In old days free elimination by these channels was looked upon as a sign of returning health, and was termed a "critical" diuresis, diarrhoea or sweating, according to the channel through which the eliminative act had occurred.
Constipation is the rule at first, but diarrhoea may be present, and is a bad sign.
In some cases of diarrhoea an entirely milk diet has to be prescribed, and in the diarrhoea of children it is sometimes necessary to alternate a diet of barley water with one of beef juice or white of egg and water, or to give whey instead of milk.
The principal causes of death, both among the white and coloured inhabitants, are diseases of the lungs - including miners' phthisis and pneumonia - diarrhoea, dysentery and enteric. The death-rate among young children is very high.
Internally hydrogen peroxide is used in various diseased conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract, such as dyspepsia, diarrhoea and enteric fever.