These cases show the great danger of inflammation after the cure of Diabetes by animal food; a danger which increases in proportion to the preceding debility of the Patient, and against which it is necessary to be particularly on our guard.
July 6, 1798
Cases of the diabetes mellitus: with the results of the trials of certain acids
Glasgow, July 6th, 1798.
If your book be not printed off, perhaps you may think it necessary to mention the following circumstances, in addition to the cafes which I lately fent you. Mr. Baird, Physician's Clerk in the Infirmary, infpecled the Patient, and sent me the following account, which I have transcribed. " Isabel Harvey (the married patient) having nearly recovered her usual strength, and being completely cured of Diabetes, was dismissed from the Infirmary by Dr. Freer on the 13th of June. She continued well till the 21st, when her belly became costive, and she was seized with fever, attended with acute pain and tension over all the belly. (She went home, four or five miles from Glasgow ; no person was called, consequently nothing was attempted for her relief.)
On the morning of the 22d, the disorder increased ; in the forenoon she became delirious, and in the evening she lay quiet for about two hours when she expired. On opening the body, 36 hours after death, the following appearances were observed. " All the thoracic viscera were perfectly found in the abdomen, the small intestines appeared loaded with red vessels, as did several parts of the Colon also, particularly about two inches above the Caecum, where several spots of a black colour, and easily torn, were interspersed among the red. The whole colon was much distended with air, the lower part, from the sigmoid flexure to the neighbourhood of the anus, being plugged up with hard faeces. " The kidneys were enlarged, uncommonly soft, and pale. " The liver, spleen, pancreas, and mesenteric glands, were found." The widow whom I mentioned, Hill continues in the Infirmary ; and concerning her Mr. Baird fent me the following report, which I give in his words. " For the last eight weeks her appetite and third: have been nearly natural; and though, along with animal food, fhe has had 1 lb. of sweet milk and a roll daily, her urine has retained the natural taste and smell, and has rarely exceeded 4 lb. daily. A few weeks ago, several phlegmons rose on her hands, and remained very painful for ten days, during which time she had little appetite, and became languid and listless. These phlegmons are now whole ; her skin is soft ; her appetite and third are natural ; she recovers strength daily, and abating occasional pains through the belly, her feelings are perfectly comfortable." These cases show the great danger of inflammation after the cure of Diabetes by animal food; a danger which increases in proportion to the preceding debility of the Patient, and against which it is necessary to be particularly on our guard.