, etc., dried, sweet fruits that cause fermentation, all will make the bowelsmove more or less, but at a price, namely, continuous need of them, and not one butthat really adds to the derangement by overtaxing the digestive organs and addingto the enervation which is the main cause of the disease.
One experiment that may be tried out by anyone curious enoughto undertake it and which will bear out the contention that bulky, coarse foods arenot needed--that full eating is not the cause of the bowels moving: Take any ordinarycase of sluggish or constipated bowels in those who are on full diet, and cut theeating down one-half; whether the case is a man in apparent good health or a babyat the breast, within a week or earlier the bowels will be moving daily; provingthat it is not more food but less food that is needed. Feeding less relieves overtaxednerves and restores energy and function.
DRY MOUTH AND ITS MEANING
When the mouth is dry a fast is in order, and anything thatforces the bowels to move is wrong in theory and injurious in practice. To eat undersuch circumstances is to outrage the requirements of nature, invite bacterial fermentation(multiplication), and place the intestinal tract in a septic state favoring typhoidfever; puerperal septicemia in the parturient woman; septic exanthemata in children;hemorrhagic and black types of smallpox in epidemics of that disease. Influenza andpneumonia are made very fatal by physic and feeding when secretions and excretionsare suspended.
Grouchiness, fear, impatience, anger, apprehension, dissatisfaction,fault-finding, a disposition to be critical, cause a drying of secretions--dry mouth--andwill prevent improvement.
More food is often eaten than can be digested, and it mustdecompose. As a result of this decomposition, the gastro-intestinal tract is overstimulatedfrom gas distention, fecal accumulation and the toxin poisoning. The irritation andtoxin absorption bring on systemic enervation and catarrhal inflammation of the mucousmembrane. The catarrhal secretions coat the mucous membrane and mechanically interferewith perfect digestion by coating the food and excluding the digestive ferments.The stomach derangements resulting are many.
Fermentation causes gas to form, and the distention fromgas is a mechanical cause of constipation. The distention causes pain, because theinflamed and ulcerated mucous membrane is put on the stretch. The distention andpain tend to fix the parts; for the muscles are put on guard to keep the inflamedand sensitive parts quiet. This, of course, means inactivity--constipation. The tensionand fixation of muscles bring on a painful state of the muscles that I have namedon-guard pain, which causes much suffering, interferes with the circulation of blood,and produces obstinate constipation. This state should be suspected by the observantphysician when the patient can not be induced to relax--when the muscles remain tauteven when the legs are flexed upon the abdomen, and one part is about as sensitiveas another.
Shame to our commercialized surgical profession, many ofthese cases are operated upon for the removal of various organs in the pelvis andabdomen, when two or three weeks in bed and proper dieting will do away with everysymptom.
When intestinal putrefaction is an established habit, toxinpoisoning keeps the abdominal and pelvic viscera in a sensitive state. It is thissensitiveness of the bowels that drives many to innumerable operations. A gas- distended,catarrhal bowel--a colitis with constipation and gas distention--is a constant sourceof discomfort and the excuse for surgical exploitations galore.
The appendix is usually the first victim; an ovary or bothovaries, or the reproductive organs, are removed next; then the gall-bladder is drained;then the gall-bladder is removed. Possibly the stomach will be anastomosed to somepart of the intestine, the colon short-circuited, before the surgeon will suddenlydiscover that the patient should live in a higher or lower altitude, or make somegeographical change in his habitation.
The catarrhal inflammation will extend through lymphaticcontinuity; these glands are worked overtime in keeping the blood from being overwhelmedwith toxins. The sensitive state favors the fixation and its consequences describedabove. The on-guard state is necessary because any movement is uncomfortable--eventhe moving of gas. The peristaltic motion necessary to pass the intestinal contentson to the outlet is painful. The consequence is that stasis--which means a standingstill--is cultivated. Because of this stasis and gas distention, debris accumulatesand causes ptosis (dragging down). The affections appearing as a consequence aredilation of the stomach, with retarded digestion, irritation, inflammation, ulceration,cancer; duodenitis with ulceration--perforating ulcer of the duodenum--gall-bladderdiseases, pancreatic diseases, diseases of the cecum, colon, and rectum, diseasesof the pelvic organs and bladder. These are a few of the affections of the alimentarytract and auxiliary organs caused by constipation, and are amenable to a plan oftreatment that will cure the inactive bowels.
