Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

lower abdomen cramps while running

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 115 Replies
  • Posted By: devonnchan
  • September 7, 2008
  • 04:21 PM

I get these freaky cramps when i'm about 10 mins into my run all the time! They feel like intense menstrual cramps and it gets worst when i stop to rest. They tend to ease for a few moments before coming back again and this would take about 15 min to slowly disappear. It makes me crouch and lie flat again and again: movement eases the pain slightly.

This is especially bad when i run at a higher intensity and longer period! ;(
This has been going on for about 4 years! I went to see a doc a few years back and she told me something about me being inactive but i am not. I had this pain running 5 days a week. Even now when im nt as active!

Someone help! @@

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  • Hello,I have had the same thing happen to me! The only difference is that sometimes my cramps even cause diarreha. I don't know why this happens. It doesn't happen all the time. I will start my run, and a few minutes in my stomach will begin to cramp. Stopping doesn't help, but the pain gets too intense to continue running. This has interferred with my daily running. Thank you
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 7, 2008
    • 11:27 PM
    • 0
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  • Most of us experience them at one time or another. That sharp twinge of pain just below the rib cage usually on the right. It is particularly common in runners and has been known to slow some down to a walk until the pain subsides. Up until recently there was no clear explanation for the cause of this annoying cramp, also called exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP). Now researchers believe that the side stitch is caused by stretching the ligaments that extend from the diaphragm to the internal organs, particularly the liver. The jarring motion of running while breathing in and out stretches these ligaments. Runners tend to exhale every two or four steps. Most people exhale as the left foot hits the ground, but some people exhale when the right foot hits the ground. It is the later group who seem more prone to get side stitches.Exhaling when the right foot hits the ground causes greater forces on the liver (which is on the right side just below the rib cage). So just as the liver is dropping down the diaphragm raises for the exhalation. It is believed this repeated stretching leads to spasms in the diaphragm.Stopping a Side StitchTo stop a side stitch when running, stop running and place your hand into the right side of your belly and push up, lifting the liver slightly. Inhale and exhale evenly as you push up. Preventing a Side StitchTo prevent a side stitch, take even, deep breaths while running. Shallow breathing tends to increase the risk of cramping because the diaphragm is always slightly raised and never lowers far enough to allow the ligaments to relax. When this happens the diaphragm becomes stressed and a spasm or "stitch" is more likely. Some other ways to alleviate the pain of a side stitch include: Time your eating. Having food in your stomach during a workout may increase cramping by creating more force on the ligaments (avoid eating one to two hours before a workout)Stretching may prevent or relieve a cramp. Raise your right arm straight up and lean toward the left. Hold for 30 seconds, release, then stretch the other side.Slow down your pace until pain lessens.Breathe deep to stretch the diaphragm.Drink before exercise; dehydration can increase muscle cramps.Massage or press on the area with pain. Bend forward to stretch the diaphragm and ease the pain.* If you continue to experience pain, see your doctor
    simidrm 36 Replies
    • September 9, 2008
    • 00:43 PM
    • 0
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  • Im sorry but the people who give feedback to these have no clue what their talking about. If you would read what they are saying carefully you would see that they are talking about craping in their lower abdomen. THIS IS NOT A SIDE STITCH.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 31, 2008
    • 05:12 PM
    • 0
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  • i know EXACTLY what you're talking about. feels exactly like menstrual cramps - for me they start about 20 minutes into a run, forcing me to stop, but then get way worse after i stop. they then continue for ten minutes or so and then disappear. sometimes they cause diarrhea for me, too. this is NOTHING like a side stitch. also, i've noticed that although they feel like menstrual cramps, they don't occur during my period. bizarre and slightly worrisome - i've been getting them for years, but not every time i run, probably only once every few weeks. something to ask the doctor about next time.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I agree. These are not side stiches. It is comforting to know I am not the only one out there...cuz when you speak with professionals they look me like I am making this up.I just experienced my worst episode today ever and have once again begun to look for answers.My experience to date:Usually happens right before my period or the start of my periodBegins about 5-10 mins into runFeels like menstrual crampsDepending on the severity of pain during episode I may feel nauseated and can feel like I have diarrheaPain usually lasts about 5-10 minutes (today 1 hour)Get the cold sweats when pain is really badPain goes away as quickly as it comes onI have sought Dr's help in the past and none of them have heard anything like this before. Therefore, I have been told to stop exercising if it hurts (cuz that is reasonable...just get unhealthy and out of shape instead), it must be in my head (since they have never heard of this before it can't be real), or it's a side stitch (let me clarify I have experienced several side stitches before and they are nothing like the pain I am attempting to describe here)?!?!?!?! A gynecologist suggested it might be caused by a twisted uterus. My cramping stopped for several years while I was on birth control. The pain is back now I am no longer on birth control.Any suggestions other then saying it is in my head, stop exercising, or its side stitches is greatly appreciated.