Constipation happens at some point in our lives and more so when we do not drink as much water and consume as much fiber needed for healthy bowel movement and while the condition is not often dangerous and typically lasts for a short time, there are those who suffer from chronic constipation that lasts for years.

Studies show that up to half of individuals who suffer from chronic constipation do not respond well to medication or experience side effects. A treatment that uses a new approach instead of delivering medication may be helpful in giving relief to this group of patients.

An experimental capsule developed by an Israeli company may just be the new treatment that chronic constipation sufferers may have long been waiting for. The capsule, which vibrates as it moves through the gastrointestinal tract, may soon become the go-to treatment of people who do not find relief in traditional treatment for constipation.

The vibrating capsule, which was designed by the medical device company Vibrant Ltd. as a non-pharmacological treatment for constipation, imitates the body's natural way of removing waste as well as stimulates movement of stool.

In a pilot study presented at the Digestive Disease Week in Chicago, Illinois on May 3, Yishai Ron, from the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, and colleagues asked 26 patients to take the anti-constipation capsule twice weekly and to respond daily to a questionnaire on bowel movement and use of laxative.

The subjects, who were suffering from idiopathic constipation (CIC) and constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome (C-IBS), reported an increase in bowl movement from twice to four times a week and experienced a reduction in symptoms of constipation including difficulty in defecating. The researchers also found minimal side effects associated with use of the capsule.

"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," Ron said.

Despite the promising result of the pilot study, additional studies are still needed before the capsule becomes commercially available. The studies will further investigate the potentials and possible side effects of the treatment.

Although chronic constipation is common affecting about 12 percent of the world's population, its symptoms can cause discomfort and affect a person's quality of life.

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