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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49124

  • Sandi
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  • Sandi Forum Moderator Diagnosed in 1998, currently in remission. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2006. Last Count - 344k - 6-9-18
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Chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a condition of isolated low platelet count with normal bone marrow, is an immune thrombocytopenia with unclear pathology. So far, no particularly effective therapy has been discovered. On the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory and the clinical manifestations of the disease, the author Yin Zhifang treated 74 patients with acupuncture only or with a combination of acupuncture and medication. Another 24 patients were treated with medication only, and they were considered as the control group.

Of the 98 patients, 29 were males and 69 were females. The age ranged from 19 to 58 years. The course of the disease varied from 3 months to 18 years. The 98 patients were divided into three groups at random, for example, acupuncture only group (36 cases), acupuncture and medication group ( 38 cases), and medication only group ( 24 cases). The 98 patients were diagnosed on the basis of their clinical symptoms and a laboratory examination. There were no obvious differences in sex, age, course of disease, and the patients’ condition among the three groups. One week before the treatment , patients were instructed to stop taking any medication.

It was found that the acupuncture plus medication group recorded better results than the other two groups, and there was a significant difference between the groups. The acupuncture only group recorded better results than the medication group. This suggests that acupuncture is more effective than Western medication in the treatment of the disease.

According to TCM theory, ITP is caused by an insufficiency of vital essence and blood in the Zang-fu organs, and can be categorized as a ‘Deficiency syndrome’. Dysfunctions of the spleen and the kidney are the cause of symptoms such as dizziness, lassitude, insomnia, soreness in the loins, bleeding and ecchymosis, and threadlike and weak pulse. As a consequence, the therapeutic principle should be to invigorate the kidney and activate the spleen, enhance Qi, and regulate blood. The points to be used during treatment are Dazhui—at the intersection of the Governor vessel and the three Yang meridians, as well as three other points that can increase the platelet count, namely, Zusanli—the He (Sea) point of the stomach meridian, Sanyinjiao —at the intersection of three foot Yin meridians, and Taixi—the Yuan (primary) point of the kidney meridian. The observation and study of the indices in this report suggest that acupuncture therapy is likely to promote the maturation of the myeloid megalocaryocyte, and restore the function of the hematopoietic system. When acupuncture therapy is combined with Western medication, the curative effect can be even more remarkable and the clinical symptoms are more effectively controlled.

www.newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/health/A-Point-to-Perfect-Blood-Count/2015/05/23/article2826374.ece
The following user(s) said Thank You: EmilyK

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49141

  • Aoi
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Interesting results, though I feel it's important to bear in mind that this really isn't a result. Yin Zhifang has not published his findings in any journal that is included in PubMed, and the New Indian Press article does not mention the actual numbers. What were "better results" and what medication was used? These details among others would help clarify the significance, if any, of these results.

I searched PubMed using "ITP and acupuncture" or "thrombocytopenia and acupuncture", finding only one article with the title "Observation on short-term effect acupuncture in treating chronic essential thrombocytopenic purpura" (PMID: 3150317). Published in 1988, it is in Chinese and has no abstract, so I can't say anything about it. I am surprised that there is no published research on acupuncture for the treatment/management of ITP. Perhaps this is because no one has done work suitable for publication, or no one has gotten results worth publishing.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49145

  • Sandi
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I realize that. This was posted on the PDSA FB page by the PDSA. I was only relaying the info. For what it's worth, acupuncture is harmless and probably helpful for stress at the very least, so I passed it on.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49147

  • Aoi
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I had no doubt you were aware of these issues. I put in my comments for anyone who might not be, and in the hope of adding some useful information about acupuncture for ITP. I agree that it probably won't hurt, and indirectly may help, particularly as a part of a more healthful lifestyle.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49152

  • Sandi
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  • Sandi Forum Moderator Diagnosed in 1998, currently in remission. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2006. Last Count - 344k - 6-9-18
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I always wanted to try it myself!

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49154

  • Melinda
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I love love love acupuncture - for my neuropathy it gave me back some feeling in my feet. But my insurance doesn't cover it so stopped it. I did ask my acupuncturist about ITP - she said since I had had ITP for a long time it probably wouldn't help - she told me about a woman with ITP who had treatment there [my HMO so I know my acupuncturist has very good credentials and could be trusted] but it didn't help.

"This suggests that acupuncture is more effective than Western medication in the treatment of the disease."
This bothers me.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49160

  • Sandi
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  • Sandi Forum Moderator Diagnosed in 1998, currently in remission. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2006. Last Count - 344k - 6-9-18
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Yes, but it also says this:

It was found that the acupuncture plus medication group recorded better results than the other two groups, and there was a significant difference between the groups.

