The Symptoms of Chronic Ulcer Of The Stomach

Pain in stomach and in spine opposite, increased by food, especially hot drinks and sugar; tenderness of abdomen, particularly over the stomach; violent beating at pit of stomach; vomiting; tongue ridged and furred; often great thirst; constipation.

Ulcer of the stomach is a much more common disease than is generally supposed. Many cases supposed to be merely neuralgia of the stomach are really chronic ulcer, it being very easy to confound the two diseases. The ulcer may be very small in size, not more than one-fourth of an inch in diameter, or may extend until it becomes as large as the palm of the hand. Sometimes the ulcer encircles the stomach like a band.

The Causes of Chronic Ulcer Of The Stomach

The chief causes of ulcer of the stomach are obstruction of the circulation and errors in diet, particularly the use of very hot or cold food, and of liquor, tea, and coffee.

The Treatment of Chronic Ulcer Of The Stomach

The disease is rarely a fatal one. The patient sometimes dies of hemorrhage, perforation of the walls of the stomach, or peritonitis. Unless efficient treatment is applied, the disease is liable to continue for many years. The dietetic treatment of the disease is of the greatest importance. The patient must avoid all kinds of irritating food, particularly hot and cold drinks, sugar, acids, and food which is capable of producing mechanical irritation, such as vegetables, bread made from coarse flour, etc. The diet should consist of such plain foods as milk, either alone or with fine-flour bread, soups, oatmeal gruel, well boiled and strained, beef-tea, etc. In very serious cases, entire rest must be given, the patient being nourished by nutritive enemata. (The other measures of treatment have been fully described under chronic gastritis.) This measure may be resorted to either in connection with the restricted diet, or as an exclusive means of sustaining the patient. Perhaps there is no way by which so speedy a cure can be effected as by giving the stomach entire rest. When there is gas in the stomach, it may often be relieved by the use of freshly burned charcoal taken in powder. Some eminent physicians employ the stomach-pump, as recommended in chronic gastritis.

The other symptoms which accompany this disease should be treated in accordance with the suggestions already made in connection with the treatment of disorders of digestion. When perforation occurs, death is the almost certain result. It should be remarked that pain will often continue for some time after the ulcer is healed, owing to the formation of cicatrices, which cause contraction of the walls of the stomach. When hemorrhage occurs, which is not infrequently the case in this disease, it should be treated as described in the following section.