This is one of the most common difficulties in the whole list of disease. It includes most of those unde-finable, and sometimes inexpressible sensations popularly classed under the head of "bilious derangement." It is in this way that the stomach generally speaks, when it has been crowded with more food than it can manage, or when the food is not of the proper quantity, or taken at the proper time, or when its strength has been tasked by stimulants and dissipation. The result of this violent action, is of course, weakness of the digestive organs.

Derangement of the stomach is followed by a long train of unpleasant and distressing symptoms. A sympathetic action is felt in the head and in fact in every part of the body. Thus we have violent headaches, intolerable dullness, great vertigo, general lassitude, pain in the abdomen, constipation, diarrhoea, and a host of diseases.

Causes

The human system is fond of order and regularity, and when this order is interfered with, derangement is the result. This may arise, as it regards the stomach, from either taking too much and too rich food, or not enough; by eating whenever convenient, instead of at regular hours, by eating food not easily digested, or too great a variety at one time; by indulging in the free use of stimulants, such as, spices, liquors, etc, and by the immoderate use of tobacco, coffee, and tea, as well as by various other causes. The stomach is not unfrequently weakened by large doses of medicine, and continues in this debilitated state for years.

Diagnosis

Sensation of weight in the stomach, especially after eating, loss of appetite, bitter taste in the mouth, sour rising, flatulence, nausea, and sometimes vomiting of acid or mucus, drowsiness, particularly after a meal.

Treatment

Abstain from unnatural stimulants, which generally only produce temporary relief, and make use of food, easy of digestion, at regular intervals. The free use of cold water in chronic derangement, in the form of the wet bandage, (See Bathing.) is also recommended. Recent cases of dyspepsy are generally controlled by means of Pulsatilla, Ipecac., or Nux-vomica, while those of longer duration are not unfre-quently entirely removed by means of Hepar-s. and Sulphur.

When occasioned by the use fat things, Pulsatilla is generally indicated, or sometimes Ipecac. or Carb.-veg.

Occasioned by cold water, ices, or fruits: Puls., Caps., Ars,, China, Ipecac., or Verat.

In children, Ipecac., China, Puls, Nux-vom., Sulph., Cham.

In old people, Ant., Carb.-veg., Chin., Nux-vom.

Occasioned by a sedentary life: Bry., Nux-vom., Sep., Sulph.

By prolonged watching: Am., Carb.-veg., Nux-vom., Puls., Verat.

By debilitating losses from purging, bleeding, etc.: Chin., Calc., Carb.-v., Ruta., Phos.-ac.

By sexual excess: Calc., Merc., Nux-vom., Staph.

Gluttony: Ant., Ars., Ipec c, Nux-vom., Puls.

Spirituous liquors: Carb.-v., Nux-vom., Sulph., Chin., Puls.

Abuse of Coffee: Nux-vom., Ignatia.

Abuse of Tea: Fer.-or Thuja.

Abuse of Tobacco: Ipecac, Nux-vom., Puls.

From Grief; Nux-vom., Bry., Chin., Ignatia.

From Meat: Fer., Ruta, Sil., Sulph.

From Milk: Bry., Calc., Nux-vom., Sulph.

As it regards the particular indications of remedies, Nux-vomica is perhaps one of the most prominent, particularly at the commencement of the treatment, and where there is a predisposition to constipation or piles, or a temperament which is restless, irritable, lively and choleric.

There is generally a sour, bitter taste in the mouth, hunger, or repugnance to food, with craving for spirituous liquors; nausea, sour eructation; or else vomiting of food, flatulence, dullness, vertigo, lassitude and disposition to sleep, tenderness of the stomach when touched, with a sense of weight or fullness; sufferings from drinking, coffee, tobacco, abuse of food, and the various forms of dissipation; waterbrash, heaviness and dullness of the head; constipation, heat and redness of the face; yellow or earthy complexion. It is frequently desirable to alternate it with Sulphur, the Sulphur in the morning, and Nux at night.

Dose

A powder, or three globules, night and morning. If in alternation with Sulphur, as directed above.

Sulphur

More particularly indicated in the beginning of the treatment, in chronic dyspepsy, or in persons of nervous and irritable temperament after Nux-v. or Pulsatilla. There is repugnance to food, craving for acids; sufferings from meat, acids, fat, milk, and sweetened food; shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting of food, eructations, pain in the stomach after eating; acidity, water-brash, flatulence, etc.

Dose

Same as Nux.

