The world of Western medicine didn't always include acupuncture as a viable method of treating various conditions and diseases. Although it had been around for a long time and was constantly being used for treatment in various Eastern countries, it took some time for the West to catch up and start implementing it in practice.
These days, acupuncture is a well-known form of alternative medicine that's being used all around the world. In fact, it's one of the most popular alternatives for many kinds of pharmaceutical medication, especially for those that aren't particularly effective or are prone to producing unwanted side effects. For this reason, two Chinese researchers sought to figure out just how effective acupuncture can be when it comes to treating the gastrointestinal condition called functional dyspepsia (FD). They have detailed all of their findings in a research paper titled, "Efficacy of manual acupuncture on functional dyspepsia: A meta-analysis for randomized, controlled trials."
In their study, they compared acupuncture with conventional gastrointestinal (GI) tract regulator medications in order to measure their efficacy. To do this, they went through a number of electronic research databases including the Cochrane Library, PubMed, Embase, the Chinese Scientific Journal database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CKNI), Wan-fang Database, and Sino-Med. They searched for randomized controlled trials (RCT) on all papers published before July 30, 2016, and also performed manual searches on conference abstracts and reference lists afterwards.
According to the researchers, the results they got from all the data that they gathered show one thing quite clearly, and that is that manual acupuncture is more effective in the "total effective rate" than GI tract regulator medications. And not only that, but manual acupuncture also showed a higher excellence rate than GI tract regulator medications. In their analysis, they were able to determine that manual acupuncture also improved symptom scores as well as motlin level of functional dyspepsia significantly in comparison with GI tract regulator medications.
The researchers also covered side effects, and mentioned that no serious side effects were observed on any of the participants in both the GI tract regulator medications group and the manual acupuncture group. Because of this, they concluded that there is clear evidence that manual acupuncture can be significantly more effective than conventional GI tract medications based on a number of different measurements. They are now looking for possible ways to conduct a larger, more rigorous, and long-term study that can give even more supporting evidence.
Functional dyspepsia is a problematic condition that affects millions of people all around the world every single day. Due to the nature of conventional GI tract medications, it's not always possible to administer them whenever they are deemed necessary for treatment. As such, it's a good thing that there are alternative medication methods available, such as acupuncture, that can be used in case FD or any similar GI-related conditions begin to surface.
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