Background: Patients with multiple chronic medical conditions are often treated with multiple medications in conventional medicine. Many of these patients still do not feel well and have poor quality of life (QoL), because of the ineffectiveness and/or the side-effects of the medications. This article describes acupuncture as a complementary therapy in a patient with a wide range of conditions involving inflammation and an underlying immune-system dysregulation syndrome. Case: The patient was a 41-year-old, chronically ill male with a wide range of conditions, including Crohn's disease, idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpurea, hypertension, and frequent upper-respiratory tract infections (URIs). Despite this optimal pharmacologic treatment, he still had chronic abdominal pain, knee pain, and fatigue. He also had hypertension and frequent URIs. He chose to receive medical acupuncture treatment. His goals were to reduce his steroid dependence; counteract steroid-associated side-effects, such as hypertension and recurrent infections; and improve his QoL. Intervention: Acupuncture treatment was aimed at relieving the patient's Kidney, Spleen, and Lung Qi Deficiencies, using Wei Qi Tonification followed by Chong Mai/Yang Ming and ear points. The treatment was administered once per week. Results: The patient's abdominal, back, and knee pain mostly resolved and his energy level improved significantly. His prednisone dose requirement decreased from 25mg daily to 7.5mg daily. His hypertension resolved. The frequency of his URIs also decreased significantly. His exercise capacity and QoL improved significantly. Conclusions: Medical acupuncture was beneficial for this patient, reducing his dependence on steroids, decreasing the side-effects of chronic steroid treatment and improving his exercise capacity and QoL.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Complementary and alternative medicine