Toxemia As A Source Of Disease

Toxemia is a word we may accept as displacing autointoxication in a large measure as a term indicating toxic accumulations within the body. Similar conditions often are called autotoxemia. Even the term toxemia does not cover the condition that it is meant to cover. Toxemia means toxins in the blood-stream. The condition that we may term toxemia is much more than this. Toxemia is the presence of toxins, poisons, waste products and acids in the blood- and lymph-streams and in the organs and cells of the body. Toxicosis is perhaps a more fitting term for the condition, but toxemia is perhaps more readily understood, and this is the term we shall use.

As stated in earlier passages, the body has four avenues of elimination. When the amount of food taken into the body is excessive or when it is of such combination or nature that it proves beyond the capacity of some of the vital organs, or when there is general enervation or one of numerous other conditions that interfere with elimination through one or more of these four channels, there is a gradual accumulation of unused materials within the body. As this slowly increases it adds to the organic encumbrance and reduces nerve functioning. These make the increase of toxemia still more rapid and pronounced. A vicious circle develops, each of these conditions intensifying the other until we have a high degree of toxemia - and the principal cause of practically all forms of disease.

One of the chief causes of toxemia has been the overuse of refined, devitalized foods, which have clogged the digestive tract because of their constipating effect, and have affected the system because of their deficiency in the vitamins and minerals that maintain normal tissue tone. They also have been such as to undergo pronounced putrefaction and fermentation, the abnormal products of which have been absorbed through the intestinal membranes. A large amount of white sugar and its products, pastries, spices and condiments, foods preserved by various methods, the use of laxatives, cathartics and purgatives, and the consumption of various stimulants, all have served to over-stimulate or depress the natural vital functions. This has resulted in enervation or lowered nerve tone, which has led in turn to, or intensified an existing, toxemia.

These various wrong habits of living interfere with the metabolism in general, so that more poisons are produced than would normally be the case. At the same time they lower the rate of elimination so that these poisons are not thrown off as they should be.

The treatment of toxemia is to be recognized in the recital of causes of toxemia. In order to overcome the condition, it is necessary to retrain bodily habits until we have reached a more nearly normal or natural, a saner and more rational mode of living, involving every factor that has to do with daily life. Whether or not there are any appreciably noticeable symptoms present, one can be assured that if the toxemia is permitted to continue without reduction, disease symptoms inevitably will make their appearance. And as a rule the toxemia does not remain at a standstill, but steadily increases. If one desires to prevent the innumerable symptoms and so called functional and organic, acute and chronic diseases, one can be more certain of doing so through striking at the fount of these symptoms and diseases - at toxemia itself- than by any other method.

The fast is the best possible initial treatment of toxemia. It is certain that if toxins are not being put into the body, the body will throw off some already present. When no food is supplied the body will derive its energy for activity and organic functioning and the mere process of living, from its own surplus tissues plus the encumbrance of toxins and waste accumulations. In this way toxemia is gradually reduced.

The duration of the fast will depend upon the condition of the individual as to weight, strength and energy. Many times there are present such a pronounced enervation and loss of weight that a complete fast is out of the question. In these cases the fruit or fruit juice diet may be employed with satisfactory benefit. One of the factors of toxemia is an acidosis, due to accumulation of end-products of chemical changes in food consumed and in metabolism. The fruit juices, while acid in reaction, are not acid in the blood-stream. They are neutralizing to the acids present in the blood-stream and in the cell environment. The fruit acids are absorbed as acids, but they are immediately oxidized so that there is absolutely no acid-forming tendency of these in the body. It is the alkaline "ash" (as science once termed unidentified elements) in the juice that is of such importance in an acidosis or toxemia.

To eradicate toxemia it is necessary that all eliminative channels be improved in function. Sweat-baths, by any available satisfactory means, are of considerable benefit. But one must not expect to eliminate a great share of the body's waste accumulations solely through the increased perspiration. Such treatment should open up the pores of the skin so that at intervals between such baths there is better skin activity - better elimination, better reaction to air, and better regulation of heat within the body, etc.

The cold bath is one of the best treatments for toxemia also. It should be used daily, though it need not be much below body temperature. If the sweat-bath is used it should be terminated by a warm bath and a cold bath. There is no better single factor for favorable influence upon the heart and circulation in general, the nervous system and muscular tone, also gland activity, than the reaction obtained through use of the tonic bath.

Muscular exercise is of importance, but during the fast it may be confined to walking and deep breathing. When the strength and energy permit after the fast, one should accustom the muscles to general exercise, and this should be a daily practice. The six hundred odd muscles of the body absolutely demand activity for their health. Because of their bulk, if they are not properly cared for, the rest of the body is bound to suffer. They are the greatest consumers of the food taken into the digestive apparatus.

The intestinal activity must be normalized. During the fast it is important that the enema be taken daily unless there is spontaneous elimination. On the later diet sufficient bulky and laxative foods should be selected that normal activity will be possible and assured. All drug substances which produce prompt elimination from the bowels should be avoided, as they produce their effect through stimulation, and must result in a gradually developing constipation.

There must be adequate relaxation and sleep in order that nerve tone may be restored or maintained, that circulation may be balanced and that repair and rebuilding may be possible. One should cultivate some hobby or take up some special recreation that rests the mind from the daily vocation.

One should aim to live on as natural foods as possible. These have been enumerated time and again and should not need re-enumeration here. No more food than required should be used, but enough should be taken to insure normal nutrition. By all means secure enough of the protective mineral elements and vitamins through vegetables, fruit and milk, and the rest of the diet can be selected more or less at random. However, the more nearly natural and vital it is the more nearly toxemia will be prevented in the future, and as a result more complete will be the health in general.

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