Gastralgia, Cardialgia. Neuralgia of the stomach.

This disease is excessively tormenting, and often slow and tedious in its progress.

Diagnosis

Pain in the region of the stomach, varying in character and severity; at times violently constrictive, cutting, tearing, gnawing and beating; sometimes so violent as to cause the patient to bend double, at others, dull and heavy. It frequently extends to the breast and back, and is felt between the shoulders. Hard pressure from without generally relieves the pain. The paroxysms vary in duration from a quarter of an hour to a day. As the disease progresses, they increase in frequency and intensity until the- pain is felt nearly all the time. There is often distressing vomiting, hiccough, flatulence, obstinate constipation, and palpitation of the heart. Towards the end of the paroxysm the patient is frequently relieved by bilious, acrid, or mucous vomiting.

Causes

Any cause which has a tendency to derange the nerves of the stomach, as irritation of the liver, spleen, etc. Errors of diet, abuse of coffee and tea, fatigue, emotion, cathartics, abuse of ardent spirits, as well as other stimulating articles. Suppression of cutaneous eruption and cold in the stomach, when the body is heated. Exposure to cold, damp or changeable weather, especially in gouty and rheumatic persons. It is often particularly violent in females at the menstrual or critical period, when it may cause vomiting of blood.

Treatment

Flannel should be worn next the skin, the feet should be kept warm, and particular attention paid to the diet. All stimulants, such as wines and spices, as well as coffee and tea, excepting perhaps weak black tea, should be avoided. Rich food and gravies, uncooked vegetables, new bread or warm cakes, sweetmeats, cheese and all of that class of food should be strictly prohibited. Gastralgia, occasioned by of/use of coffee, may indicate: Cham., Cocc, Ign., Nux-v.

Caused by moral emotions, such as, anger, grief, &c: Cham,., Coloc, Nux-vom., Ign., Staph.

By debility from nursing, purgatives, loss of blood, etc.: Carb.-v., Chin, Cocc, Nux-vom.

By indigestion: Bry., Nux-v., Puls., Carb.-v., Chin.

By intemperance: Carb.-v., Nux-v., Calc, Sulph.

By suppressed eruption: Sulph.

During Catamenia: Cham., Cocc, Nux-vom., and particularly Puls., Sep.

Catamenia too weak: Cocc, Puls.

Catamenia too profuse: Calc, Lye

Torpor of liver and bowels from want of exercise: Carb.-v., Num., Sulph.

Nux-vom. is one of the most important remedies, particularly indicated towards the commencement of the disease. A few doses, followed perhaps by three or four doses of Carb.-v. will often effect a complete cure. If, however, notwithstanding the similarity of the symptoms to Nux, decided relief is not obtained in a short time, Pulsatilla, Chamomilla, Ignatia, or Cocculus may be consulted with advantage.

The particular symptoms indicating Nux, are contractive, pressive, and spasmodic pains in the stomach; aggravation of pains after a meal or from coffee; oppression of the chest, with pain extending into the back; nausea, water-brash or vomiting of food during the pain; flatulence, constipation, haemorrhoidal sufferings; irritable, morose and changeable temper; palpitation of the heart; pain in the head, or pressive pain in the forehead.

Dose

A powder, or three globules, dry on the tongue; or one drop of the tincture in a tumbler of water, a tablespoonful at a dose. In acute and severe cases it may be given once in two hours until relief is obtained. In chronic cases it may be taken morning and night.

Caro

v. particularly after Nux, and where there is violent contractive spasmodic pain, worse on lying down; water-brash, nausea, repugnance to food, flatulence, oppression of the chest and constipation; painful burning pressure with anxiety, aggravated at night or after a meal.

Dose

A powder, or three globules, morning and night.

Chamonilla

Distension of the abdomen, with heavy pressing sensation, oppression of the chest and shortness of breath; worse after a meal or at night; great anguish, sometimes relieved by coffee; pulsative pain in the top of the head, particularly at night It may be alternated with Coffea, and followed, when notwithstanding the similarity of the symptoms relief is not obtained, by Belladonna.

