ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
CANCER
Get to Know the Pap Test
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
EYE CARE, VISION
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Add your Article

Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Chewing gum helps improve recovery of intestinal function after all or part of the colon has been surgically removed, according to British researchers who reviewed data from five clinical trials involving 158 patients.

The inability of the intestines to pass contents after surgery (postoperative ileus) is normal among abdominal surgery patients and is a major contributing factor to post-surgery nausea, vomiting, cramps, and the pain and discomfort associated with abdominal distension, according to background information in the article.

In each of the five trials, a group of patients who chewed sugarless gum for five to 45 minutes, three times a day, after abdominal surgery were compared to a group of patients who didn't chew gum. Patients who chewed gum took an average of 0.66 fewer days to pass gas and an average of 1.10 fewer days to have a bowel movement than those who didn't chew gum. Patients who chewed gum also spent less time in the hospital.

It's believed that gum chewing acts as a type of "sham feeding" that stimulates nerves in the digestive system, prompting release of gastrointestinal hormones and increasing production of saliva and secretions from the pancreas, said the researchers at St. Mary's Hospital in London.

"In conclusion, we feel that the evidence suggests that gum chewing following abdominal surgery offers significant benefits in reducing the time to resolution of ileus; however, the studies are insufficiently powered to identify a significant benefit in length of stay," they wrote.

"The potential benefits to individual patients, in health economics terms, are such that a well-designed, large-scale, blinded, randomized, controlled trial with a placebo arm is warranted to answer the question of whether gum chewing can significantly reduce the length of stay after abdominal surgery or whether it merely represents a placebo effect."

The study was published in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

More information

The American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons has more about colorectal screenings and treatments.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Aug. 18, 2008

Last Updated: Aug. 18, 2008

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