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Thank You

Saturday, December 4, 2010 9:55 AM
From:”A…C…..”
To: “Arthur Yin Fan, PhD,CMD, LAc” <arthurfan@chinesemedicinedoctor.us>
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Dr. Fan,
 
I am emailing you to send you pictures of the newest addition to my family, my daughter, Amaya Grace.  If you remember I came to you in February after my OB/GYN told me that I had PCOS and would never be able to conceive without drugs.  At that time, you reassured me that it would not be the case and that we would working on regulating my system.  I began treatment with you twice a week and five weeks into it, I discovered I was actually pregnant!  The sonogram confirmed what I suspected, I became pregnant the day after the very first acupuncture treatment.  Fast forward 10 months later, I now have a 15 day old baby girl. 
 
I can’t say enough about your practice and the care and concern that you showed me.  I have attached pictures for you to see her!  Enjoy the holidays.  Our family is definitely enjoying ours with the new addition.
 
Best regards,
 
A…..

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Study finds acupuncture and exercise decrease a key marker for disease

Exercise and electro-acupuncture treatments reduce sympathetic nerve activity in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), according to a new study. The finding is important because women with PCOS often have elevated sympathetic nerve activity, which plays a role in hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

The study also found that the electro-acupuncture treatments led to more regular menstrual cycles, reduced testosterone levels and reduced waist circumference.

Exercise had no effect on the irregular or non-existent menstrual cycles that are common among women with PCOS, nor did it reduce waist circumference. However, exercise did lead to reductions in weight and body mass index.

“The findings that low-frequency electro-acupuncture and exercise decrease sympathetic nerve activity in women with PCOS indicates a possible alternative non-pharmacologic approach to reduce cardiovascular risk in these patients,” said one of the researchers, Dr. Elisabet Stener-Victorin of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The findings regarding menstrual cycles and decrease in testosterone levels in the low-frequency electro-acupuncture are also of interest, according to the researcher.

The study, “Low-frequency electro-acupuncture and physical exercise decrease high muscle sympathetic nerve activity in polycystic ovary syndrome” was conducted by Elisabet Stener-Victorin, Elizabeth Jedel, Per Olof Janson and Vrsa Bergmann Sverrisdottir, all of the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. The study is in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, published by The American Physiological Society.

Common endocrine disorder

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders, affecting an estimated 10% of women of reproductive age. Among the problems associated with the condition are elevated levels of androgens (such as testosterone, the ‘male’ hormone found in both sexes), ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles and infertility.

PCOS is associated with increased sympathetic nerve activity in the blood vessels, part of the ‘fight or flight’ response that results in blood vessel constriction. Chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

The Swedish researchers had previously found that PCOS is associated with increased sympathetic nerve activity and said it may arise from the elevated testosterone level that is characteristic of PCOS.

Three groups

The researchers wanted to find a long-lasting treatment for PCOS that would have no adverse side effects, and so they looked at whether acupuncture or exercise could decrease the sympathetic nerve activity in women with PCOS. The study included 20 women, average age of 30 years, divided into the following groups:

  • low-frequency electro-acupuncture (9)
  • exercise (5)
  • untreated controls (6)

The acupuncture group underwent 14 treatments during the 16-week study. Acupuncture points were located in abdominal muscles and back of the knee, points thought to be associated with the ovaries. The needles in the abdomen and leg were stimulated with a low-frequency electrical charge, enough to produce muscle contraction but not enough to produce pain or discomfort.

The exercise group received pulse watches and were told to take up regular exercise: brisk walking, cycling or any other aerobic exercise that was faster than walking but that they could sustain for at least 30 minutes. They exercised at least three days per week for 30-45 minutes, maintaining a pulse frequency above 120 beats per minute.

The researchers instructed the control group in the importance of exercise and a healthy diet, the same instructions the experimental groups received, but were not specifically assigned to do anything differently.

Key Findings

The researchers measured the muscle sympathetic nerve activity before and after the 16-week study. Following treatment, the study found the following:

  • Both the acupuncture and exercise groups significantly decreased muscle sympathetic nerve activity compared to the control group.
  • The acupuncture group experienced a drop in waist size, but not a drop in body mass index or weight.
  • The exercise group experienced a drop in weight and body mass index but not in waist size.
  • The acupuncture group experienced fewer menstrual irregularities but the exercise group’s irregularities did not change.
  • In the acupuncture group, there was a significant drop in testosterone. This is an important indicator because the strongest independent predictor of high sympathetic nerve activity in women is the level of testosterone.

“This is the first study to demonstrate that repeated low-frequency electro-acupuncture and physical exercise can reduce high sympathetic nerve activity seen in women with PCOS,” according to the authors. “Furthermore, both therapies decreased measures of obesity while only low-frequency electro-acupuncture improved menstrual bleeding pattern.”

The study has some limitations, including a small sample size, so further research is necessary, the authors wrote. To find the full study, click here

Resource:

Stener-Victorin et al. Low-frequency Electro-Acupuncture and Physical Exercise Decrease High Muscle Sympathetic Nerve Activity in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 2009; DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00197.2009

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Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2009 Nov;29(11):997-1000.

Influences of acupuncture on infertility of rats with polycystic ovadian syndrome

[Article in Chinese]

Zhang WY, Huang GY, Liu J.

Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Tongfi Hospital, Tongii Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect and mechanism of acupuncture on infertility of rats with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

METHODS: PCOS rat model was induced by subcutaneous injection of oil solution of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in immature (24-day-old) female rats for continuous 20 days. Rats for control were given with same dose of oil for instead. PCOS rats were randomly divided into the model group untreated and the acupuncture group treated by needling acupoints of Guanyuan (CV4), Zhongji (CV3), Sanyin-jiao (SP6) and Zigong (CX-CA1), 15 min once a day for 5 continuous days, starting from the 80th day after birth. All rats were sacrificed at terminal of the treatment, their uterus and bilateral ovaries were dissected for observation and blood levels of sex hormones were measured.

RESULTS: compared with the model group, the number of implanted blastocyte and blastocyte implantation rate were higher and the blood levels of testosterone (T) and estradiol (E2) were lower in the acupuncture group (P < 0.05); but the difference between groups in serum levels of follicular stimulating hormone, luteinzing hormone and progesterone were of statistical insignificance (P > 0.05). Moreover, the wet weight of ovary was lower and the equipotent diameter and area of glandular organ and cavity, area ratio of gland and the stroma, and mean thickness of endometria were higher in the acupuncture group than those in the control group (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Acupuncture can conspicuously downregulate the expressions of serum levels of T and E2, improve the development of ovaries and uterus, promote ovulation, enhance endometrial receptivity, and advance blastocyte implantation.

PMID: 20329610 [PubMed – in process]

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