Can I Exercise Safely With IBS?

Can I Exercise Safely With IBSIf you have recently been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS as it is more commonly known, then you are probably wondering whether this is going to have a severe impact on your everyday life. IBS is a surprisingly common disorder, with many people in Los Angeles having been diagnosed with it. Generally, as long as you are following the lifestyle advice that you have been given by your colorectal surgeon or specialist IBS doctor, you are unlikely to find that it has a severe impact on what you are able to do.

So, is it possible to exercise when you have IBS? Absolutely. It is perfectly safe to do so, and you may even find that exercise helps to reduce your symptoms even further. Ideally, you should try to exercise on a regular basis, at least three times a week. You will see the greatest benefits to your condition if you choose a form of exercise that is strenuous enough to increase your heart rate, and the duration of the exercise should be at least thirty minutes. If you are busy and don’t have the time to fit this much exercise into your routine, then anything you can do will be beneficial.

Some IBS patients find that running, which is one of the most popular forms of exercise, can lead to an increase in the symptoms of diarrhea that are experienced. This is described as runner’s diarrhea. However, if you are a keen runner who has been diagnosed with IBS, you do not have to give up the activity – there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of your symptoms worsening.

  • Avoid eating for two hours before exercise. This will mean that there is not too much food passing through your digestive system, meaning that diarrhea is unlikely to occur.
  • Avoid hot or caffeinated drinks before you intend to exercise, particularly tea and coffee, which fall into both of these categories. These drinks cause the movement of food in the digestive tract to speed up, by increasing the rate at which the muscles contract and push material along, in a process called peristalsis.
  • Stay away from fatty and processed foods.  These are probably substances that will aggravate your symptoms anyway, so you may already be avoiding them.  However, even if you can normally tolerate them in small amounts, before exercise you should steer clear, to prevent them having any adverse effects on your gastrointestinal tract.

By following these simple pieces of advice, you should be able to exercise safely, regardless of what your preferred activity happens to be. The majority of IBS patients find that they are able to carry out any exercises without exacerbating their symptoms. If you are looking for any further advice or suggestions of exercises that you could try, you should speak to your Los Angeles colorectal surgeon, who will be able to make some additional recommendations.