ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
Drinking Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
CAREGIVING
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Blueberry Drink Protects Mice From Obesity, Diabetes
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Added Sugars in Diet Threaten Heart Health
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
FITNESS
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
Can You Talk Your Way to Happy?
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
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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