:)

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49167

  • Melinda
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Then why didn't it say "acupuncture plus (western) medication is more effective than acupuncture in the treatment of the disease".

Just seemed to be quick to say western medication was b-a-d
And to all those who will be quick to judge - yes I love acupuncture, would do it weekly if I could afford it and yes I take supplements and have tried natural.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49194

  • Aoi
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I wish acupuncture helped with my neuropathy. I tried it last year but didn't see any benefits. From what I've read, acupuncture alone does not seem to help with many major medical issues. Sometimes it does seem to help when used in combination with Western modalities. When I lived in Japan I didn't come across anyone who was having acupuncture; they just went to the Western-style doctor, got their medication or had their procedures done, and got on with their lives. This doesn't prove anything, but I find it intriguing that the part of the world with the most (historical) experience with acupuncture seems to use it the least.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49206

  • Melinda
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We moved to Tokyo right after my ITP diagnosis - the medical system there was interesting, I had a fabulous hematologist and it is a small world as he knew my hematologist here.

I would say I saw more acupuncture and Chinese medicine when we lived in Hong Kong - didn't really see it in Tokyo.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49309

  • EmilyK
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  • Diagnosed jan 2015 at age 50 with 13,000 platelets.
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I think I have finally found a local acupuncturist that I would trust. I have been given her name by more than one person I trust, but have not yet made an appointment. I was concerned about a bleeding risk from the needles. Has anyone had any issues with that? Should I make sure my numbers are above some threshold? Of course, that is always a problem since by the time of the appointment, I probably won't know my numbers and they could be totally different from what they were at the last count. I look forward to hearing from anyone with experience.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49311

  • Aoi
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I tried acupuncture last year for neuropathy and didn't have any bleeding issues. The needles are so fine that you may not even feel when they're inserted. That said, ask the acupuncturist about this issue. The one I worked with was also a MD, and he thought that my counts were high enough to be irrelevant for what he was trying.

It's perhaps interesting that around that time I also had a couple rounds of epidural spinal injections, and the radiologist was not worried about my counts for that. The needles used for an EPI are much thicker and go far deeper than acupuncture. I managed that with only a quarter-sized bruise at the injection site.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49312

  • Sandi
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  • Sandi Forum Moderator Diagnosed in 1998, currently in remission. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2006. Last Count - 344k - 6-9-18
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Emily:

Those needles are so tiny that I'd be surprised if it caused bleeding at any count. If it did, it probably wouldn't be enough to be of concern.

One thing I would not do with low counts is have my neck adjusted by a chiropractor. I did actually do that years ago with counts under 5k, but I was naive. I read years later that neck adjustments can cause tears in vessels or arteries and even people with normal counts can have strokes afterwards. It happened to the brother-in-law of a member here. He left the chiropractor and within an hour, had a massive stroke.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49318

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An excellent point about chiropractic, Sandi. My neurosurgeon gave me that warning last year, and one of my physical therapists (I think) also mentioned it.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49325

  • Melinda
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I had some bleeding at a toe (I had acupuncture for neuropathy) when a needle was removed - but she wiped it off and that was that. One time I counted the needles she inserted (both legs, both feet and in hands) - can't recall the number now because it just didn't matter, but it was a lot of them. You wouldn't believe how teeny those needles are. I never knew what my count was when I went in for acupuncture and never got permission to do it, trusted my acupuncturist and she knew what was going on with me. To start off you probably will have to go in more than 1 time a week the first couple weeks. And seriously, don't expect miracles - and you have to give it a number of sessions before you say it isn't working.

One thing I would not do even if I didn't have ITP is go to a chiropractor.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49334

  • EmilyK
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  • Diagnosed jan 2015 at age 50 with 13,000 platelets.
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I was hoping it would help me feel less anxious. I have no hope of it helping my ITP. Thanks for all the input.

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49342

  • Sandi
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  • Sandi Forum Moderator Diagnosed in 1998, currently in remission. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2006. Last Count - 344k - 6-9-18
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It could very well work for that. Can't hurt!

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 5 months ago #49343

  • Melinda
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Emily I'll bet you do well with it! I so looked forward to may acupuncture session - it was the most relaxing time, I loved it! Keep us posted ok?!

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Acupuncture and ITP 7 years 3 months ago #50756

  • AnneMarie P
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I have had only three sessions but found it very helpful. I was less fatigued and more relaxed. I have been more than three months under 20k and although my hemo added a new mix (Danazol) to my Proamcta Prednisone combo, I came away today with almost 50k platelet count. It might be the drug, it might be the acupuncture.I am going back to acupuncture in the morning as it calms me and is preferable to massage.I think it is worth the time. I printed the article from this site with the specific points (meridians) and he used them in addition to his own.
Be well,
Anne Marie

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