Acupuncture For Diarrhea

Posted by | | Posted in Acupuncture, Diarrhea, Digestive Issues.

acupuncture-for-diarrhea-ctAcupuncture can treat diarrhea and other digestive issues.

Diarrhea is a result of something not quite right in the lower intestinal tract.

The most common symptoms are: frequent and loose to watery stools; abdominal pain; cramping; sometimes fever, chills, and a general sick feeling; and associated thirst and weight loss. The immediate cause is that food and fluids pass through the colon so quickly that the body doesn’t have enough time to absorb the fluid.

It is important to look for general signs of dehydration:

  • thirst
  • less frequent urination
  • dry skin
  • fatigue
  • light-headedness
  • dark colored urine

Although most bouts of diarrhea are not serious and resolve in a few days, more lengthy periods of diarrhea, or if the stool contains blood or pus, or if severe thirst is not controlled by higher intake of fluids a doctor should be seen. Because children and the elderly are more easily dehydrated they should see their doctor earlier.

Children react differently to dehydration than do adults:

  • dry mouth and tongue
  • no tears when crying
  • no wet diapers for 3 hours or more
  • sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks
  • high fever
  • listlessness or irritability
  • skin that does not flatten when pinched and released

Causes of Diarrhea

Common causes of diarrhea include:

  • foods or drinks contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or viruses
  • reactions to medications (including some vitamins, minerals, and herbs)
  • reactions to artificial sweeteners (such as sorbitol and mannitol).
  • Lactose or other food intolerance

More serious are intestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, which should be followed by a competent health care practitioner.
Conventional Treatment Options

Over the counter antidiarrheal remedies include loperamide (Imodium), bismuth sub-salicylate (Pepto-Bismol), and attapulgite (Kaopectate). These are not intended for longer-term use or for use when there is an underlying infection or serious gastrointestinal condition. Certain foods, herbs and supplements have a long history of use in treating cases of non-serious diarrhea. The condition should respond within 24 hours. If it does not a health care provider should be consulted.

Severe cases of diarrhea often are prescribed diphenoxylate or atropine (Lomotil), which slow movement through the colon. This addresses the dehydration issue but does nothing to treat the actual cause. These drugs are known to have very serious side effects in some patients.

When diarrhea’s cause is found to be an infection antibiotics or other medications would be prescribed.

Acupuncture Treatment for Diarrhea

Acupuncture works well alongside conventional treatments because it addresses several problems associated with diarrhea that the medication approach of treating symptoms does not focus on:

  • Accumulation of toxins
  • General weakening of the gastrointestinal system
  • Impaired or overtaxed immune system
  • Inflammation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety and stress (which cause the body to divert blood flow away from the digestive system)



University of Maryland Medical Center

Acupuncture To Treat Food Allergies

Posted by | | Posted in Allergies, Autoimmune Disorders, Food Allergies, Immune System.

acupuncture-treats-food-allergies-stratford-ctFood allergies are the immune system’s extreme reaction to one or more food proteins.

Foods intolerance is different from food allergies in that it does not involve the immune system.  It also produces milder reactions.  For many people food allergy is an undiagnosed problem.  Here is why: reactions can produce symptoms common to many other conditions

Milder symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing problems, including wheezing, nasal congestion, or trouble breathing
  • Skin rash, hives, swelling, itching, or eczema
  • Nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, indigestion, or diarrhea
  • Swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, tongue, throat, or other parts of the body (called angioedema)
  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting

When symptoms are extreme they can be life threatening.

Extreme allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock) include:

  • Swelling of the throat and difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness
  • Blue color to the skin and nails

Allergic reactions usually come on suddenly, can be triggered by a small amount of food, and happen every time the food is eaten.

Foods commonly producing food allergies include:

  • Shellfish, such as shrimp, crab, and lobster
  • Tree nuts, including walnuts, almonds, and pecans
  • Peanuts
  • Fruits, particularly strawberries, melons and tropical fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Fish
  • Food additives such as dyes, thickeners, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), and preservatives.

Common Food Allergy Treatments

Conventional treatments focus on reducing symptoms and identifying and avoiding offending foods.  Both over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines are recommended for mild itching, swelling, rash, runny nose, or headache.  Side effects include drowsiness, irritability, dry mouth, and heart palpitations.

Some doctors may suggest certain herbs and supplements that reduce inflammation.

Epinephrine injection is called for in an emergency.

Acupuncture Food Allergy Relief

As with all Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture’s goal in food allergies is to treat both the immediate symptoms and to rebalance the hyperactive immune system, the root cause of allergies.

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture endorses the use of acupuncture for food allergies.

A Western medical researcher, Dr. Benno Brinkhaus of the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics at Charité University Medical Center in Berlin, has written: “From my experience as a physician and acupuncturist, and as a researcher, I would recommend trying acupuncture if patients are not satisfied with the conventional anti-allergic medication or treatment or they suffer from more or less serious sides effects of the conventional medication.  Also because acupuncture is a relative [sic] safe treatment.”

Since all allergies involve the immune system, we suggest you also review our earlier entry “Acupuncture and Allergies”.



Acupuncture Treatment For Ulcers

Posted by | | Posted in Acupuncture, Autoimmune Disorder, Autoimmune Disorders, Immune System, Stomach Issues, Ulcers.

acupuncture-for-stomach-ulcers-stratford-acupuncture-ctUlcers, areas of raw tissue, can be found in the walls of the stomach or intestines (peptic and duodenal ulcers), on the skin surface (bed sores / decubitus ulcers) or in the mouth.

