Exercise & Fitness Community
5.5k Members
Avatar universal

Intense stomach pain after exercise

I'm a teenager, just sixteen and I eat pretty well, but also a good amount of sweets. For a few years I have been having intense pain in my stomach/abdominal area after I play soccer and/or run untill I'm very tired. I started going to my doctor first when I was thirteen about this and she has not the slightest idea what is going on. I read the tag about stomach pains after tennis and my syptoms sound very similar. I am in good shape and exercise regulairly, and it only happens on random days spread by weeks of no problems, and it only happens when I push myself to my limits. I have asthma, but I can outrun any person in my school so I do not think that is a problem. When it happens I usually can't sit still and it feels as if someone is driving a knife into my stomach. It only last for about an hour, and I find drinking water and eating helps ease the pain. If anyone has any ideas please get back to me because it has become more frequent recently and my parents worry it might be accociated with diabetes because my grandfather had it (type 2). thanks.
96 Responses
Avatar universal
High fiber foods before or during your workout can cause these problems too.
Avatar universal
For those that have kidney stones, i had pain on my side and back and an ultrsound revealed a lentil sized stone in my kidney.  The doctor gave me some pain killers and told me to go home and wait for me to pass it.  He said I needed to pee through a filter to catch the stone and that the pain would be what a woman experiences giving birth.  Well I saw my wife give birth and I knew I did not want to go through that.  I then went to the internet and found an ad for a product called Uriflow.  I ordered and took this product and the pain went away.  Six months later I went for a physical and tests showed elevated liver enzymes so back to the sonogram I went.  My liver as fine.  I asked the technician to check my kidney and she said I had no kidney stones.  When I feel a slight twinge in my kidney area, I order Uriflow and take it and calcium citrate as a prophylactic ( I live in the desert so drink hard water and get dehydrated).  So far so good.
Avatar universal

Yes the kidney stone pain is very painful. "Typical loin to groin painful burning pain"

Good to know that uriflow did the trick for you but follow up with your kidney specialist and change your diet and have properly treated water in the future. Even with drinking lots of water if you are lucky and the stone is small it passes off in a natural way.

Take care!
Avatar universal
i used to work out about three times a week. well i have gone almost a year without really working out. i started working out 5 days ago and 4 days ago i had really bad cramps. i was guessing that they were from doing crunches on my first day back in the gym. i worked out the next day and they still hurt but not as much. slowly the pain went away and yesterday it was completely gone. today i worked out again and did ab workouts again and now the pain is the worst of all. it feels exactly like period cramps but my period isn't close so i'm kinda annoyed with this. what should i do?
Avatar universal
I have had a similar problem for almost a decade and read this for the first time. It is not as severe as many have complained - all I get is serious bloating and a lot of gas (which could lead to headaches and throwing up ... maybe one in ten times). But no cramps. It happens when I suddenly (without thinking) accelerate my exercise regimen. I have always thought it to be related to hydration ... as once I had the same issue without exercise and that was entirely related to me getting dehydrated.

After reading this, I am thinking of seeing a doctor.

However, there is one thing I have been trying with reasonable success - not to avoid the issue, but control it post-facto. Your mileage and capacity to do this may vary as it is a typical Indian drink made with either Jal Jeera or Pani Poori powder. It is generall used to help with digestion. I mix it in gatorade and within minutes it starts releasing gas much more rapidly, but also relieves you much sooner.

I have also found that walking at a moderate pace ... walk for a minute, relax, walk again ... keep doing it for an hour ... also helps. In general, all walking is good, but this seem to build gas when walking, release gas when resting, and helps finish through the cycle much faster than just lying down.
Avatar universal
I have found that eating bananas help a lot with this. In high school I went from top 3 runner to last runner because of this problem until my coach suggested eating bananas before running. This is because bananas have a lot of potassium in them and for whatever reason helps. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Im 17 and i just ran a couple miles and my stomach afterwards had unbearable pain much like everyone is describing above. It lasted about twenty minutes.  I got dizzy and somewhat blacked out. I have low iron like someone mentioned above but i am taking iron and my level is ok so i dont think that its causing it and i have asthma but i am very much in shape and can out run a lot of people so i dont think it is related either. I think i am going to go to the doctors to get it checked out and ill let everyone know if i got any answers but if anyone hears anything let me know please.
Avatar universal
i get this too!!
i play netball and two or so hours after some games i get very strong pains in my belly that come and go, sometimes its a ache and sometimes its like someone is stabbing me. last time i got it i was waitressing and i had to run to the bathroom where i curled up in a heap with tears pouring down my face.. it wasnt nice..
also ( on a bit of the grosser side) ive noticed after netball i can get a sudden urge to really need to fart. if im in a public space and try to hold it in it can get very painful, and i usely have to run to the bathroom. im getting the pains are coming from my intestines too, as i can feel irregual movement when i get the pains in my intestines (hand on my stomach)....
i will try no caffene before games not too much sugar and to stay hydrated and fingers crossed that this works!!
Avatar universal
Yeah, I have this same problem and it would seem that after I drink about two bottles of water and maybe a granola bar the pain subsides.  I run moderately fast 5k and the trail I have for myself is a hard trail. Furthermore, I don't sweat much until I stop and it just comes pouring down and then the pain comes after so I did if I drink the (2) waters and put a little something on my stomah I am good. Hope this this helps give it a shot! 3L
Avatar universal
Hello Dr. Vinod,

