Can Acupuncture help women suffering from PCOS ?
Acupuncture is an ancient, time-honored healing art from the Orient. How do you know if Acupuncture is right for you? Some studies demonstrate the effectiveness of Acupuncture for PCOS , but other studies have been unable to confirm these results.
General message to convey: Acupuncture may be beneficial to women with PCOS , although more study is needed. Acupuncture will be most effective when coupled with improved diet and exercise habits, as well as pharmaceutical or nutraceutical treatments.
What signs point to PCOS?
Using Acupuncture for PCOS Treatment can be an incredibly powerful, natural treatment option. Most importantly, Chinese Medicine assesses the symptoms you are having such as acne, irregular or absent menstruation, excess hair growth or male pattern baldness and treats the cause of that symptom. It gets to the point of the problem or problems in your body then works to heal it. It’s typically a combination of Acupuncture and herbs prescribed by an acupuncturist that works to correct any and all hormonal imbalances in your body.
Typically, Western Medicine treats the symptoms not the cause of your symptoms. For example, you’re overweight due to PCOS you’re given Metformin to help with weight loss. It’s treating the symptom (extra weight) not what is making you overweight; thus, more than likely not curing the problem long term. An initial visit with an acupuncturist will last sixty to ninety minutes. At that time, he or she assess your body’s current condition; asks you many questions about your health (and possible PCOS symptoms), daily routine, family history. This determines the placement of needles. Don’t worry about the needles they are SO tiny and don’t even hurt. You’ll be in a very peaceful room on a table probably listening to tranquil music, which is really relaxing for about forty five minutes. This allows the needles to work.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is broken down into two main sub-categories: Deficiency that is aimed at kidney yang deficiency, kidney yin deficiency, and spleen qi deficiency along with the Excess such as phlegm dampness, liver stagnation with heat and blood stasis. The most common manifestation of PCOS is dampness and/or phlegm in the body. However, PCOS is often complicated with patterns of deficiency and excess. Most women with PCOS will ovulate later in the cycle if at all. The BBT graph for dampness/phlegm is not bi-phasic but rather more erratic and flat-lined across the graph.
It may also reveal a long follicular phase (indicated by lower temperatures) with a shortened luteal phase (indicated by high temperatures). Yang Qi deficiency may produce phlegm because it doesn’t get the fluids to move but rather to condense into dampness. The TCM doctor asks many questions about the patient’s medical history on the first visit. From that, they will differentiate your pattern and treat the root cause of the PCOS . Ovulatory women should begin to notice signs of ovulation after a couple months of treatment. Women with belated ovulation will often notice that their ovulation comes earlier and earlier in the cycle until they ovulate normally on cycle day fourteen
Western medicine takes the stand that PCOS is caused by several factors such as hormonal imbalance, Insulin Resistance and heredity to a certain extent. Regardless of which perspective you use treatment and management is the important part 0f this condition.
Can Acupuncture actually help to treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common female endocrine disorder affecting about 5% to 10% of women of reproductive age a leading causes of reduced fertility. There are different opinions in regards to this matter and we are to investigate both positive and negative outcomes. According to the statistical data, there were the researches that have collected the following data: 84 women with polycystic ovary syndrome were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 16 weeks. The distinctions are: low-frequency electro-Acupuncture , physical exercise and no treatment.
There were the changes in the concentration of testosterone at the end of the study. In addition, changes in menstrual frequency; concentrations of androgens, estrogens, androgen precursors, and glucuronidated androgen metabolites; and acne and hirsutism were measured. The measurements at the end of treatment and 16 weeks later were compared to the start of the study.
After 16 weeks of electro-Acupuncture , circulating testosterone levels decreased 25%, androsterone glucuronide 30%, and androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol-3-glucuronide 28% in the electro-Acupuncture group — significantly different changes. The outcomes are as follows: menstrual frequency increased significantly with electro-Acupuncture vs. exercise at baseline; 16 weeks after treatment ended, the acne score decreased by 32% with electro-Acupuncture vs. exercise; electro-Acupuncture and exercise improved menstrual frequency and decreased levels of several sex steroids at the end of treatment and at the 16-week follow-up compared with no treatment.
