Patients suffering from emphysema have more or less engorgement of the venous circulation, and hence are liable to catarrh of the stomach and intestines. The dyspnoea from which they suffer on exertion is considerably aggravated by flatulency, and their diet must be regulated to prevent this occurrence. In general, starchy and saccharine foods are to be avoided, as constipation must be prevented. For a discussion of these principles, the reader is referred to the articles upon Gastric Dyspepsia and Constipation.

The patient must be particularly warned against too rapid eating and overeating. Condiments, sauces, fried and greasy food, and all obviously indigestible articles, must be shunned. Fluids should not be taken with solid food, and should be used in moderation. Water may be drunk an hour before meals, but not for three hours after. In the early stages a nourishing diet, consisting chiefly of animal food, meat, fish, milk, cream, eggs, and good butter, should be taken. If dyspnoea predominates with frequent asthmatic attacks, it will be best to substitute milk largely for other foods, and in the later stages, with a feeble heart and increasing congestion of the abdominal viscera, the diet should consist solely of milk and meat broths. Cod-liver oil is an excellent food in emphysema.