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April 21, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(16):1007-1008. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460160049008

The humoral pathology of an earlier day has been replaced by the current doctrine of intoxication. Instead of humors arising within, or introduced into, the body in various mysterious ways we have become cognizant, in more or less intimate degree of toxic processes due to poisons derived from without, such as alcohol, lead, mercury, decomposed food,or generated within, as a result of infectious diseases, or in consequence of deranged metabolism, as uremia, gout, diabetes. The evidence in this connection, however, is, it must be admitted, circumstantial rather than direct, and some of its deficiencies are pointed out in a thoughtful critique by Ewald.1 He defines autointoxication as the poisoning of the body by normal or abnormal digestive or metabolic products. It is conceivable that these may be generated within the digestive tract, or within the tissues themselves.

Gastrointestinal autointoxication may result from the absorption of products normal to the

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