Elizabeth Francis has her diabetes treated with the exclusive meat diet by Dr Gerard - "She still keeps to the plan of eating animal food, and avoiding all vegetable matter, but lives a good deal upon milk; and when I called upon her yesterday, she said she had certainly gained strength lately."
May 15, 1798
Cases of the diabetes mellitus: with the results of the trials of certain acids
My other Patient, Elizabeth Francis, aged 36, is a married woman. She miscarried near 12 years ago, but never had a live child. Eighteen months after that, she became dropfical, and had 17 quarts of water drawn off by the operation of paracentesis. She recovered of this, and enjoyed tolerable good health for near five years ; but she has been complaining these four years past, and became diabetic about June 1797.
She was admitted into the Infirmary on the 28th of September following, at which time Mary Jackfon was using the carbonated ammonia, and apparently with advantage. Francis was therefore ordered to take it in the same manner, and to pursue the animal diet; I believe she did so rigidly, and with so good an effect, that on the 12th of November she was discharged at her own request, in consequence of feeling herself better than she had been for four years before, and indeed, to her own thinking, well; her strength being much improved, her thirst and appetite very moderate, and her water reduced to four, and sometimes to three pints in the- 24 hours, and free from sweetness, though for a week before she left us, she had been allowed two ounces of bread per day, and for the week preceding that, one ounce per day. On her going home, however, she increased it to a penny loaf per day, and at the same time took less animal food, owing to her inability to procure it ; the consequence was, that in a few weeks she became somewhat weaker, her urine increased a little, and she was frightened. She was therefore re-admitted on the 1 3th of February, and put again upon the animal diet, which she adhered to strictly till the 29th of March, when she was discharged again, to all appearance cured of the disease, though not restored to the strength and vigour of full health.
She still keeps to the plan of eating animal food, and avoiding all vegetable matter, but lives a good deal upon milk; and when I called upon her yesterday, she said she had certainly gained strength lately. I then learned, for the first time, that she had also been affected two different times with an itching about the meatus urinarius, which was exceedingly troublesome to her; the water was increased in quantity each time, and was hot and acrimonious ; but she has had no return of it since she left the Infirmary.
I shall now conclude this account with remarking, that the effects of the animal diet have been so obvious in all the three cases under my care, notwithstanding two of them occasionally deviated very largely, that I perfectly agree with you, in suspecting a deviation from the plan, wherever they are wanting, though the patient should strenuously deny it; for I have experienced the same propensity to deviate, and the same reluctance to acknowledge it, that you have done; and so averse are the other patients to betray the secret, that I believe the truth will seldom be obtained in an Hospital, while the patient remains there.