Regular Yoga Practice Can Ease Discomfort in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis

Patients afflicted with ulcerative colitis (UC) that practiced hatha yoga – a practice of physical yoga postures – for a 12-week period noticed a significant decline in their disease activity.

Patients afflicted with ulcerative colitis (UC) that practiced hatha yoga — a practice of physical yoga postures – for a 12-week period noticed a significant decline in their disease activity.

Other patients had also reported substantial improvements in their quality of life and mental health.

In order to investigate the benefits of three months of hatha yoga on the disease activity of UC, researchers conducted a controlled clinical trial with 77 patients.

They were randomized to either participate in 90-minute yoga sessions once a week or receive self-care lifestyle advice.

Disease-specific quality of life was the primary outcome, while generic quality of life, perceived stress, anxiety and depression, positive and negative affect, self-efficacy, laboratory parameters, and fecal inflammation markers were the secondary outcomes.

Results indicated that compared to the control group, the yoga group exhibited significant improvements in their quality of life, anxiety, depression, and self-efficacy at the 12-week mark and maintained for another 12 weeks.

Jost Langhorst, MD, department of integrative gastroenterology, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany, concluded in a news release, “A 12-week yoga intervention for patients with ulcerative colitis improved quality of life and mental health, and influenced the colitis activity score. The effects persisted as a complementary intervention for patients with ulcerative colitis.”