Does moving help treat irritable bowel?

Every time we hear more people talking about Irritable Colon (IC), but beyond being a trend, the reality is that it is an increasingly common disorder worldwide. Despite this, ignorance of the symptoms and, above all, of the treatment of irritable bowel is WORRYING.

The Spanish Foundation of the Digestive System (FEAD) says that 2 out of 5 people DO NOT know what irritable bowel is despite having symptoms, and also points out that (1):

  • 30% of people who go to General Medicine for intestinal problems and are referred to the specialist, suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ;
  • Of this 30%, only 19% is diagnosed in the first visit; and
  • 56% of the remaining patients require up to 5 consultations before receiving a reliable diagnosis.

Numbers that should surprise if we consider how this disorder can affect a person’s life (physically and mentally). The most worrying thing? Many decide to adhere to strict diets without receiving adequate professional support and, furthermore, they only see food as the only treatment for irritable bowel. But, not everything is food! Do you know that exercise can also be your great ally?

To many causes, many solutions!

Experts believe that intestinal diseases originate for many reasons, which can range from diet and the alteration of the intestinal microbiota, to emotional disturbances such as stress, anxiety and depression. Being aware of this helps to understand that the best treatment for irritable bowel should also address many areas .

Obviously, food is one of those pillars, but not the only one! as many believe. There are other tools that you can use to your advantage and that, in addition to improving your health, will help you improve your quality of life by allowing you to be less restrictive with an issue as important as your diet.

For the treatment of irritable bowel, activities that help manage your stress levels are HIGHLY recommended . Here we can find very simple actions to do and that do not take much time out of your day –but they bring many benefits–, such as meditation, yoga, a walk in the open air, or doing something that you like and relax as you can. be reading a book and, of course, doing physical activity regularly.

Exercise, your partner in the treatment of irritable bowel.

Many are unaware of the benefits that exercise brings to intestinal health, and if we add the physical discomfort you may feel, the last thing you want to do is move or even think that exercise will make you feel worse or favors you have an “accident”.

Au contraire! 😄 It has been proven that physical activity favors the improvement of symptoms as it helps to manage stress , stimulating the production of substances such as endorphins. These give a feeling of well-being, reducing the negative effect of hormones produced by stress, anxiety and depression (possible causes of IC), which translates into a higher level of energy, and a reduction – or even disappearance – of discomfort.

In addition to this, exercise helps improve digestion, eliminate gas, reduce bloating, and improve the routine to go to the bathroom –t ears characteristic symptoms of irritable bowel -. The best thing is that, unlike many drugs, these are results whose efficacy is maintained in the long term.

So change the focus, put on your motivational glasses, and take action! Start with the activity with which you feel most comfortable and at the pace that suits you best – the important thing is, at least, to increase the heart rate and accelerate breathing – and shake off the discomfort.

Your will be done! Otherwise it won’t work.

Voluntary exercise has been found to help reduce symptoms of gut-related diseases in general, while a mandatory workout or routine makes symptoms more intense.

So getting comfortable with the physical activity you do is FUNDAMENTAL. Well, many times we are subjected – or we submit – to routines of physical activity in a systematic and unconscious way, more out of obligation than because of the motivation of improve our health and quality of life.

This response is attributed to the fact that, when a routine of physical activity is voluntarily performed, the expression of pro-inflammatory genes is reduced; While forcing yourself to exercise increases the expression of these and, in addition, favors the alteration of the microbial environment of the intestine.

All this pro-inflammatory and microbiota alteration ends up producing complications for health, and not only at the intestinal level. But in order not to deviate from the topic, you can review more about the microbiota in another of my posts .

However, keep in mind that each case has its peculiarities, so ideally, if you want to include a more intense physical activity routine, you should consult your specialist.

Conquer your mind, and you will conquer your gut.

More and more research indicates that managing thoughts is of great help when facing an illness – I believe that even when facing any situation. Therefore, beyond working on the external (food and physical activity), I invite you to also work on your internal part (feelings and emotions), in order to give a positive approach to any treatment that decide to continue, understanding it as something that will help you improve your health, your quality of life and even your environment.

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