Yoga and cognitive behavioural therapy reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome

yoga, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, cognitive behavioural therapy, arthritis digestFibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) share many similarities and when someone has both, their symptoms are exacerbated.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

IBS causes stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Symptoms come and go and may last for days, weeks or months.

What does the new evidence show?

Mind-body interventions like yoga and cognitive behavioural therapy (a talking therapy) can have significant effects on central pain syndromes and autonomic dysregulation. A research group looked at if they could help with fibromyalgia and IBS.

Analysing the available evidence, they found that cognitive behavioural therapy and yoga trials showed decreased symptom severity, improved mental health, sleep and quality of life for both conditions. Yoga trials showed similar benefits with improvements in gastrointestinal symptoms, pain/tenderness scores, insomnia, physical functioning, anxiety, depression, catastrophising, and quality of life.

“Mind-body interventions resulted in improved patient-reported outcomes, and are effective for irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia individually,” the research group concludes.

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