*Department of Internal Medicine, Armed Forces Daejeon Hospital, Daejeon, Korea.
†Office of the Surgeon General, Republic of Korea Navy, Daegu, Korea.
‡Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
§Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea.
∥Armed Forces Nursing Academy, Daejeon, Korea.
¶School of Military Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
＃Department of Internal Medicine, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
Although notably common, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has no specific cure. Lifestyle modification may be as important as medication; however, few studies support the effectiveness of such modifications. We performed this observational study of IBS patients to explore further the role of lifestyle changes in treatment.
This study included 831 men who enlisted in 2010 as armed surgeon cadets and 85 women who concurrently entered the Armed Forces Nursing Academy. Of these 916 participants, 89 were diagnosed with IBS using the Rome III criteria. Subjective changes in bowel habits, quality of life, pain, stress, stool frequency and stool consistency were surveyed before and after 9 weeks of army training. We evaluated the lifestyle risk factors that impacted improvement in IBS symptoms by comparing those who responded to lifestyle modification (the responding group) to those who did not respond (the nonresponding group).
More than half of the participants (63%) reported that their symptoms improved after training. The quality of life and levels of pain and stress significantly improved after military training. Initial stress levels before military training and smoking history affected IBS symptom improvement.
Lifestyle modification may be effective in managing IBS patients.