( Originally Published 1930's )
Of all the diseases which will stop you eaters cold in the enjoyment of meals, so-called stomach ulcer is the king. Ulcer on any mucus surface reigns supreme, and the reign is usually over a long period of time unless it develops quickly into malignancy.
The incidence of so-called stomach ulcer has become greater in the last decade. It now ranks with the foremost diseases of the digestive tract. The reason for the increase in ulcerative conditions can only be attributed to the extreme tension upon the nerves of all the people of the world. War, high cost of living, and the universal desire to go places and do things in a hurry has caused most people to literally live upon their nerves.
Some authorities claim that worry and high nervous tension is the direct cause of stomach ulcer. However, we feel that the real cause is wrong eating, and worry, or tensed nerves of fear, anger and aggravation are but irritating things which increase the frequency and severity of the condition.
Some people may actually start wrong eating while under a long time nervous strain; others eat wrongly for such a long time that they start irritation of a nervous condition and ulcer. The situation is something like the chicken and the egg. Which is first? In either case, wrong eating has a major position in the cause, or in sustaining the duration of ulcer.
Medical science is not absolutely sure what causes ulceration of the mucus lining of the digestive system. But, it is very significant that indigestion always accompanies the ulcer.
The cardinal fact concerning stomach ulcer is that the greater percentage of all ulcerations do not occur in the stomach, but in the duodenum, which is that part of the intestine just outside the valve of the stomach. They should, therefore, be called duodenal ulcers.
In previous chapters, you have found that putrifactive foods produce putrifactive acid and alcohol. Both of these substances are very irritating to mucus tissue. They can be, and without doubt, are the primary cause of all duodenal ulcers. To these irritated tissues, an increased amount of hydrochloric acid from the stomach can only add insult to injury. The victim of ulcer makes more trouble when either acid is formed, or less alkali is saved.
You can easily get between the devil and the deep blue sea with your digestive ulcer. If you eat too much grease and starch and too little tart food, you make more putrifactive acid; if you eat too little protein foods, egg, meat, and dairy foods, you do not use all the hydrochloric acid you exude and the greater amount of free acid irritates the condition. On the other hand, if you eat nothing and permit yourself to grow hungry, hydrochloric acid will exude in anticipation of food and irritate you anyway.
Ulcerative conditions are no little confusing even to your physician. It is hard for him to tell what type of ulcer victim you are, and a lot harder to get you to do what you should do even if he finds out the cause of your ulcer. All of you ulcer victims want something to stop the gnawing of ulcer quickly. If a medicine does not stop the trouble quickly you want another doctor. You ARE three different fellows to as many different doctors. That is why one doctor will try an alkali; one a digestant; and still another doctor may use a sedative for your stomach nerves.
Do not blame your doctor. Blame yourself ! You do not live right. You never have. By living right, the writer means eating right. You live by eating. Do not change it around and live to eat.
The chemical eating chart found within these pages will aid you in getting back to normal. You can never go wrong if you let nature use her resources for your own benefit. Be careful in selecting your food, eat every kind and you can get out of trouble and stay out.
There are some particular foods which the ulcer victim can not handle, but all types may be eaten. The particular foods to let alone are apple peeling, radish, pickle, celery, and any other hard surfaced food which could chunk up and scrape along over an irritated sore. You could chew pickle and celery if you only swallowed the juice and threw away the roughage. You should chew all food until it is as near liquid as possible before swallowing it.
Once again remember, what you do not eat starts most of your trouble. Ulcer victims do not eat enough tart alkalizing foods to handle grease and starch, thereby a putrifactive acid irritant is manufactured. It is also evident that ulcer victims do not eat enough protein protective foods. This is proven by the fact that science, today, is using the predigested protein, the aminos, to aid in healing digestive ulcer.
There are some ulcers which actually occur within the stomach. These are called peptic ulcers. Unlike the duodenal type, it is not caused by a putrifactive kick-back of colonic gases. In fact, its cause is so obscure, apparently, that medical science has gone way out on a limb to find a fantastic explanation.
In a recent radio talk, a physician, lecturing on the science of GASTRO-ENTEROLOGY, advanced the theory that tight corsets and waist bands caused peptic ulcers in women, and a droopy posture while sitting caused the same type ulcer in men because the lining of the stomach is repeatedly pinched and irritated by such activity. Scientific? Maybe. Even you, who are ulcer victims, are laughing at such foolish causes.
Since science, by the corset and slouch theory, has practically admitted that the cause of peptic ulcer is unknown, let us advance a common sense reason. You can be the judge as to which reason is the possible answer. The incidence of duodenal ulcer is a great many times that of the peptic stomach ulcer. Duodenal ulcer always gives a history of putrifactive acid gas blow-up, and can occur to both fat and thin people. However, the peptic, or real stomach ulcer, is usually found in the thin, high strung, energetic people, how come?
The protective foods which form buffer coating to the mucus and muscular tissues are the fats and starches. Who has ever heard of a little thin person who did not flaunt his size by doing as much work as a larger person, and thus burning up his starches in energy instead of putting some of it on his bones?
With the above facts in mind, you can easily see that the lack of fat and the quick destruction of starches leaves the thin, energetic, nervous person with an extra amount of hydrochloric acid made within the stomach by the nervous activity of its owner. Acid irritation causes peptic ulcer, and, evidently nervous tension aggravates it. This is a logical reason for this type of stomach ulcer.
Both types of digestive ulcer are caused by what the person does not eat. The duodenal ulcer is caused by putrifactive acid and alcohol kick-back from the intestinal tract. This putrifaction occurs because the individual does not eat sufficient tart foods to make the alkali necessary for excess fat and starch digestion. In other words, the duodenal ulcer victim eats too much fat and starch combinations, although, the same person may not like fat, alone, if constipation accompanies the ulcerative condition. On the other hand, the peptic ulcer victim eats too little tart and fat foods and exudes a greater amount of hydrochloric acid than can be used for the protein he eats. This free hydrochloric, without a buffer against attack, literally eats a hole through the unprotected lining of the stomach.
If the fantastic idea of posture pinch could cause a peptic ulcer of the stomach, no doubt, every acrobat would have to stop every few weeks and have an ulcer healed before resuming his activity. And, no doubt, peptic ulcer in women would have been more prevalent in the gay nineties when they really put on the binding corsets. Instead, today the incidence of peptic ulcer is much greater than ever, and women wear light, non-binding girdles, or none at all.
The real answer to the prevention, or alleviation of digestive ulcer is food type balance. The harder you work the more fat and starch you. can digest, providing a protein, vegetable, and fruit balance is maintained. The less you work the more fruit and vegetables you should eat and the more you should tone down the fats and starches.
Each type ulcer victim should follow the chemical eating chart in selecting foods, and eat as much, or as little, as their activities suggests. Of course, an actual ulcer resents the heavy, scratchy bulk foods like pickle, celery, apple peeling, radish, and like items.
Remember, the person without ulcer or any other kind of so-called stomach trouble eats every food which grows.