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Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

22 Aug 2021 14:36 14:48
(12 mins)
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Due to unsatisfactory results from conventional treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities are increasingly popular treatment alternatives. Unfortunately, most CAM clinical trials have been of poor quality, and the efficacies of these therapies have not been adequately elucidated, even though systematic reviews or meta-analyses. There is also a general lack of understanding of their mechanisms of action. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is the most commonly used CAM modality in East Asia. TCM herbal formula, such as Tong Xie Yao Fang, has been shown to be beneficial for alleviating IBS symptoms in meta-analysis. However, its effectiveness seems to be limited to individualized approach under the supervision by a TCM clinician but not standardized prescription. Acupuncture has also been extensively investigated but the overall efficacy is not supported by meta-analysis. The conflicting results of acupuncture may be related to patient selection, acupuncture protocol and operator factors. There is evidence supporting the value of psychotherapy and mind-body medicine for FGID treatment but the effectiveness is largely limited to therapist-based intervention. Due to the mounting evidence of the microbiologic and immunologic basis of IBS, probiotics and dietary intervention are no longer considered complementary treatments and they are commonly included in the routine management of FGIDs.

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