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Old book about parasites
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Published: 4 years ago

Old book about parasites

I found an old book from 1859 by James Copland with the title:

"A dictionary of practical medicine: comprising general pathology, the nature and treatment of diseases, morbid structures, and the disorders especially incidental to climates, to the sex, and to the different forms of life : with numerous prescriptions for the medicines recommended, a classification of diseases according to pathological principles, a copious bibliography, with references, and an appendix of approved formulae : the whole forming a library of pathology and practical medicine and a digest of medical literature", Volume IX (9)

The book is about a lot of diseases, but it has a chapter about worms, page 1515-1561.

It's really interesting how exactly they described parasite symptoms over 150 years ago, here's a quote:

"150. vi. A General View of the Symptoms produced by Worms in the Digestive Canal. — Most of the symptoms produced by worms may arise from other causes ; but a careful recognition and observation of these symptoms, of their successions, grouping, &c, are requisite for the due regulation of the treatment, and for the ascertaining of the species of worm which is present. The symptoms produced most commonly by the individual species of worm have been noticed with reference to each ; but recent writers have been more intent upon the microscopic descriptions of these parasites, and upon drawing minute distinctions, &c, than upon more useful and practical considerations connected with them. It is justly argued that the discharge of the more common species of worms infesting the intestinal canal is the only true diagnosis of verminous diseases ; but this discharge, even in the most serious cases, may not occur without means being used to effect it ; and it is by a knowledge of these symptoms, independently of such discharge, that we are led to administer the means most likely both to establish this diagnosis and to effect a cure. 151. A. The more direct and local symptoms, or those more immediately caused by worms, are — a capricious and variable appetite — at one time a craving and insatiable hunger or an unsated desire of food ; at other times, nausea, or cardialgia, borborygmi, loathing, retching, or vomiting, being present ; a sense of weight in the abdomen, with distention, gnawing, or erosion ; a feeling of cold internally, or of emptiness or inanition, often with palpitations, or leipothymia, or faintness ; a drag ging, twisting, or lancinating pain in the abdominal regions, especially near the umbilicus, or tormina, spasms, colicky attacks, tenesmus, constipation, or irregularities of the intestinal functions ; leucorrhcea, and itching, or a mucous or watery exudation from the anus, sometimes a mucous diarrhoea, tenesmus, and bearing down pains in adult females, or derangements of the catamenia, or even abortion ; and in children more especially tormina, colic, constipation, and intus-susception of the bowels, with various cerebral symptoms about to be noticed. In both sexes "manustupratio" is not unfrequent, even at an early age. 152. B. The symptoms caused in more distant parts by sympathy with the seat of irritation, or by direct and reflex sympathy, are chiefly a frequent, dry, and tickling cough ; hiccough, anxiety at the praecordia, or pungent pains passing under the false ribs and at the epigastrium; a sense of something in the oesophagus, sometimes with tickling in the pharynx ; partial amaurosis and dilatation of the pupils ; sneezings, itching and dryness of the nose and nostrils, sometimes epistaxis, itching of the skin, without eruption ; grinding or grating of the teeth, and sudden startings when asleep ; subsultus and spasms of the abdominal muscles ; partial or general convulsive movements without complete loss of consciousness ; chorea or twitchings, or irregular contractions of particular muscles, especially those of the face and lower extremities ; and more or less fully developed, general, or epileptic convulsions. The urinary excretion is sometimes disordered, and dysuria or frequent micturition complained of, the urine being whey-coloured, turbid, &c, with or without a sediment. 