The Symptoms of Chronic Gastric Catarrh

Pressure and fullness at the stomach after eating; flatulence; heartburn; little or no appetite; vomiting; water-brash; tenderness at the pit of the stomach; slimy tongue; bad taste in the mouth; obstinate constipation; occasional jaundice; mental depression: lassitude; pains in the limbs and face; sleeplessness.

This disease is much more common than is generally supposed, and includes quite a large proportion of cases which are usually classed under the ambiguous head, dyspepsia. The most troublesome symptoms of this disease are due to deficient secretion of the gastric juice, dependent upon the congested state of the peptic glands, and the choking of the follicles with mucus. The great abundance of mucus also interferes with the action of the gastric juice by rendering it alkaline, and by coating over the food, and rendering it impermeable by the digestive fluids. Deficient muscular activity of the stomach is also occasioned by the partial paralysis of the walls of the stomach consequent upon long-continued congestion. The disease is often long-continued, the patient rarely recovering without the employment of some special measures adapted for his relief. Its results, when long-continued, are thickening of the mucous membrane of the stomach, sometimes to an enormous extent, gastric ulcer, contraction of the pylorus, and enlarged stomach. Patients rarely die of the disease itself, life being cut short by other diseases which are produced by the great exhaustion and debility caused by the defective nutrition. Consumption very frequently follows gastric catarrh

The Causes of Chronic Gastric Catarrh

The causes are the same as have been mentioned as productive of acute gastric catarrh, by far the most important being errors in diet, the use of alcohol, drugs, tea, coffee, tobacco, and frequent exposure to heat and cold. The disease is very frequently the result of repeated attacks of acute gastric catarrh, but is occasionally gradually developed in the chronic form from the start. We have met many cases which seemed to have been produced by long-continued acidity of the stomach occasioned by dietetic errors. Gastric catarrh is frequently dependent up in other diseases which obstruct the venous circulation of the mucous membrane of the stomach, as diseases of the liver, organic disease of the heart, empyema, and chronic pleurisy.