Widespread drinking of alcoholic beverages goes back at least to the epicures of antiquity. Laymen and physicians alike have conjured up in their minds a frightful picture of the ravages of alcohol on the lining of the human stomach. Thirty or forty years ago gastritis, and especially alcoholic gastritis, was widely diagnosed on the basis of the character of the secretions removed by the stomach tube. The presence of a large amount of mucus was the essential factor in the diagnosis of "gastric catarrh," or chronic gastritis. In later years gastritis was regarded as a loose term which included many digestive symptoms. Chronic inflammation of the stomach as a definite organic entity was regarded as rare. For a long time it was taught, and in some centers it is still taught, that the one excellent example of chronic gastritis is that due to the chronic use of alcoholic beverages.
BERRY LH. CHRONIC ALCOHOLIC GASTRITIS: EVALUATION OF THE CONCEPT, WITH GASTROSCOPIC STUDIES IN ONE HUNDRED CASES. JAMA. 1941;117(26):2233–2238. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820520029007
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