Exercise Improves IBS and Symptoms
Published: 2011-01-25 - Updated: 2022-06-23
Author: University of Gothenburg | Contact: gu.se/en
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Digestive Disorders Publications
Synopsis: The study suggests that even a slight increase in physical activity may reduce Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms and protect from deterioration. At the start of the study and after three months, the participants were asked to rate their different IBS complaints, such as abdominal pain, stool problems, and quality of life. The study is published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology and has attracted significant attention in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sweden.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- IBS is an abbreviation for irritable bowel syndrome. The disease is characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, constipation and/or diarrhea, and bloating. Patients may sometimes experience other symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, headaches, and fatigue. The disease affects about 10 to 15% of the world's population. Both women and men are affected.
The study, conducted at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg and Alingsas Hospital, included 102 IBS patients between 18 and 65. Half the group was randomly allocated to increase their physical activity and the other half to maintain their usual lifestyle. Both groups received supportive phone calls from a physiotherapist. The active group increased their physical activity on their own, but with the advice and support from the physiotherapist.
"They were advised to perform moderate to vigorous physical activity for 20 to 30 minutes three to five times a week," says Elisabet Johannesson, a registered physiotherapist and one of the authors of the article.
At the start of the study and after three months, the participants were asked to rate their different IBS complaints, such as abdominal pain, stool problems, and quality of life.
"The group with unchanged lifestyle had an average decrease of symptoms by 5 points. The active group, on the other hand, showed a symptom improvement with an average reduction of 51 points," says Riadh Sadik, a senior physician who has been responsible for the study.
The researchers also showed that the group with an unchanged lifestyle had deteriorating symptoms in 23% of cases, compared with the active group in which only 8% felt worse.
The study's fitness measurement showed a slight increase in the activity group.
"This suggests that even a slight increase of physical activity may reduce symptoms and protect from deterioration," says Sadik.
The study is published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology and has attracted great attention in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sweden.
Journal: American Journal of Gastroenterology
Title of the article: Physical Activity Improves Symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Authors: Elisabet Johannesson, Magnus Simren, Hans Strid, Antal Bajor and Riadh Sadik
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