Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC is a clinician, Naturopathic Practitioner, clinical researcher, author, and adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport. His work has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals and he speaks at conferences around the globe.
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.
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.
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.
I care about answering your questions and sharing my knowledge with you. Leave a comment or connect with me on social media asking any health question you may have and I just might incorporate it into our next listener questions podcast episode just for you!
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