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Special Affections of the Stomach

food, person, treatment, pain, appetite and inflammation

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SPECIAL AFFECTIONS OF THE STOMACH.

Inflammation of the Stomach (iaatr.tia) is in its acute form a very rare disease, unless when produced by the action of corrosive sub stances, such as vitriol, carbolic acid, &c., that have been swallowed.

Its symptoms are chiefly very severe pain over the region of the stomach and lower part of the chest, pain which is burning, and is in creased by pressure over the part. Even the pressure produced by ordinary breathing greatly aggravates the pain, so that the person takes short, shallow, quick breaths. There are retch ing, hiccup, and vomiting, and loss of appetite. Nothing can be retained in the stomach. The pulse is quick and small, there is fever, and the person becomes rapidly weak and exhausted. Death may occur very rapidly.

The treatment is largely determined by the muse. If an irritant poison, such as one of the mineral acids, has been taken, substances like chalk and water, magnesia, &c., should be given to destroy the burning tendency of the sub stance. The proper treatment for each case is considered in the chapter on POISONS. The general treatment consists in placing hot appli cations over the region of the stomach, in giving the person ice to suck, and in the use of opium, 1 grain every three or four hours. The opium, however, may not be retained in the stomach, so it may be given in injection (see INJECTIONS) or as a suppository (see SUPPOSITORIES). A medical man would likely administer it by in jecting it under the skin.

Acute Gastric Catarrh (Cold - Sto is an inflammatory condition of the mucous lining of the stomach (see p. 198), akin to the catarrhal condition of nose and hroat that has been described. It is frequently lue to cold.

person is very sick, and Las severe headache. There are pain over the tomach and a feeling of soreness in the back Lnd limbs. The vomit is of mucus, and is :oloured with bile, which causes the disorder o be called a "bilious attack." The tongue is eery much coated with a white fur. The pulse a quick and full, and the skin hot. Often the emperature will rise to 103°. The urine is

lark, and a brick-dust deposit falls when it ools. Severe cases are called attacks of "gas tric fever," though this is a term discarded by modern physicians.

The treatment consists in keeping the patient Inlet in bed. Let food be in accordance with the directions on p. 228. The sucking of ice will greatly check the sickness and vomiting. The most valuable medicine is a powder com posed of 5 grains of Dover's powder and 8 grains of bismuth. The dose may be repeated every four hours for three or four powders. (It is only for an adult.) Thirst may be re lieved by soda-water, or sips of iced water or iced milk. As soon as the acuteness of the attack has passed, the bowels (which the pow ders tend to constipate) should be freely opened by a dose of saline medicine, Eno's fruit-salt, seidlitz, or effervescing citrated magnesia, &c.

Chronic Inflammation of the Stomach (Chronic Gastritis —Chronic Gastric Catarrh) is a common disorder, and may be produced by a great variety of causes. Cold, the swallowing of irritating substances, irregularity in taking food, bad food, or food that is ill cooked and so not easily digestible, too much food, badly chewed food, and very particularly frequent use of stimulants, all these may occasion it. In ad dition, chronic inflammation may be the result of some other disease, such as a disease of lungs or heart, preventing a proper circulation of the blood, and so leading to constant over-fulness of the blood-vessels of the stomach and other parte of the alimentary canal.

The chief symptoms are loss of appetite and indigestion. There may be tenderness over the stomach. Vomiting of a large quantity of glairy mucus is common. Sometimes, instead of loss _of appetite, there is craving for food, but, even though craving it, the person has taken only a small amount when sickness and a sense of overloading arise that make him desist. The bowels are usually confined ; the breath is foul, and there is a bad taste in the mouth. Naturally the person suffers in general health, is low-spirited and irritable.

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