An attack of uremia is accompanied by headache, dizziness, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting.
As the patient becomes worse his urine becomes very scant, his vision may be lost or greatly diminished, he may experience cramps in the muscles or convulsions,delirium and coma.
Despite the very small amount of urine passed, the specific gravity is very low because no urea is excreted.
The treatment of uremia is empiric and symptomatic because we still don't know all about the secrets of the body functions and how to influence them in health and disease.
Oh yes, we know how to make the heart thump harder by taking certain drugs and we know how to dope and slow it down or stop it altogether with other poisonous drugs, but the Indians knew it all before us and we learned much about drugs from them.
We even learned from them how to dull ourselves and permanently injure our hearts and blood vessels by smoking the tobacco weed and in return we taught them how to burn themselves up and destroy themselves with fire water.
Anyway, one of the many drugs we learned about from the Indians is Jalap, and "Compound Jalap Powder" is useful in uremia.
Give the patient half a teaspoonful of it twice a day. Also give him hot water enemas containing 2 teaspoonful each of baking soda and table salt twice a day.
If there is a tendency to convulsions, give him 15 grains of potassium bromide in the enema which may be repeated every 3 hours.
Give him plenty of fluids in the form of water and well-sweetened fruit juices.Use glucose , honey or molasses for sweetening. And give him the following medicine
- Potassium acetate 4 drams
- Spirit of ether 1 ounce
- Peppermint water, enough to make 3 ounces
- Mix and direct to take a teaspoonful every 2 hours
The diet should be light and only liquid at first. Milk, half and half with water, or cereal gruels is sufficient. As he improves add cereals, milk toast, custards, gelatine, jello puddings.
Later on the protein food may be increased to an egg, cheese, a small portion of fish, meat or chicken once a day and various milk mixtures, as malted milk, buttermilk and junket.
In severe cases of uremia the doctor will use quicker working measures. An artificial kidney (machine) is now used for purifying the blood in the cases