Acupuncture is used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in China. It is also increasingly used in Western countries.
In this study, doctors from Germany assessed the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of active Crohn's disease.
The team evaluated the change in the Crohn’s disease activity index (CDAI) after treatment. They also measured changes in quality of life and general well-being, and serum markers of inflammation.
The team included 51 patients with mild to moderately active Crohn’s disease from a single center. Patients received complementary medicine from 3 trained acupuncturists and were randomly assigned to receive either traditional acupuncture (TCM group) or control treatment at non-acupuncture points.
The patients were treated in 10 sessions over a period of 4 weeks. The team followed them for 12 weeks.
The doctors found that the CDAI decreased from 250 points to 163 points in the TCM groups. This compared with a decrease from 220 to 181 points in the control group.
|CDAI decreased from 250 points to 163 points.|
In both groups these changes were associated with improvements in general well-being and quality of life.
The team found that acupuncture was superior to control treatment with regard to general well-being.
They also found that 1-acid glycoprotein concentration significantly in the TCM group.
Dr Stefanie Joosa and colleagues concluded, “Apart from a marked placebo effect, traditional acupuncture offers an additional therapeutic benefit in patients with mild to moderately active Crohn’s disease”.