Sun and Dr. Richard McCallum
were in Philadelphia last week presenting their work called "Central and Peripheral Effects of Transcutaneous Acupuncuture Therapy for Nausea in Patients With Diabetic Gastroparesis" to more than 10,000 gastroenterologists from around the world at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology
"We turned up the current so the patient feels tingling or vibration in their fingers," said McCallum, professor and chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at TTUHSC.
"One theory is the waves send a message up the nerves that eventually go to the brain and turn off the nausea and vomiting control centers in your brain," McCallum
"The other theory is when the study patients were taking the needle-less treatment, it augmented the function of the vagus nerve, which is a very crucial nerve in the gut that plays a major role in stimulating secretion of acid, motility of the stomach and movement," he
"It's not one size fits all where you put the band on and good luck," said McCallum, who specializes in gastroenterology.
Dr. Yan Sun, right, a resident instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Dr. Richard W. McCallum, founding chair of the school's Department of Medicine, hold one of the posters they have used to explain a new acupuncture therapy that uses electrical pulses instead of traditional needles. (Photos by Rudy Gutierrez - El Paso Times)
said this device would benefit patients with diabetes and gastroptosis.
"Probably a third of our patients and half of all patients in the world who have a paralyzed or slow stomach have underlying diabetes," he
"This has been a very big focus of ours because the brain and the gut are intimately connected in every way from pain, nausea to control of bowel habits."
said this treatment would not be available to patients for a few more years while more studies are being done.
"The proof of concept is there that you can treat nausea with this device," he