If your body is having a hard time getting things moving, so to speak, it may be time for you to get moving. A new study suggests that regular physical activity may alleviate irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome, which is characterized by intermittent constipation and/or diarrhea, affects as many as 20 percent of the adult population, or one in five Americans.
In the study, there were 102 patients with IBS. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to a physical activity group and were told to increase their exercise. The other group was told to maintain their lifestyle. Those that remained inactive experienced more severe IBS symptoms than those in the physical activity group.
So increasing your physical activity may improve IBS, but this is hardly unexpected. The health benefits of regular exercise are tremendous, ranging from lowering blood pressure, maintaining a healthy body weight and preventing heart disease and diabetes. It’s even good for your brain, so it’s not too surprising to learn that regular exercise is good for your bowels, too.
Standardizing care for irritable bowel syndrome can be difficult because the causes vary between those afflicted. The gut is rather complicated. Other natural ways to help curb IBS symptoms:
- Eat more fermented foods such as miso (soybean paste), natto (fermented soybean food), sauerkraut or kimchi
- Increase dietary intake of probiotic foods like yogurt
- Drink plenty of fluids
And the best part is you don’t need a prescription for any of those things.