It was concluded that the low-frequency electro-Acupuncture as well as physical exercise improved hyperandrogenism and menstrual frequency more effectively than no intervention in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. With this, low-frequency electro-Acupuncture was superior to physical exercise and may be useful for treating hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhea.” There’s little research in this area. Last year, researchers at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia, reviewed the results of 4 studies and concluded, “Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment.”
They continued that the Acupuncture therapy may have a role in polycystic ovary syndrome by: increasing of blood flow to the ovaries, reducing of ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts, controlling hyperglycemia through increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels, reducing cortisol levels and assisting in weight loss and anorexia.
Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine:
Effectiveness of Acupuncture on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
A Swedish/Italian controlled study from the Biology of Reproduction Journal, (date): involved inducing a state of polycystic ovaries in rats, with injections of estradiol valerate. Increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system resulted, followed by increased concentrations of nerve growth factor in ovaries, and the adrenal glands.
Within 60 days the rats developed polycystic ovaries. The control group received no therapy and maintained features of PCOS . Those treated with Acupuncture showed a reduction in the hyperactivity of the ovarian peripheral sympathetic nerve fibers, reduction of the increased nerve growth factor concentrations within the ovaries to normal and reduced the weight of the polycystic ovaries.
This group of doctors then set out with the aim of reproducing similar results in women with PCOS . The study concluded, “We have shown that repeated electro Acupuncture treatments restore regular ovulations in the ovulatory women with PCOS . In addition, Acupuncture influenced neuroendocrine and endocrine parameters indicative of PCOS , such as LH/FSH ratios, mean testosterone concentrations, and beta-endorphin concentrations, which reduced significantly.” This study illustrates the hormonal origin of this disease process, and the fact that it can be induced artificially. The induction of this hormonal trauma produces a physiologic state of stress which raises the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, producing a disease syndrome. Acupuncture treatments were effective at resolving this pathologic process because it reduces the level of hyper sympathetic nervous system response, relaxing the whole neuroendocrine system.
Is Acupuncture the only treatment required for PCOS?
Acupuncture or a healthy diet alone sometimes isn’t enough. It’s a combination of various approaches that works best along with providing long lasting effects. There are many feasible choices with regard to drug treatment options so it is essential to examine the benefits, side effects and drug contradictions associated with each choice and discuss with your doctor what the best option is for you.
Some common treatment options for PCOS are:
- Oral contraceptives: This can be the first and most common method used to regulate the menstrual cycle. These pills are available in a range of types that contain a combination of hormones, usually estrogen plus progesterone or just progesterone. You need to go over with your doctor precisely what you want to see when taking this drug before beginning a cycle.
- Metformin (Glucophage): Metformin is a drug which was produced for type-2 diabetics which increases insulin levels while controlling blood sugar. Since Insulin Resistance influences polycystic ovarian syndrome this drug is utilized to treat PCOS also with successful outcomes. Metformin appears to minimize PCOS symptoms and frequently helps normalize male hormone levels as well as and the menstrual cycle.
- Male hormone blockers: These are generally used in combination with birth control pills to minimize unpleasant PCOS symptoms related to high levels of androgens. Birth control must be used in combination with these blockers due to the fact the blockers can cause birth defects in male fetuses. Some common choices of male hormone blockers are flutamide, finasteride and spironolactone.
- PCOS Treatment from Insulite Health: Are you looking for PCOS natural treatment plans? Be sure to see what Insulite Health has to offer. As pioneers in natural, lifestyle?based remedies for PCOS we’ve helped countless women meet the challenge of Insulin Resistance. Be sure to explore our educational resources, blog, forum and support groups to see if our natural PCOS System might be your key to optimal health. Insulite Health is dedicated to helping you feel better and possibly reversing your PCOS so you feel more in control of your health. Get your free consultation with one of the Medical Staff on our Consulting and Advisory Team by contacting us today.
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