Inner Hygiene: Constipation and the Pursuit of Health in Modern Society

Hardcover | March 15, 2000

byJames C. Whorton

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Inner Hygiene explores the serious health threat of constipation, and discusses the extraordinary variety of preventive and curative measures that have been developed to save people from the toxic effects of intestinal regularity. The book examines the evolution over the last two centuries ofthe belief that constipation is a disease brought on by an unnatural lifestyle of urban, industrial society. Particular attention is given to the many constipation therapies that people have used, including laxatives, enemas, mineral waters, bran cereals, yogurts, electrotherapy, calisthenics,rectal dilation devices, and many other remedies. The story is carried up to the present and demonstrates that many of constipation therapies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are continuing into the twenty-first.

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Inner Hygiene explores the serious health threat of constipation, and discusses the extraordinary variety of preventive and curative measures that have been developed to save people from the toxic effects of intestinal regularity. The book examines the evolution over the last two centuries ofthe belief that constipation is a disease br...

James C. Whorton is at University of Washington.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 9.29 × 6.1 × 1.18 inPublished:March 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195135814

ISBN - 13:9780195135817

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Table of Contents

1. Inner Hygiene in the Nineteenth Century: The Consequences of Constipation2. Inner Hygiene in the Nineteenth Century: Causes and Cures of Constipation3. Cutting Out the Kinks: Surgical Treatment4. The Sorrows of the Colon: Pharmaceutical Treatment5. Washing Out the Inner Person: The Water Cure6. The Culture of the Abdomen: Physical Therapies7. The Cultured Abdomen: Dietary Prevention8. The White Man's Burden: Constipation and Civilization9. From Roughage to Softage: The Rise of Dietary Fiber10. The Never-Ending Quest for Regularity: Constipation in the Late Twentieth Century

Editorial Reviews

"Whorton's scrutiny of constipation illuminates the rich legacy responsible for our continued fascination with intestinal regularity. He focuses on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when, as a "civilized" disease, constipation became part of he clarion cry of all who worried about thecompromised state of our "inner hygiene." Whorton fleshes (flushes?!) out a cadre of characters and therapies that outdo one another in their eccentricities and outrageousness. For the clinician mystified by a patient's preoccupation with bowel regularity or insistence that colonic irrigation is theroute to intestinal Nirvana, Whorton's nner Hygiene will prove to be just what the doctor ordered." -- Micaela Sullivan-Fowler, MS, MA, JAMA, Feb 21, 2001, Vol 285, No. 7