To be able to correct a disease, it is necessary to knowits causes. Attention has been worked overtime in finding remedies which cause thebowels to move. It is an error to apply the name "remedy" to the thousand-and-oneinventions and contrivances made to force the bowels to move. All so-called remediesare causes of constipation.
We have seen that overeating leads to decomposition, thatdecomposition (putrefaction) evolves toxins, and that toxins poison more or lessthe entire organism. Certainly one of the most important things to do in overcomingconstipation is to stop overeating and improper eating. Unless this is done, allarrangements, devices, drugs, waters, enemas, peculiar foods, etc., must continueto fail as they have done in the past.
6--A Lack of Poise
Many people carry themselves in a rigid state of mind andbody, evidenced by a corrugated (pinched) brow, caused perhaps by ill temper or erroneousideas concerning life, such as believing the world owes them a living; or that luckis against them; or that they are not understood, or not appreciated; or all theiremotions may be overworked; an ingrowing grouch; a fear of losing the respect offriends if a certain specter should happen to slip out of the closet in which ithas been locked for years; in fact, a falling short of hopes and expectations inany and all lines may cause a state of nerve irritation that will tense body andmind and ruin life by developing all sorts of derangements, even constipation. Sleeplessnessis a common symptom. These people cannot relax, and they are hard to teach, but whentaught, their pains and aches disappear along with constipation. Nerve tension causesa sudden start or jump when about to go to sleep. This symptom is very distressingwith a few people. Those who eat toast or rolls and drink coffee or tea come to grief.Many develop a neurosis from the habitual use of coffee or tea and bread; there isgradually developed irritation of the stomach, evidenced by sensitiveness to slightpressure over the pit of the stomach. This sensitiveness, or coffee neurosis, spreadsuntil the inter-abdomen is painful to slight pressure; the bowels become constipatedand distended with gas, and in time the patient will not be free from pain or discomfortat any time. These are the cases that are subjected to all kinds of operations, noneof which give relief and certainly not any cure.
Many users of tobacco suffer as the coffee, tea and toastusers suffer. Those who have inherited hundred per cent bowel efficiency will notdevelop constipation, but some other of the organs will give down.
When a neurosis and constipation develop from the use ofstimulants--coffee, tea and toast must be classed as stimulants--neither the neurosis(nervousness) nor the constipation can be cured until coffee or tea and toast breakfastsare given up entirely, also tobacco and alcoholics.
For the first three mornings after giving up toast, coffeeor tea, the patient should go without breakfast. Lunch should be toasted whole-wheatbread eaten dry with butter, and follow with a pint or quart of teakettle tea.* (*SeeAppendix.) Dinners: meat one day and starch on alternate days, with two succulentvegetables and a combination salad--lettuce or cabbage, tomato or apple, and celery;or a fruit salad: apple, orange and celery. Dress either with salt, oil and lemonjuice. Beginning the fourth morning: a pint or quart of teakettle tea. The othermeals are not to be changed. Every evening following every day that the bowels donot move, a small enema of warm water--one-half or a pint--is to be placed in therectum and allowed to remain from ten to fifteen minutes; then try to have a movement.Tensing exercise is to be practiced daily; where bodily strength will permit, fortyminutes are to be spent at this exercise every morning before getting out of bed;and when possible fifteen to twenty minutes four or five times during the day.
Where these instructions are faithfully carried out healthshould be restored.
"Your Constipated Friend."