I'm 16, and to be quite honest, I don't exercise daily (or that often) or eat the healthiest. I also don't feast on junk food or watch TV all day either. Well, every once in a while I have the urge to run, like today. I woke up, put on my running clothes, and then ran. I full-out sprinted 100 meters, walked 100 meters, then jogged home. When I got home I took a shower and just like times before I got a sickly feeling in my lower abdomen. I got very uneasy and at times felt like I was going to throw up, so almost like a flu or fever, and then I got extemely light headed. I curled up on the couch for fifteen minutes and then it suddenly went away.

I've gotten similar disgusting feelings when I was running track in the spring but they were never enough that I had to sit down. Always a strange pain near my private parts. I was wondering if maybe I'm just so out of shape that this happens or if something might be wrong. I'd prefer not to see a doctor unless I had to. Also, if something like this can be prevented, or just endured (I'd really like to not have this happen again).

And I thought I'd be good to add in that there's no real health problems in my family. No cancer, diabeties, heart problems, et cetra. Thank you so much.
Avatar universal
There is some great stuff here. Thanks everyone for their posts.

I am a 37 year-old male; about 1 - 2 hours after exercising I start getting gas, stomach churning and cramps. Depending on the intensity of the exercise this can last from 1 day to 1 week. It has been occurring since I was about 21 years old.

I saw a gastroenterologist in 1997; he did a barium enema, a barium swallow, a CT scan and an MRI. At the end of all of this he diagnosed me with exercise-induced mesenteric angina. He prescribed nitro-lingual spray, which did give me a headache but did not do anything for the abdominal symptoms. I have also had an ultrasound of my heart and I have worn a monitor for a twenty-four hour period (which included an exercise session); these were both clear.

I have found that if I keep my heart rate under about 150 during cardiovascular exercise (not running - usually riding an exercise bike or using a stairmaster) and go no longer than about 30 minutes, I am okay. I still have some discomfort, but it is manageable. I can also do pushups, situps, chinups and dips for strength work without much difficulty. However, I cannot lift weights without the same kind of pain, or do Yoga, or swim. I am somewhat frustrated with the condition, which seems to be largely ignored by the medical community.

Do you have any thoughts about the tests I should request? I have a decent diet and I am otherwise quite healthy.

Thank you for your time.

1425504 tn?1308574418
This last week or so I have jsut started cross country pre season training. I have been running all summer with no problems but when I started going to practices, I was getting intense stomach problems during and after. Lower stomach craps, intense diharrea, lack of appatite, and barely wanting to drink water. I eat enough during the day and drink a lot of water but still I'm having problems.
Avatar universal
I took the pill for years and didn't get any stomach cramps after running.  I stopped taking it about 6 months again and I am now  back to how I was in my pre pill years as a teenage runner.  I am fine if I don't push myself, but if I do interval training I am fine until I stop and then get intense lower stomach cramps which lead to vomiting and visits to the toilet.  It takes about 15 minutes to go away and then doesn't come back when I go back to the treadmill.  I wish there was a solution as it makes you think twice about wanting to push yourself in your training.
Avatar universal
I am a 29yr old female who plays soccer three to four times a week (with training and matches included). After every session or match (its worse after a match!) i get intense stomache cramps.  It affects me that much that i'm affraid to travel to away matches incase i cant get home in time.  Sometimes I just get Stomach Cramps other time i get D, Vomit and feel really faint as well. I have had an ultra sound scans and polysistic overies showed up. Is it related?

This used to happen to me on a regular basis after (nearly monthly) and I was constantly at the doctors being told it was gastrotinetus or sometimes food posioning although I knew full well that my food intake was good.  I am very careful of what i eat due to these pains.  
2 yrs ago without warning i was crippled with stomach cramps, D & V. I was rushed to hospital where i had my appendix taken out.  After a recovery period I was back to soccer and pain free.  That is until the last 6 months where i feel like i am back to square one. I drink plenty of fluid during training and matches and eat a nutrigrain bar at half time.  

