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New positive study on yoga and IBS

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by symptoms such as pain, bloating, and alternating constipation and diarrhea without a clear medical explanation. While IBS cannot be cured, its symptoms can be alleviated through various treatments, including medication, exercise, and dietary changes. Yoga, which has been shown to calm the nervous system and manage stress, can now be added to the list of potential treatments for IBS.

Recently, a study conducted at Karolinska Institutet by Perjohan Lindfors, a specialist in gastroenterology and hepatology, investigated the potential effects of yoga on IBS symptoms. Lindfors’ interest in yoga as a treatment for IBS was sparked by many of his patients reporting relief from their symptoms through yoga practice. Fourteen individuals diagnosed with IBS participated in the study, performing five yoga sessions a week (ashtanga yoga followed by breathing exercises) over 10 weeks.

Positive effects on IBS symptoms

The study results showed positive effects on both IBS symptoms and anxiety related to gastrointestinal symptoms. These effects persisted even six months after the study concluded. Helene, one of the study participants, experienced noticeable improvement. “The breathing exercises are so good for the acute pain,” says Helene.
The results from Lindfors’ study are promising, but further research is needed to confirm the effects of yoga and understand the mechanisms behind them. The next step is to conduct a larger, randomized, and controlled study to further validate these findings.

Source: Ashtangayoga for irritable bowel syndrome in a primary care setting: A feasibility study

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