ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
CANCER
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
CAREGIVING
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
EYE CARE, VISION
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
FITNESS
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Be Healthy, Spend Less
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Soy May Not Lead to Denser Breasts
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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