How can i get my life back? I dont want to give up soccer just yet!
1472403 tn?1286863419
This is the first night this has ever happened to me.  I also have asthma, and usually have heartburn.  But this pain in my stomach is definitely not heartburn.  Even if it was, I take alka-seltzer for it, and it goes away.

I've got a stomach ache from exercising before tonight.  This hurts a lot.  I'm going to go out on a limb and take a guess.  I think the pain is caused from not doing a proper "warm down."

Doing intense physical exercise and then suddenly stopping might be harder on our bodies then we realize.  My body might be dumping all kinds of kinds of acids and chemicals stored in my fat cells into my system so it can burn it up, but if I suddenly stop, then all that crap just sits there and hurts like heck until my metabolism slowly burns it up.  

Like I said, I also have asthma; and I am 30 years old.  But I am very physically fit and I'm a former Marine.  

If anyone can tell us what the problem is for sure then I would be happy to hear it.  But I would say it's the sudden stop of our physical activities that is causing the problem.  I'll just have to start doing a warm-down, or cool--down, whatever it's called; from now on.
Avatar universal
I am a 23 year old male. I quite often play football or jog atleast 3 times a week. Because of my friends I got the sudden urge to join a gym. I spoke to the instructor mentioning that I was not interested in weight training and i just wanted to lose weight. I did the usual running and cycling. After that he made me to do a series of floor exercises which exerts ur stomach. The ones where u lift ur legs moving up and down and I pushed myself so much on the first day that its been 3 days now and i am in extreme pain in my stomach region.

Its getting difficult for me to reach my feet as it hurts when i bend similarly wen trying to lie down. I have no past stomach pains of this sort but my dad does suffer from kidney stones.

Do i continue only doing my running and cycling or should i take more rest until the pain stops.

1436598 tn?1332900133
You are probably experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).  This happens when a muscle (in this case all your abdominal muscles) is overworked to the point of causing microscopic tears in the fiber.  Usually DOMS peaks at about 48 hours after the exercise but in your case you overloaded muscles that had not been used much so its taking longer to recover.
You may find heat, either a hot shower or a heating pad, will help, as will OTC meds like Advil.
If you can run without causing additional pain it should be ok, otherwise just rest until you feel better.
I would also consider getting another instructor.  Good trainers don't push their clients beyond their capacity to the point of pain, especially those new to a training program.
Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!
Avatar universal
I had and still do have abdominal pain after using my abs, even doing push ups.  I found that I had diverticulitis, an inflammation of intestinal pouches, and adhesions.  After being treated for the diverticulitis, I felt better, but now it's coming back.  I can't discern whether it could be more adhesions or another attack, or even premenstrual cramps.  After 3 or 4 abdominal cat scans and antibiotics to which I am starting to have reactions to, I want to avoid more testing and drugs.  Guess I will just have to wait it out until it's more obvious.  I also have a kidney stone that's been hanging around for years (I know this from all the testing!)
Avatar universal
I am a 39-year old female and have had stomach cramps after intense workouts for the last 13 years. What has worked for me is to warm up and stretch before working out.  I sometimes do spinning and start growing the intensity little by little but if I feel the stomach cramps, I start lowering the intensity to the minimum until they are gone. Then I move it back up and the stomach cramps are gone. If I ignore the stomach cramps, I start feeling my stomach bloated, I start bleeding as if I was on my period, and I get the chills. I have to go to the bathroom right away and sit there for a while and eventually the pain goes away.
Avatar universal
I have very similar symptoms to the original comment. It started about 2 years, and has become gradually more frequent. I now suffer from stomach cramps after every game, and training, this is frustrating as you could imagine. I'm well hydrated, I drink the recommended daily amount every day, and eat healthy. I start to feel stomach cramps during my match, they soon fade, and i then get them around 20 minutes after the final whistle. I'm not sure whether it's worth noting that my testicle's feel a bit more sensitive during these pains as well.
Avatar universal
I also get cramping to my abdo during exercise, similar to period pain. Sometimes the pain goes into my lower back / kidney area. I have got this for years. Not neccessarily after long bouts of exercise but after short intense bursts. I have seen many doctors and none of them have any idea what it is. I am fit and regularly keep well hydrated. I willI document my fluid intake and exercise and test this dehydration theory anyway, will let you know how i go.
Avatar universal
me also have upset stomach after intense workout and have to get my back cracked to get relief does anyone know about this problem?
Avatar universal
Solution to my stomach cramps: I am a triathlete and cyclist. I have had stomach pain after intense workouts for years. This sometimes lasts into the next day. Years ago I started taking Pepto Bismal before a workout (2 tablets a half an hour and an hour before) I also crush four tablets and put it into one of my water bottles. On long runs I'll bring tablets along and take about every hour. I then take tablets every hour or so for a couple of hours after my workouts and this has solved the issue. I have also taken Imodium - and that solves the issue pretty well - although has lead to constipation (sorry to be so detailed). Today I had an intense 60 mile ride. It felt like cramps were coming on even with the Pepto afterwards. I took 2 GasX tablets and I have been good since. I will probably add the GasX to my pre-workout regimen and see how that goes.
1741366 tn?1311010845
I used to get stomach pain like that... But then I started drinking 2 bottles of water (33.8 FL OZ) and one with Powerade, the day before I work out. :) It got rid of my stomach aches and headaches. I think u might be dehydrated cuz I love sweets and they havent stopped me from working hard lol Its the water and electrolytes. u lose a lot of them when you sweat...
Avatar universal
I found this thread and some of these posts seem to contain the same symptoms as mine, but it is hard to sort out what can possibly cure my specific situation.

