DISEASES OF THE LIVER, GALL-BLADDER, KIDNEYS, BLADDER AND
Compiled and edited by Ivor Hughes.
Part 1 of 3
Abscess on the liver � Biliousness (" Bilious attack ") � Bright's disease � Cancer of the liver � Cirrhosis of the liver � Congestion of the kidneys � Cystitis Diabetes (Insipidus) � Diabetes (Mellitus) � Dropsy � Gall-stones � Haematuria � Inflammation of the bladder � Inflammation of the gall-bladder � Jaundice � Movable or displaced kidney � Nephritis (Acute) � Nephritis (Chronic) � Pyelitis � Sluggish, enlarged, and torpid liver � Stone in the kidney or bladder � Tubercular kidney.
The liver is one of the most important and vital organs of the body. Indeed, in many ways, it is the most important of all. Its functions are of supreme importance to the life of the organism both in health and disease, and indeed, if the medical profession but knew it, it is the liver which is called upon more often than not to deal with the drugs forced upon a somewhat defenceless organism under the guise of restoring the said organism to health through the medium of medical treatment. For the liver is the great barrier within the system to the inroads of foreign and deleterious substances which would seriously affect the working of the system as a whole if allowed undisputed entry ; and � all unknown to either the drug victim or his medical advisers � many a battle is fought out within the confines of the liver between the drugs of orthodox medication and this great defence mechanism of the body. But more of this anon ; let us proceed first with our general remarks concerning the liver.
Briefly stated, the general functions of the liver are :1 to produce bile ; 2 to store glycogen, or animal starch ; 3. to excrete waste products. Although of its three main duties each is of vital consequence to the organism as a whole, the secretion of bile is perhaps the most important of all the liver functions. Bile is both a secretion and an excretion ; it is a secretion concerned in the emulsification and assimilation of fats in digestion, and it aids, in some degree, the peristalsis of the bowels. Bile is also an excretion, inasmuch as it breaks down and disposes of blood pigments, together with a certain quantity of the waste of protein metabolism. With regard to its second function, the storage of glycogen, or animal starch, the liver is constantly involved in the assimilation of starches. After starches and sugars have been rendered fit for absorption by the digestive processes, they are taken via the bloodstream to the liver, and there a certain amount is converted into glycogen, to be stored up for the future needs of the body, only a very limited amount of sugar being allowed in the blood at any one time. When the body is in need of a new supply of sugar for its work, a certain quantity of the glycogen in the liver � which has been stored up � is reconverted into dextrose (sugar) and allowed to enter into the circulation, thence to be utilised by the tissues.
The liver has also a great deal to do with protein metabolism When protein foods are broken down in the system (digested) they are converted into what are known as amino-acids, and when too much protein food has been eaten, a large proportion of these amino-acids of protein digestion are carried to the liver, there to be broken down into urea � together with other nitrogenous wastes of the system � and finally eliminated through the kidneys in the urine This point is of vital importance to the understanding of the cause of a large percentage of liver disorders, and of kidney disorders too ; for the more meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and other protein foods are included in the daily dietary, the more excess protein will there be for the liver to break down into urea and get rid of via the kidneys, and the more will these two organs be adversely affected both in health and functional ability in consequence.
It will thus be seen that the liver is the chief organ concerned in preserving the balance of nutrition of the body, and it also acts as an important defence against poisons generated in the system either in the normal course of bodily functioning or in abnormal conditions of such functioning. Further, and as already mentioned, it is the great defender of the body against the inroads of medicinal drugs. It will thus be seen that if, for any reason, the liver fails to carry out its allotted tasks, the system as a whole will immediately suffer as a direct consequence in many and varied ways. It will be obvious from the foregoing that the liver is an organ which is subjected to a continual strain all the time because of the variety and importance of the functions it is called upon to perform in the vital economy of the system ; and it will be equally obvious, surely, that where there is constant overfeeding and other dietetic indiscretions, the liver will be made to bear the immediate brunt of such living, with consequent malfunctioning and subsequent disease.