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know exactly what everyone here is talking about (NOT a side stitch!). Thank God I am not the only one who gets these horrible cramps. These episodes, when they occur for me, are PAINFUL -- I get diarrhea, feel nauseous, and break out into a horrible sweat.I have seen numerous doctors about this and they don't seem to have a clue what I'm talking about. However, by doing my own research and pooling what all of them said, these seem the most likely explanations:--A twisted or tilted uterus (as someone above mentioned)--Endometriosis (blood pooling in the abdominal cavity and outside the uterus)--Irritable bowel syndrome (the symptoms are almost identical to endometriosis)To me, endometriosis seems the most feasible, because the cramps don't occur during every run for me -- they only occur just before I start my period. They seemed to disappear while I was on birth control, so it's definitely linked to my cycle. It almost seems hormonal. I have actually found that if I keep running through the pain, as opposed to stopping for a rest, the episode can be MUCH less painful and will fade more quickly. I'm not sure why this is. If anyone has any more information about this condition, I'm eager to hear it, because it really does deter staying in shape.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am a high school senior(female) suffering from the same issues! Not to brag but i think i am in pretty good shape, im on the cross country team and run and 45 mile weeks, so i dont think that it is a fitness issue-- like everywhere i have read has said. It hurts so bad, to where i am doubled over and can hardly walk. It is really frustrating cause it is effecting my training. It used to just happen after my runs every once and a while but just recently it is now occurring during them. They are so strange... they feel like really intense period cramping, but they are not during my period and they are so much worse, then once i stop they subside in about 10 minutes and i feel great, like it never even happened!Like others have said-- im really happy im not the only one, but if you know a way to prevent or even stop theses things completely it would be greatly appreciated!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I get them too! It's really weird. Like everyone else, 5 minutes into my run it starts, and then just gets worse. They eventually go away, not too long after I stop running. It feels a lot like period cramps (but isn't) and a lot like I really have to pee. I don't get them every single time when I run, but I get them pretty often. At first I thought that it had something to do with eating right before, but that wouldn't make sense because I waited at least 30 mins. and they came one time when I hadn't eaten at all.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've been running for years including track and xc in high school and college and never had cramps like these until I got into 1/2 marathons and triathlons. But they only occured after the race was over. Sometimes they went away after going #2, a few times they came and went for several hours. I recently moved to Georgia (originally from Iowa) and I've experienced them after short runs, about 4 miles. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the heat and humidity that I'm not used to; or if I am dehydrated. Has anyone noticed a correlation with this for themselves?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have also experienced this seemingly menstrual pain while running or in spin (indoor cycle) classes for the past 20 years. It starts 15 to 20 minutes into exercise and lasts 10 to 15 minutes. If I push through it, then I can continue until I finish (an hour spin class or 1/2 marathon). If I stop and wait till it goes away and then contimue, it starts again, but sometimes I can't push through because it gets so bad. It is unrelated to my cycle at all because it happens randomly at 2 or 3 times a month at different times in my cycle that is also irregular. It did not happen at all while I was on birth control (6 years). As soon as I got off birth control, this all started again. There was even 8 months where I didn't have a cycle at all and still had the pain. I have been told all kinds of things by doctors, but the most recent discovery for me (at 34 years old) is that I have very very minor endometriosis. I have worn a heart rate monitor while exercising and have discovered that the pain happens when my heart rate gets over 160 bpm for at least 10 minutes straight. It doesn't feel like I am working out if I don't let it get higher. I have started taking 2 alieve about 30 minutes before workouts and it helps. That is all I know. Doctors think I am crazy and exzxercise too much, but it is not true. It happens when I run no more than 12 miles per week. I have lived in 6 different states and all different climates, but it is still the same.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know what you are talking about! It is not predictable. I run half-marathons and am a former soccer player so I am not out of shape. I can be fine running a 5 mile day and then on a 2 mile day, I have the menstrual-type cramps. I am on birth control and only eat a banana before I run. The key is to definitely take deep breaths and run through it. The moment I stop it becomes so severe and I need to walk home. If I continue running, it goes away usually within 1 mile. NO FUN!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I have the exact same symptoms as everyone else--after i've been running for a little while i get what feels like really severe period cramps, and have to stop and sometimes even sit down on the side of the road until they let up enough for me to keep moving. I can't seem to find anything online that explains what could cause this or how to treat it--the only suggestions are from people who think we have side stitches, which this definitely is not. However, I know period cramps are caused by the release of the hormone prostaglandin--is it possible that running also releases this hormone? I really don't know a lot about biology, but if someone else does maybe you could comment on this theory...
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • This is the craziest thing I've ever heard of. My daughter who is also a high school senior and is very athletic and good shape experiences the same thing. Normally it happens to her while running - but not always. She always thought it was the surface she was running on that caused it. today she is at a volleyball camp (setter) and is having them today while running for balls. It has crossed my mind before if it might have a connection with the ovulation time. It is about 1 1/2 weeks until she starts her period. I'm so glad I googled this problem - can't wait to tell her she's not alone. I will definitely have her keep up with them in relation to her cycle. Just an FYI to the person that reference them being stitches. They are NOT from her description. She said they feel like really, really bad menstrual cramps.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • wow, i have the same exact problem. im so glad i am not the only one. im on a high school volleyball team and we run a lot. i will start getting the cramps but i would never be allowed to just stop. they hurt so bad and the can start like 1 1/2 weeks before my period and then i have to deal with actual menstrual cramps. i have been dealing with this problem for years, so if anyone finds anything out on how to solve the problem then please let me know.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am so glad to see that I am not the only one experiencing this! I get the EXACT same menstrual-like cramping when I run. I also get it sometimes during sex too. I have told the doctor about it once, and I just got this funny look as if I was crazy. It is so frustrating because I feel like I can't do anything without worrying about getting the cramping. It doesn't happen every time, but when it does, it hurts so bad. I get pretty severe menstrual cramps too, but this is much worse. I have been told that I have a backwards/tilted uterus, so I am really beginning to think that's why. Does anyone else that has experienced this know if their uterus is backwards/tilted? My cramping also seems to occur more between periods. (Around ovulation)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I was just asking a coworker about this today. I just started running a few months ago and this first happened to me on Monday. It is very painful to run through. Start thinking I'm going to chuck in someones bushes. If I walk it goes away after a minute but as soon as I start running it comes right back. It is very discouraging.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Could be a Sports Hernia (Athletic Pubalgia). I believe that is when the lower abdominal muscles begin to pull away from the pubic bone or are inflammed where they attach to the pubic bone.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • This happens to me, too. I am a new runner. But it has also happened at the gym with high intensity cardio.. then if I stop to do some weights. I feel a tinge of the pain while exercising when it does occur, then when I stop it's awful. I had to put towels on the gym floor in the bathroom and lay down by an air vent. (Nasty I know) I had some sensation of needing to use the bathroom, but nothing. I was probably just hoping that would fix it. I feel very restless like no position will feel better. I wondered if it is some kind of dehydration, though I feel like I'm well hydrated. I wonder about endometriosis due to its many possible symptoms, some undefined. I know in some stages of this adhesions could 'tear' from the body. I'll tell ya that's the best way I can describe the pain! Feels like something tearing. THere is also a little blood down there... anyone have that?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 18, 2009
    • 09:55 PM
    • 0
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  • This is crazy. I am the exact same way! Sometimes when I run I don't get it but then sometimes when I am running or just ending my run the cramps start to happen. They are in the same spot as period cramps but so much worse! I start sweating really bad and sometimes it feels like I'm going to go to the bathroom. When people on my team are like oh i get cramps to when I run but I just run through it, Im like no! these are like severe, and i'm not at all a baby. Does anyone have any idea what it would be? I'm in top shape and I always have a banana before I run to try to prevent this. I hate it because I feel like the rest of my body could keep running but these awful cramps get in the way. 10-15 minutes later the cramps go away like they were never even there.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 19, 2009
    • 04:43 PM
    • 0
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  • I am a senior in high school and I get the same pain but only about a week and a half before my period and during my period. I don't know what I'm going to do because I have field hockey tryouts in a few days and we are going to have to run 3 miles. The pain usually starts about a mile into my run and the pain is so severe I have to stop and sit down. The problem is when i'm running with the rest of the team i wont be able to just stop. Last year I took Advil before running and that helped. Now for some reason Advil isn't helping anymore. It seems like there really is no solution to this problem. I even tried being vegan for 2 months after reading that this can help menstrual cramps. Nothing works!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 21, 2009
    • 00:55 AM
    • 0
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