I play soccer 3-6 times a week, and I am usually okay, even during tryouts which has 5 hours of soccer a day for several days.  However, every 3-5 weeks I will have intense pain in my stomach while playing, which becomes gas, which can sometimes even become diarrhea.  The pain quickly disappears when I sit down as long as it has not reached the gas or diarrhea stage, and the stomach pain is more sever the more strenuous my movements.  I doubt doubt its dehydration since I make sure to drink plenty of water. The pain feels more like my stomach is empty than that I am still digesting food I recently ate.  I have had no sweets for three years, but I do eat a high fiber diet, so I am considering cutting back on how much fiber I eat because it might be the cause.  Any answers would be appreciated!
Avatar universal
okay, so I've had the exact same problem as everyone else- I play soccer too, I run cross country, I exercise, I've always eaten a lot of sugar, but it never affected me until I got a little older. I'm 22 and I don't exercise anymore cuz it really hurts.

I think I found a solution.

Someone earlier in the post mentioned psoas muscle strains. this guy
talks about what the psoal muscle is, or illiopsoas muscle (who the heck knows what that is) and explains things that basically match up to what everyone is saying. I'm SUPER EXCITED I found this because I've been browsing the internet for the past two years trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I'll try out their recommendations (making sure I'm hydrated and stretching the muscle- (pictures here at the bottom of the page: http://www.physioadvisor.com.au/10428650/hip-flexor-strain-hip-flexor-injury-iliopsoas-.htm) and let you know if it works

this makes the most sense, because I've always eaten the same and always pushed myself (for someone who is used to running at least four miles per day in the blazing sun, I shouldn't just randomly go into pain- but the muscle gets strained I guess, from overuse- and we all eventually overuse our muscles if we play intense sports).

anyway, the dummy version (don't quote me on this, I'm no doctor- I'm just an athlete) is that the muscle connects from the front of your spine, down through your pelvis and onto the inside of your hip, I guess. If the muscle isn't working right (strained or overused or weak) then you have to fix it. It affects all sorts of things, like back pain, hip movement, etc. I found, as I read more on the muscle, it all correlates to things that have been disrupting my life patterns (bad posture, horrible abdominal pain when exerting self during exercise, back pain, clicking hip- ya I know it's weird). anyways, I hope this works, cuz it correlates with everything people have been posting- drink lots of water, stretch your stomach, etc.

some of the sites recommend you should see a physical therapist, and they can also see if anything is torn, but personally, I'm fed up with all the doctors I've gone to who don't know what they're talking about (though I never tried a physical therapist- I always thought it was a stomach problem). Hopefully this works, cuz I'm sick of people acting like I'm crazy and asking, "Are you sure it's not just a side stitch/sideache?" duh, I'm an athlete, I think I know what a side ache feels like haha. I'll post when I see if this solves the problem. Thanks!

