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21 Feb 2020
Acute stomach pain after exercise
I: For over two years now I have had severe abdominal pains and other effects following any prolonged exercise. I have seen 7-8 different doctors including a gastro-specialist. I was a college runner and going into my junior year of XC I was in the best shape of my life. I remember the day that it started. It felt like a really rough day but it was a hard practice, so I chalked it up to a sick bug. The next week at my race I had a poor performance and became very sick for the ensuing 2 days, no energy, and acute pain in my stomach. Real concern came the following week when once again I had a sub-par performance and became very sick same as I did after my previous race. I started trying new eating habits and decided to go gluten-free for the time-being in case that was aggravating me. But as I continued, I began to notice additional fatigue after harder workouts and became more and more weak as the weeks went on. I saw a doctor who pre-emptively diagnosed me with a stomach ulcer and recommended I reduce stress (I also got a prescription for omeprazole). It continued to get worse though. It began to go from ‘hard workouts are difficult to get through and recover from’ to ‘I can’t do any hard workouts’ to ‘I can’t do some easy days’. This whole time I went around from different doctors, tried different diets. Nothing seemed to help or change the fact that I almost always had acute stomach pain after workout, extreme fatigue and slow recovery after aerobic exercise, mental fog and fatigue grew worse, loose bowels after exercise. I started seeing a GI specialist who methodically started checking certain diagnoses off the list. But all the trials and tests finally came to no point and he didn't have an answer for me after an endoscopy showed a clean gut. I ended up quitting track and hoping time would heal. It helped but never went away and recently it has gotten worse again. I am an active person that cant be active. I have had a variety of symptoms that I have put below. Any insight or help would be much appreciated. Typical symptoms: Stomach pain/nausea, lightheaded, weak/fatigue, difficulty breathing, heavy/fast heartbeat, coughing, loose bowel movement, long recovery Other symptoms: Flush face (passed out once in a workout), blood pooling in hands/feet/knees mid-workout, metallic taste in the mouth, headache
It must be extremely frustrating for an active person like yourself. Seeing that you have been tested thoroughly, I wonder if your symptoms could at all be related to anxiety. Have you ever gone for a psychological or psychiatric evaluation? Remember, our bodies are not just physical instruments, there are various factors at play at all times. Good luck and I hope you find the answer soon.
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