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Is GERD More Common With Intense Exercise?

May 16, 2013 by Teresa     0

Many of us recognize the benefits of staying fit. Some of us have managed to build into our weekly and even daily lives a routine of regular exercise. Others may not be quite so successful, often postponing the beginning of the best plans until a later date. However, did you know that athletes of a higher order, those who are categorized as endurance athletes, actually have a greater risk of some sort of gastrointestinal problems in the future?

What kind of gastrointestinal problems?

There seems to be three problems that endurance athletes have a proneness to develop. They are at risk for GERD, exercise induced gastrointestinal bleeding, and diarrhea. There is an indication that anywhere between 30 and 81% of distance runners, for instance, may experience gastrointestinal disturbances of some sort.

Exercise is good for you. Just about anybody will agree with that statement. But when it's accompanied by diarrhea, heartburn or intestinal bleeding, there's a problem. Whereas moderate exercise actually helps the digestive track function better in most people, certain types of exercise, those that are intense and require endurance such as running, may have residual effects.

Some things you should know if you are a runner or participate in intense exercise.

- Sometimes when you are engaged in intense exercise, the stomach and the intestines are not able to process and move food as easily. Whenever things don't move through your digestive track, they could back up in the higher parts of your system causing things like acid reflux or heartburn.
- Altering your training and your diet may be helpful.
- Try pulling back on the intensity for a while and then gradually increasing it again.
- Try to go to the bathroom before heavy exercise. Don't do any form of intense exercise immediately after eating a meal.
- Stay away from high-fiber and high-fat foods before you begin to exercise.
- And stay hydrated.

Of course, most of these suggestions are common sense, but should be kept in mind if you're noticing problems during intense exercise routines. However, after trying these things, if you continue to have problems, it is highly recommended that you pay a visit to your doctor.

Tags: intense exercise, gastrointestinal problems, risk of GERD, diarrhea, heartburn, acid reflux.

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