p.s. I think it's great that the nickname atwitsend was already taken, haha. apparently you have to be really flustered to post on one of these things
Avatar universal
I am an R.N. and my 17/18 year old daughter has been having severe cramping that tends to get worse the second half of intense soccer or field hockey games.  It only comes on under very intense exercise of long duration and lasts a couple hours after stopping.  She also says that her stomach gets bloated during the game. She has had this for about 6 months or so.  I can remember that It all started after she was on a couple rounds of different antibiotics for a sinus infection that kept hanging on.  I suspected that her normal flora in her digestive tract was killed off but since she would go weeks without complaining again, I just let it go because I thought it resolved itself.  It hasn't so I am going to try giving her broad spectrum probiotics and digestive enzymes twice a day and lots of Activia yogurt to build up her normal healthy flora again.  It may take a little while until she feels completely back to normal.  I will let you know how she makes out.
Avatar universal
I am an R.N. and my 17/18 year old daughter has been having severe cramping that tends to get worse the second half of intense soccer or field hockey games.  It only comes on under very intense exercise of long duration and lasts a couple hours after stopping.  She also says that her stomach gets bloated during the game. She has had this for about 6 months or so.  I can remember that It all started after she was on a couple rounds of different antibiotics for a sinus infection that kept hanging on.  I suspected that her normal bacterial flora in her digestive tract may have been killed off by the antibiotics but since she would go weeks without complaining again, I just let it go because I thought it resolved itself.  It hasn't so I am going to try giving her broad spectrum probiotics and digestive enzymes twice a day and lots of Activia yogurt to build up her normal healthy flora again.  It may take a little while until she feels completely back to normal.  I will let you know how she makes out.
Avatar universal
Too bad Dr. Vinod seems to have gone away...He was a very helpful soul...Since my kidney stones got lithotripsied for the 2nd time, I have been running as much as I want without getting stomach/pelvic pains.  It really helped to get Dr. Vinod's comments -- hope you come back again, Dr.!
Avatar universal
I love to exercise everyday of the week 2-3 hours, but one day I do rest.  I started having this some pain in the abdominal/stomach area.  I had it for about a week.  It happened when I cooked something wrong and when I eat I will feel like I was going to throw up but I couldn't.  On Tuesday night my head was hurting, but I felt better the next day.  I still have the pain, so I wonder what it is?  When I exercise I feel better, but it hurts a little when I do the abs?  What should I do about it?  
Avatar universal
I recently worked out really hard in a 2 hour cycle class.  I have had the same issues of menstrual like pain before following intense exercise, but this was debilitating.  I had to pull my car to the side of the road and call 911.  The cramps were what I imagine labor cramps to be and I had bleeding from the vagina.  I was given two doses of Demerol (which took the edge off but did not stop the cramping) I was then given a muscle relaxant and finally three agonizing  hours later RELIEF!

I have done a ton of web browsing on this and I think I have figured it out (not a doctor) but this makes SO much sense.

The pain from your period is thought to be the result of uterine contractions, caused by prostaglandins (a hormone-like substance, normally found in your body). Prostaglandins are known to stimulate uterine contractions.

Intense exercise/stress itself increases prostaglandin production.

Prostaglandin gel is actually given to women to INDUCE labor and it may even stimulate mild contractions and, for some women, this is enough to start labor.

Why taking ibuprofen may help.

It is aProstaglandin inhibitor
Aspirin is a mild prostaglandin inhibitor, another prostaglandin inhibitor is ibuprofen.

So I think the body gets super stressed, produces too much prostaglandins which wreak havoc on the uterine muscles and basically make you feel like you are in labor.  The fact that some folks have spotting clearly distinguishes these cramps from being just normal muscle cramps – they are MENSTRUAL cramps caused by the Prostaglandins.

Also, the one thing all of us complaining about this have in common is “period-type cramping” this leads me to believe there is nothing structural about this, rather something biochemical as a result of intense exercise.

I really think I am on to something here that is missing from the internet conversations.  Anyone who is seeing an OB/GYN about this – it would be great if you could run my theory by them and return their input.

Avatar universal
I have experienced stomach and esophogeal pains like you.  One morning I drank some moderately strong coffee and I felt like my stomach got electrocuted with caffeine, stress and tension.  I have doing high intensity running on a treadmill by sprinting 10-14 mph with a 3-7% incline slope, however, the irritation and vibration of the sprint running for 1-2 minutes per interval has aggravated my gastrointentinal track.  I can not consume caffeine currently because of the higher stomach acid secretions during sprint running; I almost fainted a few times!
Avatar universal
Try doing more core workouts to build up those muscles. I find if I am not doing ab and glute workouts, my stomach will hurt for the next day or so. This is mainly due to the fact that when you really push yourself in soccer or running, your core is really important to keep the rest of your body working properly and keeping your form and posture.  Try doing crunches, squats, leg lifts and lunges in a regular regime. You will, of course, get stomach and glute pains from them at first, but it will be rewarding in the long run.
Avatar universal
Hi peeps, I'm looking at the list of posts here and a lot of good info was posted, so I thought I would give it a whirl too to see if I can get some answers too.

Some backround: I am 28 years old, I was an athlete in high school, but after leaving high school I stopped training like an athelete and gained weight, about 15-20 lbs over 10 years. All of it went to my gut. I recently enlisted in the Navy, so I got a gym membership and started taking my fitness seriously.

I went from not working out.......period.......to working out 2-3 times a week for about an hour and a half at a time. I start off with stretching, I start with the Military requirements of 30 pushups/and SITUPS in 2 minutes. Keep in mind that I havent done regualr situps for almost 10 years. After that I go and run a 1.5 miles in 15-20 min on the treadmill. Then I go and and shoot hoops on the Baskeball court in pickup games (which can burn a lot of energy depending on how many games I play). Sometimes I go back to the treadmills and walk another mile or so. I keep myself hydrated at all times, before and after workouts.

