It is customary to refer to any and all pathologic conditions developing during pregnancy as manifestations of some occult toxemia, relief from which may be secured by terminating the gravid state. As yet, not one of the "toxins" allegedly responsible for the anemias of pregnancy, for the polyneuritis of pregnancy, for hyperemesis gravidarum, or for eclampsia has been identified, isolated or recovered in any form.
It is not many years since pernicious anemia, pellagra and beriberi were commonly considered disorders due to the action of hypothetic toxins. To this day, in fact, adherents of the toxic theory are still endeavoring to overcome the evidence that these conditions are dietary deficiency diseases either due directly to faulty diet or indirectly arising from some conditioning gastro-intestinal factor.
The anemias of pregnancy have frequently been considered toxic manifestations of the gravid state. Investigations1 have not only failed to reveal any evidence of
STRAUSS MB, McDONALD WJ. POLYNEURITIS OF PREGNANCYA DIETARY DEFICIENCY DISORDER. JAMA. 1933;100(17):1320–1323. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740170018005
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