But the relationship between diseases and disorders of the liver and wrong feeding are yet further intensified by the chronic constipation which usually accompanies such wrong feeding habits ; for where there is chronic constipation there are always large quantities of toxic material forming in the bowel, and as a means of safeguarding the health of the system these toxic materials are carried by the portal vein to the liver, to be dealt with as best that organ can, in its role of defender of the health of the organism. Thus where there is chronic constipation, the liver will be constantly swarming with bacteria and toxins which it will have to destroy or neutralise, in addition to its other functions.
Then again (and as already pointed out), in addition to its liability to disease from the sources just referred to, the liver is the great barrier to the entry of drugs into the system proper, and so drugs taken for the supposed " curing " of stomach or bowel or other disorders have more often than not to be dealt with by the liver and ultimately taken care of there, to the yet further detriment of the said organ. (In the drug treatment of fevers the liver is practically always affected and often permanently enlarged as a direct result of such treatment.) And finally, when the liver itself succumbs to all these factors acting against it, it is subjected to yet further drug treatment on its own behalf, in the belief that by so doing it can be brought back to normal functioning again ! No wonder liver disorders continue to grow in our overfed and drug-drenched world !
The drugs most frequently employed in the orthodox treatment of liver disorders are those which contain mercury � such as calomel � it having been observed by the medical profession that such drugs have a very strong effect indeed upon the liver, and it being assumed accordingly that such effect must of necessity be beneficial. But in reality this result upon the liver of calomel and other mercurial drugs is due to the fact that such drugs are instinctively recognised as being in the highest degree harmful to the health of the organism, and so the liver makes desperate efforts to deal with them and counteract their effect. The doctor believes that his mercurial drugs are forcing the liver to act naturally again, where it has been torpid or sluggish before ; but in truth the liver has simply been goaded into unnatural and forced activity in its efforts to deal with the drug. This explains the use of mercurial compounds in the medical treatment of liver disorders. The whole thing is based upon a complete misunderstanding as to what effect drugs have upon the system in general and upon the liver in particular. Instead of the liver being improved in function by such treatment, it is simply left all the more exhausted after its enforced activity in dealing with the drug.
The habitual drinking of alcoholic liquor also very adversely affects the working of the liver, because in its role as defender of the system the liver is called upon to deal as best it can with alcoholic poisons too ; and much liver trouble in later life can be directly traced to that one cause alone. Again, the constant use of condiments, sauces, seasonings, and spicings of all kinds tends to upset liver functioning too, quite apart from any of the other factors already mentioned, because the liver is ultimately called upon to deal with the end-products of such embellishments of the daily dietary, to its own cost.
So much, then, for our general survey of the liver, its functions, and the potential sources (and causes) of the diseases it suffers from. As the intelligent reader will have fully grasped by now, apart from general factors affecting the health of the organism as a whole, such as lack of exercise, nerve enervation due to excesses of all kinds, overwork, etc., liver disorders and diseases owe their origin to two main causative factors :1. to wrong feeding habits on the part of the individual concerned, especially over-feeding and over-indulgence in drink; 2. to the suppressive drug treatment of former disease of one kind or another. As to the method or methods by which such disorders and diseases of the liver can be overcome, the reader has only to turn to the treatments given in the present section, and to follow such treatments out carefully, for the path to health to be opened up to him, even though under orthodox medication his condition has been getting gradually worse for years. Drug usage for liver troubles never removes causes and inevitably tends to make the condition of the sufferer worse in time, by virtue of the drugs employed ; natural treatment for liver troubles actually removes causes, and so paves the way for that return to real health which can only follow in its wake.
If not quite as important as the liver, the kidneys are of the greatest significance in the maintenance of bodily health and well-being. They are the organs through which a great part of the refuse and waste matter piled up in the body during the course of bodily activity and functioning are removed, or eliminated; and any breakdown in their activity will have the direst consequences where the health and efficacy of the organism are concerned, as the sufferer from kidney trouble soon finds to his cost.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs situated in the back part of the abdominal cavity on either side of the spine. They lie partly above, and partly below, the waist-line. From the centre, or concave side, of each kidney a tube originates, which terminates in the bladder. The two tubes are termed ureters, and they serve to convey the urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
The interior of the kidneys consists of a complicated system of tiny tubules and other structures, which form a filter for the purification of the blood. Waste material of the system, such as urea, acids, salts, ptomaine�s, and so on, are removed from the blood by the kidneys and, in solution in water, are discharged as urine through the ureters, bladder, and urethra. When in a healthy state the kidneys purify the blood, excreting the urea, salts, and toxins only. The presence in the urine of such nutritive substances as sugar, albumen, and mineral elements shows an abnormal condition of the organs, and usually is a prelude to destructive changes within the kidneys themselves.
