ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Coffee or Tea Consumption May Lower Stroke Risk
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
The Raw Food Diet
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
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Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Dr Churchill & Ashley Pelton Interview 1 of 4
Have Fun But Put Play It Safe on the 4th
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
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Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
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HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
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Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
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INFECTIOUS DISEASE
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INFERTILITY
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KID'S HEALTH
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MEN'S HEALTH
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MENTAL HEALTH
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Optimism May Boost Immune System
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PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
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Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Soy May Not Lead to Denser Breasts
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
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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