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Hydrocele is a common condition of men in which there is accumulation of fluid in the tunica vaginalis, the sac which surrounds the testicle. It may occur at any age, but old men are usually more prone to the condition.
The testicles are the major sex glands in the male. Each gland is composed of myriads of coiled tubes in which the sperm cells are produced. It is the function of these cells to fertilize the ovum during sexual intercourse.
The main symptom of hydrocele is painless, smooth and elastic enlargement of the scrotum. In some cases swelling is so much as to cause a great deal of inconvenience interfering greatly with walking. Consequently it may produce a great deal of pressure upon the testicles and the spermatic vessels causing a detrimental effect upon the generative system. The hydrocele is translucent. If a bright light is placed upon it in the dark the whole swelling lights up If the swelling become painful, it usually denotes that it has become infected.
Tapping is the method usually resorted to for removal of the fluid in hydrocele. This, however, does not remove the cause of the trouble but only its effects. The correct way in which the condition can be really dealt with successfully is through constitutional treatment. Such a treatment should aim at removing the underlying toxicity of the system which is at the root of the trouble.
The sufferer from hydrocele should begin with an exclusive fresh fruit diet for seven to ten days. In this regimen, he should have three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes, grape-fruit, oranges, pineapple, peaches, melon or any other juicy fruit in season but no bananas or dried, stewed or tinned fruit, and no other foodstuff whatever. For drinks, lemon water unsweetened or water either hot or cold may be taken.
During this period the bowels should be cleansed daily with a warm water enema. If constipation is habitual, all steps should be taken for its eradication. After all all-fruit diet the patient may adopt the following regimen:
Breakfast: Fresh fruit as obtainable, or grated raw carrot or other raw salad-stuff, prunes or other dried fruits, if desired, and a cup of milk.
Lunch: Steamed vegetables, as obtainable, with either a poached or scrambled egg or a vegetarian savory. Stewed fruit or a baked apple may be taken for dessert.
Dinner: A good-sized raw salad, of any suitable vegetable as obtainable, with whole wheat bread and butter, and prunes or other dried fruits as dessert.
Further short periods on the all-fruit diet should be undertaken at monthly intervals as required, for two or three consecutive days each time. The diet factor is of the utmost importance and fruits and salads must form the main basis of the future dietary. Alcohol, strong tea, coffee condiments, pickles and sauces should be avoided. Smoking, where habitual, should be given up.
Treatment through water is extremely beneficial in curing hydrocele. Cold hip baths twice daily in the morning and the evening, for 10 minutes each time, are specially valuable. For a cold hip bath, an ordinary tub may be used. It should be filled with cold water. The patient should sit in the tub, keeping the legs outside. A hot Epsom-salts bath is also very useful in the treatment of hydrocele and should be taken once or twice weekly, where possible.
Every effort should be made to build up the general health level to the highest degree. Fresh air and outdoor exercise are essential to the success of this treatment. Sun and air bathing, where possible, should be undertaken. All habits, and practices tending to lower the tone of the body should be studiously avoided; strain should be avoided as far as possible. The wearing of a suspensory bandage is often useful. Unless the condition persists for a long time, the foregoing treatment should soon begin to show its beneficial effects, and the whole general health-level of the sufferer will be greatly enhanced at the same time.
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