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Vibrating capsule treats constipation by buzzing the intestine

By

May 8, 2014

One of the vibrating capsules, with a quarter for scale (Photo: Digestive Disease Week)

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
Ben Coxworth 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
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8 Comments

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!

The Skud
8th May, 2014 @ 08:02 pm PDT

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.

treespit`
9th May, 2014 @ 09:04 am PDT

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

nice B-M

Shalom

Starper
9th May, 2014 @ 12:28 pm PDT

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...

Ed
9th May, 2014 @ 02:08 pm PDT

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

Melissa
9th May, 2014 @ 02:30 pm PDT

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.

WinDrftr
9th May, 2014 @ 06:42 pm PDT

@ treespit`

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.

Slowburn
10th May, 2014 @ 12:05 am PDT

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.

Don Duncan
10th May, 2014 @ 02:10 pm PDT
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