Each type of ulcer has a different cause and a different conventional treatment.

  • Mouth ulcers can be a symptom of such diseases as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis (see our blog entry) and Reiter’s syndrome.  Other causes are a side effect of antibiotic use or radiotherapy, mouth thrush (a fungus) or the herpes virus.
  • Bed sores can result from pressure on a body part when the patient is immobilized.  These sores are prone to infection.
  • Duodenal ulcers occur in the upper intestine nearest the stomach.  They are associated with high acid levels in the stomach that both cause and aggravate ulcers.
  • About 60% of stomach ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection.  Another 20% are caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, etc.).


Chronic pain is common to these ulcers.  Such pain often causes difficulty in sleeping.

Treating any pain in the body with prolonged use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, unfortunately, has been linked with increased susceptibility to developing duodenal and peptic ulcers.

Duodenal and peptic ulcers also can result in constipation and diarrhea (see our blog entries  “Acupuncture and Constipation” and “Acupuncture and Diarrhea”).

Ulcers related to Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)  typically are treated with a course of two antibiotics to kill the bacteria and either an acid suppressor or a medication to shield the stomach-lining.

Severe cases, showing bleeding or perforation of the stomach or intestinal lining, is serious and usually calls for surgery.

Mouth ulcers often repeatedly return.  The reason is not known.  Western medicine treatment typically calls upon various antiseptic washes and topical pain relieving drugs.


Acupuncture is a common Chinese treatment for ulcers.  In the West the best understood effect of acupuncture is reduction of pain.

Acupuncture’s positive effect on the immune system is important in the treatment of skin and mouth ulcers as well as those ulcers caused by bacteria such as H. pylori.

An investigation was conducted of acupuncture therapy for duodenal ulcer in 21 male and female patients.  Gastroscopy confirmed complete recovery in 76 percent of the patients.

Acupuncture can decrease acid in the stomach, as shown by research work by Chinese physiologists.  This provides a treatment for stomach and intestinal ulcers with fewer side effects than experienced with medications such as antibiotics and acid blockers.

Patients with spinal cord injury often are not aware that a bed sore is beginning.

Acupuncture may improve sensation in many cases, allowing for more frequent changes of position and the consequent avoidance of a skin ulcer.



Using Acupuncture As A Natural Treatment For Fibroids

Posted by | | Posted in Acupuncture, Chronic Pain, Women's Issues.

acupuncture-for-Fibroids-stratford-ctApproximately 20% of women in their child bearing years will experience uterine fibroid tumors (uterine leiomyomas, myomas, ibromyomas).  These are benign tumors, solid muscle tissue growths composed of smooth uterine muscle and connective tissue inside the uterine wall or outside the uterus.  Fibroid tumors rarely are cancerous.

Western medicine has not identified a cause for uterine fibroids although it is known that estrogens promote their growth once they have developed.

Uterine fibroid growth is regulated by the complex feedback loops between sex steroid hormones and growth factors (Langevin et al., 2002).  For this reason hysterectomies are the most prescribed treatment for fibroids in American women.

Fibroids often are asymptomatic.  For some women excessive menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), abnormal periods, uterine bleeding, pain, discomfort, frequent urination, painful sex, fatigue, irritability and infertility can occur.


Most women make their choice of treatment based on whether they still want to get pregnant.


Clearly, removal of the entire uterus (hysterectomy) will completely eliminate the uterine fibroid problem.  Myomectomy, removal only of the fibroids, is a surgical alternative.

Either surgery option presents possible complications.  Without intending to be alarmist, a surgical candidate should investigate these known surgical complications:

  • injury to tissues/organs
  • bleeding
  • infection
  • internal scarring
  • temporary pain/nerve injury
  • long-lasting dysfunction/pain
  • recovery time
  • potential for equipment failure and/or human error
  • effects of anesthesia
  • possibility of fibroid return

Uterine artery embolization (UAE), which requires x-rays to guide the therapy application, and MRI-guided focused ultrasound therapy are less invasive options.  Possible side effects and complications also should be investigated for these alternatives.

Hormone Treatments

Treatment with hormone antagonists to block the action of estrogen and progesterone can shrink fibroids, but this treatment will not destroy or eliminate them.

Other progesterone-related therapies (certain birth control pills and intrauterine devices) can help treat some of the symptoms caused by fibroids but they do not shrink the tumors.

Acupuncture and TCM for Fibroids

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the cause of uterine fibroids as impeded blood flow to and from the uterus, leading to accumulation of excess tissue.  A primary action of acupuncture is the release of energy blockages that obstruct blood flow.

Because hormone imbalances are an observed influence on the growth of uterine fibroids, the known ability of acupuncture to regulate the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland system, and the central nervous system makes it a logical choice for treating fibroids.

Stress induces a number of responses in the body, including the release of hormones cortisol and insulin into the system, thereby upsetting hormone balances.  Both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are effective for stress management.

Acupuncture’s known ability to reduce or eliminate pain also makes it an obvious treatment choice, as concluded by The University of Maryland Medical Center.

Let us help you find relief today.
Contact our office to schedule an appointment.



Huang YY. Research advance and prospects of traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine for treatment of uterine fibroids. Tianjin J Tradit Chin Med. 2003;20:78–80.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization