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11 January 2008

Chewing gum tied to diarrhoea

Individuals who chew lots of gum with sorbitol, a sugar substitute, may suffer from diarrhoea so chronic that it could cause a severe loss of weight, doctors warn.

Individuals who chew lots of gum with sorbitol, a sugar substitute that is also a laxative, may suffer from diarrhoea so chronic that it could cause a severe loss of weight, German doctors warn.

Doctors flummoxed
But the doctors were flummoxed when blood tests, colonoscopies, ultrasound and computed tomography scanners all showed the patients were otherwise healthy.

Their next step was to examine electrolytes in the patients' stools, and these showed extremely high levels of potassium and sodium.

Weight regained
The patients modified their chewing habits and within a year had returned to normal intestinal health, the letter adds. The woman gained seven kilos (15.4 pounds) and the man five kilos (11 pounds).


Diarrhoea

 
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