Electronic Pill Relieves Chronic Constipation

Electronic Pill Relieves Chronic Constipation

Advancement in medical technology is moving more rapidly than ever with state-of-the-art tools currently being researched for swift application. It used to be that medical tech research and initiation took years, but now with highly sophisticated materials and digital manipulation, new cutting edge inventions are just around the corner. 

One recent development is the ‘Vibrant capsule’ which is an electronic pill currently being studied to combat chronic constipation and other intestinal compromises. Find out if this technology may apply to you for some much needed hope coming in the near future.

Are You Suffering?

Chronic constipation can be due to many factors such as a highly processed diet and low hydration but in many cases it is more biological than that. Some physical challenges associated with constipation include: intestinal motility disorders, slow stool transit time, or functional defecation disorder (dyssynergic defecation also called pelvic floor dyssynergia).

Chronic constipation afflicts approximately “16% in adults overall and 33.5% in adults aged 60 to 101 years” (American Gastroenterological Association 2013 stats). According to WebMD these are some of the ‘symptom complex’ clues that could be a sign of chronic constipation:

  • Hard stools 
  • Excessive straining
  • A decrease in frequency 
  • Feeling of incomplete evacuation
  • Use of digital evacuation such as support of the pelvic floor
  • A sensation that you cannot go or will not be able to go (because of obstruction)

In addition to changing your diet and exercise habits, alleviating constipation is usually relegated to over the counter laxatives, stool softeners, and other temporary synthetic fixes. There are also herbal applications that may help with minimal, if any, side effects. However, chronic constipation may present as more difficult to remedy and this is how the Vibrant capsule began testing. 

Shaking It Up

The Vibrant capsule is known as a ‘orally administered, intra-luminal [inside a tubular organism or cell, like the intestine] capsule’ It was developed by researchers from the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel along with colleagues at Augusta University Medical Center in Georgia, US. It is a drug-free approach to those unresponsive to natural and conventional treatment.

According to lead researcher, Satish S.C. Rao, MD, PhD,

“Fortunately, there are many treatments [for chronic constipation]; laxatives, secretagogues, prokinetics and biofeedback therapy, yet, many patients remain dissatisfied, up to 50%, some surveys show.”

The vibrant capsule works by swallowing a capsule that contains safe, biocompatible electronic circuitry (this means it won’t harm you if ruptured) activated by a magnet upon consumption. Once turned-on, the capsule is pre-programmed to carry out a vibration algorithm sequence eight to twelve hours later inside the colon. This has shown to “shake up” the colon, stimulating sluggish peristalsis (constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestines). 

So far there are no side effects with most patients not feeling any vibration and the few that claim they did reported no discomfort. Once peristalsis is triggered, a bowel movement is released along with the Vibrant capsule, safely washing the ‘electronic pill’ out of your system.  

Dr. Rao described a recent Vibrant capsule study reported by Digital Trends,

“Two randomized sham-controlled studies were performed in nearly 250 patients with chronic constipation using single or multiple vibrations per day, In both trials, subjects took five capsules per week, on five separate days. Patients receiving Vibrant capsules had significantly greater bowel movements than [the] sham group. Specifically, we noted that Vibrant augments normal colonic biorhythm, and the increased bowel movements coincided with, or around the time of, Vibrant activation.”

The Vibrant capsule is expected to be available to chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and other GI tract compromised patients as an insurance covered “medicine” in about three years. 

In the Meantime

Three years can move fast but in the meantime, if you struggle with chronic constipation or just occasional constipation, stick to a clean mostly plant-based diet, four to six 8oz glasses of plain, filtered water per day and a good exercise program to maintain or encourage healthy peristalsis.

You canalsoconsult with a naturopathic doctor for some herbal remedies that could assist a good diet and exercise program. Some botanical remedies for chronic constipation include: 

  • Senna
  • Parsley 
  • Ginger
  • Dandelion
  • Licorice
  • Peppermint

Avoiding sugar and processed foods is also essential to a good diet for combating chronic constipation. Adding fiber capsules can sometimes help move things along as well. Always check with your doctor before taking natural remedies and especially if you are experiencing any of the ‘system complex’ symptoms mentioned above. 

Stay tuned for the progress and availability of the Vibrant capsule.