Endometriosis pain relief with acupuncture has been studied recently, along with a white blood cell research, which opened the door for new treatment opportunities for endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition in which uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus in other regions of the body. The condition affects roughly 6.3 million women in America alone, and a better understanding of endometriosis can help contribute to better treatment options or a possible cure.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine technique that uses thin needles inserted in specific trigger points as a means to channel the body’s energy in order to improve pain.
Researchers Iréne Lund and Thomas Lundeberg reviewed the available medical literature, focusing on clinical effects of acupuncture based on several pain measurements. The researchers also examined a number of studies and summarized methods used in acupuncture based on the published guidelines, “Standards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials of Acupuncture.”
The researchers focused on three studies of women with endometriosis and the use of acupuncture. Although the studies used different techniques, there were methodological similarities.
The authors noted, “Endometriosis is often painful, although with various origin, where standard treatments may be insufficient or involve side effects. Based on the reported studies, acupuncture could be tried as a complement, as it is an overall safe treatment. In the future, studies designed for evaluating effectiveness between treatment strategies rather than efficacy design would be preferred, as the analyses of treatment effects in the individual patients.”
In conclusion, the findings suggest that acupuncture can be a safe and effective treatment method for endometriosis pain.
Endometriosis impact and the role of leukocytes in the uterus
An alternative study found that the function of leukocytes in the uterus may help unlock potential new treatments for endometriosis. Leukocytes are white blood cells that help fight off infection. Previous research has reported alterations of leukocytes within the ectopic and eutopic tissues of the endometrium. Researchers from Michigan State University reviewed the difference between the two types of immune cells – NK cells and regulatory T cells – within the eutopic endometrium in patients with endometriosis and healthy controls.
Deregulation of uterine NK cells has been linked to implantation failure in endometriosis patients. Regulatory T cells secrete immunosuppressive cytokines, bringing about the immune tolerance, which is required for embryo implantation. Infertile patients have lower levels of transcription factor for these T cells, compared to fertile patients.
The researchers note that additional research is required to better understand the role of white blood cells in endometriosis as a potential treatment method.
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