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Acupuncture may Alleviate Indigestion

May 11, 2020 by Kamran Ahmed

Postprandial distress syndrome (PDS) is chronic indigestion that causes the patients to feel an uncomfortable fullness after having a meal. Other symptoms of the condition include burning and pain in the stomach and throat. There is no particular reason as to why it happens, but researchers have now found that acupuncture might help ease these symptoms.

A group of Chinese researchers, led by Dr. Cun-Zhi Liu of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, recently performed a controlled study to test the efficacy of acupuncture treatment on PDS, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Acupuncture for Indigestion

The researchers randomized 228 patients with PDS (otherwise healthy), giving them acupuncture or sham treatment three to four times a week. The participants were given a questionnaire to fill about their symptoms before and after the treatment.

The results showed that 83% of participants in the acupuncture group experienced ease in their symptoms, compared to 52% in the placebo group. Furthermore, 27% of patients in the acupuncture treatment group reported complete relief from early satiation and post-meal fullness, compared to 17% of participants of the controlled group.

Based on these findings, acupuncture seems to be beneficial for people suffering from indigestion. It can take the patients two to four weeks to see improvements in their symptoms, said the investigators. Further research is required to validate the efficacy of acupuncture treatment for PDS.

Acupuncture is a type of alternative treatment and a major part of conventional Chinese medicine. It involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin at different distances along the supposed lines of energy.

Acupuncture treatment has remained controversial, and even Dr. Liu agrees that the treatment can present intolerable side effects at times. Moreover, this therapy is not grounded in scientific knowledge and often labeled as pseudoscience.

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