In an address delivered before the Philadelphia Pathological Society,1 Chittenden states that as long as the normal rhythm of nutrition is maintained and the organs of secretion functionate normally, there is little occasion for noting the character of waste products of changes in the tissues. In disease conditions, however, the chemical nature and the physiologic action of these so-called waste products, more or less common to all active cells, demand attention.
It needs but little experience with the thyroid and suprarenal glands, for example, to learn that diminutive organs possess physiologic power out of all proportion to their size. The little groups of cells which constitute these glands manufacture substances which exercise a tremendous influence, directly or indirectly, on general metabolism. These substances may not perhaps be directly toxic, their specific action being perhaps rather in the line of prevention of formation of toxic substances elsewhere in the body.