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February 8, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(6):363-366. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480060001001

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The doctrine of auto-intoxication is a very old one; the central idea of the primitive conception survives in the term rheumatism, applied to a condition due to the auto-intoxication resultant on suboxidization. Many of the morbid states now regarded as auto-toxemic were of old charged to rheums, as the products of rheumatism. Obesity and allied states were placed in the sixteenth century in the nosologic position they occupy to-day. In Sydenham's time the effects of these conditions were even better recognized than during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Sydenham pointed out that suppressed gout (that is, gout without joint expression) exercised marked influence on the constitution. The body, he remarks, "is not the only sufferer and the dependent condition of the patient is not his worst misfortune. The mind suffers with the body, and which suffers most is hard to say. So much do mind and reason lose

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