ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
CANCER
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
The Best Diet? That Depends on You
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
EYE CARE, VISION
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
FITNESS
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Run for Your Life
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Soy May Not Lead to Denser Breasts
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
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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