153. C. A general verminous cachexia is not unfrequently present, manifested by a pale, tumid, or livid state of the features ; by a sunken appearance of the eyes and a leaden hue beneath them ; a general pallor, and more or less anaemia of the surface of the body, lips, &c. ; a perverted state of the sense of smell, or the entire loss of smell ; a strawberry hue of the tongue, or mucous sordes on the tongue, and about the teeth and gums, stridor of the teeth, and a peculiar foetor of the breath, sometimes a more or less evident affection of the voice and speech ; a morose, irritable state of temper, vertigo, frightful dreams, timidity, somnolency ; slight or low delirium, risus sardonicus, and prostration of strength. The biliary secretion is sometimes scanty, and in some cases even jaundice is observed. The abdominal secretions are very often disordered, and the functions of excretion generally impeded. These and other effects — local and sympathetic — are manifestly produced : 1st, by the irritation of the digestive mucous surface, which may, in the cases of certain worms, and in susceptible constitutions especially, go on to inflammation and its consequences ; and, 2d, by the changes these animals produce in the chyme and chyle derived from the ordinary food, and upon the secretions of the gastro-intestinal surface, and upon those of the liver and pancreas. The former of these effects, namely, those consisting of gastro-intestinal irritation and its consequences, will also contribute to the production of the latter ; but it cannot be doubted that much of the nourishment which should be taken up by the intestinal surface is intercepted by these parasites, while a portion of the fluids, lacteal or serous, are removed from this surface by the suction exerted by these animals. 154. All the symptoms now enumerated are not observed in the same case, but many of them either coexist or appear in succession, and are variously grouped in different subjects, so as to render a diagnosis very difficult between this and other complaints. When the cachexia, debility, and sympathetic disturbance of the brain and its functions are considerable, more especially when the circulating fluids are diminished in quantity from deficient aliment, or impaired in quality by imperfect assimilation and depuration, the symptoms may assume a febrile character, sometimes mistaken for a form either of low fever, or of gastric fever, but more correctly recognised by some of the older writers by the term worm or verminous fever. (See also § 73.) 155. vii. The causes of worms may be inferred from what has been stated above ; yet it may be of use to notice some particulars too generally overlooked by the recent writers, who have insisted upon the propagation of worms by means of ova, &c, and who may be considered as having disproved the doctrine of equivocal generation, or, more correctly, of spontaneous formation. A knowledge of the predisposing causes furnishes important indications in both the prevention and the treatment of verminous diseases ; for, although the obsolete doctrine of spontaneous formation rendered this knowledge of the greatest interest, inasmuch as it was founded upon antecedent changes in the constitution, yet these changes are by no means devoid of in fluence in favouring the development of the ova and embryos of parasitic animals. There can be no doubt that children of weak, aged, and vitally exhausted parents ; the female sex, debilitated males ; and persons of all ages, who have been insufficiently or improperly fed in early life, or of a relaxed fibre or asthenic diathesis, are much more subject to worms than those who are otherwise circumstanced. A tender and delicate state of health in early life ; the use of crude, viscous, gelatinous, and vegetable food ; what ever tends to lower the organic nervous force and vital resistance ; a relaxed and asthenic habit of body ; hereditary conformation ; a residence in crowded and insufficiently drained cities and towns, or in cold and moist situations, especially in those which are abundantly covered with vegetable productions peculiar to the country, and a scanty use of such condiments, as salt and hot spices, as the climate may require, predispose to the generation of worms. In places where salt cannot be obtained in quantities requisite to the wants of the economy, as in some intertropical countries, the hot spices are used in its place by the natives. Those who contend, and, from recent researches, with manifest truth, that the presence of ova is necessary to the generation of human parasites, consider that the predisposition produced by these causes favour this generation, and that robust health and a sound constitution are subversive of their development. Those who argue for their spontaneous formation believe that these causes not merely predispose to this formation, but also directly produce it ; and that, owing to a weak and imperfect chylification and assimilation, or to a metamorphosis of the secretions, a material is evolved which, under the favourable circumstances in which it is placed, and owing to a vital emanation from the body in which it lodged, assumes an organized and separate existence. These doctrines, however opposite — the former assuming, as predisposing causes, merely what the latter contends to be direct and exciting, or efficient, causes — agree in that which is of the greatest importance to the physician : they both point out the best indications for preventing the continued or the future generation of worms, where they already exist or have existed, and for guarding against their invasion in circumstances which render such invasion more or less probable."

You can download the full book here:

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