DISEASES OF THE GLANDS AND GLANDUALR SYSTEM
Compiled and edited by Ivor Hughes.
DISEASES OF THE GLANDS AND GLANDULAR SYSTEM
In addition to the vital organs, such as the heart, the liver, the kidneys, etc., the body contains a large number of glands, or systems of glands, which carry on special functions of their own, that are of extreme importance to the health of the organism as a whole. For instance, the lymphatic glands and lymphatic vessels, with the spleen at their head, carry out the vital work of " detoxifying " (i.e. removing toxins from) the blood and tissues ; the salivary glands manufacture the saliva used in the mastication of food ; the sweat glands help to throw off bodily waste matter in the form of sweat, etc., etc. (It is worthy of note that our medical scientists misunderstand completely the work and value of the lymphatic glands, and remove them on the slightest provocation. The craze for the removal of tonsils, which are lymphatic glands, is a marked example of this.)
It is obvious, therefore, that disease in one or more of these glands or systems of glands may have the most marked effects upon the health of the individual, and indeed, in some cases, the ill-effects consequent upon their faulty functioning is as great as, if not greater than that caused by disease in the seemingly more important vital organs themselves.
In addition to the lymphatic glands, the sweat glands, etc., there are also the now-famous " ductless glands," of which the thyroid is the best known. These glands, although quite small in size, play a most important part in the working of the organism, and defective functioning of one of them is quite sufficient to throw the individual sufferer into the most profound state of mental and physical ill-health. Medical Science, in realising the importance to health of the ductless glands, has over-reached itself, as usual, in attempting to devise a system of therapy known as " Gland Therapy " (or Organo-therapy), which purports to cure disease by means of sera made from the ductless glands of animals. " Gland Therapy," however, is proving just as ineffective as a panacea for human ills as any of the other fetishes of Medical Science, and is already falling into disrepute, its place being taken by still newer forms of present-day medical witchcraft.
" Thyroid extract," however, and thyroid tablets of various kinds are still very much to the fore in present-day medical usage, both as a " cure " for certain forms of thyroid disease and also as a " weight-reducer " (thyroid secretion having a very pronounced effect upon the metabolism of food). Needless to say, the use of extracts such as these for the purposes mentioned are much to be deprecated, where the best interests of the individual's future health are concerned. Thyroid troublescannot be cured simply by introducing into the system of the patient thyroid secretion extracted from the glands of animals ; it is only systemic and constitutional treatment along approved natural lines that can accomplish this.
Similarly, the tendency to corpulence of over-fed people cannot be checked in a satisfactory manner by telling them to go on eating in just the same way as before, but to take thyroid tablets two or three times a day. Such methods are in the highest degree pernicious. Not only do they pander to the self-indulgence of the patient, but the effect of tablets such as these upon the general health of the individual is very harmful indeed, as many a patient has found out to his cost. The heart especially is affected by thyroid tablets, yet the medical profession goes on prescribing them to its patients as an antidote to obesity, simply because it is an " easy " form of slimming, much to be preferred by slack-minded people to the more arduous task of proper dieting.
As with all other disease, disease of a gland or system of glands is only the outcome of errors of living on the part of the individual concerned, especially dietetic errors; but the more serious forms of gland trouble may owe a great deal of their origin to suppressive medical treatment of former disease, whether by knife or drug, or both. The only real cure for such conditions lies not in further drugging or operations or in inoculation with gland extracts taken from the bodies of animals, but in the adoption of systemic cleansing and general health-restoring measures, of which fasting and dieting are the two foremost. Such treatment, properly administered, has succeeded in curing gland diseases of all kinds and of all degrees, many of the cases having been given up previously as " incurable " by the orthodox medical world.
Addison's Disease.� This is a disease of the suprarenal capsules, two small glands situated one upon each kidney. They are ductless glands, and as such are of extreme importance to the health of the individual, manufacturing a secretion known as adrenalin, which, when passed into the blood, has a great deal to do with the effective carrying on of all the multifarious activities of the body, such as breathing, digestion, excretion, etc. When these glands are diseased, all these various functions are affected to a greater or lesser degree, and the patient becomes very weak indeed. The skin also takes on a brownish or bronzed cast. Unless checked in time, the disease terminates fatally.
