Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 1.djvu/92

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Violent bodily exercise when the stomach is full is a well known cause of disturbed digestion; and in this case the disturbance seems mechanical. The motions of the stomach cannot be favorably carried on while its contents are tossed about by rapid movements of the body; for we know it is essential to the due solution of food that it should be all in turn brought into contact with the stomach's surface

A cold bath after a full meal will frequently disturb digestion; and a hot bath either of water or air will do so with still more certainty. Dyspepsia from warm and cold bathing occurs, in each case, on the same principle, but for opposite reasons. It has been proved, from observations on Alexis St. Martin, that congestion of the stomach is most unfavorable to the secretion of gastric juice. Now, the shock of cold bathing produces congestion, by driving the blood from the surface of the body to the viscera; on the other hand, a certain flow of blood to the stomach is equally indispensable, and that would be interfered with by the hot bath, because it draws the blood from the viscera to the surface. Free bloodletting soon after a meal is commonly succeeded by vomiting, and this affords another example of the effect of sudden withdrawal of blood from the digestive organs.

Dyspepsia has the widest range of all diseases because it forms a part of almost every other; and some, as pulmonary consumption, are in many instances preceded by it. In such cases, early attention to the defects of nutrition would often avert a fatal issue. The gravest forms of dyspepsia accompany organic changes in the alimentary tube itself, as cancer and ulcer of the stomach. It cannot be affirmed that simple dyspepsia does not sometimes shorten life, by producing another disease, or even prove fatal of itself; yet it is certain that digestion may be performed with difficulty for many years without more serious results than proverbial suffering and discomfort.—Causes and Treatment of Imperfect Digestion, new edition.



IT is not improbable that the present remarkable phase in woman's history may have made its appearance, partly at least, through reaction against the very common opinion that the male is the superior sex. This idea, offensive as it is to all feminine sentiment, receives its best illustration in the old fable, according to which, various parts of the body, each being necessary to the rest, put in a claim, each, to superiority. The truth is that in the sexes, as in the members, there