Authors: Giuseppe Chiarioni, Marcella Pesce, Alberto Fantin, Giovanni Sarnelli


  • Division of Gastroenterology of the University of Verona, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata di Verona, Verona, Italy
  • Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, ?Federico II? University of Naples, Naples, Italy
  • Division of Gastroenterology, University of Padua, Azienda Ospedaliera di Padova, Padua, Italy

Publication: United European Gastroenterology Journal

Date: August 2017

Full paper:


Introduction and aim
The popularity of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in treating functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) has steadily increased in Western countries. We aimed at analyzing available data on CAM effectiveness in functional dyspepsia (FD) patients.

A bibliographical search was performed in PubMed using the following keywords: ?complementary/alternative medicine,? ?hypnosis,? ?acupuncture? and/or ?functional dyspepsia.?

In community settings, almost 50% of patients with FGIDs used CAM therapies. Herbal remedies consist of multi-component preparations, whose mechanisms of action have not been systematically clarified. Few studies analyzed the effectiveness of acupuncture in Western countries, yielding conflicting results and possibly reflecting a population bias of this treatment. Hypnosis has been extensively used in irritable bowel syndrome, but few data support its role in treating FD.

Although some supporting well-designed studies have been recently performed, additional randomized, controlled trials are needed before stating any recommendation on CAM effectiveness in treating FD.