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May 27, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXII(21):1183-1184. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450480047008

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By autointoxication, or "autotoxemia," as the term implies, is meant self-empoisonment, or, in other words, poisoning of the system through the medium of products generated within the living body, and due to faulty metabolism. Strictly speaking it may be a question whether or not by this terminology we should also include the absorption of ptomaine which are not the result of faulty metabolism of the living body, or more accurately speaking, living tissues of the human system. Autointoxication thus has a limit. Ptomaine arise from fermentation, or from putrefaction, while the products of the living structures arise during the growth and decay of the individual cell or group of cells. During the latter process it is not ptomaine which are formed, but leucomains. In septicemia, sapremia, and the infectious fevers, we dread poisoning from ptomains. In gout, neuralgia, neuritis and many other nervous affections, we dread leucomains. Alteration in the

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