ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
CAREGIVING
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Added Sugars in Diet Threaten Heart Health
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Toxins May Form When Skin, Indoor Ozone Meet
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
U.S. Prepares for Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Drink Away Dementia?
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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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