Treatment. � The sufferer from Addison's disease can point to a past history of ill-health of many years' duration ; and previous suppressive medical treatment by drug and knife, coupled with unhygienic and unwholesome habits of living, are the root cause of the trouble. The only rational treatment lies in the adoption, at an early stage of a very strict Natural-Cure regime at a Natural-Cure institution or else under the guidance of a Naturopath. Fasting, ray therapy, manipulation, etc., will all be required in these cases.
Bubonic Plague. � This is hardly the book in which to suggest treatment for the dreaded bubonic plague of the East, but I cannot resist a few words about the matter in this section on diseases of the glandular system. Bubonic plague is an affection of the lymphatic glands of the most virulent kind. We all know about the plague being caught from germs incubated in the intestines of bugs and fleas, and of millions dying in the East every 7 year from it; but that is hardly true, at least not from the Nature-Cure standpoint. The germ of bubonic plague may be bred in the intestines of fleas and bugs, but it is only those people whose lives are so unsanitary and unhealthy that their whole constitution is undermined who can develop the disease.
Not everybody will catch the plague if exposed to it, although very many will because of the chronically impaired state of health of the races living in " plague " areas, through extremes of temperature, wrong feeding, and unhealthy living generally. Once caught, however, the real cure for the plague lies not in injection or drug treatment; these having proved themselves worthless enough already, but in FASTING. If bubonic plague can be cured at all, it is only by fasting and the strictest adherence to other Natural-Cure methods of treatment for fevers, of which " the plague " is one, albeit the most virulent. The only way the plague can be wiped out is through preventive measures, in which sanitary living and wholesome feeding play the foremost part. Until these much-needed reforms take place in the over-crowded cities of the East, the plague will never be eradicated.
Diseases of the Salivary Glands.� The salivary glands are sometimes the seat of disease, the commonest being mumps. (See treatment for Mumps in the section on Children's Ailments.) There may also be stones or tumours present in these glands, in which case treatment should be in the hands of a Naturopath. The cause of the condition in all such cases is constitutional in character, although local irritation to the mouth, excessive eating of starchy foods, or the excessive chewing of sweets, etc., may be predisposing factors. Orthodox medical treatment of disease, by means of mercury and other mineral drugs, also sometimes affects the salivary glands.
Diseases of the Sweat Glands. � When the sweat glands, which are distributed all over the skin surface, become affected by disease, the skin may become either too moist or too dry. In either case the cause of the trouble is constitutional, and is generally connected with diseases of other organs or parts of the body. If no definite organic or other disease is present, however, a scheme of health-building treatment along the following lines should soon begin to normalise matters.
Begin with a few days on all-fruit followed by the full weekly diet given in the Appendix, with further short periods on all-fruit at monthly intervals as required. The dry friction and sponge, and breathing and other exercises given in the Appendix, should be gone through regularly each day, and Epsom-salts baths should be taken two or three times weekly.
If constipation is habitual, the rules for its eradication given should be put into operation forthwith. In any case, the warm-water enema should be used nightly for the first few days of the treatment. Exposure of the body to the sun and air (by sun-bathing) is very good indeed, as also is sea-bathing. Fresh air and outdoor exercise are essential. The minimum of underclothing should be worn, to enable the skin to have as much air as possible. " Aertex " underwear is very good, as also is " Lahmann " underwear. Strict attention to the future diet is essential. (Excessive sweating is often connected with kidney trouble.)
Enlarged Glands of the Neck. � The glands situated on both sides of the neck are part of the lymphatic system of glands, whose work is to " detoxify " the blood and tissues. When excessive quantities of white bread, white-flour products, sugar, denatured cereals, meat, boiled potatoes, etc., are habitually eaten, a large amount of excess toxic matter forms continually in the system, and these lymphatic glands become overworked as a consequence, in their efforts to get rid of this surplus waste material. It is for this reason that disease (or enlargement) of the tonsils and glands of the neck so frequently occur. (The tonsils are also part of the lymphatic system.)
