The effect of spa-drink therapy (Misasa hot spring) on exocrine pancreatic function was studied in 25 patiens after their physical and psychological conditions had stabilized about two weeks following their hospitalization. Patients were randomly divided into the following two groups: nine patients into the control group (continuance of spa-bathing) and 16 patients into the spa-drink therapy group (continuance of spa-bathing plus commencement of spa-drink therapy). Spa-drink therapy refers to drinking 200ml of warm spa-water (40℃) two times a day between meals, in the morning and in the afternoon. Exocrine pancreatic function was evaluated by: fecal chymotrypsin activity (FCA), which was determined by a new colorimetric method with Monotest Chymotrypsin supplied by Boehringer Mannheim; and cumulative % PABA recovery in 6-hour urine, which was determined with N-BT-PABA supplied by Eisai.The 2-week spa-drink therapy significantly improved the FCA value in four of the 16 patients (25%) while none of the controls showed a significant improvement in the FCA value. The 2-week spa-drink therapy significantly improved the PFD value in seven of the 16 patients (43.8%), while only 11.1% of the controls showed an improvement. These improvements with the spa-drink therapy were probably due to an enhancement of exocrine pancreatic secretion in four patients, and an improvement of gastric secretory or motor function in three patients. With 4 weeks of spa-drink therapy, however, these improvements tended to become less prominent, with FCA and PFD approaching the pre-treatment values.The 2-week spa-drink therapy improved the digestive function in some individuals either by enhancing exocrine pancreatic function or by improving the gastric secretory or motor function. However, the effect became less prominent thereafter, a phenomenon known as "adaptation" in the field of balneotherapy.
pancreatic exocrine function
fecal chymotrypsin activity