A long time ago the writer had a patient and friend who endedhis letter with: "Sincerely your constipated friend," or "I am faithfullyand loyally your sincere and constipated friend." He did not intend to be facetious;on the contrary, he was complaisant, very much in earnest, but resigned. He had beenconstipated for years, appeared to be willing to be cured; in fact, gave the impressionof having a sincere desire to find a cure; yet would not be disappointed if he didnot; and when all was said that could be said, the impression would somehow forceitself on the auditor's mind that if the gentleman should accidentally or otherwisefall heir to a permanent cure, the source of a great and abiding satisfaction wouldbe cut off forever, leaving him rather more desolate than happy.
This gentleman is a solitary exception to the rule that allconstipated people are pessimists; he certainly was not; his optimism was refreshing,he talked of his constipation much as one would of a friend who had wonderful qualities,barring an irremediable defect. His was a case of optimistic constipation, and couldhave been corrected in a reasonable time if he had not been so perfectly contentedin his discontent.
The opposite type, or the pessimistic constipated, knowshe will never get well, for that is "just his luck." Knowing that he willnever get well, he breaks rules, in fact never follows instructions. His mental attitudeis knotty and gnarled, and why not his physical?
Both of these types can be cured, but they should stay inthe Tilden Health School until disciplined out of their conceits.
The Million Dollar Prescription should bring their bowelsaround all right, but they need their minds corrected if they would stay well.
7--Lack of Exercise a Cause of Constipation
Activity is life, inactivity death. The eternal fiat is sentout at the beginning of every individual: to thee, life is given, and the price,if it is to be continued, is activity. As soon as inactivity is indulged, deteriorationbegins, and, if continued too long, disintegration and disorganization, ending indeath.
Activity is a stimulant; general exercise within reason stimulatesall the functions of the body; secretions and excretions will keep quite normal inmost people who lead active lives; this, too, in spite of rather an indiscreet lifeotherwise.
Not infrequently when the writer is checking some one upfor his bad habits, the victim of the bad habits will triumphantly point to someone eighty, ninety or a hundred years old who has practiced the same bad habits allhis life without apparent evil resulting. On investigating, it will be found thatthe prodigy of bad habits is a very moderate man; that he is like an old friend ofthe writer who once boasted in a twitting manner with a twinkle in his eyes: "Doctor,it seems to me that my life is a refutation of your theories; I have indulged a littlein about all the vices all my life, and have had no sickness!" My answer tohim was: "You are fortunately married to a remarkable woman--an angel withoutwings. You are very active; you take great pleasure in your work, and you have asan avocation your garden, in which you take great pleasure in excelling; and lookat your accumulation of curios; not a junk-shop filled with bad air and morbid relics--ghostlyreminders of a dead past when knight-errantry was in blossom! You are alive and keepingin touch with the now; and have wholesome visions of what evolution has in storefor the coming generations of wide-awake, live people. You leave the deadpast to bury the past. Your vices you do not worship and allow them to usurp yourtime and attention. Your habits do not run you. A wholesome optimism pervades yourbeing. Mentally and physically you are wholesomely blended--no warring elements findhostelry in you."
Habits are bad when they monopolize the man, hypnotize themind and remove ambition. Man must have an object in life. To chase the dollar forthe sake of the dollar is a bad habit and in time checks elimination, brings on toxemia,and the victim dies prematurely or suicides. Dollar-chasing for the sake of the dollaris enervating and disease-building.
Some men have an ambition to secure a competency and retire.Retiring brings inactivity, constipation and early death. It is not only necessaryto be active in body, but the mind must be active--active in character-building,not character-destroying. "I must be about my father's business." It isnot enough to tend the sheep, or work at some occupation that gives too much timedrowsing. Life demands activity of mind and body; and where inactivity abounds, sluggishnessof mind and body must develop. The constipation resulting may be fought with palliatives,enemas, physic, bran mashes, laxative foods, etc., but a cure can not be broughtabout until an object is found to live for that requires mind and body attention.
Inactivity with sensuality--self-indulgence in overeatingor any other stimulating habits--must enervate and lock the secretions and excretions;then toxemia, the cause of all diseases, is developed. Constipation and other old-agediseases follow, including cancer.
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