Exercise Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Exercise Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Physical activity improves symptoms in patients with IBS and is protective against symptom deterioration. This has recently been shown in a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.


The study, which was conducted at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg and at Alingsas Hospital, included 102 IBS patients between the ages of 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 in the study were asked to rate their different IBS complaints, such as abdominal pain, stool problems and quality of life.  (Learn about probiotics and stomach health: Probiotics or Friendly Bacteria)


”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 measurement of fitness in the study showed a slight increase in the activity group only. ”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, United Kingdom and Sweden.(More on Pilladvised.com: Parasites and the Gastrointestinal Tract)


Facts About IBS:

IBS is an abbreviation for irritable bowel syndrome. This very common disease affects about 10 to 15% of the world’s population. Both women and men are affected. The disease is characterised by abdominal pain or discomfort, constipation and/or diarrhea and bloating. Patients may sometimes experience other symptoms such as palpitations, bouts of sweating, headaches and fatigue.


Get More About Stomach and Gut Health:


Dr. Galland on Leaky Gut Syndrome:
Do You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome?


What to do After Overindulging:
Recover from Thanksgiving Excess


And How Tea Gets Healthier:
Green Tea Improved by Digestion – Study


Now we’d like to hear from you:


What is your exercise?

Does it help with any conditions?

Please let us know by posting a comment below.

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American Journal of Gastroenterology “Physical Activity Improves Symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial” Elisabet Johannesson, Magnus Simrén, Hans Strid, Antal Bajor and Riadh Sadik


Source: University of Gothenburg,


The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University conducts an impressive range of research, from fundamental studies of the structure of molecules and the function of cells, through experimental studies of the principles of disease, to public health sciences and epidemiology. Much of the research at Sahlgrenska Academy is of the highest international class, and this has resulted in strategic collaboration with other research groups in Sweden and other parts of the world. By Lena Mattsson


2 thoughts on “Exercise Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Exercise Helps Irritable Bowel Syndrome | pilladvised -- Topsy.com

  2. jan

    my dr. recommended priobiotics for IBS..tho he wanted me to take the liquid form, its too expensive.found the gel type ones at the store at a very reasonable price. so going to try them.is there any or much difference between taking either the liquid or gel form for results?

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