Can Yoga Reduce Symptoms of IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, otherwise known as, IBS is when the lower bowel (colon) malfunctions over time causing symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, uncomfortable bloating sensations, feelings of excessive "gassiness" and upset stomach/ With that, stress is a major reason IBS acts up, and needs to be recognized and dealt with. Adequate sleep, exercise, recreation and enjoyable pleasurable activities are the main keys. There are lots of ways people manage strong or chronic stress, and methods that work for one person may not work for another. Meditation, massages, tai chi exercise, listening to relaxation or music tapes helped combat symptoms for IBS.

New research published in the in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that yoga does indeed reduce symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The study found that yoga decreased gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and anxiety and increased quality of life. According to the American Gastroenterological Association, yoga is a part of the ancient Indian philosophy, dating back more than 5000 years. Yoga has been adapted as a method in complementary medicine and is practiced especially in terms of prevention and therapy of diseases. It traditionally consists of body postures (Sanskrit: asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), and meditation (dyana). Yoga aims to strengthen muscle tissues and the nervous system and achieve a balance between body and mind.

Although More research is needed with respect to a high-quality study design and consensus in clinical outcome measurements in IBS, yoga and other forms of exercise are encouraged for those experiencing symptoms of IBS—for more information, please contact your gastroenterologist.

Fore more information regarding IBS, please see our patient education.

Information from this blog was retrieved and paraphrased from the AGA. For more information regarding yoga and IBS, see link: