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Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
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Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
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Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Blueberry Drink Protects Mice From Obesity, Diabetes
More Educated Choose Healthier Foods, But Pay More
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
EYE CARE, VISION
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
FITNESS
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
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INFERTILITY
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KID'S HEALTH
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Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
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The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
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Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
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PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
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.