IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Physical activity

  • In 2011 The American Journal of Gastroenterology published a study of 75 patients who were randomized to either a control group (maintain current lifestyle) or were instructed to increase their physical activity. Patients in the control group saw increased symptom severity while those who increased physical activity experienced a significant improvement in IBS severity scores. [Source]
  • In 2015 the World Journal of Gastroenterology published a study in which 39 patients saw significant improvements in IBS symptoms, as well as improvements in fatigue, anxiety and depression after completing a 12-week period of increased physical activity. [Source]
  • In 2008 the International Journal of Sports Medicine published a study which found that a 12-week exercise intervention program was effective in managing IBS symptoms – particularly in relation to constipation. [Source]

Stress

  • In 2014 Annals of Gastroenterology published a meta-analysis of 7 studies which found that depression and anxiety were both highly prevalent in cases of both IBS and ulcerative colitis. [Source]
  • In 2012 The American Journal of Gastroenterology published a study including 564 IBS patients and 126 IBD patients, which found that the psychological distress associated with IBD and IBS have a stronger negative effect on health-related quality of life than the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with the diseases. For this reason, the authors of the study note the importance of addressing the psychological symptoms of both syndromes. [Source]

Probiotics

  • In 2015 World Journal of of Gastroenterology published a meta-analysis of 9 placebo-controlled trials which included a total of 1793 IBS patients. The data showed that probiotics can reduce pain and severity associated with IBS when compared with a placebo. [Source]
  • In 2010 Gut published a meta-analysis of 19 randomized controlled trials examining the effect of probiotics on IBS symptoms. Fifteen of these trials assessing 1351 patients showed improvements in IBS symptoms. [Source]

Yoga

  • In 2006 Pain Research Management published a study in which 25 adolescents (aged 11 to 18) with IBS were assigned to a 4-week yoga intervention or a waitlist. Compared to subjects on the waitlist, those in the yoga group reported lower levels of functional disability and significantly lower scores for gastrointestinal symptoms compared to baseline. The participants indicated they found the yoga treatment helpful and indicated they would continue to use it. [Source]
  • In 2016 Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology published a meta-analysis involving 6 trials and 273 patients which showed that yoga provided benefits over conventional IBS treatments, with a significant decreases in bowel symptoms, IBS severity and anxiety and improvements in overall quality of life. [Source]

Gluten-free diet

  • In 2016 Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology published a study which found that 29 of 41 patients with IBS saw a significant reduction (greater than 50 reduction in severity) in symptom severity after 6 weeks on a gluten-free diet. [Source]
  • In 2014 Inflammatory Bowel Diseases published a study based on a gluten-free diet questionnaire in 1647 patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Overall, 65 percent of patients who attempted a gluten-free diet saw an improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms, with 38 percent reporting fewer or less severe IBD flares. [Source]
  • In 2013 Gastroenterology published a 4-week trial which compared a gluten-free diet to a gluten-containing diet in IBS subjects with negative and positive HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 genes (genes which are associated with celiac disease). The researchers found that those individuals that tested positive for the genes were negatively affected by a gluten containing diet. [Source]

Physical activity – IBS-related fatigue

  • In 2015 the World Journal of Gastroenterology published a study in which 39 patients saw significant improvements in IBS symptoms, as well as improvements in fatigue, anxiety and depression after completing a 12-week period of increased physical activity. [Source]

Psyllium

  • In 2016 Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology published a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which 37 children with IBS saw a reduction in abdominal pain episodes after consuming psyllium husk for a 6 week period. [Source]

Aloe Vera

  • In 2013 the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences published a study in which 33 patients with IBS consumed 30 ml (1/8 cup) of aloe vera juice twice daily for 8 weeks.  Based on questionnaires, patients saw a significant reduction in abdominal pain and flatulence, with no change in stool urgency or frequency. [Source]

MSG

  • In 2012 Clinical and Experimental Rheumetology published a clinical trial in which 57 fibromyalgia sufferers were placed on diets excluding MSG and aspartame for 4 weeks. Of the 37 subjects who completed the trial, 84 percent reported that more than 30 percent of their symptoms were resolved. Subjects who improved were then randomized to a 2-week, double-blind, cross-over trial in which either MSG or a placebo was re-introduced into the diet 3 consecutive days a week. MSG reintroduction lead to a return of symptoms, worsening of fibromyalgia severity and decreased quality of life with regard to IBS symptoms. [Source]

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