Excerpt from The Chicago Medical Examiner, 1870, Vol. 11: A Monthly Journal Devoted to the Educational, Scientific, and Practical Interests of the Medical Profession
In regard to constipation, something has been said, but much more should be said than I have space for. For the most part, persons become constipated by carelessness and inattention, thus forming an irregular habit; the bowels become distended and weakened, and relaxed, thereby perpetuating the condition. In our directions to such persons, we should impress upon them the necessity of forming a regular habit of evacuating the bow els, at a regular time, and that they should let nothing hinder them from attending to it, and that it is as easy to form a regu lar habit as an irregular one. All that can be done in this way, or by diet, or exercise, or drink, or by the use of our seedy berries and acid fruits, will be better done than by the use of medicines. The use of purgatives, and, particularly, of the thousand and one pills found in every drug-store, are a prolific cause of constipation, and their use is not only unphilosophical but reprehensible. Yet it will often be found necessary to empty the bowels; and if the faeces are uniformly dry, a saline laxative will be indicated, and of these, the sulphate of mag nesia is the best. If it is administered with a little sulphuric acid it will not disappoint you.
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