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CURRENT ISSUEGAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE

A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology


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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2012 April;171(2):213-26

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Role of crenotherapy with mineral waters in the treatment of functional disorders of digestive tract

Fornai M. 1, Antonioli L. 1, Colucci R. 1, Tuccori M. 1, Awwad O. 1, Serra M. 2, Grasso V. 2, De Giorgio R. 2, Blandizzi C. 1

1 Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerche di Farmacologia Clinica e Terapia Sperimentale, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italia;
2 Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italia

Functional gastrointestinal disorders include functional chronic dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome and idiopathic chronic constipation. They are characterized by symptoms which are not associated with evident organic lesions, and can significantly interfere with the patient’s quality of life. Although the mechanisms involved in such digestive disturbances are not clear, it is acknowledged that the development of symptoms is ascribable to alterations of nervous and hormonal mechanisms involved in the regulation of secretory, motor and sensory functions of the gastrointestinal tract. It has been observed that the regular intake of mineral waters with specific electrolyte composition could represent a valuable tool for the adjuvant treatment of functional digestive disorders. In particular, with regard for biliary disorders, it has been observed that high concentrations of sulphate and bicarbonate-alkaline ions are likely to stimulate the choleretic and cholagogue functions, thus improving the biliary outflow. Likewise, bicarbonate-alkaline mineral waters have been found to be effective in the treatment of gastroduodenal functional disorders, through a normalization of gastric acido-peptic secretion and emptying. In addition, these mineral waters increase the intestinal motility and fecal output, and therefore they may represent valuable therapeutic options for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and idiopathic chronic constipation. Overall, currently available evidence suggests that mineral waters with high content in bicarbonate-alkaline ions could be useful for the treatment of digestive functional disorders. On these bases, the present review has been prepared to discuss currently available data on the effects of mineral waters on functional digestive disorders.

language: Italian


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