Present medical progress tends toward diminishing the number of disease entities rather than toward their multiplication. In no field is this more strikingly apparent than in the newly found and rapidly developing relationship between mental and nervous conditions and disturbances of the gastro-intestinal tract.
The symptomatology referring directly to the intestinal tract is not within the scope of this paper. However, it is difficult to find any case in which, on close investigation, symptoms referring directly to the intestinal tract are absent. The error in diagnosis as to the fundamental condition can frequently be explained by the fact that the gastro-intestinal disturbances are so often considered secondary to a disturbed nervous system, when in reality the opposite is true.
As an example of one of the commonest misapplications of diagnosis we mention neurasthenia. It is perfectly true that we may have a neurasthenia brought on by causes not connected directly
SATTERLEE GR, ELDRIDGE WW. SYMPTOMATOLOGY OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM: IN CHRONIC INTESTINAL TOXEMIA. JAMA. 1917;LXIX(17):1414–1418. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590440024008
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