The old idea of the influence of cold in inducing preliminary congestion, and stasis which results in acute inflammation, is very seldom mentioned, and yet this influence is by no means to be overlooked. It cannot possibly be displaced entirely by the germ theory. A German writer prevents the action of cold without the co-operation of bacteria, as the cause of the development of acute nephritis.
He says chilling the feet induces reflex action, constriction of the vessels in the kidneys, and the reflex anemia thus induced is liable to persist indefinitely for a time, entailing disturbances in the circulation and in the nutrition of the cells, and degeneration of the functioning elements, with inflammation as the final outcome. The decaying cells or the abnormal metabolic products by degenerating cells, may likewise subsequently induce an inflammatory process.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.