Are you pregnant and experiencing gastrointestinal troubles like heartburn, acid reflux, bloating and an upset stomach? Don't worry, it's completely normal - and totally treatable!
According to a new Brazilian study lead by Dr Joao Bosco Guerreiro da Silva of Rio Preto Medical College in Sao Jose do Rio Preto, acupuncture may help you put these digestive problems to an end!
Past research has assessed acupuncture's effectiveness as a treatment for nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. But this new study is the first of its kind to look at the link between acupuncture and reduced pregnancy-related stomach symptoms. To learn more about this interesting new study, read on!
Brazilian study finds that acupuncture can ease pregnancy-related gastrointestinal problems
The study included 42 randomly selected pregnant women with dyspepsia – a discomfort in the chest or upper abdomen that’s described as a feeling of fullness, burning or gas. Each of these women underwent either standard treatment or acupuncture for eight weeks.
Every two weeks, the researchers asked the study subjects about their digestive problems – or, more specifically, their heartburn symptoms, how many antacid tablets they were taking and how their digestive woes were affecting their sleeping and eating routines.
Before the end of the eight-week period, six women dropped out of the study. At the end of the study, results revealed that acupuncture eased the heartburn intensity by at least half in 75% of the women who underwent acupuncture, and 44% of those in the control group.
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The researchers also found that seven women in each group used antacids at the start of the study. In the end, those in the acupuncture group’s average dosage fell by 6.3 doses, compared to 4.4 doses in the control group.
What’s even more impressive is that 75% of women in the acupuncture group reported that they had a 70% improvement in their quality of sleep
as well as a 50% improvement in their eating at the end of the study.
In the control group, on the other hand, 50% of women said they only had a 25% improvement in their sleeping and 31% improvement in their eating.
Researchers confirm that acupuncture is completely safe while you’re pregnant and won’t affect your baby
Now, you’re probably wondering just how safe it is to have acupuncture while you’ve got a bun in the oven. Good news! The researchers behind the study confirmed that there were no side effects whatsoever of acupuncture during the stuff. They also found no differences between the babies born to the women in the acupuncture and control groups.
However, the researchers did warn against using acupuncture points in the lower abdomen or lower back in pregnant women. They explained that needling in these areas could potentially trigger contractions.
“This technique should be further studied in prospective randomised studies of large populations to confirm our findings in effectiveness and the absence of adverse effects,” the study read. “It’s simple to apply and if used in an appropriate manner can reduce the need for medication,” it concluded.