Adopting a healthy lifestyle reduces irritable bowel syndrome

Adopting a healthy lifestyle reduces irritable bowel syndrome

Not smoking, exercising and sleeping well are all factors that reduce the risk of irritable bowel syndrome. Dr Gérald Kierzek, medical director of TipsForWomens, tells us how a healthy lifestyle can reduce the impact of this disease which affects 5% of French people.

Irritable bowel syndrome (or functional colonopathy) is a disorder of the functioning of the intestine (the small intestine and the colon or large intestine). Without seriousness, it causes significant discomfort: abdominal pain, transit disorders (constipation, diarrhea, alternation of the two), bloating… Its chronic nature alters the quality of life of patients, which represents 5% of the French population. But a study reveals that it is possible to act to reduce its impact.

Does adopting a healthy lifestyle have an impact on the occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome?

Researchers have studied the impact of a healthy lifestyle on irritable bowel syndrome. Among the factors studied, the scientists retained:

  • Never smoking;
  • Sleep at least seven hours every night;
  • Do physical activity at a high level;
  • Adopt a balanced diet;
  • Limit your alcohol consumption.

To analyze these criteria, they studied data from 64,268 volunteers from the UK Biobank, a database bringing together the health information of British volunteers. Just over half (55%) were women. The period studied was 12 and a half years, during which 961 cases of irritable bowel syndrome (i.e. 1.5%) were recorded.

Among the 64,268 participants, 7,604 (or 12%) did not practice any healthy lifestyle behaviors; 20,662 (32%) reported one; 21,901 (34%) reported two and 14,101 (22%) reported three to five of the behaviors listed above.

The healthier the lifestyle, the lower the risk!

Results: people who adopt a healthy lifestyle have a lower risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome.

  • In fact, by adhering to healthy behavior, the risk decreases by 21%.
  • With the adoption of two healthy behaviors, the risk decreases by 36%
  • And it reaches a 42% reduction with three to five healthy behaviors adopted.

Of these five criteria, three are independently linked to a lower risk of irritable bowel syndrome. Not smoking reduces the risk by 14%, doing intensive physical activity reduces the risk by 17% and sleeping well allows a reduction of 27%!

Dr. Kierzek: “A healthy lifestyle decreases the inflammatory risk”

Asked about this study, Dr. Gérald Kierzek is not afraid not to be surprised by these results: “Irritable bowel syndrome is linked to hyperinflammation of the intestines, it is a multifactorial pathology. We know that adopting a healthy lifestyle helps reduce inflammation and has a beneficial effect on the microbiota, which plays an important role in this disease..

Indeed, the absence of tagaism reduces the risk of inflammation and improves gastrointestinal health. Regular exercise can regulate transit and reduce stress. Improving sleep can improve digestive health, stress management and immunity. So many factors that can potentially have an impact on the occurrence of functional colopathy.

According to Dr. Kierzek, it is also possible to act on your diet: “It is important to adopt a diet low in ultra-processed foods, with less sugar, less gluten and less dairy products.”.