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November 12, 1927


Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Department of St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

JAMA. 1927;89(20):1652-1655. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690200004002

Therapeutic measures for disorders of any organ of the human body should be based on a knowledge of the physiologic functions of that organ. It is undoubtedly true that there are valuable empiric remedies, but usually further observation has shown that they were originally fortunate guesses and happened to fit in with the correction of a disordered function not understood at that time. A comprehension of disordered function naturally presupposes a knowledge of normal function.

PHYSIOLOGIC CONSIDERATIONS  In the gastro-intestinal tract there are three vital and more or less distinct functions. One is the function of digesting or preparing the food, another is absorption, and the third is the motor function. Grave and continued interference with any one of these functions will result fatally. To some extent the motor function overlaps the other two, because by mixing and churning the food both digestion and absorption are promoted. In the stomach