Obesity—A Few Thoughts on its Nature and Treatment

1880 Scientific American  
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT, No. 210. 3345 tains than the soda soap, and should therefore be used with I be borne in mind that friclion should be carefully employed, OBESITY-A FEW THOUGHTS ON ITS NATURE great care upon delicate surfaces. I have found that the in· according to the exigencies of each particular ca�e. AND TREATMENT. * discriminate use of this soft soap with its penetrating and A practical knowledge of compreBBion, the second mechani· destructive action on the tissues has
more » ... tissues has brought on an immense � cal remedy that I have enumerated, is of great service, and THE qu(te common occurrence of that abnormal condi· amount of mischief by awakening violent and obstinate in· should receive more attention from the active practitioner tion known as obesity taken in connection with the abhor flammation of the skm. It has, however, been used with in the treatment of cutaneous diseases. rence which is generally ent, ertained regarding it , and the great benefit alone and in combination in treating parasitic The means usually made use of for compression are the scarcity of literature on the subject , induces the belief that affections, more especially scabies, but it should be em· common muslin and gum bandages, and plasters. Com· what is here offered may not be received with disfavor. ployed with great caution in all cases. pression , when employed in this manner, so:thes muscular It is a fact to which no one can close his eyes that the Irritation, tones up the dilated capillaries , and prevents the many advantages, amenities, and luxuries of civilized and The Oleate8. -The second medicinal remedy that I shall escape of serosity into the tissues. It will be found that enlightened communities are not unmixed goods , but that consider in this paper was recently introduced into practice these effects are not by any means the only benetits that 'are they are alloyed with much that is tended to lead us to in· by Mr. John Marshall , of England. These remedies are ex· realized from compression. It will also be seen that it will quire whether after all , they are for the good of the race. ceedingly valuable, and possess , in certain diseases, many enable the vessels to remove poured.out fluids , protect de· The means whereby ease and comfort are secured are too ad vantages over ointments. In the tirst place , oleic acid nuded surfaces, and exclude the air which is very stimula-often so perverted and abused as to entail pain and discom possesses solven� powers that are more active than most ling to infiamed and irritable parts, and so moderate dis· fort. Many facts might be drawn from every-day life in bases of ointments , and consequently the chemical comblna-eased action. The trealment of ' cases of chronic eczema of demonstration of this assertion , but for the present , let that tion so formed will be more potent when applied to the skin. the leg, in which the surface is livid and covered with ulcers, furnished by obesity, or an ahnormal accumulation of adi· Further , they will not decompose like ointments, and on by a muslin bandage, will afford a satisfactory example of pose , suffice. The physical degeneration, and to a certain this account will be more effeclive and not act as irritants the efficacy of this method. In a "hort space of time , after extent also, the mental, of a people dates from its indul to the skin. When the oleates are prepared either as a 5 or using Ihe above means, the excessive irritation and conges· gence in luxuries. History furnishes numerous illustrations 10 per cent. solution they are all, with the exception of the tion disappear , and the ulcers promptly take on a healthy of this proposilion, and in our own day the lithe muscular oleate of zinc, in the liquid state, and will therefore have a condition. On the other hand , experience has verified 'the form, and aClive , graceful motion of the savage is in greater absorbent power. They will also penetrate deeper fact that the gum bandage is more elastic and is always to marked contrast with the condition of men under the in· and more rapidly into the tissues than ointments. And, be preferred when it can be procured , on account of the fluences and habits of retined society. A fat, corpulent lastly, as they are of a liquid condition, with one exception, equable pressure that it makes over the whole limb. The Indian , for instance, in his native state , with pendulous they are better suited for applications over the scalp, the bandage will also have a similar effect on other chronic and abdomen and Falstaffian circumference would be a mono beard , axillary and pubic region, 01' any hairy part of the inflammatory conditions of the skin, by the systematic pres· strosity; but when he is brought under his white brother's body, in preference to ointments, which frequently mat to-sure that it produces. sway , corpulence even to obesity not unfrequently deforms get her the hairs. Compression can likewise be made with plasters, and they him. Mr. Marshall, in his valuable paper on this subject, refers can be either simple or medicated. The common adhesive These hints may serve to turn the milld into a channel to the powerful action of the oleates of morphia and atropia plaster , however, usually answers all purposes, although wherein will be found mm,h to support the assertion that in allaying pain and nervo� irritation, and also to the ad· opium; balladonna, mercury, soap, pitch, or other medicinal obesity is an almormlll condition, and that it is the result of vantage of employing the oleate of mercury in sycosis , chlo· Rubstances can be used when necesl?ary. The beneticial in-a transgression of tixed physiological laws, and differs in asma , pediculi, syphilitic affections, and other morbid con· fluence of plaster cut in strips and applied to the surface is this respect , in no wise, from diseases in general. It will , ditions. Since the publication of these practical observa· most strikingly evinced in eczema of the lips. The mUCOUfl however, he more proper to style and regard it rather as a tions I have frequently had occasion to apply the oleates as surface in this disease is torn open with every movement of symptom than as a disease per Be, and for precisely the saDIe external remedies in the treatment of skm affections, with the lips, and all the lotions, ointments, and powders will reasons that we regard dropsy not as a disease, but as a the most happy results. In addition to their value in the not soothe the muscular irritation and heal the parts until . symptom pointing to a disease seated in the liver , heart, diseases named bv Mr. Marshall, I have also found that the they are protected and placed at rest. In order to accom. I kidneys, etc. Obesity is a sympton of disease, either func· oleates of atropia and mercury are equally efficacious in plish this purpose, adhesive strips can be made to encircle, I tiolJal or structural, and located chiefly in the chylopoietic
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican01101880-3345supp fatcat:zsfa74swzfhgbm2zx5mcjzmrre