Thursday, May 8, 2014

Good Vibrations: Buzzing Capsule Could Relieve Constipation

person on toilet 

Scientists are abuzz over a vibrating capsule that could treat constipation. 

 People who suffer from constipation could get some relief by swallowing a capsule that vibrates as it moves through the digestive tract, new research finds.

The capsule nearly doubled the weekly bowel movements of patients with chronic constipation and constipation-related irritable bowel syndrome, according to research presented May 3 at a major digestive disease conference in Chicago.

"Despite the widespread use of medication to treat constipation, nearly 50 percent of patients are unsatisfied with the treatment — either because of side effects, safety concerns about long-term use, or the fact that it simply doesn't work," study leader Dr. Yishai Ron, of Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel, said in a statement. [Poop Apps: 5 Tools for Tracking Your Stools]

Smooth move

In the study, 26 patients swallowed the vibrating capsule twice per week for 12 weeks, and completed a daily questionnaire about their bowel movements. All patients had stopped using laxatives two weeks before participating in the study.

While using the vibrating capsule, patients reported an increase in spontaneous bowel movement, from two to four times per week. In addition, the patients reported fewer symptoms of constipation — such as difficulty passing stools and incomplete evacuation.

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