The Symptoms of Dilatation Of The Stomach

Water-brash: heart-burn; flatulence; cramp; fickle appetite; constipation; abdominal enlargement: occasionally vomiting of great quantities of sour matters resembling yeast.

The Causes of Dilatation Of The Stomach

Dilatation of the stomach usually results from some obstruction to the passage of food into the intestine. This may be due to contraction of the pyloric opening, or to inactivity of the muscular walls of the stomach, which do not contract with sufficient force to expel the contents of the organ. This condition is a frequent accompaniment of cancer of the stomach. It is also sometimes the result of chronic gastritis. It occurs most often in gluttons and drunkards.

The Treatment of Dilatation Of The Stomach

This disease is an obstinate one, and in many cases cannot be cured. Much can be done to relieve the patient, however, and by persistent and thorough treatment a cure can sometimes be effected. The patient should eat only the mast simple foods, such as are easy of digestion, and in the smallest quantity capable of sustaining life. Soups, and liquid foods of all kinds, should be avoided, as the absorption of fluids in this condition is very slow. The diet should consist chiefly of dry food which requires very thorough mastication. Vegetables should be wholly avoided, together with fat meats, and pastry of every sort. The patient should eat no fermented bread. The dyspeptic bread, or water-crackers, are excellent in this condition. In many cases, nutritive enemata may be advantageously used, giving the stomach a good opportunity for rest. The most prominent indication for active treatment is thorough and frequent emptying of the stomach. This may be accomplished in two ways: first, by drinking large quantities of water containing a little salt, or carbonate of soda in the morning an hour before meal-time. Sufficient should be taken to excite vomiting, if possible, although, of course, if vomiting is not induced after several glasses have been taken, the patient should not continue to overload the stomach with liquid. The water should be sufficiently warm to be nauseating. Vomiting should be encouraged by tickling the throat with a feather or the finger. By far the most efficient means of relieving the stomach of its decomposing contents is the stomach-pump or syphon arrangement already described in connection with the treatment of chronic gastritis. Powdered charcoal may be taken with advantage after each meal, in quantities of from a teaspoonful to two tablespoonfuls. Some benefit will be derived from the use of electricity, both galvanic and faradic, applied locally. A bandage worn in such a position as to support the distended stomach frequently adds much to the patient's comfort. Constipation should be relieved by enemas and manipulations of the bowels. The other symptoms should be treated as directed for the treatment of chronic gastritis and other disorders of the stomach in which the same symptoms occur.