So my problem is my stomach, its been lasting since about Christmas time, probably since I started the heavy situps (about a month ago) I have been feeling like there is a huge weight in my stomach, constant pressure, I have been passing gas way more often, and have been passing stool 3 to 4 times a day vs once a day before. Also some minor vomitting when eating certain food combinations.

Am I working to hard? Is it my diet? Is it growing pains of my stomach growing muscle back or my stomach shrinking?
Avatar universal
my 17 yr old daughter has experienced sever cramping/pain/vomiting after running a 60 race.  just went to a PT who specializes in pelvic floor pain, particularly women.  she diagnosed her with connective tissue restriction and has prescribe myofasical release, which is basically massaging the affected area in her stomach.  lots of info on the web regarding connective tissue restrictiona and myofascial release.
Avatar universal
I have those problems a lot too, commonly reffered to as a side ache. they get pretty intense and coaches always say to put your hands on top of your head and drink water slowly (too much to fast can result in more pains) I have been getting the same pain in a different location and it feels like menstral cramps (even when im not on mine) the pain lasts around five minutes and its impossible to stand up strait and painful to use the muscles needed to go to the bathroom. any ideas what it is?
Avatar universal
I get the exact same thing and i suspect it is related to ovarian cysts. I am going to get an ultrasound done. Do you have a history of ovarian cysts?
Avatar universal
I'm 16 and I've been having the same problems, ill be fine throughout soccer practice until I have to start sprinting and running a lot faster, I get this horrible stomach pain that causes me to sit down, I get really light headed and dizzy, I usually feel like vomiting, this has been happening for 3 months now. And my mom says its because I have to much fluids in my system but I don't believe that is the cause. I also have asthma but I have a lot of speed and my asthma usually doesn't get in the way of me outrunning any girl im against. Once I finish a complete sprint I feel the pain and just can't run anymore. I'm really worried does anyone have an idea on what it might be?
Avatar universal
Hello everyone,

I have read all of the above posts and there was some very useful information about what others are experiencing or have done to help with the pain. I am now 22 years old and have been through university. I dealt with the pain for years, never really figuring it out, but I progressively tried each thing to see if it would work. I eat regularly and hydrate well before exercise. I will list my results below for all to see:

1. Super-hydrating before workout: what a dumb idea this was. I can usually tell when I am dehydrated and super-hydrating simply made me throw up... no pain though, but I got nice and sick.

2. Drinking Gatorade/Powerade instead of water: this idea actually kind of worked. I didn't get the same pain afterwards, but I still experienced diarrhea after about 8 hours. After a few workouts of only Powerade the pain came back though.

3. Gastrointestinal ulcer: My mom is predisposed to ulcers in her stomach because of high acidity, so I asked my doctor about it. We concluded that it was probably not an ulcer because the pain only occurred after exercise, and when I went a month without exercising at all it went away.

4. Injury: I have had an injury to my ribs from playing football. It is around my heart area on the left side. I have been through physiotherapy for back pain and pain in that area. The back pain turned out to be cause by excessive movement in the L3-5 vertebrae. The excessive movement was from the lower most back muscles working hard to compensate for my upper layer back muscles which were not strong enough. This was related to me working on my abdominal muscles much more than my back muscles during workouts, and predominantly related to my football injury which turned out to be largely a muscle injury. I now work out my core muscles differently and stretch my left lower layer pectoral muscles before workouts. This may have been somewhat of a tangent, but it relates to how I found a way to minimize the pain (more on that in a bit).

5. Low blood sugar: Nope... tested, tested and tested. And on that note I have been tested for just about everything by now. I have quite a few allergies, so blood testing is pretty common for me.
6. Allergies/asthma: Okay so maybe not enough oxygen getting to the muscles? Nope, this may have been the case sometimes when I just exhausted myself while training - that can make me feel nauseous and have diarrhea,  but not so much the pain. So probably asthma isn't the cause. I concluded this because I took a steroid inhalant which helped with asthma, but actually very detrimentally affected my immune system while on it, and that didn't change my pain at all. Allergies? Well actually I did find out I had allergies to a few things more that the rest, but for the most part changing my diet or working out in different gyms didn't help at all.

7. Diet: Now I found out that diet has a huge affect on energy and the amount of time you can exercise for before feeling burnt out. Believe me when I say that being a student athlete, you have to eat very well. If you don't watch your diet, you can get very sick. I had a period where I ate McDonalds and fast foods and made crappy meals. My energy plummeted and I got sick; surprise surprise. But for the most part my dieting only made it better to a point. It's all about the pasta and stir-fry! Oh, and nut-free protein bars tend to be so-so for exercise. If anything, use Special K shakes, not Boost, Ensure, or whey protein powder.

