— Health and Wellbeing
Vibrating capsule treats constipation by buzzing the intestine
One of the vibrating capsules, with a quarter for scale (Photo: Digestive Disease Week)
According to Dr. Yishai Ron, a researcher at Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, nearly half of the people who take medication for chronic constipation are unsatisfied with the results. That dissatisfaction can stem from unwanted side effects, concerns over the long-term safety of the medication, or "the fact that it simply doesn’t work." That's why he and his colleagues have created an oral capsule that relieves constipation by vibrating its way along the intestinal tract.
The capsule contains a tiny motor, that is programmed to start vibrating six to eight hours after being swallowed – this gives it enough time to reach the large intestine. Once it starts up, the vibrations reportedly stimulate the intestine into contracting, which in turn helps move stools through.
In a clinical trial, 26 constipated test subjects first went for two weeks without taking any laxatives, and then began swallowing the capsules twice a week. After a period of doing so, they reported an average of two to four additional bowel movements per week, along with a reduction in symptoms such as difficulty in passing stools or incomplete evacuation.
Dr. Ron and his team now plan on conducting a double blind study. He recently presented his findings at the Digestive Disease Week conference in Chicago.
"Sometimes, drug therapies bring more issues than relief for these patients," he said. "The results of this study point to the potential for an alternative treatment that avoids the typical drug side effects, such as bloating and electrolyte imbalance, by imitating the body’s natural physiology."
Source: Digestive Disease Week via CBS News
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
I take it these are one-use devices?
Or would you give it a wash and wind it up again? LOL
These people should try those pills given to people awaiting a colonoscopy - I hear they work so well they 'clean out' stuff the patients haven't even eaten yet!
Why is the quarter in the picture copper colored? I think they were trying to make it look small, so they put it next to a quarter, but colored it to look like a penny.
Toda Rava, at last. No more Ex-Lax
As cheap as I am I hope they are reusable. But I need some way to catch them before they some sewer rat swallows one and has a
That's the weirdest looking quarter I've ever seen! I agree with treespit' I think they were trying to make the quarter more "penny" like so that the actual size wouldn't be quite so obvious...
LMBO@ the comments :oD
I'd love to try this thing out cause I do suffer from constipation on a regular (or IRRegular) basis because of medication I have to take. Loved, especially, The Skud's comment...wind'er up and let's go again! :-D
The odd coloration of the quarter is due to a mistake made when they incorrectly color-corrected the picture. They presumed the background was gray but it was actually a cyan or sky blue color and the pill is actually white.
I have seen quarters oxidize like that so I am going to go with the Israeli researchers preparing for an American venue used the quarter they had.
I have suffered from neurogenic bowel for 35 years after a spinal injury. The progress on treatment is non-existent. The original attempts at treatment were extremely inadequate. I had to develop my own treatment. When I reported it, I was told it would not work permanently. I replied: "It works better than your prescription". Now maybe I have another option.
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