Exercise Cuts Irritable Bowel, Other Gut Woes
Active Obese People Have Less Gut Pain, Fewer IBS Symptoms
What You Do Affects How You Feel continued...
If that's so, it doesn't matter, says Levy, a licensed psychologist and
social worker who sees many patients with gastrointestinal symptoms and
irritable bowel syndrome. If patients report fewer symptoms, it means patients
feel better. And feeling better is a key to getting better.
"Sometimes people label their symptoms in ways that are
maladaptive," Levy says. "So if they have some symptom such as pain or
gas they may catastrophize and think, 'Oh, I may have cancer,' or, 'There is
something wrong with me.' That can make people restrict their lives more and
more. It can become a downward spiral."
Part of getting patients over this, she says, is encouraging patients to eat
appropriately and exercise daily. Other treatments for IBS include watching
your diet by avoiding gas-producing foods and adding fiber to your diet for
control of diarrhea or constipation. Stress relaxation techniques may also help
you control stressful situations that may trigger the condition.
Levy is now studying treatments for children and teens who suffer recurring
abdominal pain. Seattle-area parents interested in the NIH-funded study -- in
which children receive free treatment -- may call (206) 616-2358.