Stomach and intestines have their iris positions in the first major zone, directly around the pupil. In contrast to the other organs they are concentrically arranged, and take in a third of the iris.

When looking at an iris, attention is first directed to the stomach and intestinal zones. In health the stomach and intestinal zones are of equal size. They take in a third of the iris and do not differ in essential colour and structure from each other. This normal form of the first major zone is very seldom found in these days.

A. Stomach zone:

1. Hyperacidity: The stomach zone is lighter than its surroundings, almost white and elevated. The patient complains of heartburn. If the stomach zone is circular and with a sharply marked outer circumference, then there is swelling and cramp of the stomach. Such patients have a constant sense of pressure in the stomach with cramp, associated with eructations.

2. Gastric insufficiency: The stomach zone becomes dark grey and sinks inwardly. There may appear black lines deeply furrowed in the stomach area, in which case there will be functional deficiency of the mucous membrane. These patients also complain of heartburn, which is in this case a false indication of acidity (= lactic acid). If with these signs the stomach zone is too small, then that is a sign of induration/sclerosis.

3. Inflammation of the mucous membranes = Gastritis: In this condition one finds small white flakes lying directly against the pupillary margin, especially when viewed with side floodlighting.

4. Inflammation of the stomach muscle layer: This is of a rheumatic nature, and shows small white flakes or clouds in the outer rim of the stomach zone (therefore on the boundary with the intestinal zone). Patients with these signs cannot tolerate cold food or drink—they have the feeling of ‘a cold lump in the stomach’.

5. Gastric ulcer: (Ulcus ventriculi et duodeni). The ulcer shows itself in the stomach zone as a black point, and is most frequently found in the posterior wall of the stomach (right iris about 20′, left iris about 40′), and in the pylorus. In the pyloric area the signs are more oblong than round, and usually extend over into the intestinal zone (ulcus duodeni). An open ulcer is a black point or line which is accompanied by a small white cloud (black point or line loss of substance, white cloud -= tissue inflammation, therefore the pain). When the ulcer has healed, the black spot becomes surrounded by a fine white closed ring (healing ring).

6. Gastric carcinoma: Cancer signs are small putty-like steel-grey signs which shine out from the depths of the iris. The iris appears putty-like and ‘smudged’. Not infrequently a stomach cancer develops, especially a scirrhous cancer, from the so-called Ulcus callosum. This is shown in the iris in the form of several serrated black spots which overlap each other. The iris is then seen to be flattened in the outer rim.

7. ‘Nervous, stomach: A red-brown stomach zone points to a toxic poisoning of the gastric nerves ( = the so-called ‘nervous’ stomach). In most cases this colour change also extends over to the intestinal zone. Often also, radiations extend over the brain areas—an indication that any headaches have their origin in the stomach.

8. Dropped-stomach = Gastroptosis: When through over-contraction of the pylorus the muscle layer of the stomach weakens (= dilatation of the stomach), or when through general slackening of the abdominal muscles there arises a ptosis of the stomach, then this condition will be recognised in the iris by an expansion of the stomach zone—from 30′-45′ in the right iris, and from 15-30′ in the left iris. If the stomach zone areas—right iris 45′-60′, left iris 60′-15′—are enlarged, then that is a sign of gastric enlargement/dilatation. The reason for this is the accumulation of gas in the stomach.

One also finds patients with an enlarged stomach zone—from 15′-30′ in the right iris, or from 30′-45′ in the left iris. Here it is the posterior wall of the stomach which is relaxed and which gives rise to the ptosis.


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