Posted by Jan Voss on June 11, 1998 at 09:25:12:
I am a 25 year old long distance runner. While running, I often
experience severe abdominal cramping and pain and the urgent need to
have a bowel movement. Although I have had minor problems with this
in the past, the condition seems to be worse this year. This problem
is beginning to seriously interfere with my training. Is this a
common complaint of runners? What can I do to control the situation?
What are some causes and remedies?
I have a few questions for you:
1. Have you had back pain?
2. Do you have bowel and bladder CONTROL? (vs. urgency)
3. Have you ever had to stop and have a bowel movement?
4. Do you drink coffee before you run?
5. Do you go to the bathroom before you run?
Answer these questions, and I'll have more for you.
I do not experience back pain or bowel and bladder control, and I
do not drink coffee before running. However, many times during my
running I have had to stop and have a bowel movement. And yes, I
always try to go to the bathroom when I run, and usually do, and this
does not seem to hlep.
I checked with a couple of runners (one a physician) who had a similar problem. They suggested that diarhea is not uncommon
when one overtrains. Often the additional bowel movements are related to improper hydration. The problem might worsen, leading to
bleeding in the intestine over time. I urge you to get checked out by an internal medicine physician before you allow too much time to
pass. One of the runners I talked to ended up having a large portion of his bowel removed, and now wears a bag! So get checked out
by a physician.