Now for the problem...
For the last few weeks I've had bad stomach cramps which have kept me awake at night and made me nauseous. I've seen a doctor who gave me some pills which help IBS symptoms, which helped a lot, and told me to eat bland foods for a few days and cut out dairy for a week. Since then I've been reintroducing foods and trying to work out what was making things better/worse. I'm still of dairy, but the last few days have had me thinking it could be the running that's caused the problems. Particularly perhaps dehydration linked to the running. My reasoning:
1) The problems started as I got to the 25/28 minute runs.
2) I'm waking up a lot dehydrated, needing a drink. This is new for me.
3) I was feeling much better last weekend. Since then I've had two bad nights, Tuesday and Thursday, each following a run, and each time I forgot to have some water before bed. On Tuesday I also gave blood at lunchtime (I ran at 7.30pm). I think this may make me an idiot.
I stopped running when I first got these problems (mainly because I could barely function, let alone run) and only started again once I felt better. I re-did the 28 minute run week when I restarted.
I'm wary of believing what I read on web sites I don't know, but I found this site with a google search:
http://www.worldwiderunning.com/gastroi ... stress.php
It says running can cause GI issues due to:
Jostling of the digestive tract stimulates intestinal activity
Rapid fluid shifts into the colon during activity may cause irritability and cramping
Diversion of blood from the gastrointestinal tract to muscles impairs digestion and absorption
Dehydration further reduces blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract, increasing risk for gastrointestinal upset
Changes in intestinal hormones during exercise can increase gastrointestinal issues
Increased stress and anxiety before events can contribute to intestinal distress
I'm going to make sure I drink plenty of water over the next few weeks and see how it goes. If that doesn't help I'll stop running for a week or two. (I'm reluctant to do that having been really pleased to get to the full 30 minutes.)
I am unsure if this is relevant, but I'll include the info in case it is: Since January, through cutting out junk food and reducing portion sized (along with more exercise with my running) I've lost 2 1/2 stone (35 pounds). I think I've done this in a sensible, controlled way, through changing my habits and not by skipping meals, but I initially wondered if this had led to my digestion problems. I've decided probably not, since by the time I got problems my rate of weight loss had tapered off.
Has anyone else dealt with similar issues when running? If so, have you got any tips for dealing with this?
My problems have eased a bit, but not entirely. Having (I think) ruled out diabetes, the doc is now looking to do some more blood tests before he decided whether to send me to a GI specialist. It could be lactose intolerance by the sounds of it. (Could starting to run have caused/exacerbated that?)
I got some whey protein powder recently to try to ensure I'm getting enough protein, as I've kept up the running and am doing surprisingly well (I ran a 10k race on Sunday, three months and one day after I started the Get Running programme). That seems to have made me worse, and I read that it can cause issues with lactose intolerance. I'm stopping using that and am going to try re-introducing milk over the next few weeks to see if I can cope with it, or with small amounts.
I have a friend with IBS, and I'm getting a small insight into the problems he's had trying to work out what he can and can't eat.
You may be right. I've spoken to other runners who said they had digestion problems when they started (though nothing as dramatic).HilarySimon wrote:I think the answer is that your body was not prepared for this kind of exercise and reacted in an unexpected way.