This section is from the book "Practical Dietetics With Special Reference To Diet In Disease", by William Gilman Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Practical Dietetics with Special Reference to Diet in Disease.
Acute gastric catarrh in infants is oftenest due to improper feeding. It is also excited, or rather promoted, by teething and other reflex irritations which interfere with the normal stomach functions. There is an acute inflammation of the gastric mucous membrane, accompanied by more or less fever, vomiting, local pain, and anorexia. This affection is comparatively rare among nurslings. When it does occur in them, the mother's milk should be analysed, and any errors in her own mode of life, diet, etc., must be corrected. If the breast milk continues to disagree, a wet nurse must be procured, and, failing this, the child must be weaned if the disorder continues.
Older children who are allowed to come to table develop the disease from eating too rich or stimulating articles, such as pickles, sauces, spiced dishes, sweets, pastry, fried food, from drinking large quantities of hot or very cold fluid, from eating hurriedly without proper mastication, or from gorging themselves with enormous quantities of articles of which they are particularly fond, such as hash, cakes, etc.
If seen early, if vomiting has not already occurred and the stomach is full, it should be emptied by an emetic dose of ipecac. Otherwise, if the stomach contents have passed into the intestine, the irritating food should be expelled by a laxative, such as calomel or grey powder. No food should be allowed for some hours, for it will keep up the hyperaemia. Nothing should be swallowed but a few sips of water or a teaspoonful of cool lime water or a little cracked ice. After ten or twelve hours of complete rest the stomach may tolerate one or two teaspoonfuls of pancreatinised milk or milk diluted one half with lime water or Vichy. If this is not retained, it is better to give a little meat juice or beef broth. The next day mild farinaceous food may be allowed, such as arrowroot gruel, cornstarch, or farina. Junket also, or milk toast, may be retained. It is best to return to a solid diet very slowly and carefully, and such articles as rice pudding, scraped beef, the breast of chicken, or the soft part of oysters may be given for a day or two longer before the regular diet is resumed.
For some time after an attack it may be best to reduce the number of meals per diem - a child who has been taking five should take but four, or one who has had four should take but three.