Traditional Chinese medicine can effectively treat intradialytic hypotension — low blood pressure during dialysis — and female infertility through the use of medicinal herbs and acupuncture, the Taipei Chinese Medical Association said yesterday at a press conference to present clinical research into the traditional doctrine.
The number of people on dialysis in Taiwan is increasing steadily each year, association president Tsao Yun-tson (曹永昌) said.
“One of the factors causing this increase in dialysis patients are pirate radio stations that advertise and sell harmful pseudo-medicines with unknown ingredients. Many elderly people are taken in by these stations and unwittingly take the unlicensed drugs, which are often a questionable mix of herbal and Western medicine that harms them and leads to dialysis,” Tsao said.
Chen Jiun-liang (陳俊良), director of the Division of Internal and Pediatric Chinese Medicine at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, agreed with Tsao.
Citing recent comments by toxicologist Lin Chieh-liang (林杰樑), Chen added that the recent tainted starch scandal also indicates that the nation’s high prevalence of dialysis may have resulted from people ingesting large amounts of maleic acid by consuming tainted food products.
Chen said that a paper he co-authored that was published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal demonstrates that herbal medicine — Korean red ginseng in this case — can improve blood pressure stability in patients with intradialytic hypotension, which is “a common complication which occurs in 20 percent to 30 percent of all dialysis treatments.”
Meanwhile, Lai Jung-nien (賴榮年), director of the Chinese Medicine Division at the Taipei City Hospital’s Yang-Ming branch, said that recent studies show that acupuncture helps women with infertility problems.
“Acupuncture can complement Western treatments for female infertility as it improves circulation in the pelvic area and maintains a stable endometrial thickness, which is beneficial since many women seeking medical attention for infertility are suffering from endocrine disorders or ovulation problems,” Lai said.
Acupuncture has also been shown to ameliorate anxiety, which is seen as a root cause of infertility issues among women attempting in vitro fertilization.
Data show that “patients who receive acupuncture before undergoing in vitro fertilization have a rate of conception that is 15 percent higher than those who have not,” Lai added.