Researchers have developed a vibrating capsule, about the size of a quarter, that can relieve constipation.
The small capsule contains a tiny motor programmed to start vibrating six to eight hours after being swallowed – the average amount of time it takes a meal to reach the large and small intestines from the stomach.
The mechanical stimulation caused by the pill produces contractions in the intestines, which helps move stool through the digestive tract more efficiently.
The innovative non-drug therapy may offer a solution for anyone who suffers from chronic constipation but finds laxatives, fiber drinks, enemas and other standard treatments unhelpful or uncomfortable, researchers said.
Researchers from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center’s department of gastroenterology and hepatology asked 26 patients to swallow a vibrating capsule twice a week and then fill out a questionnaire on their bathroom habits.
The researchers did not provide laxatives or any other constipation treatments to the participants, ‘CBS News’ reported.
People who took vibrating capsules reported their number of regular weekly bowel movements doubled – on average increasing from two to four per week.
Study participants also were less likely to experience difficulty when passing stool, and none of the 26 study participants reported adverse side effects from capsule use.
The findings of the study were presented as part of the Digestive Disease Week convention in Chicago.