British Medical Journal

1904 BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)  
air into the lower part of the chest, and the consequent diminution in the oxygenation of the blood and tissues impairs still further the digestive and nutritive function. The most serious result of indigestion, accord-iDg to Mr. Arbuthnot Lane, is the mechanical interference with the passage of the intestinal contents and their prolonged sojourn, especially in the large bowel, which he calls the cesspool of the alimentary tract. The most important part of this cesspool is the caecum and
more » ... e caecum and ascending colon. Into this segment the small intestine pours its contents, and during the prolonged maintenance of the erect or sedentary posture, which is one of the conditions of civilized life, the cesspool may become very considerably enlarged and distended. This tendency, which is more marked in woman than in man, is greatly exaggerated by the straining which takes place in defaecation. The form of water-closet in common use is, he thinks, largely 'responsible for this descent and for the production of inguinal and femoral hernia. The squatting position adopted by man in a state of nature obviates these evils. As a consequence of distension, the walls of the intestine become slightly inflamed, and adhesions form between the outer aspect of the caecum and the adjacent abdominal wall, by means of which the upper part of the caecum and ascending colon are fixed and their mobility diminished. Hence the muscular coat becomes progressively thinner and less capable of performing its function of emptying the cesspool by propelling the contents. The tender and inflamed caecum interferes by. its presence, and afterwards by an extension of the inflammatory process, with the function of the bladder and with the
doi:10.1136/bmj.2.2295.1709 fatcat:cptwcpwvzzgvnd3tgto3ievwmm