Acupuncture for acute gastritis

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Acute gastritis is classified into simple, corrosive, infective and suppurative types of gastritis according to the pathogenic factors. Acute corrosive gastritis is caused by intake of corrosive agents and needs emergent treatment. Acute infective gastritis and suppurative gastritis are caused by general infection. The following discussion focuses on acute simple gastritis marked by pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen, reduced appetite or distension and belching as well as nausea and vomiting. This disease pertains to epigastralgia, vomiting and diarrhea in TCM. Acute gastritis is usually caused by exogenous pathogenic factors and improper diet that lead to dysfunction of the spleen and stomach, failure of gastric qi to descend and upward adverse flow of turbid qi.

Syndrome Differentiation
1. Cold-dampness Attacking the Middle Energizer
Sudden onset of stomachache, severe pain, aversion to cold and preference for warmth, alleviation with warmth, nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea with thin fluid, or even watery diarrhea, or accompanied by aversion to cold and fever, light-colored tongue with white fur as well as taut and tense pulse.

2. Retention of Damp-Heat in the Middle Energizer
Burning sensation, distension and pain in the epigastrium, aggravation after meal, or postcibal vomiting, foul breath, bitter taste and dryness in the mouth, urgent diarrhea or unsmooth diarrhea, burning sensation in the anus, red tongue with yellow and greasy fur as well as slippery and rapid pulse.

3. Retention of Food
Distension and fullness in the epigastrium, unpressable pain, acid regurgitation, alleviation of pain after vomiting, unsmooth defecation with putrefaction and foul odor, thick and greasy tongue fur as well as taut and slippery pulse.

1. Body Acupuncture
Prescription: Zhongwan (CV 12), Neiguan (PC 6), Tianshu (ST 25) and Zusanli (ST 36).

Modification: For cold-dampness damaging the middle energizer, Hegu (LI 4) and Yinlingquan (SP 9) are added; for retention of damp-heat in the middle energizer, Hegu (LI 4) and Quchi (LI 11) are added; for retentionof food, Neiting (ST 44) and Xuanji (CV 21) are added; for acute epigastralgia, Liangqiu (ST 34) is added.

Performance: Reducing needling technique is used. For the treatment of cold syndrome, moxibustion can be used. This treatment is given once or twice a day.

2. Ear Acupuncture
Prescription: Stomach (CO4), Large Intestine (CO7), Small Intestine (CO6) and Sympathetic Nerve (AH6a).
Performance: The needles are manipulated at intervals with strong stimulation. Or Wangbuliuxingzi (Semen Vaccariae) is used for ear pressure.

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