ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
CANCER
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
CAREGIVING
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating in America Still Unhealthy
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
FITNESS
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Sleep and Do Better
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
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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