Research

Acupuncture can treat constipation, says research

Constipation is a common digestive disorder. It occurs due to excessive reabsorption of water which makes the fecal matter dry and hard to expel out of the body. Constipation is the mother of all diseases because it brings with it serious problems for the suffering individual.

Research has linked acupuncture with constipation. South Korean researchers have found that constipation can be treated using the technique of acupuncture.

Acupuncture is a technique where thin needles are inserted into your body to relieve pain. It is used for treating wide-ranging complaints including headaches, blood pressure etc. The researchers claim that the needles are placed in such a manner that they balance the vital energy of the body. Acupuncture is one of the many techniques that have been used to treat different kinds of digestive diseases.

A study was conducted at the Daejeon University. The results of the study suggested that acupuncture can potentially relieve constipation during the treatment and for weeks after that. The method of treatment is also considered safe in comparison to pharmaceuticals.

People normally manage constipation by changing their lifestyles. However, if the non-drug treatment fails, laxatives are employed to solve the issue. It should be noted that the excessive use of pharmaceuticals can worse the problem and cause negative side effects. These negative impacts may include,

  • Injuring the colon
  • Melanosis coli

Earlier research has also suggested acupuncture and electroacupuncture as alternative means of alleviating constipation. Xing-Yue Yang of the Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine reviewed the process in 2013. Acupuncture was found to be as effective as conventional treatments when it comes to treating chronic functional constipation.

Functional constipation is a real pain. Apart from any physical or physiological cause, it may have a neurological or psychological cause.

The researchers at the Daejeon University carried out a random pilot trial in order to validate their study. The trials employed 30 participants with functional constipation. They were divided between real acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups. All the members from both of the groups underwent 12 treatment sessions. The sessions continued for four weeks.

The participants subjected to real acupuncture were treated on eight standard acupuncture points. Each member also got four individualized acupuncture points.

On the other hand, the sham acupuncture group got minimal treatment. They were given shallow acupuncture insertion on 12 non-acupuncture points. These points are harmless and have no effect.

Participants maintained their dietary routines with the usual intake of food. However, their regular use of laxatives was discontinued. In case of emergency, rescue medication in the form of magnesium hydroxide laxative was provided. The shape and frequency of defecation, any visible symptoms or any medication were recorded in a diary for each of the participating individuals.

The frequency of defecation slightly went down in the real acupuncture group while going up in the sham group. Similarly, the spontaneous complete bowel movement improved for the acupuncture group and became worse for the sham group. The real acupuncture group also scored better on the British stool scale and constipation assessment scale than the sham group. Only a few participants experienced adverse events during the course of the trial, and none of the attacks were connected to the treatment.

It was then concluded that acupuncture could be an effective mean of treating the symptoms of functional constipation. This research can be a real development for the people who are subjected to high amounts of laxatives when afflicted to constipation.

Sources

https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-018-2243-4

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18349556?dopt=Abstract

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