Natural IBS Treatments – A Low FODMAP Diet Versus Yoga, Which is Better?

Which is better for IBS, yoga or a low FODMAP diet? A recent trial has found they both yield similar improvements for those with IBS. Let’s discuss how you can most efficiently use this information to improve your gut health.

Dr. R’s Fast Facts Summary

Randomized Clinical Trial: Yoga vs a low-FODMAP diet in patients with irritable bowel syndrome

  • 49 patients with IBS performed a trial on either yoga or a low FODMAP diet, for 12 weeks

Results:

  • Both groups saw similar improvements in their symptoms

Conclusion:

  • Patients with irritable bowel syndrome might benefit from yoga and a low-FODMAP diet, as both groups showed a reduction in gastrointestinal symptoms.

Dr. R’s notes:

  • Start with diet and lifestyle basics: exercise, sleep, stress management, time in nature, reduce processed food …
  • If this does not lead to desired result, consider additional gut therapies… it’s not either / or
  • I detail this process in the book  Healthy Gut, Healthy You

For more check out Healthy Gut, Healthy You for a really comprehensive map of how to navigate all these therapies.

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Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC:  Hi, this is Dr. Ruscio. Let’s discuss natural treatments for IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. Most namely, a low FODMAP diet, and how that compares to yoga.

A study was recently published that examined this question and I’ll put the abstract up here on the screen, entitled “Randomized Clinical Trial: Yoga versus a Low-FODMAP Diet in Patient’s with Irritable Bowel Syndrome Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source.”

IBS Study

DrMR: Now, the setup for this study was such where 49 patients with IBS either went on a low-FODMAP diet, or started performing yoga for 12 weeks. Both groups were monitored with a validated IBS symptom severity questionnaire. What did they find? The results found that both groups saw a notable significant and similar improvement in their IBS. Which is great. And the researchers concluded, “Patients with irritable bowel syndrome might benefit from yoga and a low-FODMAP diet, as both groups showed a reduction in gastrointestinal symptoms.”

So this is great news. It’s also important to mention that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. In fact, I think the best starting point would be to undergo the first step in the therapeutic process of trying to improve one’s gut health, including the symptoms of IBS, of a holistic dietary and lifestyle program.

Now, this might involve yoga or any type of exercise: time in nature, relaxation, a low-FODMAP diet, or other similar diets that have been shown to be healthy for one’s gut. And that can really be the foundation of a gut healing and hopefully IBS quelling plan.


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Now, the next step could then be to escalate to other therapies that can be helpful. Like herbal medicines, or probiotic therapy, or other dietary tweaks. And this is exactly the process that I outline in Healthy Gut, Healthy You. We start with a foundation of dietary and lifestyle factors. Again, including, as one option for a diet, a low-FODMAP diet, exercise, time in nature, relaxation, time with friends. And then, if that doesn’t lead to optimum resolution, we escalate therapies that are more gut specific from there.

Yoga

So, in this case, we see substantiation that both exercise, and I guess you could say yoga, would be perhaps a union of exercise and stress reduction, can help IBS. As can a low-FODMAP diet. So, nice to see more research pouring in, validating these therapies to improve one’s gut health because remember, you can have problems in the gut that can also be manifesting outside of the gut.

So if you have IBS, and we’ve discussed before other research showing that those with IBS have higher scores of fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Also other research has shown that those with IBS has a higher predilection towards insomnia. So by healing your gut, there’s a good chance you may sleep better, think more clearly, and have happier, less anxious thoughts. That’s just a few of many symptoms that may improve. So, I can’t overstate how important your gut health is.

Again, here we see some research showing that both exercise, stress reduction, and diet can help. And for more of an elaboration on how to use these tools, I’d refer you to Healthy Gut, Healthy You, for a really comprehensive map on how to navigate all these gut therapies.

This is Dr. Ruscio. And hopefully this helps you get healthy and get back to your life.

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Discussion

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