January 1, 1805
Various quotes from Dr John Latham's book about the decade after learning about Dr John Rollo's all-meat diet to treat diabetes and other malladies. These are some of the first case reports on the Carnivore Diet, they didn't all end well, but some did.
Facts and Opinions Concerning Diabetes
As I wish only in this part of the work to enumerate facts, with the intention of applying them in support of any arguments which I may in the conclusion employ for maintaining any particular opinions, I will not here anticipate any thing that I may then judge right to advance concerning the method of cure; let me however just observe , that during the former period of this gentleman's disease, I enjoined him a strict animal diet, with as much milk as he chose; but in the latter part of it he eat and drank almost as his fancy directed him, since it was found that none of the vegetable decoctions had for several weeks affected his urine, nor any sweetness again arisen from the use of vegetable matters, or from fermented or vinous liquors.
The next was the case of a gentleman with whom I was afterwards upon terms of very friendly intercourse, and whose urine yielded sugar upon evaporation, in the pro portion of one ounce in sixteen or twenty. A common attack of fever first made me acquainted with him , and which, with some difficulty, gave way to the usual methods of cure : his recovery I found retarded by a frequency of micturition, which interrupted his sleep, and which had very long distressed him : he attributed it, however, to some disease either of the bladder or of the prostate gland, which he said he knew to exist, for that his water was often loaded with large quantities of mucus, and that he had been in the habit of introducing bougies for several years, to overcome a stricture which he always found seated very high in the urethra. As he recovered his strength, and was again able to pursue his professional concerns, I did not then at all suspect that there might be any additional cause of his frequent calls to void his urine: nor in truth did I ever suppose, during two or three attendances which I had afterwards upon this gentleman, that any thing more than irritation at the neck of the bladder, increased by a little occasional intemperance, was the cause of the hectic which usually attacked him, accompanied by its common symptoms of thirst, and heat of body, and costiveness. It was nearly two years afterwards, when, from a continuance of these symptoms beyond their usual period; I first suspected that something Diabetic might be connected with them; and on examining the urine I found it sweet. As he was a man of a sound understanding, I explained to him such circumstances as might best induce him to persevere strictly in a proper plan of diet and of medicine; and although he had been accustomed, from a public situation which he held , to live well, I found no difficulty in shewing him the necessity of avoiding all vinous and spirituous liquors, and of entering upon a plan of complete abstinence from all vegetable matters. He took freely and largely of milk, both night and day, to which he latterly added mutton-suet; and his more substantial meals consisted of animal food, with a very small quantity of bread. He took the sulphurated hydrogenous medicines, in very large doses, without any manifest advantage: and afterwards, for many weeks, persevered in the common green mixture of sulphat of iron, with myrrh and tartrat of potash, in the quantity of half a pint in every twenty four hours, which I was induced to press upon him from the benefit I supposed to have arisen from its use in a case above related : this gentleman's strength very much increased under this plan, which, from the relief obtained, he pursued with astonishing perseverance: his urine became much less troublesome, having sometimes but very little sugar, and occasionally none at all: the organic mischief at the neck of the bladder, of course, still continued, and his nights were still disturbed, by his being frequently obliged to make water, but he recovered his usual countenance and his strength again. He did not afterwards indulge to any immoderate extent in company, but as to food, took his milk and suet during some years, pursuing to the time of his death, in 1803, a very active employment, and undergoing great exercise, both of body and mind.
Hitherto I have detailed the cases that have occurred to me, more at length, per haps, than might be necessary; but if any apology may be required for it, I have only to observe, that what I have stated is almost literally written from notes which were taken when the cases were pässing under my observation : and the same apology must be offered for any imperfect statement, if such it should appear, in those which follow ; for having made up my mind with re spect to the method of treatment, from finding it in several instances successful, I was not so studious about noting all the particulars of any individual case, as I had been accustomed to be : but the truth of the matter is, that besides those which have been already, and those which are about to be mentioned, many others did occur, of which I took no note whatever, either be cause they yielded (although the symptoms were really Diabetic) in so short a time, that I had not a convenient opportunity of ascertaining the sweetness of the urine ; or because, from the very common versatility of mind attending this disease, the patients did not return to me after the first inter view : of these, therefore, as cases merely of conjecture or suspicion, I have not made any record ; considering those only as truly legitimate, whose names, with other circum stances, impossible from their notoriety to be misunderstood, I could fairly and honestly register.
"I have had no experience myself of the Hepatised Ammonia, nor did I know whether it could be procured here or not ; and as the gentleman's stay was likely to be so short in Oxfordshire, I was not very anxious about it : but as I have seen the best effects by limiting the use of vegetables, and if possible preventing it entirely, I urged this point as much as I could, but I am afraid I was but imperfectly obeyed. Indeed, I fear we shall have but very few patients who will so perfectly comply with that part of Dr. Rollo's plan, as the patient he has described.