8. The way I exercise: Well for the most part I tried doing a lot of things differently and none of them helped. The thing that has helped the most for me has been strengthening my core muscles without sit-ups or any other back bending exercise. I used to be a sit-up maniac. Abs are nice to have, and it's a great way to tone, but ultimately this has been my bread and butter. After physiotherapy I realized that there are much better ways of working core muscles. Every time I clench them too much or work my abdominal muscles to the point of exhaustion then the pain is much worse. The best thing for me is working  my abdominal and back muscles on the same day in between running. Running works your core in different ways, but if all the muscles are equally strong, the pain is much less.

9. Drink water! Okay so at first I said... haha... duh, you can't not and be a successful athlete. The problem was how I was going about it. I used to drink a lot of milk. During and before workouts I would drink bottled or gym tap water. Afterwards I might drink Powerade if it was a huge workout and then drink milk to help when my pain got really bad. Sometimes it would help, sometimes it wouldn't. I drank water intermittently between other drinks like juice, milk, and other drinks. I tried eating right after to possibly absorb acid, didn't help. The second most important thing for me has been drinking water all the time. I have a Britta bottle that filters my water from the tap. Bottled water is fine, but all day every day I swear does something to you because I tend to end up feeling sick from a couple weeks of bottled water. Tap water is fine as long as it is from a nice clear system, which is hard to find. At the moment I drink Britta bottle water. I don't train as hard as I used to, but when I do I actually stop drinking water near the end until a bit after the exercise.
10. Stretching: Stretching is a prerequisite before and after exercise, but now I make sure I stretch certain muscles that I didn't spend much time on before because I thought they were only used moderately in certain exercise. I make  sure to stretch my abdominal and back muscles before and after runs, and when I get pain I lay on something softer that concrete and stretch my arms and legs out as far as they go while on my stomach.

I hope these things might help some of you with similar problems. The pain sometimes comes back, but not so much anymore, even when I do short intense workouts. if I get diarrhea then I take Immodium or Pepto. Good luck to all of you in finding a solution.
Avatar universal
I'm 17 @nd also experience the same problems. It started around 6 months ago. After my soccer games which is when I physically exert myself the most, I get sharp stabbing pains that feel like my stomach is gonna burst. The harder I work the more potent and longer the pain lasts. The problems seam to be getting progressively more noticeable. I think possibly it could be a slight relapse or side effect of heat exhaustion I went to the hospital for around 6-7 months ago. I also tried to eat less or eat more before and after exercise it doesn't seem to work. If you know something please help
Avatar universal
Hey all. 23 year old male here and I have the same issues, usually after soccer games where I do a lot of sprinting. I'll add something new that I hadn't seen in the thread yet; if I have any dairy the day of playing I will get the pain, period. Sometimes if I feel perfectly fine an hour after a game then I can safely have dairy but if I rush it then pain. Give this a shot, no dairy 24 hours before your intense workout. Also hydrate. Also there sell probiotic supplements instead of yoghurt.
Avatar universal
Hi I am a 46 y.o. male and I have similar issues.  I play tennis without much problems but if I lift weights, especially when the abs are used, I'll get cramps that then lead to severe heartburn if I lay down flat when I go to sleep.  So basically if I feel cramps I have to sleep sitting up.  If I don't do ab workouts then the problem goes away.  So basically I don't do ab work outs any more.  Maybe I'll try stretching a ton before after and see if that helps
Avatar universal
There are a lot of different things being discussed here, but a large majority of folks seem curious about why they get menstrual-type pain during exercise.  

I can tell you why this happens:
DEHYDRATION. But it's not in the same way that our other muscles cramp when dehydrated.  

The hormone your body makes when dehydrated is very similar to the hormone (oxytocin) that acts on your uterus to cause cramping.  When you are dehydrated, the excess water-saving hormone is "read" by your uterine muscle as the cramp-causing hormone.  Voila.  When you rehydrate these cramps should abate.  And this is exactly why we tell pregnant women to stay as hydrated as possible- to avoid any cramping.

Here's a cutesy blog post I did about this, to help explain:


NB: I am a medical provider but nothing beats making an appointment to address your particular concerns.

