Can exercise help IBS?

 I often get asked can exercise help IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)? Unfortunately there are no training methods or exercises that can help reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel (IBS). IBS is often caused by an intolerance to foods. Gas is produced causing pain and bloating. Pain itself, is mentally draining and no matter how much will power you think have, humans can only deal with so much at a time.

Mental willpower to train and eat right is not infinite. Pain, stress and relationships all tap into this store of mental power we have each day. Exercise itself can help with improved feelings of well being, self confidence and self esteem. All of which will help you feel better in general. Exercises involving the abs in some cases should be avoided, especially if you are in pain you may feel uncomfortable. Completing exercises such as abdominal crunches and planks, may place too much pressure on your tummy making you feel worse. In other cases you may be fine, everyone is individual and there is a wide variety of symptom severity to manage within people.

Instead of looking for a solution through exercise, turn to nutrition. Trail a low FODMAP diet with help of a dietitian. Having allergy tests may also be an avenue that could be explored. There is some evidence to suggest that probiotics may help with symptom relief, however not all probiotics are created equal and really need to be recommended specifically to individuals.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a broad category condition, were a lot of different things can be going on. Stress management may be an area that could help reduce symptoms. Aerobic exercise such as walking, running or swimming, can help with stress management.  Medical intervention may required to get to the root of the problem. You can get various tests like a hydrogen breath test to determine your trigger foods. If you do have IBS you would benefit from visiting a dietitian to explore nutrition and supplementation ideas.


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