Abstract

Yoga as a Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

D'Silva A1, MacQueen G2,3, Nasser Y4, Taylor LM1, Vallance JK5, Raman M6,7,8. Dig Dis Sci. 2019 Dec 12. doi: 10.1007/s10620-019-05989-6. [Epub ahead of print]

 
     

Author information

Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4Z6, Canada.

Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4Z6, Canada.

Department of Psychiatry, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4Z6, Canada.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4N1, Canada.

Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University, 1 University Drive, Athabasca, AB, T9S 3A3, Canada.

Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4Z6, Canada. mkothand@ucalgary.ca.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4N1, Canada. mkothand@ucalgary.ca.

University of Calgary, 6D33 TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4N1, Canada. mkothand@ucalgary.ca.

Abstract

The aim of this state-of-the-art narrative review is to evaluate the current evidence about the effectiveness of yoga as therapy for IBS and explore its potential mechanisms of action. The current literature suggests yoga is effective and safe and may target multiple mechanisms involved in treatment of IBS. Evidence from randomized controlled trials identified yoga as more effective compared to pharmacological treatment and equally effective as dietary interventions or moderate-intensity walking. Improvements were seen in both physical health (IBS symptom severity, gastric motility, autonomic and somatic symptom scores, and physical functioning) and mental health outcomes (depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal-specific anxiety, and quality of life). Given favorable changes in IBS-related physical and mental health outcomes, preliminary data supports yoga as beneficial in this population. However, the relatively low-quality evidence resulting from heterogeneity of study designs, interventions, and outcome measures limit our ability to make specific recommendations about the use of yoga as therapy for patients with IBS.

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