Or how about a terrible bowel complaint, or, like William Wilberforce, the famous British abolitionist, ulcerative colitis?
Then your nineteenth century doctor prescribes... opium!
Yes, opium, of indeterminate age, size or quantity, taken in granular form (or laudanum, a tincture of opium) so that one can never entirely control one's intake. Wilberforce himself took four grains three times a day for most of his life, and, despite the fact that he was hooked on narcotics, once remarked, "If I take but a single glass of wine, I can feel its effect, but I never know when I have taken my dose of opium by my feelings."
Wilberforce cannot be entirely held accountable for his addiction to opiates, as it was a standard treatment "to mitigate pain, to allay spasm, to promote sleep, to relieve nervous restlessness, to produce perspiration and to check profuse mucous discharges from the bronchial tubes and gastro-intestinal canal."
Gentle Readers, keep this remedy in mind the next time you or a friend wishes to check profuse mucous discharges from the gastro-intestinal canal.