Excerpt from Gaillard's Medical Journal, Vol. 67: July, 1897
At-a meeting of this Association held December 18, 1893, I advanced a new'theory as to the etiology of phthisis It was that whether occurring in man or woman, consumption is largely due to faulty methods of respiration. In the female sex the corset, by prevent ing the expansion of the lower lobes Of the lungs, throws additional work upon the apices (the most frequent location of the tubercular process) and subjects them to increased strain. As a consequence, the apices become tired, worn out, and exhausted. They are therefore unable to Cope with the bacillus tuberculosis, which thus gains the victory and implants a dis ease that will eventually cause the death oi the devotee to Fashion. Thus far I have had no reason to abandon or 'even to modify this hypothesis. On the contrary, my conviction has become strengthened that it explains the occurrence of phthisis in women. Statistics show that this disease is less frequent in the fair sex than in males, but there is reason to believe that it would become still rarer among women if they would abandon the corset.
Even, however, should phthisis pulmonalis not be thus developed, the faulty and imperfect respiration leads to defective aeration of the blood. It is impossible for a woman wearing corsets to inhale enough oxygen and ozone. The blood is thus insufficiently oxygenated. Spanaemia is the result with its train of innumerable symptoms. Every physician is fully cognizant of the cephalalgia, assitude, imperfect circulation, pallor, and constipation, so common in Vi omen.
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