ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
CANCER
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
CAREGIVING
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
EYE CARE, VISION
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
FITNESS
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
A Honey of a Sinusitis Treatment
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Add your Article

Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy

(HealthDay News) --Indigestion is common during pregnancy, with up to 80 percent of moms-to-be suffering heartburn, stomach pain or discomfort, reflux, belching and bloating. Symptoms tend to worsen over time, and women who avoid taking medicine for fear of harming the developing fetus might welcome an alternative treatment.

"Although small, this study suggests that acupuncture can relieve symptoms of indigestion that are pretty common in pregnancy and may provoke loss of quality of life in the final days, disturbing not only eating but also sleeping," said lead researcher Dr. Joao Bosco Guerreiro da Silva, from the department of internal medicine at Rio Preto Medical College.

For the study, the researchers randomly assigned 42 pregnant women with indigestion to dietary counseling plus antacids or to dietary counseling and antacids plus acupuncture once or twice a week. The researchers assessed the women's symptoms at the beginning of the study and every two weeks after that for eight weeks.

Heartburn, the main symptom, was reduced by half in 75 percent of the women treated with acupuncture. Women receiving acupuncture also ate and slept better, he said.

The report is published in the June issue of Acupuncture in Medicine.

The 20 women who underwent acupuncture and completed the study reported having milder symptoms and took less medication than the 16 women getting conventional therapy, the researchers found.

Fewer than half the women receiving traditional treatment said their heartburn was halved.

Among the 14 women who took antacids, seven in each group, those receiving acupuncture took 6.3 fewer doses, while those receiving conventional treatment upped the amount of medication they took by 4.4 doses, the researchers found.

In addition, 15 women in the acupuncture group said that their eating habits improved by 50 percent, compared with fewer than one in three in the other group. Fourteen women receiving acupuncture said their sleep had improved by 50 percent, compared with just one in four women treated conventionally.

"Dyspepsia in pregnancy is a very common problem," Guerreiro da Silva said. "Medication is always a concern. Acupuncture can be effective. It is safe and simple to apply and every pregnant woman can be treated."

Not all experts agreed, however.

Dr. Richard Frieder, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and clinical instructor of obstetrics and gynecology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, doesn't think that acupuncture works any better than conventional treatment.

"This is an interesting idea but far from proves any benefit, as the control group did not have any type of placebo treatment, such as fake acupuncture to make the control and test group comparable," Frieder said.

Indigestion and heartburn are common in pregnancy and usually successfully treated with diet, sleep positioning and medication with no known harmful effects, Frieder noted.

"Acupuncture might be a nice alternative for women who are inclined to this option, but it is doubtfully more effective than standard treatment if the study had been done in an apples-to-apples comparison," he said.

Another expert thinks that acupuncture does relieve indigestion, but he won't perform it on pregnant women because of litigation concerns.

"It is a well-done study and it is expected that there would be positive results," said Dr. Marshall H. Sager, past president of the American Society of Medical Acupuncture and an acupuncturist in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

However, he worries that he would be sued if something went wrong with the pregnancy. "I wouldn't touch a pregnant lady with acupuncture because of the malpractice situation. Not that it's not effective, but that's my problem with the medical/legal aspects of it," he said.

SOURCES: Joao Bosco Guerreiro da Silva, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Rio Preto Medical College, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil; Richard Frieder, M.D., obstetrician-gynecologist, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, and clinical instructor, obstetrics and gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Marshall H. Sager, D.O., past president, American Society of Medical Acupuncture, acupuncturist, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.; June 2009, Acupuncture in Medicine.