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08 May 2018 : Clinical Research  

Acupuncture Combined with Hydrotherapy in Diabetes Patients with Mild Lower-Extremity Arterial Disease: A Prospective, Randomized, Nonblinded Clinical Study

Zhengqin QiABCDEFG, Yan PangABCDEFG, Lin LinBCDE, Bing ZhangBCD, Juntao ShaoBCF, Xiaodong LiuEF, Xin ZhangEF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909733

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR2887-2900

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of this pragmatic study was to explore the intervention of acupuncture combined with hydrotherapy and perceived effects in type 2 diabetic patients with recently diagnosed, mild, lower-extremity arterial disease (LEAD) in comparison with a control group.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: One hundred twenty-six diabetes patients who were diagnosed mild LEAD according to ankle-brachial blood pressure index (ABPI) and peripheral neuropathy symptom were randomly assigned to either an experimental (n=64) or control group (n=62). The experimental group attended and completed (1) a 30-min session of acupuncture in certain selected points, and (2) a 30-min hydrotherapy exercise every 2 days for 15 weeks. The outcome parameters were assessed at baseline, after intervention, and at 6-week follow-up.

RESULTS: The intervention was associated with an improvement in leg flow conductance and partial physical capacities, including chair-sit-and-reach, the walking impairment questionnaire (WIQ), and physical component summary score (PCS), compared to the control group. The treatment benefits were sustained throughout the 6-week follow-up endpoint. There was no difference in fasting glucose levels, Hb1Ac, blood pressure, or BMI after the intervention. At the endpoint of 6-week follow-up, acupuncture plus hydrotherapy appeared to reduce inflammatory response by decreasing IL-6, TNF-α, malondialdehyde, and SOD, and increasing glutathione.

CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture plus hydrotherapy, without significant glycemic-controlling effects in the type 2 diabetic patients with mild LEAD, exerts a measurable benefit in disease-specific physical functions and health-related quality of life. Our results suggest that the combined therapy regulates the inflammatory process and oxidative stress and contributes to immune protection.

Keywords: Acupuncture, diabetes, Hydrotherapy, inflammatory, Lower-Extremity Arterial Disease

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750