|Category - Medical Aphorism (Nos - 24)
In winter and spring the bowels are naturally the hottest, and the
sleep most prolonged; at these seasons, then, the most sustenance is
to be administered; for as the belly has then most innate heat, it
stands in need of most food. The well-known facts with regard to young
persons and the athlete prove this.
Growing bodies have the most innate heat; they therefore require
the most food, for otherwise their bodies are wasted. In old persons
the heat is feeble, and therefore they require little fuel, as it
were, to the flame, for it would be extinguished by much. On this
account, also, fevers in old persons are not equally acute, because
their bodies are cold.
Old persons endure fasting most easily; next, adults; young
persons not nearly so well; and most especially infants, and of them
such as are of a particularly lively spirit.
The exacerbations and remissions will be indicated by the
diseases, the seasons of the year, the reciprocation of the periods,
whether they occur every day, every alternate day, or after a longer
period, and by the supervening symptoms; as, for example, in pleuritic
cases, expectoration, if it occur at the commencement, shortens the
attack, but if it appear later, it prolongs the same; and in the same
manner the urine, and alvine discharges, and sweats, according as they
appear along with favorable or unfavorable symptoms, indicate diseases
of a short or long duration.
We must retrench during paroxysms, for to exhibit food would be
injurious. And in all diseases having periodical paroxysms, we must
restrict during the paroxysms.
In those cases, then, which attain their acme speedily, a
restricted diet should be enjoined at first; but in those cases that
reach their acme later, we must retrench at that period or a little
before it; but previously we must allow a more generous diet to
support the patient.
We must form a particular judgment of the patient, whether he will
support the diet until the acme of the disease, and whether he will
sink previously and not support the diet, or the disease will give way
previously, and become less acute.
When the disease is at its height, it will then be necessary to use
the most slender diet.
When the disease is very acute, it is attended with extremely
severe symptoms in its first stage; and therefore an extremely
attenuating diet must be used. When this is not the case, but it is
allowable to give a more generous diet, we may depart as far from the
severity of regimen as the disease, by its mildness, is removed from
For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure, as to restriction,
are most suitable.