Avatar universal
I'm suffering with pains during soccer practice since 2001, and I have visited so many Dr to the point I just give up. Now it part of my 2014 resolution to get back to my favored sport, I hopping to get help. Thanks
Avatar universal
I also have this problem along with IBS. The problem I have come to understand is that when our bodies are under stress like running, the blood flow goes to other parts of our body that are needed for running instead of to our stomachs and intestines so with a lack of blood flow our stomach and intestines shut down temporarily. so when it is shut down for awhile it has trouble starting back up. so in order for it to start back up you need to eat and drink and some people have mentioned that eating and drinking seems to help. this is my personal opinion that I've acquired through searching for my own answers and not anything I found out from a doctor.
9624245 tn?1404911103
I did Taebo Abs two days ago and yesterday I did pilates and the elliptical. I was woken up today by what almost feels like an intense burning sensation in my low stomach. My neck is also sore on the left side, but only in a normal exercise way. I also almost felt like I was going to throw up, which only gets worse when I drink water, but I will continue to drink water, even though I drink water regularly and do not think dehydration is the cause. I am 15 and have anemia, which has been acting up lately, but I can't find my iron tablets (I'll make sure to find them today), and my grandma recently told me that you're not supposed to take that. My diet can be improved, and it definitely will, seeing as,  after reading these posts, I am now terrified of eating sweets. My main question is: Should I do yoga today to try to alleviate the pain, which helped an immense amount when I overexerted my leg area, or should I just do nothing? Also, should I take alkaseltzer? I really don't want to wait a long time like a bunch of other people did for it to just go away on its own.
Avatar universal
Hey Guys,

I may have some answers for some of you!

I'm 26 very active, train twice a week for soccer and gym 2 -3 times a week plus games on weekends. occasionally I will do a gym session pre football training

I too have been experiencing server stomach cramping on occasions through out the years (2011-2015)

In 2012 it came on so strong that they decided to remove my appendix (my appendix results came back fine)
the same year I had a Colonoscopy to look for anything inside me that may be causing it... results also fine
at the time of all this I was on a heavy protein diet (shakes mainly) and I self diagnosed a 'lactose intolerance' and removed all dairy from my diet
over the next 3 years the cramping came and went but was never as strong and was bearable, up until last week in March 2015 . once again the pain came on so strong and after intense cramping and vomiting for 4 hours + I decided to go to hospital once again. this time they loaded me up on pain killers and sent me out the door none the wiser. (after blood tests MRI and Urine - all results fine)

I then decided to do a little more online research and that's when I stumbled on this thread! putting two and two together I have put my cramping down to physical exhaustion!
I booked in with my GP and explained the case and they full agree.

they think I am literally getting cramp in my stomach and the only way my body can deal with it is to throw up/keep cramping until it passes...

- hydrate
- energy levels high
- keep salts up (as you do with cramp)
- don't over exhaust yourself

all seems pretty self-explanatory really

I have also been prescribed
BUCCASTEM - a tablet that you suck on to reduce nausea and vomiting as soon as symptoms come on

I am not hoping my self diagnosis of lactose is incorrect and I will try have some dairy again over the week!

will post again if anything comes up!

Avatar universal
Well, there you have it...kak has given all of us lifestyle athletes the solution to the problem.....QUIT.

Tell you what...I'll quit training and racing when everyone quits smoking.

I think we're looking for possible manageable solutions short of quitting frankly.  Solutions that might allow us to continue our lifestyles.
Avatar universal
Hello my name is Demitrius Davis and I actually have my degree in exercise physiology and nutrition as my master. You will be thrilled to hear this **** lol. I am a über athletic person and I too get these stomach pains. But I found a relief to this as I tried multiple things. I have been getting them after my basketball games bad to a point of curling up and laying there and often had diarrhea that was constant throughout the pain. My solution was as follows; I would bring a pickle and a banana or even oranges and water. Throughout my sporting event keep hydrating and eating a small piece throughout. Prior to events I would stay hydrated. In theory I feel it's because of the metabolism in athletes is really high, our activity levels cause for more hydration than that of a stagnant person, so therefore more things to burn as you  exert your energy are needed. The constant movement in sport activities have your organs shifting as well. This could be a cause of the upset stomach feeling on an empty stomach. You may think your have something in you when you eat a few hours before but with most athletes you digest a little faster because your body is use to the high rate that you burn energy. Hope that helps you guys
Avatar universal
I got heat exhaustion in Italy ..as soon as I got into a cab to go to the hospital I started feeling better, but until then I was speaking gibberish and sweaty and white faced, hot and heart beating in double time. each year it gets worse and worse as far as when the heat is in the summer time. I can and I have to move in and out of buildings because my job, but I go home after work and just collapse because I have no energy, no enthusiasm for life.
I am hypothyroid and for my whole life I've been cold always cold my feet were cold I wore a jacket in the summer time I was always cold. So I am not ready to handle sweat!! I'm 68 and this happened when I was 62.... it's miserable!
Have an Answer?
Top Healthy Living Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
14 super-healthy foods that are worth the hype
Small changes make a big impact with these easy ways to cut hundreds of calories a day.
Forget the fountain of youth – try flossing instead! Here are 11 surprising ways to live longer.
From STD tests to mammograms, find out which screening tests you need - and when to get them.
Tips and moves to ease backaches
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.