The Causes of Nervous Dyspepsia

The causes of this form of dyspepsia are somewhat less obvious than those of the other varieties mentioned; but a causative relation has been traced in a sufficient number of cases to enable us to say that the disease is undoubtedly induced by sedentary habits, excessive brain labor with too little sleep, by unhappy social surround ings, by disappointment, by misfortune, by grief or anxiety, as well as by numerous dietetic errors, particularly the use of stimulating food, excessive quantities of animal food, tea, coffee, wine or other forms of alcoholic drinks, tobacco and other narcotics.

The Treatment of Nervous Dyspepsia

Nervous dyspeptics rarely complain of much difficulty with digestion, yet the most careful observance of strict dietetic rules is of great importance in this class of cases. The diet must be plain, unstimulating, but very nutritious. It is of special importance that the patient make a free use of the whole-grain preparations. Oatmeal is a specially good article of food, as are also graham and cracked wheat. Pepper, spice, mustard, and all other irritating condiments must be scrupulously avoided. There is usually a slow digestion in these cases, and hence the suggestions made respecting the diet in that form of stomach disease also apply to this.

Fomentations and the various other local applications for the relief of pain must be employed as necessary. In many cases fomentations over the stomach will be found very useful, though in some cases the nervousness will be aggravated by this application. Wearing the abdominal bandage is a very excellent means of increasing the activity of the stomach, and also of promoting sleep. Patients of this class usually need a great amount of rest, and judgment must be used in advising exercise. A change of occupation is essential in many cases, even after a cure has been effected, in order to prevent a relapse. We are certain, however, that a change of this kind is often advised when a change of diet is all that is required. We have not infrequently been consulted by literary persons who feared that their minds were becoming so seriously affected that they should be obliged to abandon their professions; but with few exceptions we have been able to say to them that a careful regulation of the diet and regimen was all that was required, and have been gratified to see the result all that could be desired.