There are many diseases in the world, many of which have been with us throughout history. Something as simple and easy to deal with today as the flu or an infection in another time meant a death sentence for those who suffered from it.
Thanks to the many scientific and technical advances, it has been possible to better understand and treat different conditions. But not only the explanation of the problems, the causes and the treatments have evolved: largely thanks to a better understanding of the disorders and the different researches and conceptions of the pathology existing in different parts of the world have also emerged and disappeared. for them.
We have an example of what used to be called secondary disease, Which today could encompass and / or correspond to different diseases.
The disease on the side: what was it referring to?
Lateral disease, lateral pain or lateral pain is an ancient way of naming a disorder observed since antiquity characterized by the presence of a high level of pain in the abdominal areaIt is common for it to get worse with movement or exertion and is accompanied by fever, gastrointestinal upset, problems with defecation, changes in breathing pattern, and arrhythmias.
This disease has generated a large number of deaths throughout history, with the discovery of its causes and the invention of effective treatments to resolve it. Today it is usually identified with a specific pathology, although within the denomination, they could agglutinate different assignments (Since there are a large number of possible causes that generate abdominal pain and the general symptomatology to which the concept refers). While the name of the disease on the side is often rare today, there are still people who use this term.
What conditions can it correspond to? Possible causes
The truth is that the term secondary disease today can sound a bit generic because it does not provide real information about its causes, but simply a larger or smaller area of the body where the problem is located. In this sense, the disease from the side can correspond or include within it different conditions, among which the following stand out.
This is probably the medical diagnosis with which the disease or the lateral pain would have the most correspondence. This disease, nowadays fairly well known and whose existence requires the extirpation of the appendix without generally major complications, it was the cause of a large number of deaths during Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
This disease involves the existence of dilation and inflammation of the appendix caused by an obstruction (which may or may not be the product of infection, being the most common) that prevents proper drainage of intestinal mucus and which in the long run can cause compression. and breaking that up. The clearest and most obvious symptom is pain located on the side (especially in the so-called McBurney point, in the lower right part of the abdomen), which can occur with symptoms such as vomiting and vomiting. nausea, fever and hyperthermia and tremors.
If not, necrosis and infection of this tissue and the circumference may appear (Including the peritoneum) or it is even possible that the appendix ruptures, causing bleeding of great importance. These are probably the causes that caused most of the deaths associated with secondary illnesses.
2. Acute cholecystitis
Inflammation of the gallbladder, caused mainly by the presence of stones in this organ. Inflammation can lead to necrosis, suppuration, and gangrene. It also causes side pain and can trigger other problems and complications. It can complicate peritonitis or pancreatitis, and it also has the potential to be fatal.
Inflammation of the peritoneum, usually due to a bacterial infection (septic) or the buildup of body fluids and fluids such as pus (aseptic peritonitis). The symptoms are similar to those of the disease on the side: abdominal pain, fever, breathing problems, swelling, vomiting and diarrhea or constipation. If left untreated, it can lead to death.
4. Kidney stones
This disease caused by the presence of kidney stones is another that could be considered as a secondary disease. Excessive build-up of these elements causes pain and, in the long run, can even cause pain those known as renal colic. However, secondary disease is less likely to refer to this cause due to its greater resemblance to the above.
What would medical treatment look like today?
On the contrary, in the Middle Ages, when the disease on the side ended with the death of a large number of people, there are currently more ways to overcome the diseases grouped in this obsolete category. Of course, it’s not that the problem is harmless: it’s a problem that continues to have lethal potential if left untreated.
As for which procedure to use, the first step is obviously to diagnose the problem itself in a much more specific way. In this sense, it is possible to do a scan by touch to notice the presence of inflammation, but also techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and contrast x-rays can be used. The use of blood and stool analysis can reflect information of great relevance. Likewise, the use of techniques such as colonoscopy can also allow a more complete view of the condition of the digestive tract.
Once the failing organ is detected and the problem presented, treatment will vary depending on its causes. Surgery can be used to remove damaged or affected parts, such as in the case of appendicitis. In case of infection, administration of antibiotics will also be necessary.
“Medicine, n.1”. OED online. Oxford University Press. September 2014. Accessed November 8, 2014.
Grammaticos PC, Diamantis A (2008). “Known and unknown useful views of the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, and his professor Democritus.” Hellenic Journal of Nuclear Medicine.