Medical treatment usually consists in the removal of the glands, or other equally suppressive treatment; but this does not get rid of the root cause of the trouble, which is, in every case, a highly toxic bloodstream, and it also lowers the future tone of the system as a whole, by removing these essential guardians of the health of the head, throat, and body generally (which the lymphatic glands really are). It is only by building up the tone of the whole system, and adopting a rational and cleansing diet, that enlarged lymphatic glands, whether in the neck or elsewhere, can be reduced in a natural manner and their proper working efficiency restored.
Treatment. � A state of generally lowered vitality, as well as a condition of systemic toxicity due to overfeeding and wrong feeding, is always a definite factor in the appearance of enlargements of the glands of the neck; and treatment must be constitutional rather than local, if a cure is desired. The whole system must be treated, not just the neck. For the effective treatment for enlarged neck glands the reader is referred to that for enlarged tonsils given in the section on Diseases of the Ears, Nose, Throat, etc. The two treatments are identical.
Exophthalmic Goitre (Graves' Disease) � This is a disease of the thyroid gland, the best known of the " ductless " glands mentioned in the introduction to this section. In exophthalmic goitre there is protrusion of the eyeballs (hence its name), very rapid heart action, trembling of the muscles in various parts of the body, together with sensations of extreme heat and cold, the passing of excessive quantities of urine, etc. All this is due to faulty (or excessive) functioning of the thyroid gland, although the gland itself may not be enlarged as in simple goitre.
To understand the origin of diseases of the thyroid gland, such as exophthalmic goitre, one must first realise what part this gland plays in the functioning of the body as a whole. It seems that, in addition to contributing to the effective functioning of the heart and blood vessels generally, by its secretions (in which secretions organic iodine plays an important part), the thyroid gland has also a great deal to do with the metabolism of food in the system, and especially with the destruction of toxic matter generated in the intestines as a result of the putrefaction therein of animal protein material. (Animal protein foods are meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and milk.) It must be obvious, therefore, that when excessive quantities of these foods are habitually eaten and the intestinal tract is continually clogged with their waste residue owing to a constipated condition of the intestines, the thyroid gland will be greatly overworked.
Where this overworking is still further complicated by debilitating habits of living, coupled with excessive emotionalism, then the thyroid gland often becomes diseased. There seems to be as great a link between the thyroid gland and the mental-emotional nature of the individual as with the physical; and its function is often disturbed greatly by strong emotions, whether of fear, worry, or such-like, as well as strong sexual emotions.
The reader will be ready to see now that disease or malfunction of the
thyroid gland can only arise out of the abuse of the body generally, whether
through wrong feeding, over-emotionalism, wrong living generally, or all
three. What, then, can be done as a means of cure for diseases such as
exophthalmic goitre and goitre, by the surgical removal of the gland in
question, by X-ray treatment, or by dosing with iodine, etc. ?
The medical profession has discovered, by the rather unfortunate method of trial and error (unfortunate, that is, for the unlucky patients who have had the operation tried out on them), that the complete removal of the thyroid gland is a most harmful procedure indeed, consequently only part of the gland is removed nowadays. When will the medical fraternity learn that this also is harmful in the highest degree to the future health of the patient, leading as it does to serious emotional and mental disturbance, as well as to disturbance of function in vital organs of the body such as the heart, the kidneys, the liver, etc. ? (X-ray treatment likewise !) In any case, how can the removal of an organ be a cure for the disease of that organ ? One might as well cut off one's head to cure a headache !
