Objective: To evaluate the clinical efficacy of acupuncture for treatment of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome and discuss its action mechanism.
Methods: Fifty-seven cases were randomly divided into two groups. The acupuncture group (29 cases) was treated with acupuncture at Taichong (LR 3), Zusanli (ST 36) and Sanyinjiao (SP 6) etc., once a day and 5 times per week. The medication group (28 cases) was treated with oral administration of pinaverium (50 mg each time, 3 times a day) and live combined bifidobacterium and lactobacillus tablet (4 tablets each time, 3 times a day). Four weeks were taken as a treatment course in both groups. Before and after treatment ELISA method was applied to measure the level of serum 5-HT of the patients in two groups. The scores of clinical symptoms were observed before treatment, after one and four weeks of treatment and 3 months after treatment, respectively.
Results: The level of serum 5-HT was significantly reduced in the acupuncture group and medication group (P < 0.01, P < 0.05), which had no statistical difference between two groups (P > 0.05). Compared with the medication group, the scores of clinical symptoms were obviously improved in the acupuncture group after one and four weeks of treatment and 3 months after treatment (P < 0.01, P < 0.05). The total effective rate was 89.66% (26/29) in the acupuncture group, which was superior to 67.85% (19/28) in the medication group (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: The efficacy of acupuncture is superior to that of medicine in the treatment of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. The acupuncture treatment could reduce the visceral sensitivity, improve the intestinal motility and regulate the imbalance of brain-intestine interactive function.