The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    CAM recommendations to treat chronic constipation

    Dr. Brooks Cash from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland has published a detailed review on Medscape.

    There are some surprising conclusions regarding common treatments, including fluids, dietary fiber, physical activity, education, enema, and biofeedback.

    Fluids

    • Adequate fluid intake might promote general health, but decreased fluid intake does not appear to be a major cause of chronic constipation.
    • No studies show that increased fluid intake improves bowel function.

    Fiber

    • Most Americans consume 5-10 grams daily (20-35 grams are recommended).
    • The American Gastroenterological Association recommends a gradual increase in fiber intake in either dietary or standardized supplement form as a first-line approach to treat chronic constipation.
    • People without an underlying motility disorder improve or become symptom free.
    • There is no strong or consistent evidence for the effectiveness of treating constipation with dietary fiber in institution-dwelling older adults.

    Physical activity

    • In elderly people living at home, in hospitals, or nursing homes, exercise is not effective stand-alone therapy for chronic constipation.
    • Exercise may help improve bowel function as part of a broad rehabilitation program.

    Education

    • There is some evidence that having a bowel movement may be a conditioned response for which some individuals can be trained.

    Enema

    • Claims of benefit remain unproven.

    Biofeedback Therapy

    • Effective for people with abnormal contraction or failure to relax the pelvic floor muscles during attempts to defecate.
    • Requires good interaction between the therapist and the patient.

    11/15/07 20:29 JR

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