Drugs for post-run gut pain

Anything better than simeticone?

4 messages
19/09/2012 at 11:16

Hi,

I previously posted on here trying to understand my post-run gut problems. I'm pretty sure I know the cause (thanks to the replys) and want to know if anyone has any great drug recommendations.

Seemingly, the problem is my gut being bashed about during the run then waking up afterwards. Seems to happen in runs 10m where I've had to have breakfast due to late start. At last weekend's GNR I avoided dairy for 24 hours and had a bagel with Marmite at about 6am. I popped a Windeze after the bagel and another after finishing the race.

Symptoms were less severe than before but I had a bad spell about an hour after finishing and couldn't really eat until about 2 hours after that (when I had a ferocious appetite).

Active ingredient in Windeze is simeticone, which is also the active anti-wind ingredient in Immodium Plus. It apparently works by making little bubbles into big ones. I wondered if anyone uses anything else that might work in a different way, such as making the gut wake up more gradually?

Ta!

19/09/2012 at 12:11

Hi Cormorant, sorry to hear you're still suffering!

The drug that instantly springs to my mind is hyoscine butylbromide - typically marketed as Buscopan. It's sold to treat the symptoms of IBS and works by easing peristaltic contractions in the gut, so can help with intestinal cramping. You can buy it over the counter, but there are some people who shouldn't take it, so either discuss with a pharmacist (who probably wouldn't have heard of people using it for running-related issues!) or read the leaflet carefully and make your own decision

19/09/2012 at 12:29

This is something I wrote in response to another question about tummy troubles and running - I thought I'd cope and paste it incase there's something of use for you!

 

When you undertake sustained activity - typically 60 minutes plus, several things happen that can affect the way your gut works.

Firstly, blood flow to the gut is reduced in favour of increasing blood flow to the working muscles. This can cause GI symptoms including cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Secondly, you get dehydrated. Dehydration further reduces the flow of blood to the gut which can exacerbate GI symptoms. Thirdly, you get hot (even in British summer conditions!), and this - guess what! Further reduces blood flow to the gut

So lots of things going on in the way the gut is working. 

When you consider putting something in to be digested - there's obvious scope for even more problems. However - and here's a key thing to remember - one of the best ways to increase blood flow to the gut and to reduce some of the problems of dehydration, is to keep stomach volume relatively high. The more there is in the stomach (up to a point - you don't want to be gorging yourself!) the greater the flow of blood. The easiest way to keep stomach volume high and to reduce the effects of heat stress and dehydration is to drink. Water with added electrolytes as a minimum, but adding some carbs in will obviously help to keep energy levels up (either a sports drink or gels/shot bloks/similar along with some water). If you do want to take on carbs - recommended for marathons - then you need to practise and train the gut to tolerate whatever it is you do. 

Going back to the fibre issue - when you combine a fibrous diet (which gives the bowel a lot of work to do) with activity that reduces the efficiency of the bowel, then your almost setting yourself up for a problem. This won't apply to everyone - some people seem to be immune to tummy problems - but as you have a history of IBS and ongoing problems with runner's tum symptoms then it would be number one on my list of contributing factors. 

I'm not advocating cutting the fibre out of your diet - as I said, it seems a very healthy diet. But you may want to look at the timing of what you're eating. Avoiding certain foods in the hours before training and the day before a race may well help. It's certainly worth experimenting with. Try these links for more info. 

Runners gut

Low FODMAP

Another thing to consider is the mechanical 'jarring' that comes from running. Some people seem to be more susceptible to this than others, and there's a school of thought that proposes having a strong core can 'buffer' the intestines. So lots of planks and the like may help.

And finally - caffeine can easily irritate the gut. People with IBS and other GI complaints are often advised to cut caffeine from their diets. As you don't have tummy troubles outside of running it probably isn't necessary to cut it out completely, but avoiding it the day before/day of a race may help, as may avoiding it in the hours before a training run. It may be something worth experimenting with.

19/09/2012 at 13:11

Hi Sarah,

To be fair, I'm not suffering as much as I was before I read the last advice (from you I now realise!) and a 20 minute spell of "bleah" is a lot better than the previous times where I was in pain for an hour.

Identification of the probable cause was a big step forward. Having Googled hyoscine butylbromide I can see why checking with a pharmacist would be a good idea. It's good to have another option though so thanks a lot.


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