The dietetic treatment of the anaemias is in many cases one of the most important therapeutic indications, for pathological conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract and the blood as a whole react upon each other with, sometimes, notable intensity. The relations of the two may, however, vary in different cases. In some instances the general condition is dependent on a gastrointestinal cause; in others the connexion is the reverse; while in a third group both the general and the local symptoms own a common origin.
Empirical treatment is always unsatisfactory to the practitioner, but in this group of diseases must often be prescribed, as our knowledge of the causes which produce them is peculiarly meagre and deficient. Recent research has, however, thrown considerable light on some of the conditions which I have to consider, although the information available is still suggestive rather than definite; and at the present time a rational line of treatment can more often be dictated than was possible a few years ago.
In this article I shall consider chlorosis and pernicious anaemia at some length, and will refer to these sections for details in the subsequent paragraphs, so as to avoid reiteration as far as it is possible.