ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
Drinking Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Tanning Beds Shown To Raise Cancer Risk, Study Says
CAREGIVING
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Smog Tougher on the Obese
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
FITNESS
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Football Can Shrink Players
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
More Single Women Are Having Babies
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture and exercise may bring some relief to the one in 10 women of childbearing age who suffer from a common endocrine disease called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Women with the condition have elevated levels of androgen hormones -- including testosterone -- and often develop ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. A key feature of the disease is an increase in the high muscle sympathetic nerve activity. This regular constricting of blood vessels, which normally occurs during the body's fight or flight response to danger, can increase a woman's chances of developing diabetes and high blood pressure or having a heart attack or stroke.

The study, appearing online in a recent issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, looked at 20 women who received either regular low-frequency electro-acupuncture on body parts commonly thought to be linked to the ovaries, took part in thrice-weekly moderate exercise or received no treatment at all over a 16-week period.

When comparing the sympathetic nerve activity before and after the study, researchers found noticeably decreased activity in the acupuncture and exercise groups compared with the control group. In the acupuncture group, the team also found significantly lower testosterone levels. High levels of this "male" hormone predict and have been thought to trigger chronic sympathetic nerve activity in women.

Those who received acupuncture also had regular menstrual cycles, while the exercise and control groups showed no change.

"The findings that low-frequency electro-acupuncture and exercise decrease sympathetic nerve activity in women with PCOS indicates a possible alternative non-pharmacologic approach to reduce cardiovascular risk in these patients," researcher Elisabet Stener-Victorin of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, said in a news release.

The authors noted that the study's small sample size was one of several limitations, and it may require more research into the issue before a definite conclusion could be drawn.

SOURCES: The American Physiological Society, news release, June 29, 2009 Published on: July 09, 2009