Discomfort after eating is one of the most common symptoms met with in practice. When digestive dysfunction reaches the point where symptoms are referred directly to the gastro- intestinal tract it is rare that the case clears up without dietetic correction or medical treatment or both combined.
Probably the most frequent from of aggravation after eating is that of fullness or distention resulting from the plain, unvarnished fact of having eaten too much. The simple cure for this is too obvious and too arduous for most people to undertake without orders from the doctor.
However, this same symptom of fullness after eating may arise from merely eating too fast. Insufficient mastication and insalivation, particularly of starchy foods, will cause symptoms unless the digestive function is approximately normal. Taking liberal amounts of liquids, especially ice cold beverages at meals retards digestion and may cause heaviness or even pain after eating. The habitual overindulgence in iced beverages either with or between meals gradually produces chronic dilatation of the vascular system of the stomach and duodenum. The effect in this particular is not so unlike that of persistent alcoholic indulgence. The ice water habit also tends to increase the adipose layers in the abdominal wall. All chronic perversions of appetite result in necessary compensatory changes no matter how unfortunate these in turn may become.
Excessive intake of liquids, hot or cold, including soups and broths as well as beverages of all kinds, may easily disturb the digestion and cause some kind of aggravation after eating. This fact has been repeatedly verified by simple correction of the diet from this one angle alone.
Cases of retarded digestion which do not respond satisfactorily to simple corrections of habit may require adherence to the rules of food compatibility (Hay system). This affords amazing relief in selected cases. Patients suffering from ulcer of the stomach often respond promptly and satisfactorily to this routine of eating. Sweets with meats and sugar with the acid fruits are combinations which will cause discomfort in many cases of impaired digestion. However, one of the biggest offenders is starchy foods. It requires a longer time to digest starch than any other type of food. Patients past middle life who are suffering from slow digestion and incomplete food metabolism may need a weeks vacation or longer from all starch foods. The effect is often amazing.
If simple dietetic correction fails then the homoeopathic remedy will probably be required. Some will say, why not prescribe the remedy in the first place and let the patient go ahead and eat ? The answer is this : The right remedy will certainly turn the case and cure the disorder but if faulty habits persist, the cause or at least a part of the cause is still operating and of what lasting value is a cure if the cause of a disordered or diseased state is allowed to persist ? Why not stop the cause or causes when discovered, and if discoverable, and then cure the patient ? He should then remain cured and if not he should know that it is nobodys fault but his own.
We have observed many cases which have remained well from one to several years and a number of these patients have admitted that they have slowly but surely slipped and have finally fallen back into their old habits of eating and living months before their old sufferings returned. It requires earnestness and enthusiasm to so live as to actually deserve good health.