So, you watched my video on having stomach aches after you run. You tried some like troubleshooting tips, but you're still having problems. You're not quite sure what to do and you think maybe, “Do I have runners colitis? What is that?” Well, I'm Jesse Funk and on today's episode of Runner's High, I'm gonna tell you a bit more about this particular condition.
First, let me say, if it wasn't obvious, I'm not a doctor, I'm not a medical professional. What I'm going to share with you today is meant to be educational, to be generally informative, but it is not a diagnosis. I can't diagnose you number one, because I can't see you, you're seeing me and that's about as far as it goes. But also, I'm not a medical professional. So, if you really think there's something going on, please see your primary care doctor. I like to be a numbers guy, I like to be evidence-based, so let's talk about the numbers a little bit. Let's just talk pure numbers.
Really, runner’s colitis is a very, very rare condition. It doesn't happen to a lot of people and kind of its cousin IBS affects eight to 10% of the US population, two-thirds of those people are actually women. But what runners colitis is, is an inflammation of the bowel that's causing that additional irritation and it can last anywhere from a few hours, two weeks at a time. Not only can this consist of pain in your stomach, cramps, kind of a general discomfort, but also blood in your stool when you go to the bathroom, and that's obviously not real comforting to anybody.
Troubleshooting methods for runner’s colitis are pretty similar to the other tips I gave in the other video about stomach aches and stomach pains after you run. You know, avoid high fat high fiber, high sugar, hydrate, don't eat too large of a meal soon before you run, avoid dairy. All these kind of things can be used as a troubleshooting method, But you're here with me trying to figure out more what's going on with runner’s colitis, what is it? And if blood in your stool is a pretty common occurrence for you, it's probably time to go see your primary care physician, and see what they have to say about it.
Because they're going to be able to look at what you're doing specifically, your exercise program, your foods, those kinds of things and guide you better than you hear me in my living room here. If you don't have a primary care doctor, you may be able to skip over that step and go straight to a gastroenterologist. But that part is going to depend on your insurance. And I only have experience with insurance here in the US, which is convoluted at best and way outside of the scope of both my scope of knowledge and the scope of this particular video.
This isn't to scare you. In fact, a study published in the world Journal of Energy Medicine 2017, concluded that this is actually a pretty common occurrence with long distance runners. They studied marathoners in particular and found it happens to a lot of them. But not only that is that it didn't really require a lot of aggressive treatment, and it was somewhat self-contained and alleviated pretty quickly. My point being that it's really better to be safe than sorry. When you see a doctor, it shouldn't be this big, scary event. It's about taking care of your health.
If you watch any of the sport athlete podcast, the thing that comes up over and over and over again with all these athletes I talked to him because they've all been injured at various points in time is that it's more important to have your health than just to be concerned with being a runner or being competitive. So, you want to take care of yourself and that's something I really want to drive home with this video and a lot of the series I do here on the channel. So, I hope this video is informative. If you're having issues, please see your doctor. I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner's High.