The administration of thyroid extract can also never be regarded as curative treatment, in the real sense of the word. Such treatment is only palliative at best, and in many cases only complicates matters. And as for the administration of iodine as a means of curing thyroid troubles, nothing could be more hopeless than that ! The medical profession knows that organic iodine is secreted by the thyroid gland as part of its function (see remarks on Goitre with regard to the question of iodine deficiency), and so it proceeds to dose its thyroid victims suffering from iodine deficiency with inorganic iodine obtained from the laboratory, in the vain hope that such treatment will help to overcome the disease. Never was there greater nonsense. The writer himself has come across unfortunate thyroid sufferers who have been made to take so many drops of inorganic iodine daily, as a means of "curing their trouble," and one and all have found the most distressing symptoms arise as a result of the treatment. Indigestion and constipation invariably follow the taking of continuous doses of inorganic iodine, whilst the vital organs, such as the heart, the kidneys, and the liver, are affected to a marked degree. And this is called curative treatment ! Nothing could show more clearly the ignorance of the medical profession, when it comes to a real understanding of disease and how it should be treated, than the present-day medical treatment for thyroid-gland troubles.
Treatment � The only real and sane cure for thyroid troubles, whether exophthalmic goitre, simple goitre, or otherwise, lies in a thorough cleansing of the system, the adoption of a future rational system of diet, and quiet and rest. Only in this way can a faultily functioning thyroid gland be restored to health and full activity. Not by cutting it out can this be done ! With regard to exophthalmic goitre, treatment at a Natural-Cure home or under the personal supervision of a Naturopath is best; but if this is not possible, the patient should carry on as follows :
A short fast for three or four days, as directed in the Appendix, is the best way to start the treatment. If the patient can stay in bed during this time, it will be so much the better. In any case, as much complete rest as possible is desirable during the first part of the treatment. After the fast, the restricted diet also given in the Appendix should be carried on with for from seven to ten or fourteen days, and then the full weekly diet can be adopted. In some cases it will be advisable to repeat the fast and period on the restricted diet in, say, six weeks to two months after the completion of the first period, with perhaps a further fast and period of restricted dieting say three months after that. Each patient must decide for himself in this matter, according to the progress being made.
During the first week of the treatment the warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels, and afterwards if necessary. If constipation is stubborn and of long standing, then the rules for its eradication should be put into operation forthwith. The daily dry friction and sitz-bath or sponge are essential features of the treatment, and the breathing and other exercises given in the Appendix should be gone through regularly daily, as soon as the patient feels able to. The hot Epsom-salts bath should also be taken twice weekly for the first three months following the commencement of the treatment, and once weekly thereafter. (If a hot bath affects the heart at all, the bath should be taken not too hot, but just comfortably so.)
Cold packs to the throat will also be beneficial (see Appendix for details). The need for plenty of rest has already been emphasised, and a day in bed every week for the first two months of the treatment will be most helpful in the more serious cases, as well as the initial few days to begin the treatment. The less serious cases will obviously need less rest, but even so they should rest as much as they can at the commencement of the treatment and for the following few weeks. As they find their symptoms subsiding, so they can take more and more exercise.
The diet factor is of extreme importance, and the eating of high protein foods, such as meat, fish, etc., should be reduced to a minimum (or, better still, they should be cut out of the dietary altogether, and egg or cheese or nuts substituted) ; whilst white bread, white-flour products, sugar, boiled potatoes, stodgy puddings and pies, strong tea and coffee, alcoholic liquors and all condiments, etc., should be entirely given up.
Operative treatment should not be tolerated, neither should injection, X-ray, or other medical treatment be undergone. Although progress may be slow, natural methods, and natural methods alone, can effect a real cure. Once recovered, the patient must see to it that all habits and ways of living and thinking which undermine the normal health-level of the organism are given up in favour of a simple, rational scheme of living. Early hours, no excesses, etc. Manipulative treatment, where procurable, is strongly recommended.
Goitre. � All that has just been said about exophthalmic goitre should be read by the sufferer from goitre; because, although the symptoms and actual physical disturbances of function may not be quite the same, yet the fundamental underlying causes of both conditions are similar to a very great degree, as regards wrong feeding, wrong habits of living, tendency to excessive emotionalism, etc. In the case of goitre, there is enlargement of the gland, to cause quite a large swelling in the front of the neck, which gives the disease its peculiar characteristic. The swelling can be of great size in some cases ; in exophthalmic goitre there is often very little swelling at all.
