ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
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Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
CANCER
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
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Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
DIET, NUTRITION
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
Keep Stress Off the Holiday Meal Menu, Expert Advises
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
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Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
EYE CARE, VISION
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
FITNESS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Be Healthy, Spend Less
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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.