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Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
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Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
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'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
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Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
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Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
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Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
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UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
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Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Smog Tougher on the Obese
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What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
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Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
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Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
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Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show
Lead Exposure in Childhood Linked to Criminal Behavior Later
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
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Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
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When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
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Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Retail Clinics Attracting Those Without Regular Doctors
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
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Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
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'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
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Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
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After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
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Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
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Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
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
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
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.