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to blame, but simply that _the same conditions_ that produced gout in
the ancestors likewise produced it in their descendants.
We know now that gout is caused by excessive eating, excessive
drinking, lack of exercise, and faulty elimination. And, since, as a
general thing, children lead the same lives that their fathers did,
they are likely to develop the same diseases as their fathers did. A
poor man who leads an abstemious life doesn't develop gout, and if his
children lead the same abstemious lives they do not develop gout.
(There are some cases of gout among the poor, but they are very rare.)
But if they should begin to gorge and live an improper life they would
be prone to develop the disease.
The disease, therefore, cannot in any way be considered hereditary. In
matrimony, gout in either of the couple is not a desirable quality,
but it is not a bar to marriage; and, if the candidate individually is
healthy and free from gout, the fact that there was gout in the
ancestry should play no role.
Mumps is the common name for what is technically called parotitis (or
parotiditis). Parotitis is an inflammation of the parotid glands. The
parotid glands are situated, one on each side, immediately in front
and below the external ear, and they are between one-half and one
ounce in weight. They belong to the salivary glands; that is, they
manufacture saliva, and each parotid gland has a duct through which it
pours the saliva into the mouth. These ducts open opposite the second
upper molar teeth.
We might be surprised to be told that these parotid glands can have
anything to do with the sex organs, but there is no other remote organ
that has such a close and rather mysterious relationship with the
sex-glands as have the parotids. When the parotid glands, either one
or both, are inflamed, the testicles or ovaries are also liable to be
attacked by inflammation. The inflammation of the testicles may be so
severe as to cause them to shrivel and dry up; or, even when no
shrivelling, no atrophy of the testicles occurs, they may be so
affected as to become incapable of producing spermatozoa. Moreover, in
cases where the testicles of a mumps patient seemingly were not
attacked--that is, where the patient was not aware of any
inflammation, having no pain and no other symptoms--the testicles may
have become incapable of generating spermatozoa.
Besides the testicles, the prostate gland, the secretion of which is
necessary to the fertility of the spermatozoa, may also become
affected and _atrophied_.
It is, therefore, a very common thing for men who had the mumps in
their childhood to be found sterile.
As to the sexual power of mumps patients, that differs. Some patients
lose their virility entirely; others remain potent, but become
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