Varieties of Indigestion-Part 2

 Greetings! In today’s class, we shall learn numbers 4 &5, of the 27 varieties of indigestion!




4. Eating Between Meals

Eating between meals is a constant hindrance to digestion because it does not allow the stomach to complete any of its work, and that means indigestion. It also results in a ruined stomach at about age forty.

Dr. Stephen Smith, founder of the American Public Health Association, at the age of ninety-nine stood before a body of eight or nine hundred professional men and delivered an unusual address, and among other things said, when asked to explain the secret of his long life. “Take care of your stomach the first fifty years of your life, and the next fifty your stomach will take care of you.” But most people have worn out their stomachs at fifty and after that their prospect is poor and life is painful.

The following experiment is very revealing.

Washington Sanitarium Experiment

Four nurses were given a meal consisting of a cereal with cream, bread and butter, a cooked fruit, one egg, and a glass of barium buttermilk, and afterwards had X-ray pictures taken. In every case the stomach was empty or nearly so at the end of four hours. Later the same nurses were given a duplicate meal, and two hours late were given additional food with the following results-

Eating Between Meals, X-ray Findings

2 hours later ate one ice cream cone. 6 hours after the meal the stomach was still at work.
2 hours later ate nut butter sandwich. 9 hours after the meal the food was still in the stomach.
2 hours later ate one piece of pumpkin pie, and drank a glass of milk. 9 hours after the meal some food was still in the stomach.
2 hours later ate one banana. 8 hours after the meal some food was still in the stomach.

Moral-Never Eat Between Meals

Please note that the things that caused these stomach contents to sour are considered by almost everyone as very little sins, and yet how dire are the consequences.

A second meal should never be eaten until the stomach has had time to rest from the labor of digesting the preceding meal. If a third meal be eaten at all, it should be light, and several hours before going to bed. But with many, the poor tired stomach may complain of weariness in vain. More food is forced upon it, which sets the digestive organs in motion, again to perform the same round of labor through the sleeping hours. The sleep of such is generally disturbed with unpleasant dreams, and in the morning they awake unrefreshed. There is a sense of languor and loss of appetite. A lack of energy is felt through the entire system. In a short time the digestive organs are worn out, for they have had no time to rest. These become miserable dyspeptics, and wonder what has made them so. The cause has brought the sure result. If this practice be indulged in a great length of time, the health will become seriously impaired. The blood becomes impure, the complexion sallow, and eruptions will frequently appear. You will often hear complaints from such, of frequent pains and soreness in the region of the stomach, and while performing labor, the stomach becomes so tired that they are obliged to desist from work, and rest. They seem to be at loss to account for this state of things; for, setting this aside, they are apparently healthy.” 2SM 415

New England Sanitarium Experiment

A nurse was given an breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Four pieces of fudge were given during the day, one at 9:00 a.m., one at 11 a.m., one at 2:00 p.m. and one at 4:00 p.m. Dinner was eaten at twelve o’clock, and supper at six. Nine hours after the breakfast was eaten the X-ray showed the breakfast was still there. Thirteen and one-half hours after breakfast the X-ray showed the breakfast was still there. The day before this the same stomach digested the same sort of a breakfast without the fudge in four hours.

If we would have the best digestion, nothing should be eaten between meals, not even fruit, candy, or ice-cream.

Many people have never learned the true purpose in eating-that it is to sustain the body. They seem to think it is to gratify the taste. Socrates said, “Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.” To which class does the student belong?

5. Eating Late at Night

The evening meal should be eaten long enough before retiring so that the work of digestion will be nearly complete, and no food should be eaten until breakfast time. The stomach should be empty while we sleep. The work of digestion proceeds proceeds at only half the pace when we are asleep as when we are awake and active. Therefore if we partake of food in the late evening or just before retiring, the stomach which has worked all day will work all night. If you follow the plan from youth up, your stomach will go on a “strike” by the time you are forty, and too late, you will bitterly repent of your mistakes of earlier years. 

Social ethics and habit have established an almost universal practice of eating late at night. Yet health is of first importance. Custom should change. When entertaining guests in the evening, a serving of a mixture of fresh fruit juices, or even of a single juice, will very effectively take the place of food so far as social ethics are concerned.

Interested in learning more causes of indigestion? Come back next week and learn some more!

*Study adapted from the book Abundant Health, by Julius G. White