Pulsatilla

Indicated in the commencement of the disease, particularly when occasioned by fatty food. There is dislike to cooked or hot food, and a craving for acids, spices, wines and rick food; nausea, eructations or vomiting, dyspncea and sadness after a meal; water-brash; bitter or sour eructations; frequent loose evacuations, sometimes with colic. This remedy is particularly suited to women, and can often be followed by Sulphur. Dusk. - Two drops or eight globules in a tumbler of water, a tablespoonful at a dose. For directions as to giving the medicine, see administration at the close of this disease.

Bryonia

Particularly indicated in damp and warm weather, and where there is constipation; painful sensibility of the stomach to the touch, sometimes with colic, a sense of fullness, or vomiting of food after a meal; aversion to food and craving for stimulants; empty, sour, or bitter eructations. It may frequently be alternated with China or Rhus.

Dose

See administration at the close of this disease.

China

In marshy districts in the spring or autumn, or where the system has been debilitated by blood-letting, purging, etc.; and where there is indifference to food, craving for stimulants; acid, or bitter taste; uneasiness, drowsiness, fullness, distensions, eructations; great weakness; sensibility to currents of air; disturbed sleep. It is sometimes alternated with Bryonia or Rhus.

Dose

See administration at the close of this disease.

Rhus

Its indications are similar to Bryonia, with which, or with China, it is generally advisable to alternate it There is an unnatural taste; repugnance to food and craving for dainties; disposition to sleep, lassitude and nausea after a meal; painful but abortive eructations; distension of the stomach, gastric sufferings and uneasiness, particularly at night

Dose

See administration at the close of this disease.

Hepar-S

Is a valuable remedy in chronic cases, particularly if Mercury has been freely given, or if almost all kinds of food disagree, with craving for stimulants; nausea, particularly in the morning, sometimes with vomiting of sour, bilious or mucous substance; pain in the abdomen; sensation of fullness and distension, with a desire to have the clothes loose about the stomach.

Mercury or Lachesis are often indicated after Hepar-s., or they may be given in alternation.

Dose

See administration at the close of this disease.

Mercurius

Unpleasant taste in the morning; aversion to hot, and craving for cool food and drink; painful sensibility of the stomach with nausea, eructations, fullness and tension; constipation with tenesmus.

Dose

See administration at the close of this disease.

Calcarea

Acid or bitter taste; thirst with little appetite; dislike for meat and hot food, with craving for dainties; nausea, water-brash, acidity, fullness and tenderness of the stomach to the touch; debility, pain in the head with sensation of coldness. Frequently given after Sulphur.

Dose

See administration at the close of this disease.

Arsenicum

Burning pains or colic in the stomach and abdomen, sometimes with chilliness and anguish, stomach sensitive to the touch; fullness or aching sensation, great debility; nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, particularly after drinking, and every motion of the body

Dose

See administration at the close of this disease.

Ipecac

Loathing of food with desire to vomit; violent straining or easy vomiting, nausea, pains and pressure or sense of fullness in the stomach; aching sensation in the forehead or head; chilliness; colic and diarrhceic stools.

Dose

See administration at the close of this disease.

Carb

v. - Loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting after a meal; acidity and pains in the stomach; heaviness and dullness of the head; peculiarly sensitive to changes of the temperature, cold, hot, dry or damp weather.

For particular indications for other remedies, see Materia Medica, at the close of the book. 5

Administration

I have already mentioned (page 12) in the introductory chapter, which I trust the reader will carefully peruse, the manner of preparing and giving medicines, so that it will be unnecessary to enter into the minutiae here. Two drops may be mixed in a tumbler of water, a tablespoonful given at a dose, or a powder or three globules taken on the tongue. In recent cases of derangement of the stomach, the remedy carefully selected, may be given, a dose once in from one to four hours, according to circumstances. In chronic cases the intervals should be longer, say every six, or twelve hours, generally morning and night. I would again urge upon the attention of the reader, the necessity of closely studying the case, of being particular in the selection of a remedy, and after its selection, giving it a fair trial.

Diet And Regimen

The diet should be plain and simple, the habits regular, the mind cheerful and easy, and those causes, which tended to produce the disease, carefully avoided. Bathing and friction, moderate exercise in the open air, cheerful conversation, avoiding unpleasant and gloomy thoughts, and indulgence in those things which will give a healthy tone to the mind, and life and animation to the body, will often effect a cure without resorting to internal remedies. Late suppers, rich and stimulating food and drinks, and the artificial manner of living, which seems to be so pleasing to some, are not pleasing to the stomach, and are followed, oftentimes, by indigestion running into violent fevers and chronic difficulties, which undermine the constitution and sap the foundations of life. As a general thing a person suffering from dyspepsy should avoid tobacco in every form.

When there is an acid stomach a little weak lemonade, cider or a small quantity of some of the acid wines will often produce relief.