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What is the cause of these random episodes of pain after I run?

I am a 24 year-old active female. Occasionally and very randomly after I go running, and ONLY after I go running, but NOT every time I go running; I endure strange symptoms. Symptoms include: a bloated stomach, shortness of breath, rapid breaths, all of my back muscles from pelvis to shoulder blades seizing up, all the muscles in my chest and abdomen from my clavicles to my belly button seizing up, nausea, and numb fingers.
This will last anywhere from 2-6 hours depending on the episode. Sitting and standing are very uncomfortable so lying down is the least uncomfortable. During these episodes I just writhe and wriggle while I try to breathe deeply, which is very difficult.

This has been happening since June of 2017 and has happened about 5 times. 2 very bad times, and 3 milder times. I will describe the most recent episode (2 weeks ago) below.

2 or so hours after a 7 mile run (a fairly typical distance for me) I started to get a stomach ache. My stomach bloated (very different feeling and looking from period cramping and bloating) and I was in quite a bit of pain. Then I began to feel the muscles in my back starting to tighten up. I call my husband to pick me up from work because I know what happens next.

Within 10 minutes things had escalated completely and the 5 minute car ride felt like an eternity. Once home, I immediately lied on the bed, just groaning from pain. My breaths were very rapid and short, and my stomach was still bloated. All of my back and abdominal muscles were tight, and it was impossible to take a deep breath. My efforts to do so were painful and cut short.
I was feeling cold and hot all at the same time. My fingers started to tingle and become numb and nothing was comforting me. Not food, not water, not antacids, not activated charcoal, not muscle massaging.
After 30 minutes it became mild for about 30 minutes. Then another wave of intense pain would come. This pattern happened 4-5 more times. Afterward I was completely fatigued and so sleepy.

The things I have tried to prevent this include: hydration before and after running, eating before and after running, long distance running, and short distance running.

Today I saw an orthopedic/sports medicine doctor. He took X-rays of my chest, listened to my heart and lungs, and applied pressure around my abdomen to feel for tender spots. He came back to me completely stumped. My blood pressure is great, my X-rays were clear. He strongly felt like this had nothing to do with orthopedics, and he said he would be shocked if it had anything to do with my heart or lungs. He discussed things with another doctor who had no clue what was going on either.

I have no history of heart or lung problems, and no history of depression, anxiety or panic attacks. This only happens a few hours after a run. It doesn't matter the distance of the run, or what season it is. It has happened 5 times in the last two years. It never happens after I play soccer (which I have played competitively my entire life). Only after running, and very randomly.

I am supposed to run a marathon in a few weeks and it is my first. I am scared to run because when these episodes happen, I am taken out of school and work for the whole day. I am a full-time student, so this isn't an option right now. Should I even be considering the marathon still?

Someone suggested that it may be a neurological problem. I wanted some opinions before seeing another doctor.

Any suggestions?
Thank you.
1 Responses
1081992 tn?1389903637
"shortness of breath, rapid breaths, all of my back muscles from pelvis to shoulder blades seizing up, all the muscles in my chest and abdomen from my clavicles to my belly button seizing up, nausea... impossible to take a deep breath. My efforts to do so were painful and cut short. "

Hi, after reading through twice, what first comes to mind is possible diaphragm spasm - though much greater in severity and duration than usual. Maybe it's from ischemia in that muscle only. Did the sports doc mention that?

Do you regularly check your neck pulse for irregularity (not rate) peri-workout? Also very especially during an episode... and pinch your fingernails to see if the red comes back immediately. Lip color is normal, does your husband recall?

"Should I even be considering the marathon still?" I wouldn't, until possible Sudden Cardiac Death is ruled out. A blood draw for cardiac enzymes should probably be relevant even hours after an episode. But since the episodes are rare, what about now? I dunno, except maybe a doc knows of what's called  a "provocative test" for localized striated muscle spasm.
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