The three next cases may be said to be still my patients, as they continue under the regimen prescribed for them ; or if they are deviating from it, they remain as examples not merely of the efficacy of the plan, but of the durability of the cure: The first was a gentleman from Kent, who consulted me more than a year ago, for indigestion and a bilious irregularity. In March, 1809, he called upon me with every symptom of Diabetes ; and in addition to the large quantity of water, and the usual thirst and voracious appetite, he complained of a wasting of his pudenda, and of absolute impotency; circumstances which I believe to happen not unfrequently in Diabetes, notwithstanding I have not hitherto made such the subject of particular enquiry: I ordered him upon the chalybeate plan, and enjoined him the usual strict regimen with respect to diet: I was to see him again, or hear from him in case of necessity : but not hearing from him I wrote to him, expressing my anxiety about him, which brought him to London : -He then candidly acknowledged, that he had not tried the plan, for that he had taken it into his head that nothing could be of any service to him. I remonstrated with him most strongly, and shewed him his danger ; and on his return to Rochester, he commenced his plan, for his apothecary some time afterwards informed me, in a letter dated Oct. 27, 1809— “Our patient, Mr. S—, is perfectly recovered, from the plan you recommended.”
A gentleman who resides in Surrey, up wards of sixty years of age, was also, a year ago, relieved by a similar plan; for, in about three weeks, his urine, and thirst and appetite, became natural, and his emaciation was succeeded by flesh and strength : In the following year, 1809, the symptoms returned , and the same treatment was pursued with the same fortunate result ; for his urine, which had again become sweet, soon was found, upon evaporation, to .contain not a particle of sugar, and his health, in proportion, improved. It may not be improper to mention, that I found it necessary to secure rest at night by means of ten grains of the compound powder of ipecacuanha.
The next case is that of a gentleman's housekeeper in Portland Place, who states her complaint to have arisen six years ago. About ten years since, one of her breasts was removed, from an apprehension of cancer. Her age is above sixty. Her urine was very sweet, and in large quantity, and very frothy, and when spilled upon the ground, left an incrustation like chalk, in appearance, but which was, in reality, a saccharine crystallization. —The peculiar odour from her body and her lungs was here remarkably, characteristic of her complaint : but this, as well as the other symptoms of the disorder, admitted of a change in less than two days : She had complained of an uneasiness and weight at the stomach, which was removed by a bolus of the hydragyrus cum cretà , given for a few successive nights, and then the strict animal diet, with forbearance from all sorts of vegetables, and from fermented liquors, together with the common steel ' draught, with myrrh, three times a day, was perse vered in most accurately ; the change al most immediately took place for the better, and her health, more than could have been expected at her time of life, is manifestly improving:
--After persevering about three weeks, rigidly, in the plan prescribed, I indulged her with beer at her meals, and with potatoes, and had the satisfaction of finding no sugar reproduced in her urine : In a few days she used stale bread, (for she had fancied that new bread had a tendency to bring back the disease) with the same happy result : and was then directed to eat any sort of vegetables she pleased, adapting the quantity to her usual portion of animal food ; and, after a trial of ten days, she experienced no renewal of her disorder. After the expiration of two months, I saw her again, without any symptom of the complaint whatever; and again, after an absence of several more months, still continuing in a perfect state of health.
Whilst these pages were preparing for the press, I was consulted for a young lady in the neighbourhood of Liverpool, who was labouring under the worst description of saccharine Diabetes :-She certainly experienced considerable relief during several weeks from the full plan of animal diet, chalybeates, and the phosphoric acid, but: ultimately she fell a victim to her disorder: In the last stage of the disease I visited her at her father's house, and I think I never saw emaciation so extreme, nor patience so constant, nor attention to the plan of regimen so scrupulously exact; as in this amiable, and exemplary young lady.
I was ałşo, about the same time, consulted by a gentleman near Somerset House, in the Strand : He was about sixty years of age : His skin was cold and harsh ; and his pulse small and freqüent: He made · water very often , but it was not at all sweet; and on evaporation it yielded plenty of crystallized salts , leaving a bitter and offensive residuum . His appetite was moderate, and so was his thirst, but his debility and emaciation were excessive ; and his nervous irritability, which seldom suffered him to sleep, had terminated in a slight paralysis, affecting the organs of speech, and the whole of his right side. His case seemed to me to want nothing .but the saccharine Characteristic to constitute it a true Diabetes, and I accordingly ordered him eggs instead of bread, milk and broth instead of tea, and animal food under any form he pleased, and the exclusion of all vegetable and fermented matters; and his medicine was the myrrh draught, with the sulphat of iron. Although I had not much expectation of doing him good, I had the satisfaction of finding him better in a few days; and, after visiting him, perhaps twice a week, for about a month, I requested him to remove to Hampstead, --for the benefit of the chalybeate water, and where he might have the opportunity of exercise in a fine air. This, however, he neglected to do ; and, during my absence from London at my house in the country, I found that he had deviated altogether from the plan advised for him, and that a fresh attack of palsy had terminated his existence.: A clergyman, also , from the neighbour hood of Harrow , consulted me for a dropsy. He was advancing in years, his debility was great, and his legs were much swollen : I found, however, that his appetite was very good, and his complexion clear; and that, independent of his extreme weakness. and the tumefied legs, he was apparently in health: On examination, too, it was discovered that his urine was in greater quantity than is usual, but that it neither to the taste, nor on evaporation, yielded any sugar: Still I was not convinced that his dropsy could arise from any other cause.