SINCE the medical profession first began to keep a record of the diseases of man, consumption has had its place in the long list of ailments to which the human body is susceptible.
The end of each quarter century has recorded an increase in the number of victims from tuberculosis. The disease seemed, until within the past few years, to be almost uncontrollable. Statistics show that more people die from it than from the effects of any two other diseases combined.
Hundreds of years have been devoted to experiments by the most skillful members in the medical profession, in an effort to find a method of ridding the human system of this malady.
Theories have been advanced, analyzed and re-analyzed in an endeavor to ascertain the best method of applying medicine to build up the system and eradicate the disease. The primitive idea advanced as to the manner in which people should be cured was an endeavor to kill what was called the "tubercular germ." The latest and most successful method is found to be the building up of the red blood corpuscles and tissues of the body, thereby making it impossible for germs to exist.
A better idea of the actual state of a consumptive may be understood by a statement from the afflicted person.
In conversation with a young man now undergoing treatment at the Ross Sanatorium on North Cascade avenue, many surprising and interesting facts were brought out. He had read and studied much concerning many of the treatments for tuberculosis, and was better posted on the disease than most laymen are expected to be. He discredited the theory that he had contracted the disease from another person simillarly afflicted. He said:
"I can tell within a month or two when I first began to contract tuberculosis. It was not from coming in contact with another consumptive, but from the run down condition in which I permitted my system to lapse. I did not have much of an appetite, and paid very little attention to the fact that I was losing my health until my condition became such that I was forced to consult a physician. The hacking cough I had was a source of continual worry and seemed to be an index to the physician whom I consulted that my lungs were affected.
"He made a microscopical examination of my sputum, with the result that 'tubercular bacilli,' as he termed them, were found to exist in large quantities.
"I then began to do a little thinking on my own account and decided that as I had not contracted the disease from a consumptive that it must have been brought on by an unhealthy condition of the tissues and blood, and that the most effective way to cure myself would be to endeavor to infuse new life and new blood into the diseased parts. On the principle that it requires good food to sustain animal life and produce nourishing meat, I satisfied myself that I could eradicate the disease with the additional help of some remedy which could be breathed into my system, and which would help to add new and healthy corpuscles to my impoverished blood.
"Oxygen I knew to be one of the best if not the most effective remedies for sustaining life and building up the blood known; and it seemed as though my convictions were based on common sense principles and that I ought to get well by endeavoring to build up my system, instead of neglecting it and trying to kill the so-called 'germs.'
"You can see for yourself how I am now by following out this idea. My strength is returning, for the reason that I am driving out the disease by continually nourishing my blood, which means that I am directing my efforts at the root of the disease, and not at the branches. I have had the malady nearly a year, but have only been here a little over two months. I am advised that I need not remain more than a month or two longer."
Thus it will be seen that the old and unsuccessful theory of treating the so-called germs direct is giving way to the more advanced method of effecting permanent cures by enriching the red corpuscles of the blood, which in turn build up and strengthen the lung tissues and eventually make it impossible for an unhealthy tissue of any kind to exist. More progress has been made in the successful treatment and cure of tuberculosis during the past two years than during the previous ten years.