It has already been pointed out in the remarks on Exophthalmic Goitre that the thyroid gland makes use of organic iodine in its secretion ; and a dietary deficient in organic iodine is a predisposing factor towards the appearance of goitre in certain cases, especially if other physical and emotional disturbances are present. The natives of regions far removed from the sea often suffer with goitre ; in many of these cases it is simply due to the continued absence of organic iodine from their habitual food. People living near the sea rarely contract goitre, because "all sea-food is rich in organic iodine. Let not the reader imagine, though, from this, that fish and other sea-food are essential to the dietary to avoid goitre, or that people who eat plenty of fish are necessarily immune from the disease ; on the contrary. Organic iodine is present in practically all foods which come from the earth as well as from the sea, and are eaten in their raw state ; such earth-foods being fruits, vegetables, and the whole-grain cereals such as wheat, rye, barley, etc. It is those who habitually live on denatured (that is, cooked and refined) foods who are liable to thyroid-gland trouble of some kind or other, other factors being present; not those who eat much of their food in the raw or uncooked state.
Treatment. � As regards the treatment for goitre, this is essentially the same as that for exophthalmic goitre, for, as already explained, their underlying causes are identical in many ways, although they may differ from person to person in one way or another. In fairly simple cases of goitre, though, the short fast and period on the restricted diet, which begin the treatment for exophthalmic goitre, can be substituted by a week on all-fruit instead. This, of course, should be followed by the full weekly diet given in the Appendix, with further short periods on all-fruit at monthly intervals as required (say two or three days). Otherwise the treatment should be just the same as for exophthalmic goitre (except that there is not quite so much need for prolonged rest as in some cases of the former disease) ; and all that has been said regarding operations, injections, treatment by X-ray, gland extract, or iodine, etc., should be taken seriously to heart. No cure lies that way, only further trouble.
Hodgkin's Disease.� This is an affection of the lymphatic glands, causing swelling of these glands all over the body, as well as possible enlargement of the liver, kidneys, and spleen. The disease is entirely the outcome of malnutrition and wrong living generally, the whole system being in a highly toxic state; and suppressive medical treatment of former childhood ailments plays a large part in its development, for the disease is most common amongst young adults.
Treatment. � Treatment for this disease should always be in the hands of a Naturopath where at all possible, as fasting and dietetic treatment are its only cure, together with other ameliorative natural methods, such as manipulation, eliminative baths, sun-ray treatment, etc.
Myxoedema. � This is a disease due to the withering or atrophy of the thyroid gland. The trouble may be influenced to a certain extent by heredity, especially where there is a family history of cancer, tuberculosis, asthma, or other serious disease, nervous or physical; but its real underlying causes are to be found in a lifetime of wrong feeding and general wrong living, coupled with previous suppressive medical treatment of many years' standing by drug or knife, or both. The disease usually appears in middle life, and its symptoms include such undesirable features as enlargement of the body, dryness and yellowing of the skin, thickening of the hands and feet, together with broadening of the head and face, flattening of the nose, enlargement of the mouth, etc.
Treatment. � This complaint can now be kept in check by the use of thyroxin (thyroid extract) given under medical supervision. If, however, any real progress is desired in the eradication of the basic causes of the disease, it is essential for general Nature-Cure treatment to be instituted at the same time, as well. The treatment outlined for exophthalmic goitre earlier in the present section may be adopted with benefit in this respect.
Diseases of the Prostate Gland.� This gland, which has much to do with the development of the male sex life, is often the cause of much trouble in middle and later life, as its inflammation and enlargement both interfere with the action of the bladder and urethra, and so cause imperfect and too-frequent urination. The most frequent symptom is the constant desire to pass water, especially at night. The amount of urine voided is usually scanty, and is passed with difficulty. There is also a feeling of great discomfort in the region of the rectum and between the legs, as when enlarged the prostate gland presses on the rectum and other parts adjoining.
The cause of prostate-gland trouble is usually too excessive use of the sex organs in earlier life, especially masturbation ; but a general toxic condition of the system plus local irritation due to excessive cycle riding, horseback riding, etc., can cause its appearance in certain cases, especially if constipation is habitual. Indeed, constipation is one of its most potent predisposing factors in a way. Worry, overwork, etc., all play a part in the development of prostate-gland trouble.
