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.
The visceral neuralgias are produced in the sympathetic nerves chiefly. The digestive viscera - stomach, intestines, liver, etc. - in a normal state are free from sensory impressions, but their nerves are constantly conveying reflex impressions, which, however, are to be distinguished from ordinary tactile sensibility. Hypochondriasis, by concentrating mental attention upon the various abdominal viscera, undoubtedly develops hypersensitiveness to such nerve currents.
The condition described as ptomaine poisoning and various forms of auto-intoxication may excite a severe neuralgia as a symptom.
Neuralgias of any of the abdominal viscera are apt to be excited by functional activity (although they also may occur independently of it), and hence the diet should be made as simple and nutritious as possible, in order that digestion shall not be unduly prolonged. If any one article of food is found to excite the paroxysms it should be abandoned. It is often advisable in severe cases to limit the diet for a few weeks to two or three simple articles of food, such as beef, bread, milk, and rice.