Dose

Two drops, or six globules, in a tumbler of water, a table-spoonful once in two or three hours.

Cocculus

Often of benefit after Nux-vom., or Cha-momilla, where but slight relief has been obtained by them, and when the pain is relieved by emission of flatulence; also where the symptoms seem to indicate Nux, and yet are not relieved by that remedy.

Dose

Same as Chamomilla.

Pulsatilla

Shooting pains, aggravated by walking, and in the evening, when they are also increased by shivering; spasmodic pain either from fasting or overloading the stomach, with nausea or vomiting; pulsation or tension in the stomach; sour or bitter taste, diarrhceic stools; mild disposition, sad and tearful. It is of decided service in menstrual difficulties.

Dose

Same as Chamomilla.

Belladonna

Especially in women and delicate persons, and where the necessary relief has not been obtained from Chamomilla; violent aching or spasmodic tension or pain, so violent as to deprive of consciousness, great thirst, yet worse during and after drinking; sleeplessness at night, and sometimes the opposite during the day.

Dose

Same as Chamomilla.

Bryonia

In the less violent forms of the disease.

There is pressure in the pit of stomach, during and after a meal, together with a sensation of swelling; the pressure, sometimes increasing to pinching or cutting, is relieved by external pressure which creates belching of wind; headache and constipation.

Dose

Two drops, or six globules, in a tumbler of water, a table-spoonful at a dose; or three globules, dry on the tongue. Give once in three or four hours.

Platina

Particularly serviceable during profuse menstruation, generally in alternation with Belladonna.

Dose

A powder, or three globules, every three hours.

China

When occasioned by debility, such as that resulting from hemorrhage, sexual excess, cathartics, emetics, etc. Flatulence, water-brash; fullness and pressure after a meal; violent attacks, with sense of repletion, oppressive aching pain, eructations and empty retching.

Dose

Three drops in a tumbler of water, a tablespoonful morning and night.

Ipecac

Nausea, retching, vomiting, dull stitches in the stomach.

Dose

One drop, or six globules, in a tumbler of water, or three globules dry on the tongue. Give a dose every two hours until relieved.

Sulphur

Pressive pain as from a stone, especially after a meal, with nausea, vomiting and water-brash; acidity, eructations; tendency to haemorrhoid or mucous derangement of the digestive organs; disposition to anger, grief, or melancholy.

Dose

A powder, or three globules, morning and night.

Causticum

Pressure, spasmodic constriction and clawing, shuddering when the pain increases, acidity and water-brash.

Dose

One drop, or six globules, in a tumbler of water, or three globules, dry on the tongue. Give every two or three hours.

Ignatia

Particularly after Pulsatilla, or when it has been occasioned by grief or fasting; also pressive pain like a stone, after a meal or at night; weakness, emptiness, or burning in the stomach, which is sensitive to the touch; hiccough, repugnance to food, drink, or tobacco.

Dose

Same as Causticum.

Calcarea

Principally in plethoric persons and women subject to profuse menstruation, or where Belladonna has given but slight relief, and where there is compressive spasmodic pain, worse after a meal or at night, with vomiting of food, acidity, nausea and painful sensibility to the touch; constipation and haemorrhoidal difficulties.

Dose

Same as Sulphur.

Argent-Nit

Useful with females weak and irritable, when the menses are early and profuse; the spasmodic pain is very violent and is accompanied with retching and vomiting of acrid, yellow, greenish bitter mucus.

Dose

A powder, or three globules, every two or three hours.

Arsenic

Burning pain in the stomach; vomiting on drinking the smallest quantity; violent pain, or dull and heavy; great prostration.

Dose - A powder, or three globules, dry on the tongue, every two or three hours. Where, in acute cases, the pain is excessively violent, the remedy carefully selected may sometimes be given once in half an hour or an hour. The external application of warm cloths may also be advisable.