Yoga may benefit patients with ulcerative colitis

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Findings from a new study suggest yoga may be a valuable adjunct to conventional therapies for ulcerative colitis.

Perceived stress is considered a risk factor for exacerbation of ulcerative colitis (UC). With the knowledge that yoga has been shown to reduce stress, a new study assessed the efficacy and safety of yoga for improving quality of life in patients with UC, with interesting results.

A total of 77 UC patients who were in clinical remission but were experiencing reduced quality of life, were randomly assigned to 12 supervised weekly sessions of yoga lasting 90 min each or written self-care advice.

Outcomes were assessed at 12 and 24 weeks. Those in the yoga group had a greater increase in quality of life and reduced colitis compared with those who were given written self-care advice only. In addition, less patients in the yoga group reported disease flare-ups six months after randomisation when compared to the self-care group.

“Many people use yoga to increase their quality of life. Our study suggests that it might be worthwhile to consider yoga as part of a multimodal integrative approach for treating ulcerative colitis,” said Prof. Holger Cramer, lead author.

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