FRIDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing one's physical
activity routine can help improve symptoms among irritable bowel
syndrome (IBS) patients, Swedish researchers report.
Vigorous activity can also help keep IBS symptoms from worsening
among such patients, the researchers said.
The authors noted that IBS is a disease that affects between 10
percent to 15 percent of people around the world, and is typically
characterized by abdominal pain/discomfort, constipation, diarrhea
The current observations stem from a small study of 102 IBS
patients between the ages of 18 and 65.
Over a three-month period, half of the participants maintained
their normal lifestyle, while the other half was randomly assigned
to increase their physical activity, with a suggested goal of
moderate to vigorous activity three to five times per week for 20
to 30 minutes a session. Both groups received telephone support
from a physiotherapist.
At the study onset and at the end of the three-month period, the
participants ranked their IBS symptoms, including abdominal pain,
stool difficulties and overall quality of life.
While the group that maintained their normal routine experienced
an average 5-point drop in symptoms, those who increased their
activity experienced much more dramatic symptom relief (an average
51-point decrease), the researchers noted.
What's more, during the study period only 8 percent of the
active group went on to develop worsening symptoms, as compared
with nearly one-quarter of the maintenance group.
The Swedish team, led by registered physiotherapist Elisabet
Johannesson from the University of Gothenburg, reports their
findings online and in an upcoming print issue of the
American Journal of Gastroenterology.
For more on irritable bowel syndrome, visit the
U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive ...