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September 1, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(9):730. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590360050017

The human organism manifests a considerable number of phenomena which tend to assume a fairly constant character and form symptoms of ill health when they exhibit deviations from the well recognized normal performance. Uniform temperature and pulse rate under conditions of rest have long been noted as normal features of the bodily functions, and aberrations are daily measured by the clinician as a guide to the character or progress of various types of sickness. Unexpected variations in body weight likewise furnish indications at times of the existence of morbid processes. Last week we called attention to newer modes of measuring that disturbance in acid-base equilibrium which leads to a depletion of the alkali reserve of the organism and is designated as acidosis.4

Measurable abnormalities, such as those just cited, are common to numerous diseases. Other symptoms, like nervousness or general lassitude, are often highly significant; but they cannot be