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GI Highlights from the literature
  1. Guruprasad P Aithal, JournalScan Editor
  1. Correspondence to Dr Guruprasad P Aithal, Nottingham Digestive Disease Centre: Biomedical Research Unit, Consultant Hepatolobiliary Physician, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK; guru.aithal{at}

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Exercise improves IBS symptoms

▶ Johannesson E, Simren M, Strid H, et al. Physical activity improves symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Gastroenterol 2011. doi:10.1038/ajg.2010.480.

Exercise appears to be of benefit in some functional chronic disorders, including fibromyalgia, but its effect in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has not been studied previously. This is the first randomised controlled trial of exercise in IBS.

Johannesson and colleagues recruited patients with IBS according to the Rome II criteria from secondary and tertiary care. Patients in the active intervention group received regular telephone advice from a physiotherapist regarding their physical activity over a 12-week period. The control arm of the trial also had supportive telephone contact with the physiotherapist, but made no lifestyle modifications. Outcomes studied included the effect on symptom severity, quality of life, anxiety and depression, and fatigue, as well as oro-anal transit time and stool form.

Of the 50 receiving exercise advice, four were lost to follow-up, compared with seven of 52 in the …

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