This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
Under this head we shall notice briefly, for the convenience of the reader, the most important symptoms which require attention in the treatment of diseases of the digestive organs, and which have not previously been noticed at all, or at least but briefly, giving also ready and simple methods of treatment for the same.
Gas in the stomach and bowels comes from the fermentation of imperfectly digested food. Restrict quantity of food. Avoid starch, sugar, butter, all sweets and fats. Also avoid tea, coffee, chocolate, and all other drinks at meals. Use soft boiled eggs, rare beef, and dry food. Relieve the bowels regularly. Wear wet bandages at night. Knead and percuss the bowels a great deal. Take a teaspoonful of powdered charcoal in a little water after each meal, or eat one or two charcoal crackers.
Avoid sweet and starchy foods, soups, coarse vegetables, raw fruits, and drink at meals. Eat slowly a small quantity. Avoid mixing fruits and vegetables. In many cases milk must be discarded. Find some one or two articles of food which do not produce acidity, and use them exclusively until the stomach gets into a more normal condition. Persons troubled with acidity should be especially careful to avoid drinking at meals or soon after. Water may be taken half an hour before the meal with advantage, especially hot water. As a means of temporary relief, a half-teaspoonful of soda may bo taken in a little water; but this remedy should not be often resorted to, as it will do more harm than good in the end. The same is true of magnesia, a very popular remedy for acidity. Charcoal may be used with advantage as recommended for flatulence.
This condition differs so little from the preceding that it is relieved by the same remedies. A very few sips of hot water will sometimes give prompt relief, and if taken a half-hour after the close of the meal, will usually prevent the occurrence of this troublesome condition. The patient must abstain from all sorts of fats and greasy foods most scrupulously, as well as from sweets. In many cases, it is well also to make use of but little flesh food, for a time, at least.
When present soon after eating, give the patient frequent small sips of hot drink, either water alone, or water to which a few drops of camphor, peppermint, winter-green, or some other aromatic has been added. Also apply hot fomentations over the stomach constantly for an hour or two. The hot-water bag may be used with advantage instead of moist heat. In some cases a few sips of strong lemonade, taken very hot, gives immediate relief. In obstinate cases, the patient may take three or four drops of dilute muriatic acid in a tablespoonful of water, drawing the acid liquid through a glass tube or a straw, to avoid injury to the teeth. If the stomach is empty, small sips of iced water or bits of ice may be swallowed at frequent intervals. Ice to the spine, opposite the stomach, and the local application of electricity-either faradization or galvanization,-are measures to which we have often resorted with success when other means have failed. When the nausea evidently arises from the presence in the stomach of substances which ought to be expelled, as indigestible articles which have been eaten, or the irritating products of indigestion, vomiting should be induced by drinking copiously of warm water and tickling the throat with the finger or a feather. If necessary, a little salt may be added to the warm water.