How electroacupuncture could help women with PCOS
PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is a difficult condition for women. Risks associated with the ailment include type 2 diabetes. Now researchers have found electroacupunture could help women suffering from PCOS by regulating blood sugar; in turn preventing type 2 diabetes.
Not only does PCOS cause weight gain, it can often make it hard to lose weight, even for those who are able to exercise.
New research, published in the FASEB journal, finds muscle contractions association with electroacupunture can help lower blood sugar.
"This study has the potential to gain better quality of life for patients with prediabetes and reduced capacity to regulate blood sugar levels, especially for those who have difficulties performing voluntary exercise," said Elisabet Stener-Victorin, Ph.D., associate professor and study author at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Metabolism, Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden in a media release.
Researchers studied women with and without PCOS who were obese or overweight. Following electroacupuncture, both groups of women had better blood sugar control that seems to be linked to muscle contractions that occur during treatment.
Blood sugar levels were measured before, during and after acupuncture that lasted 45 minutes.
"Acupuncture is tried and true, for at least certain symptoms," said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Here we have a new possibility centered on a disease of massive morbidity."
There are limited studies that show the value of acupuncture for specific health conditions. Most studies have been small. Electroacupuncture involves nerve stimulation along with the insertion of needles like traditional acupuncture.
This new study shows, for women who have a hard time exercising and at risk for complications of PCOS, electroacupuncture could help regulate blood sugar and potentially lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.