It has already been pointed out in dealing with the liver that excess protein is broken down by that organ into urea, and is thence passed on to the kidneys to be excreted in the urine. Thus the most potent cause for the setting up of kidney trouble is at once made manifest. A dietary in which meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and other high protein foods are very prominent, and in which there is also excessive consumption of demineralised starchy foods, sugars, and fats, is one which will tend markedly towards the development of kidney disease in later life, because of the great strain that will be imposed upon the kidneys in dealing with the waste products arising in the system from such continual unwise feeding habits. And in this respect the usual white-bread, white-sugar, boiled-potato, porridge, pudding-and-pie dietary, of to-day, with its bacon and eggs for breakfast and meat and fish once or twice a day as well, is the dietary most likely of all to set up kidney trouble, which said kidney trouble usually shows itself when the victim of such an injudicious regime is just beginning to get on in years. It usually takes time for the kidney structures to break down and for kidney disease to appear, but previous drug treatment for disease of one kind or another � especially fevers, influenza, and other acute diseases�through the serious damage to the kidney structures which often ensues as a direct result of such suppressive treatment, is a most potent factor in the setting up of that permanent kidney weakness which tends ultimately towards the development of chronic kidney trouble.
Kidney disease in the acute form often arises, indeed, as a direct complication of the medical treatment of acute conditions of the kind just referred to, the kidneys being seriously affected by the forcing back of toxic matter into the system through the agency of the drugs employed, as well as being affected directly by the drugs themselves. The habitual taking of medicines (and chemical agents of one kind or another) over a period of years, for the alleviation of indigestion and stomach troubles in general, also tends to affect the kidneys adversely ; for it must always be borne in mind that it is the kidneys which are ultimately called upon to deal with (and eliminate if possible) the waste residues and end-products of the interaction of all drugs and chemical substances taken into the system for the purpose (so called) of " curing " or " getting rid of" the systemic manifestations of disease.
Many of these chemical substances the kidneys find it extremely hard � sometimes impossible � to deal with satisfactorily ; their continued presence is a source of constant irritation to the delicate kidney structures ; and so future kidney disease is readily precipitated. For instance, when chemical agents such as bicarbonate of soda are taken for the relief of indigestion, heartburn, etc., a residue of chemical matter is left behind in the stomach which is ultimately carried to the kidneys by the blood-stream for excretion. When such chemical agents are taken habitually, over a period of years, the kidneys find it harder and harder to withstand the irritating effects upon them of the chemical end-products thus generated in the system, and so one more potent factor in the development of future kidney disease is thus made clear. The same remarks apply with equal force to the habitual taking of aspirin and other " headache removers," pain-killers, etc.
We have stated that wrong feeding, previous suppressive drug treatment of disease (especially acute disease), and the habitual use of indigestion mixtures, " pain-killers," etc., are all directly concerned in that undermining of kidney efficiency which ultimately leads to definite disease of the kidney structures (which disease usually appears in middle or later life); but there are other factors which must be mentioned too. Among these, the habitual 'drinking of strong tea and coffee and alcoholic liquors, and the too-free use of condiments, sauces,, seasonings, etc., are the most important.
Tea and coffee are known as diuretics (a medical term applied to certain drugs which excite or increase kidney functioning) ; this simply means to say that tea and coffee have the power to increase the activity of the kidneys, because when tea and coffee are taken, the kidneys have to work harder than they should do in order to get rid of the irritating effects of the purins and toxins contained in these beverages. Thus when tea and coffee drinking is indulged in to excess (especially strong tea and strong coffee), the kidneys are bound to suffer in general health and functional ability. The same with alcoholic liquors too. The kidneys and liver are both very adversely affected by the habitual consumption of such beverages. As for condiments, seasonings, etc., here again both kidneys and liver share alike in loss of functional ability in having to deal with and get rid of the deleterious end-products of such " embellishments " of the daily dietary.
In addition to the factors enumerated above, as being potent causative factors in the setting up of kidney disease, it is well to bear in mind that the kidneys are organs of elimination, so that any falling off in the efficacy of any of the other eliminative organs � the skin, the bowels, and the lungs � will tend automatically to throw extra work upon the kidneys. Lack of exercise and fresh air and habitual constipation will all play their part in helping on the appearance of kidney trouble in the individual concerned.
As regards the medical treatment for diseases of the kidneys, we have already said that previous suppressive drug medication of disease plays a big part in the setting up of future kidney trouble, so how shall further drugs cure such conditions when present ? As one might expect, medical therapy for kidney diseases has proved itself so ineffectual that any serious kidney trouble is generally regarded in medical circles as quite incurable. No attempt being made to get rid of causes, obviously the condition remains " incurable " under orthodox treatment, especially as the drugs employed only tend to increase the kidney weakness !
As for treatment for kidney disease by operation, that is a most dangerous procedure, and at best is only palliative. Causes are not removed in the slightest by such treatment, and as the patient is allowed to go on after the operation living in the same old wrong way as before (and, if a kidney has been completely removed, with only one kidney to keep his system clear of toxic matter), what possible hope of future restoration to health can there be in such cases ? Stones in the kidney removed by operation always tend to return, simply because the cause of the trouble � which is systemic � is there just as much after the operation as before !
Now, although kidney disease is regarded so gloomily in orthodox medical circles � and quite rightly so, judging by the results obtained in treatment ! � natural treatment for kidney trouble gives the most marked and astonishing results. For the kidneys respond very quickly indeed to any treatment which aids them to achieve normal functioning, instead of hindering and suppressing it. Fasting and strict dieting are the two chief agents employed in the natural treatment for kidney disease, and by their aid many hundreds of people, condemned to a life of chronic invalidism under medical hands, have been restored to health and fitness once more. Except with regard to very advanced or extreme cases, the treatment for kidney disease given in the present section should bring renewed life and health again to many a sufferer who has despaired of ever recovering from his complaint.
Abscess on the Liver.� In discussing the liver and its functions in the opening pages of the present section it has been pointed out that if constipation is habitual, the liver is called upon to get rid of (or take care of) as best it can the toxins and bacteria brought to it from the bowel by the portal vein. When the liver is already very much overworked and below par, the net result of this often is that an abscess forms in the liver tissue, which is the only way Nature can devise of disposing, temporarily, of these toxic bowel substances.
Treatment. � If people are going to let their system get into such a state that an abscess on the liver forms, then operative treatment may be the only thing left to do in the circumstances ; for by that time the condition of the whole system would have been allowed to deteriorate so far that natural curative agencies might well be powerless in the matter. But it must be understood that such surgical treatment has done nothing at all to remove the causes of the abscess, and unless the patient is prepared to take himself in hand along natural lines thereafter, further serious trouble of one kind or another is bound to be his lot sooner or later.
The only sound advice to give, therefore, is not to let the system get into such a state that an abscess on the liver can form; but if one has formed, then naturopathic advice should be sought at once. Even if an operation cannot be prevented, at least the patient can be placed upon a proper scheme of living afterwards and much future serious trouble obviated.
Biliousness ("Bilious Attack").� Although the public are as a general rule so grossly ignorant as to the effects of wrong feeding upon the health of the system, they have yet learned to regard a " bilious attack " as the penalty to be paid by erring man for the grosser kind of dietetic indiscretions. The eating of too rich food, of too much food at a meal, of badly assorted foods, etc., etc., may all lead to the development of a " bilious attack " in those whose systems are in an habitually food-clogged condition, and chronic constipation is one of the most potent predisposing factors in the case. An overworked and congested condition of the stomach and liver, with interference with the bile secretion of the liver, lead directly to an attack.
Treatment. � The only obvious treatment for a condition such as biliousness is total abstention from food for the time the unpleasant symptoms connected with an attack last. The patient should take nothing but warm water, or orange juice and water, for a day or two, and follow this with a further one or two days on the exclusive fresh fruit diet given in the Appendix. During this time the bowels should be cleansed nightly with the warm-water enema or gravity douche. After the all-fruit period, the full weekly dietary given in the Appendix should be adopted, and if this is adhered to rigidly thereafter, further bilious attacks will be a most rare occurrence indeed. Those who have been prone to biliousness over a long period should put into operation a full scheme of general treatment along the lines of that given for Sluggish or Torpid Liver farther on in the present chapter. ON NO ACCOUNT SHOULD DRUGS OF ANY KIND BE TAKEN.
Bright's Disease. � See Nephritis (Acute and Chronic), farther on in the present chapter.
Cancer of the Liver. � See Stomach and Intestines in the self help section of the site library.
Cirrhosis of the Liver.� This is a condition in which there is progressive breaking down of the liver cells, the liver gradually contracting in size and becoming hard and leathery. Cirrhosis is a most serious state, and if allowed to progress leads ultimately to the death of the sufferer. The excessive use of alcohol over a period of many years, is the most potent causative factor in the development of cirrhosis but food excesses in general and the habitual taking of quinine over a length of time in tropical climates can also be cited as important factors in some cases. Drug treatment for syphilis, fevers, etc., can also play its part in leading to the future development of cirrhosis of the liver.
Treatment. � Cirrhosis of the liver is a condition generally looked upon in orthodox medical circles as being incurable, and not much can be expected even from natural methods unless the case is taken in hand in the fairly early stages. Institutional treatment is always best ; but if this is impossible, the patient should endeavour to carry on under the personal supervision of a competent Naturopath. Where neither institutional nor personal naturopathic guidance is possible in any given case, treatment should be along the following lines : Begin with a fast for from three to five or seven days (according to the ability of the patient), and follow this with the fruit and milk diet given in the Appendix for a further two weeks to a month. Then a full weekly dietary, as given in the Appendix, should be adopted. Further short fasts and periods on fruit and milk should be undertaken at intervals of, say, a month thereafter, as required.
The warm-water enema should be used during the treatment as needed, and the scheme of baths, exercises, etc., given in the treatment for Sluggish Liver farther on in the present chapter should be undertaken as far as possible in conjunction with the dietetic treatment here advised. All habits of eating, drinking, etc., which have led to the development of the trouble in the first place must be rigorously tabooed in future. Rest, quiet, simple food, early hours, and no excesses are essential to the success of the treatment. On no account must any drugs be taken.
Congestion of the Kidneys. � Congestion of the kidneys is generally the first stage in the development of kidney disease. Owing to some (or all) of the factors referred to in the introductory remarks on the kidneys in the opening pages of the present section (such as wrong feeding, excessive drinking, the habitual taking of medicinal drugs, etc., etc.), there is a gradual accumulation of systemic poisons, disease products, and drug poisons in the kidneys over a period of years, and
congestion arises from these morbid deposits obstructing the flow of the blood through the tiny capillaries of the kidneys. The symptoms of congestion of the kidneys (which is a simple acute inflammatory condition) are : pain over the region of the kidneys, constant desire to pass water, and high specific gravity and high colour of the urine.
Treatment. � If this simple renal hyperemia (congestion of blood in the kidneys) were treated by natural methods right away, the successive stages of acute and chronic kidney disease which usually follow the orthodox treatment of the condition would be entirely avoided. But this first simple inflammatory crisis denoted by congestion of the kidneys is treated at once by suppressive drugs, and so chronic kidney disease is more often than not the final result. (There are cases, of course, where patients have completely recovered after being treated along medical lines for congestion of the kidneys, but this has been in spite of, and not because of, the drug treatment employed ; the inherent high vitality of the patient has helped to defeat the suppressive action of the drugs employed, and brought about a natural cessation of the trouble.)
The proper treatment for congestion of the kidneys is fasting. The patient should be fasted on water and orange juice for as long as the acute symptoms last, and the warm-water enema should be used nightly during that time. Then the all-fruit diet given in the Appendix can be adopted for a further few days, and finally the full weekly dietary, also outlined in the Appendix, can be begun when convalescence is well advanced. This full weekly dietary should be adhered to rigorously thereafter if future kidney trouble is to be effectively prevented and sound health achieved.
During the fasting period hot Epsom-salts baths will be most effective if given every day or every other day, and wet packs should be applied over the kidney area several times daily and one at night. (See Appendix for details as to how the packs should be applied.) After the Epsom-salts bath the patient should be sponged down with cold or tepid water before being put back to bed. Complete rest is essential until convalescence has been reached. No drugs whatsoever are to be taken. If the foregoing simple treatment is carried out, not only will the kidney congestion be overcome, but the patient will be in far better health after it than for many years before, because of the thorough cleansing his system will have received. Contrast this with the effects of drug treatment in a similar case !
Cystitis.� Cystitis means inflammation of the bladder. It is usually the mucous membrane of the bladder which is affected, but sometimes the deeper structures are involved too. Cystitis may be acute or chronic, and if treated along orthodox medical lines may never clear up finally, but hang on and on to make the future life of the patient a sheer misery in many cases. Germ infection is usually cited as the predisposing cause of cystitis by the medical profession, but this means nothing really. Germs can only flourish in a suitable soil, and unless the patient has a system full of toxic matter (and more especially a bladder which is in a highly toxic condition), an inflammatory condition such as cystitis could never arise, no matter how many millions of germs there might be present.
Although there may be various minor extraneous predisposing causes, such as a chill, etc., which may precipitate an attack in any given case, a highly toxic condition of the system due to wrong feeding and general wrong living is at the real root of cystitis in all cases ; and previous suppressive medical treatment for acute diseases such ' as fevers, influenza, etc., often plays a big part in the setting up of the trouble (as does also chronic constipation).
Treatment. � As already observed, treatment for cystitis along orthodox medical lines, by means of bladder wash-outs, drugs, etc., is never really successful. Of course many cases seemingly recover under such treatment, but the patient is always liable to the future recurrence of attacks ; others never recover to any extent at all, and are doomed to much misery and pain thereafter as a result of the treatment employed. The only correct treatment for cystitis is fasting for as long as the acute symptoms last. The patient should be kept in bed and given only orange juice and water during that time, and the warm-water enema or gravity douche used nightly to cleanse the bowels. When the acute symptoms have disappeared, then the all-fruit diet given in the Appendix can be adopted for a day or two, to be followed by the fruit and milk diet also detailed therein. When on the fruit and milk diet not more than two pints of the latter should be taken daily for the first few days, and up to three pints can be taken later on. The patient should have just enough milk to satisfy his need for sustenance.
If the foregoing treatment is persevered with, the cystitis will clear up completely, and then the full weekly dietary outlined in the Appendix can be gradually embarked upon, and should be rigorously adhered to thereafter if future bladder trouble of any kind is to be prevented. If constipation is habitual � as it often is in these cases � the rules for its eradication (See Self Help section in the site library) should be put into operation, and the daily dry friction and sitz-bath and physical and other exercises given in the Appendix should be performed regularly as soon as convalescence has been reached. A hot Epsom-salts bath should be taken twice weekly.
During the acute symptoms a hot and cold sitz-bath should be had two or three times daily (the chill being taken off the cold sitz-bath in certain cases if necessary), and hot applications can be applied over the bladder area several times daily too. A towel is wrung out in hot water, applied for two minutes, then removed and a second towel applied, and later a third. A cold towel is applied to finish off. Always work in this order : three hot, one cold application. (For details of the hot and cold sitz-bath, see the Appendix.) ON NO ACCOUNT SHOULD ANY DRUGS OF ANY SORT BE USED, OR BLADDER WASH-OUTS OF ANY KIND. Future care with regard to the dietary is most essential, and white bread, white-flour products, sugar, boiled potatoes, refined cereals, milk puddings, pastry, puddings and pies, and all heavy, stodgy, and greasy foods must be rigorously excluded from the future dietary. Meat can with benefit be left out altogether, too, as also other flesh foods, and their place taken by eggs, cheese, or nuts, where flesh foods are mentioned on the diet-sheet. Tea, coffee, and alcohol should also be strictly avoided in future, and all condiments, pickles, sauces, etc.