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June 27, 1959


Author Affiliations

Nashville, Tenn.

From the Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1959;170(9):1068-1071. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.63010090019012

The use of diet as an important part of the therapeutic regimen for the patient with peptic ulcer is a deep-rooted practice. In the first century A. D. Celsus prescribed a smooth diet, free of acrid foods at a time when little was known about disease of the stomach, and, as early as the seventh century, A. D., practitioners believed in the healing properties of milk when taken by patients whose digestive symptoms as then described suggested the likely possibility of peptic ulcer.1

In 1820, Christopher R. Pemberton2 observed that certain patients had increased pain in their abdomen when their stomachs were empty. He did not recognize the existence of peptic ulcer. Nevertheless, he believed that altered stomach secretion irritated the nerves of the stomach, thus causing pain, and that food and certain alkaline drugs were capable of counteracting this altered secretion and thereby relieved the pain. Thus,