Irritable bowel syndrome may be underdiagnosed among endurance athletes
Whether you are a professional athlete, high performing amateur or just enjoy exercise as part of your general well-being programme, your gut health is a vital factor in determining how effectively you can perform.
A recent study by researchers at the University of Illinois suggests that may endurance athletes may have undiagnosed irritable bowel syndrome. The objectives of the study were to determine the prevalence of IBS among endurance athletes and examine their GI management strategies. An online questionnaire, circulated to a range of athletes, assessed IBS diagnosis, fit to IBS diagnostic criteria (Rome III or Manning), general GI symptoms and symptom mitigation strategies of endurance athletes.
The questionnaire was distributed to 430 US athletes completing a marathon, ultra-marathon, half-distance triathlon, or full distance triathlon. Results indicated that many IBS suffering endurance athletes are undiagnosed, whilst even more experience GI symptoms that do not fit diagnostic criteria. The researchers suggested that athletes with gastrointestinal problems could benefit from dietary changes, medications and other strategies to help managed their symptoms.
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