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Take Care Of Your Stomach

Categories: Uncategorized
Sources: Nerves And Common Sense

WE all know that we have a great deal to do. Some of us have to work

all day to earn our bread and butter and then work a good part of

the night to make our clothes. Some of us have to stand all day

behind a counter. Some of us have to sit all day and sew for others,

and all night to sew for ourselves and our children. Most of us have

to do work that is necessary or work that is self-imposed. Many of

us feel busy witho
t really being busy at all. But how many of us

realize that while we are doing work outside, our bodies themselves

have good, steady work to do inside.

Our lungs have to take oxygen from the air and give it to our blood;

our blood has to carry it all through our bodies and take away the

waste by means of the steady pumping of our hearts. Our stomachs

must digest the food put into them, give the nourishment in it to

the blood, and see that the waste is cast off.

All this work is wholesome and good, and goes on steadily, giving us

health and strength and new power; but if we, through mismanagement,

make heart or lungs or stomach work harder than they should, then

they must rob us of power to accomplish what we give them to do, and

we blame them, instead of blaming ourselves for being hard and

unjust taskmasters.

The strain in a stomach necessary to the digesting of too much food,

or the wrong kind of food, makes itself felt in strain all through

the whole system.

I knew a woman whose conscience was troubling her very greatly. She

was sure she had done many very selfish things for which there was

no excuse, and that she herself was greatly to blame for other

people's troubles. This was a very acute attack of conscience,

accompanied by a very severe stomach ache. The doctor was called in

and gave her an emetic. She threw a large amount of undigested food

from her stomach, and after that relief the weight on her conscience

was lifted entirely and she had nothing more to blame herself with

than any ordinary, wholesome woman must have to look out for every

day of her life.

This is a true story and should be practically useful to readers who

need it. This woman's stomach had been given too much to do. It

worked hard to do its work well, and had to rob the brain and

nervous system in the effort. This effort brought strain to the

whole brain, which was made evident in the region of the conscience.

It might have come out in some other form. It might have appeared in

irritability. It might even have shown itself in downright ugliness.

Whatever the effects are, whether exaggerated conscience,

exaggerated anxiety, or irritability, the immediate cause of the

trouble in such cases as I refer to is in the fact that the stomach

has been given too much to do.

We give the stomach too much to do if we put a great deal of food

into it when it is tired. We give it too much to do if we put into

it the wrong kind of food. We give it too much to do if we insist

upon working hard ourselves, either with body or brain, directly

after a hearty meal.

No matter how busy we are we can protect our stomachs against each

and all of these three causes of trouble.

If a woman is very tired her stomach must necessarily be very tired

also. If she can remember that at such times even though she may be

very hungry, her body is better nourished if she takes slowly a cup

of hot milk, and waits until she is more rested before taking solid

food, than if she ate a hearty meal. It will save a strain, and

perhaps eventually severe illness.

If it is possible to rest and do absolutely nothing for half an hour

before a meal, and for half an hour after that insures the best work

for our digestion. If one is pretty well, and cannot spare the half

hour, ten or fifteen minutes will do, unless there is a great deal

of fatigue to be conquered.

If it is necessary to work right up to mealtime, let up a little

before stopping. As the time for dinner approaches do not work quite

so hard; the work will not lose; in the end it will gain--and when

you begin work again begin lightly, and get into the thick of it

gradually. That gives your stomach a good chance.

If possible get a long rest before the last meal, and if your day is

very busy, it is better to have the heartiest meal at the end of it,

to take a good rest afterward and then a walk in the fresh air,

which may be long or short, according to what other work you have to

do or according to how tired you are.

I know many women will say: "But I am tired all the time; if I

waited to rest before I ate, I should starve."

The answer to that is "protect your stomach as well as you can. If

you cannot rest before and after each meal try to arrange some way

by which you can get rid of a little fatigue."

If you do this with attention and interest you will find gradually

that you are less tired all the time, and as you keep on steadily

toward the right path, you may be surprised some day to discover

that you are only tired half the time, and perhaps even reach the

place where the tired feeling will be the exception.

It takes a good while to get our misused stomachs into wholesome

ways, but if we are persistent and intelligent we can surely do it,

and the relief to the overstrained stomach--as I have said--means

relief to the whole body.

Resting before and after meals amounts to very little, however, if

we eat food that is not nourishing.

Some people are so far out of the normal way of eating that they

have lost a wholesome sense of what is good for them, and live in a

chronic state of disordered stomach, which means a chronic state of

disordered nerves and disposition. If such persons could for one

minute literally experience the freedom of a woman whose body was

truly and thoroughly nourished, the contrast from the abnormal to

the normal would make them dizzy. If, however, they stayed in the

normal place long enough to get over the dizziness, the freedom of

health would be so great a delight that food that was not nourishing

would be nauseous to them.

Most of us are near enough the normal to know the food that is best

for us, through experience of suffering from food which is not best

for us, as well as through good natural instinct.

If we would learn from the normal working of the involuntary action

of our organs, it might help us greatly toward working more

wholesomely in all our voluntary actions.

If every woman who reads this article would study not to interfere

with the most healthy action of her own stomach, her reward after a

few weeks' persistent care would be not only a greater power for

work, but a greater power for good, healthy, recuperative rest.