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.
In severe cases it is often advisable to put the patient upon a milk diet for several weeks. Except in tuberculous subjects this is often successful in effecting a cure. The milk may be skimmed or boiled and diluted with lime water. As a rule, fatty and saccharine food is forbidden, and farinaceous food should be restricted in quantity. At first fats fail of digestion in the intestine, and later other foods. Patients must be especially instructed to take their meals very slowly and masticate sufficiently. The diet should consist chiefly of bread and lean meats - foods which leave the least residue. Scraped beef, beef meal, and beef peptonoids are useful. The intestinal indigestion may be improved by the use of pancreatic extracts with bicarbonate of sodium. The food may be pancrea-tinised before it is eaten, or pancreatin may be given in keratin-coated pills designed to remain undissolved until they have reached the small intestine. The stools should be watched for undigested particles of food, muscle fibres, etc.
If emaciation continues with an exclusive diet of animal food, it may be best to give oatmeal porridge or mush which is predigested with diastase or malt extract. Baked potatoes may be similarly treated.
Foods to be avoided are very rich milk, green vegetables, raw acid fruits, dried fruits and nuts, richly cooked acid or fat dishes, crustaceans, pork, veal, coarse bread, pastry, sweets, and desserts of all kinds.
In milder cases in which there is more or less constipation with intestinal catarrh, it is important to regulate the bowels, and this may be done in part by the character of the food, also by systematic exercise, both active and passive. Mild calisthenics, massage of the limbs and the abdominal wall, combined with abundant fresh air, daily bathing in cold water, and friction of the skin, are all useful aids to treatment.
There are cases of chronic colitis in adults which do not improve upon any diet, and after trying a great variety of foods the patients seem to get on even better for a time on a mixed diet of considerable diversity.
Alcoholic stimulants should be given, and the best forms are claret, sherry, or brandy, all diluted to two or three times their bulk with Apollinaris or plain water. See recommends the Tannin Wine of St. Raphael.
Some patients are considerably benefited by residence for a few weeks at one of the alkaline mineral springs.
An intestinal test diet has been devised by Schmidt and Strass-burger to aid in determining the degree of peristalsis and other intestinal conditions which are determined through examination of the stools. The diet comprises, milk, eggs, mashed potato, scraped meat, butter, oatmeal, bouillon, and zwieback. If charcoal or carmin be added, these substances, being indissoluble, reappear in the stools, thus marking off the beginning and ending of those stools which contain the waste of the test meals. Thus from the time the carmin meal is eaten until the first carmin stool is usually fifteen to twenty-five hours, but with colitis, especially in the lower colon, the time may be shortened to ten hours or less. By varying the ingredients of the test meals, one ingredient at a time, the toleration for different types of food, fats (butter), carbohydrates, meat, etc., is ascertained.