Treatment. � The medical treatment for prostate-gland disease is the removal of the gland. As this is a most dangerous operation, and on the face of it a most undesirable one, the sufferer from prostate-gland trouble should never consent to such an operation if it can possibly be avoided. In the first place, it does not get rid of the cause of the trouble, only the effects ; secondly, the removal of the gland is a serious handicap to future mental, emotional, and physical well-being. The only real cure for prostate trouble lies in natural methods of treatment. Even if the condition is past complete cure, then a great deal can often be done towards overcoming it by the adoption of sane natural methods of treatment, of which rational dietetics and hydro-therapy are the two chief combined with manipulative therapy.
If the sufferer from prostate-gland trouble cannot enter a Natural-Cure institution for treatment or place himself under the care of a competent Naturopath, he should carry on at home as follows :
The best way to begin the treatment is to go on to an exclusive fresh, fruit diet, as outlined in the Appendix, for from four to seven or ten days. Then the full weekly dietary should be begun and adhered to strictly thereafter. Further short periods on the all-fruit diet should be undertaken at monthly intervals from then on, say two or three days monthly. This will help matters considerably. The warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels for the first few days of the treatment, and later if necessary ; whilst if constipation is habitual (as it generally is in these cases), the rules for its eradication given should be put into operation forthwith.
The daily dry friction and sitz-bath, as given in the Appendix should be undertaken regularly, as also the breathing and other exercises given therein whilst the hot Epsom-salts bath will be found most beneficial if taken twice weekly. Fresh air and outdoor exercise should form an essential part of the treatment.As regards local treatment, the hot and cold sitz-bath (detailed in the Appendix) is most helpful indeed in cases of prostate trouble, and should be taken nightly (except on those nights an Epsom-salts bath is being taken) ; whilst hot and cold fomentations should be applied several times daily to the parts between the legs. (A piece of linen material is wrung out in hot water, and after folding small applied to the affected part for, say, three minutes ; it is then removed and replaced by a second and later a third application for the same length of time. After this, a cold application is put on. The applications should always be in the same order, viz., three hot, then one cold.)
Spinal manipulation is helpful in all cases of prostate trouble, and there is also a method of electrical and finger massage, applied through the rectum, which is of value. Regular habits of living, simple food, and the avoidance of alcoholic beverages are essential to success in the treatment. All highly flavoured dishes, condiments, pickles, sauces, etc., should be avoided, as also strong tea and coffee. The patient should drink as little fluid as possible during the day, and nothing after 6 p.m.
The Spleen and its Diseases.� The spleen, as the chief gland of the lymphatic system, is one of the most important organs in the whole body. Its chief work lies in the removal of waste matter from the blood and tissues, aided by the other glands which go to make up the lymphatic system, the lymph vessels, etc. When the body is in a very run-down and toxic state, the lymphatic system becomes overworked, and if, through persistent wrong treatment by means of drugs and operations, the toxaemia becomes very profound, then it is quite likely that the spleen will become affected. Splenic anaemia and other affections of the spleen all arise from this cause.
Enlargement of the spleen follows inevitably from the orthodox medical . treatment of fevers and other acute diseases, and there is hardly a worse-used organ in the whole body than this unfortunate gland, what with present-day methods of living and present-day orthodox methods of medication. That it carries on-to the best of its ability for as long as it can before giving in is a credit not to the individual concerned, or to his medical advisers, but to the innate powers of the body itself.
Treatment. � As regards treatment for diseases of the spleen, this should always be in the hands of a competent Naturopath, or, better still, in a Nature-Cure home. By rigorous fasting, dieting, and other natural methods, health can often be restored to the sufferer from even serious splenic disorders, providing always that the condition has not been allowed to develop too far or been interfered with too much by previous medical treatment. Cases are on record where the spleen as been completely removed by surgical operation as a " curative " measure ! Imagine what the effects will be upon the after-life of the luckless sufferer who has had such an operation performed upon him under the guise of " improving his health " ! Such are the methods, and such the colossal ignorance, of the men into whose hands the health of the nation is so trustingly and unhesitatingly placed !
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