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Sharp stomachache if eating or drinking before and during exercise

Since I was a child I knew my stomach would hurt if I walked after a meal. However, it has been bad to the point that I avoid eating or drinking before and during exercise especially running. It is not overeating before exercise, it would hurt even if I have small sips of water or very small abound of food. The pain is sharp on right side of the abdomen. I have gone to see my doctor and have had CT scans but they couldn't find anything. I usually work out in the morning before I eat or drink anything. However, I now have to get up early just to commute to work, I cannot work out any other time because of this problem. I would have to wait at least 2-3 hours after my last drink or snacks for my stomach to be ok for exercise. It's frustrating and I do not know if it's even healthy to not at least drink some water during exercise. I am fit and eat very healthy. I have no other medical issue. I wonder if you have any similar problem or have any idea what is wrong since my doctor keeps telling me she couldn't find anything.
Also this problem affects my daily activities as well.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
In order to reduce the pain in the right side, you should warm up before exercising by lightly jogging or walking. You also can stretch the sides, lower back and stomach muscles in order to reduce pain. Make an effort to breathe more deeply when you run, which can reduce muscle spasms. Be sure to increase your running rate slowly attempting to increase speed or distance too fast can result in pain.
If pain when running occurs when you are running very hard or increasing your speed, this could be a side stitch, according to Cool Running. If the pain subsides when you slow down, this is another sign your pain could be due to a stitch. However, if your pain is accompanied by other abdominal symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea or vomiting, this could be a sign of abdominal upset, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.

When you experience a stitch in your right side while running, slowing down your running pace can help to alleviate muscle cramping, according to Rice University. You also may wish to massage the your side, which can alleviate the pain and reduce cramping. If you suspect gastrointestinal problems are to blame for pain, be sure to hydrate prior to running as dehydration often causes stomach problems. You also may wish to avoid leaving food in the digestive tract---you may wish to drink a protein shake prior to running instead of eating food in order to avoid gastrointestinal upset.
In order to relieve a stitch, try stopping, leaning forwards and breathing out hard while pressing in to the painful area with your fingers. Other treatments include breathing techniques such as belly breathing and altering which foot hits the ground when you exhale. Most people exhale as the left foot hits the ground - try changing this so it's the right foot.
Avatar universal
Well, eating during exercise isn't a great idea anyway, especially running.  If you run very long distances, I can see you needing nourishment.  Maybe it's what you're eating if that's the case rather than eating itself -- people's digestive systems are incredibly individual.  You are who you are.  But if you're not running really long distances, why would you need to eat while running?  Obviously, when you're moving at that pace, your digestive system can't work properly anyway.  There shouldn't be any problem weight lifting, however.  I disagree with Gym's post that a protein shake isn't food -- it is food and must be digested.  It's true that commercially available protein supplements are often more synthetic stuff and sugar rather than food, but the protein itself is food and protein is harder to digest than fiber-laden carbs.  It takes longer and requires far more stomach acid for digestion.  But I think Gym might be on to something about it being where it is -- I used to get side stitches sometimes when I ran, and everything Gym mentions helped me keep going.  But for me they weren't in the abdomen, they were higher and to the side.  But it's something to consider.  Something else to consider is if you're getting enough magnesium.  If you eat a lot of dairy you might be leaching out your magnesium, and magnesium is responsible for proper digestion and proper muscle relaxation.  Potassium can also be a problem.   Every try eating just a banana or two and seeing what happens?  I do wonder about the water, though -- you have to stay hydrated and unless you're drinking too much water before you start, which will cause waterlogging, sipping water shouldn't cause a side stitch or any other problem.
Avatar universal
its called cramps, you shouldn't eat and then exercise.
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Arlington, VA
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