Safety Concerns for Acupuncture in Dyspepsia During Pregnancy

by Mita Majumdar on November 17, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Safety Concerns for Acupuncture in Dyspepsia During Pregnancy
Acupuncture may alleviate dyspepsia during pregnancy reveals a Brazilian controlled study.

Dyspepsia is a pain or an uncomfortable feeling in the upper abdomen. It includes all the symptoms that expecting mothers are so familiar with - bloating, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, burping, and a burning stomach pain. Although this is a common problem, the use of medication in pregnancy is always a concern. Normally, antacids (that neutralize stomach acid) and alginates (negatively charged polysaccharide found in the cell walls of brown algae that protect the esophagus by forming a protective 'raft' when they come in contact with stomach acid) are used to relieve dyspepsia during pregnancy. Most of these are safe but products containing magnesium have a tendency to cause constipation and those containing aluminum may have a laxative effect. Acid suppressing drugs such as ranitidine and omeprazole are other options but if you do not prefer popping pills, you can go in for acupuncture which is a safe, drug-free treatment ideally suited to pregnancy according to the acupuncture therapists.

Lot of evidence exists about the use of acupuncture for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, but not much is known about the efficacy of acupuncture for other dyspepsia complaints. So, researchers João Bosco Guerreiro da Silva and colleagues from Department of Internal Medicine, Rio Preto Medical College, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil, conducted a study to observe the effects of acupuncture on symptomatic dyspepsia during pregnancy and to compare this with a group of patients undergoing conventional treatment alone. This study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil. The results appeared in Acupuncture in Medicine, scientific journal published by the BMJ group.

A total of 42 subjects in the age group of 15 to 39 years at 15 to 30 weeks of pregnancy and dyspepsia symptoms were chosen for the study. These women were randomly placed into 'to be treated with acupuncture' and 'not to be treated with acupuncture' groups. Six women dropped out - one in the acupuncture group and five in the control group. Acupuncture was performed once a week, (sometimes twice if necessary) during 8 weeks. Traditional acupuncture, using sterilized stainless steel needles of 40 mm in length and 0.2 mm diameter, was performed respecting the classical acupuncture points including depth of insertion.

The results showed that the acupuncture group had significantly reduced symptoms of dyspepsia and, moreover, the capacity to sleep and eat increased in the acupuncture group. In the researchers' words, 'We could also see, in the case group, an increase in the capacity to sleep and eat, some aspects that usually deteriorate during the evolution of the gestation. A situation that is worse when a gravida (pregnant woman) suffers from dyspeptic disorders'. They found acupuncture to be an 'effective means of reducing the symptoms and improving the quality of life for gravidas'. They, however, recommend randomized studies of larger populations to confirm their findings.

Despite positive results, using acupuncture in pregnancy is still a strong concern. It is believed that there are certain 'forbidden points' that could induce uterine contractions. Although no adverse effects were seen in this study, the researchers feel that until more research is done sacral or lower abdominal points should be avoided.


1. da Silva JB, Nakamura MU, Cordeiro JA, Kulay L Jr, Saidah R. Acupuncture for dyspepsia in pregnancy: a prospective, randomised, controlled study. Acupunct Med. 2009 Jun;27(2):50-3


Source: Medindia

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Plant-Based Diet may Reduce the Risk of COVID-19
Lower Respiratory Tract Infections Linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children
Type 2 Diabetes can be Controlled by Unripen Green Jackfruit Flour
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Trimester of pregnancy Pregnancy and Exercise Home Pregnancy Test Gastroscopy Pregnancy Psychological Changes In Pregnancy Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation Breech Presentation and Delivery Air travel: To fly or not to fly Pregnancy and Antenatal Care 

Recommended Reading
Medindia explains in brief about acupuncture the traditional chinese method for treating various ......
Acupuncture and Acupressure Treatment - All About Needles and Needless Pain
Dr. P.B. Lohiya suggests treatment and cure for long term illnesses through acupuncture and ......
Pregnancy and Complications - Early Pregnancy Complications
Excess vomiting, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and vesicular mole are some of the possible ......
Air travel: To fly or not to fly
Air travel is for everyone, even those with medical conditions....
Breech Presentation and Delivery
Breech birth or presentation is delivery of the fetus in a bottom or foot-first position. Causes of ...
Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation
During pregnancy & lactation a nutritious diet, suitable exercise, adequate rest and a tranquil mind...
Gastroscopy is a diagnostic test that enables the doctor to look inside of the esophagus, stomach, a...
Home Pregnancy Test
A home pregnancy test is a test done to find out if one is pregnant or not in the relative comforts ...
Detailed look at Early pregnancy Symptoms and easy health solutions during 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimeste...
Pregnancy and Antenatal Care
What is Antenatal care and its importance during pregnancy for mother and baby, with details on the ...
Psychological Changes In Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an experience of growth, change, enrichment and challenge. During the 40 weeks of pregn...
Trimester of pregnancy
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about confirmation of pregnancy in first ......

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use