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Pamela asked...

I have begun learning to run with NHS Couch to 5K. I am into my 8th week and have begun to experience discomfort in my stomach, like wind. I have to stop running and return home. I go to the bathroom and have a bowel movement. My stomach doesn't calm down for another 20 mins.

Another runner experiences similar symptoms and is using pro-biotics and is due to go to hospital to have it looked at. Can you give me advice on this? Many thanks.

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The Answer

Are you running first thing in the morning? If so, you may want to try having something to eat and a bowel movement before you go out running. Alternatively, you could try running at a different time of the day, so your bowels are less likely to get upset. If this does not help, then you need to see if the symptoms occur on the days you do not run.

Any prolonged change in bowel habit to a looser stool or blood in the stool needs to be reported to your doctor for further investigation. I would not currently recommend pro-biotics (simply because there is not really enough evidence to support them). However, if you wanted to try them they would not do you any harm.

Answered by Dr Emmajane Down.


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