The principles underlying the dietetic treatment of diseases of the lungs are similar to those laid down for cardiac disorders. Faulty feeding influences lung affections unfavourably in two directions -
(1) By inducing flatulent distension of the abdomen, which mechanically interferes with the free action of the diaphragm and heart; and:
(2) By throwing a strain on the organs of excretion - lungs, kidneys, and bowel - as a result of which free circulation through the lungs is interfered with, and the patient's symptoms are aggravated. The greater the amount of carbohydrate food the greater the demand on the lungs to excrete C02.
Excess of carbonaceous foods have therefore to be avoided because of their tendency to induce flatulent distension of the stomach and bowel, with resulting mechanical interference with the breathing; excess of proteins has also to be avoided because of the liability for the accumulation of waste products, which injuriously affect the respiratory and cardiac mechanisms; in every instance constipation must be avoided, because its presence aggravates the lung condition, both mechanically and through the associated auto-intoxication.