'Chew gum for faster recovery from GI surgery'

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Washington, Feb 28 (UNI) Chewing gum after undergoing a stomach-related surgery significantly increases the recovery process, a new study has found.

Chewing gum helped the recovery of bowel function, a problem that has troubled patients and physicians for decades, following gastrointestinal surgery, paediatric urologist Dr Bradley Kropp said.

The study published in Urology found that patients who chewed three to five pieces of gum a day after their operation, left hospital two and a half days earlier than those who did not.

Dr Kropp explained that after an operation, there is a sort of paralysis of the intestines (ileus) and it is only after four to five days that the patient can start eating again.

''It seems that chewing gum stimulates the nerve pathways to the brain and to the stomach to speed up the return of bowel function.

It tricks the body into thinking that you are eating,'' he said.

Another benefit, according to patients, is that chewing gum keeps their mouths from feeling dry.

In today's high-tech, molecular-driven scientific world, it is nice to come across an article that can be implemented immediately into our practices without increasing healthcare cost, Dr Kropp said.

''Just think how much a pack of gum would cost today, had the pharmaceutical industry come across this information first,'' Dr Kropp added in a lighter vein.

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