Irritable bowel syndrome is the most frequent gastrointestinal disorder.
It is assumed that lifestyle interventions might be a rational treatment approach.
Dr Schumann and colleagues from Germany examined the effect of a yoga-based intervention vs a low-FODMAP diet on patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
The research team evaluated 59 patients with irritable bowel syndrome that undertook a single-blind, randomized controlled trial involving yoga or a low-FODMAP diet for 12 weeks.
Patients in the yoga group received 2 sessions weekly, while patients in the low-FODMAP group received a total of 3 sessions of nutritional counselling.
The team's primary outcome was a change in gastrointestinal symptoms (IBS-SSS). Secondary outcomes explored changes in quality of life (IBS-QOL), health (SF-36), perceived stress (CPSS, PSQ), body awareness (BAQ), body responsiveness (BRS) and safety of the interventions.
Outcomes were examined in weeks 12 and 24 by assessors “blinded” to patients’ group allocation.
The researcher's found no statistically significant difference between the intervention groups, with regard to IBS-SSS score, at either 12 or 24 weeks.
Within-group comparisons showed statistically significant effects for yoga and low-FODMAP diet at both 12 and 24 weeks.
Comparable within-group effects occurred for the other outcomes.
The research team observed that 1 patient in each intervention group experienced serious adverse events and another, also in each group, experienced nonserious adverse events.
Dr Schumann's team concludes, "Patients with irritable bowel syndrome might benefit from yoga and a low-FODMAP diet, as both groups showed a reduction in gastrointestinal symptoms."
"More research on the underlying mechanisms of both interventions is warranted, as well as exploration of potential benefits from their combined use."