The Surprising Post-Colon Surgery Hack: Chew Your Way to a Speedy Recovery

Did you know that chewing gum after colon surgery can actually help speed up your recovery? You wouldn’t believe it, but a study at St. Mary’s Hospital in London has shown just that. Patients who underwent GI tract surgery and then chewed gum at least three times a day recovered their intestinal function faster than those who didn’t. Want to know more? Let’s dive into the details.

In the study, researchers focused on individuals who had either all or part of their colons removed. This type of surgery is typically required for treating conditions such as colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or diverticulitis. The recovery process includes regaining bowel function, which can be quite slow and uncomfortable for the patient. And that’s where chewing gum comes into play.

Chewing gum may appear to be a simple, insignificant act, but it actually sends signals to your brain, effectively “tricking” it into thinking you’re eating. This stimulates the nerves in the digestive system, which, in turn, triggers the release of gastrointestinal hormones. In addition to that, chewing gum also increases the production of saliva and secretions from the pancreas. All these factors work together to speed up the recovery of intestinal function.

But how does this actually work?

When you chew gum, your brain thinks you’re eating and initiates the digestive process. Not only does this keep your digestive system “awake” and stimulated, but it also encourages the release of certain hormones that help to regulate the function of your gastrointestinal tract.

For instance, one hormone called motilin is responsible for stimulating the contractions of the small intestine, which helps move food along the digestive tract. When you chew gum, the release of motilin is triggered, aiding the recovery process after surgery.

Additionally, chewing gum increases saliva production, which contains enzymes that break down food and aid in digestion. It also helps in neutralizing any stomach acid that can contribute to digestive issues, further promoting a smoother recovery process.

The secretion of pancreatic juices is also boosted by chewing gum, and these juices contain vital enzymes that work to break down the nutrients in food for absorption and help neutralize the stomach’s contents. This means that chewing gum plays a vital role in speeding up the recovery of your gastrointestinal system after surgery.

Wondering which type of gum should be used? The study doesn’t specifically identify any particular type or brand of gum as more effective than others. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that sugar-free gum is recommended, as the added sugars in regular gum may lead to an upset stomach or other digestive issues.

Now, it’s important to understand that chewing gum alone won’t magically restore your intestinal function. Recovery from surgery requires a combination of proper rest, nutrition, and, of course, following your doctor’s advice. However, chewing gum can serve as a helpful aid in regaining bowel function more quickly, making the overall recovery process easier and more comfortable.

If you plan to try chewing gum after colon surgery, make sure to speak with your healthcare provider first. They can guide you on the best approach and ensure that this method is suitable for your specific situation. It’s also vital to remember that even if you’re chewing gum to speed up your recovery, you must still follow your doctor’s recommendations and continue with any prescribed medications or treatments.

In conclusion, chewing gum after colon surgery might seem slightly unconventional, but it has proven to be beneficial for speeding up the recovery of intestinal function. The act of chewing gum stimulates the nerves in your digestive system, triggers the release of gastrointestinal hormones, and increases the production of saliva and pancreatic secretions. These factors work together, helping your body regain intestinal function more quickly and efficiently. So, the next time you or someone you know is recovering from colon surgery, don’t forget to pack a pack of sugar-free gum – it just might make the recovery process a whole lot easier!