Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, persistent condition that leaves many people struggling with seemingly “untreatable” symptoms. Digestive problems, aches and pains, insomnia and depression can all go along with this disease.
For those with IBS, here’s a health tip courtesy of the researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore: try some acupuncture treatments.
How does acupuncture help with IBS? It seems that this alternative remedy may be able to help relieve many of the nagging, chronic symptoms that come as secondary complaints with IBS.
For their study, the Baltimore research team conducted a review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared acupuncture with sham (placebo) acupuncture, other active treatments, or no treatment. They also looked for RCTs that evaluated acupuncture in combination with another treatment.
Seventeen RCTs with 1,806 participants were included in the researchers’ review. How did acupuncture fare? In general, acupuncture was shown to be significantly more effective than drug therapy or no specific treatment.
In fact, when the researchers compared drug therapy to acupuncture, 84% of patients in the acupuncture group had improvement in symptom severity compared to 63% of patients in the drug treatment group. As for acupuncture versus no treatment, 63% of patients in the acupuncture group had improvement in symptom severity compared to 34% of patients in the “no specific therapy” group. When acupuncture was added to another Chinese medicine treatment and compared to Chinese medicine alone, the combination treatment came out on top. Of the patients in the combo acupuncture group, 93% saw improved symptom severity compared to 79% of patients who received Chinese medicine alone.
It sounds like acupuncture could offer some significant health benefits for you if you’re having trouble treating your IBS.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
Try This Chinese Treatment for IBS
Manheimer, E., et al., “Acupuncture for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome,” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. May 16, 2012; 5: CD005111.