ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Tanning Beds Shown To Raise Cancer Risk, Study Says
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
CAREGIVING
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
Iced Teas Pose High Risk of Kidney Stones
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
FITNESS
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Good Sleepers More Likely to Eat Right
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
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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