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In the last couple of months it happened to ma a couple of times that I get stomach cramps during my every day’s run. At first I tried to ignore it, but now I definitely think something is the matter. I don’t have any other problems, I am healthy, fit and this happens only during running. What could it be? Thx!

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Hello! I used to have the same problem, and then my personal trainer explained to me what is going on. These so called side stitches are caused by stretching the ligaments that extend from the diaphragm to the internal organs, especially the liver. The jarring motion of running during 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. Exhaling when the right foot hits the ground causes greater forces on the liver. 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. You can stop this cramping while running you know. When this happens, you should 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.
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I have this same problem, but I am a cross country runner and I know what side stitches feel like, and how my stomach feels is totally different. My stomach tends to hurt in the center around my belly button and feels like a very very very bad period cramp almost. But it happens all month long! What could be wrong? and how can I fix it?
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I have the same problem and know exactly what you are talking about. for me it cramps from my chest all the way down my abdomen on both sides. I have tried to breathe differently, walk with my hands above my head, pushing the liver, everything. It is all i can do to move. If you find anything out, I would love to know.
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I have the exact same issue. When I am running I will get very bad cramps that feel like horrible period cramps. It doesn't happen every time that I run, but I am beginning to think that it happens when I am ovulating. Have you found anything else out?
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Try a different breathing pattern. For example, instead of exhaling on your right foot, try exhaling on your left for a minute or so and see if it starts to go away.
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Recently, I was unable to finish a race because I started getting pelvic menstrual like cramps but I was not ready to start my period. I was so upset that I had to walk part of the race. I have been training for the past month and experience this pain almost every time I run. My doctors had no answers. I have endometriosis and a tilted uterus but they couldn't explain why running is causing this pain even when I'm not ready to start my period. I experience very painful menstrual like cramps when I bike really hard or run hard. It is NOT a stich or "runner's cramp." Breathing doesn't play a roll on pelvic/uterine period like pain. I have been running for 20 years!I love to job but over the past month the cramps got worse. I get the cramps after I run 2 miles or about 15 minutes into my run if I'm running fast. I had to stop running and I was double up on the side of the road for about 10 minutes waiting for the pain to subside. Once the pain stopped, I was able to resume my run. Based on what I have read in medical literature, prostagladins cause inflammation, restrict blood flow, and cause the cramps. Once the inflammation goes down and my blood starts to go back into my uterus/pelvic area, the pain goes away which explains why I can resume the run.

After seeing so many other female runners blogging about the same problem, I was determined to find an answer so I can resume running without pain. I wanted to share research I discovered. Prostaglandins trigger cramps. This inflammatory response causes a restriction in blood vessels, inhibiting blood flow to the uterus and causing the cramps.Here are the common solutions: Birth control pills. Omega Fatty 3 &/or 6 acids block protaglandins. NSAIDs also inhibit the release of protaglandins 400- 600mg of ibroprofen or advil 30 minutes prior to running. Tylenol doesn't work. If you can't take NSAIDS orally due to stomache or GI irritation, get a prescription Voltaren Gel, Hexal Diclac Anti-inflammatory Gel (generic name diclofenac sodium) which is a topical NSAID and apply it to your pelvic area 3x a day on the days you run.

I'm 42 y/o so I chose not to take BC which was preventing cramps. I then started taking NSAID but had to stop. I was taking so many NSAID orally that I started having GI problems which I why I'm excited to find Voltaren Gel topically. I apply it to my pelvic area 3x a day (and right before I run) and now I can run again!
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When I am doing speed work or interval training I also have serious pain that feels like menstrual cramps. I also have been told that I probably have endometriosis. I have been running for years and also will push it to the point that I am on the ground. It is very discouraging. Have you learned anything more about the cause? Also, where can I get this gel?
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I've been running for over 10 years and have had uterine pain during running the entire time (that is, after ovulation and before period). It's really hard to be on a cross country team or track team and have to sit down. Or when you're running with guys and you have to say "uhhh, my STOMACH hurts...yea..." It's so painful, and it's surprising to me that there isn't a name for it.

I lost my period for about 6 months when I was 13. when it came back, the pain occurred, like the others have said, during running after about 1-2 miles, depending on how close I am to getting my period. If I just ovulated (I think) then the horrible horrible pain comes after two miles. If it's the day before my period, sometimes I don't get the pain. I've had this pain so so long. I did have an ovarian cyst that burst twice, but not while i was running. perhaps all these weird idiosyncrasies (tilted uterus, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, lost period, malnutrition?) somehow has to do with the uterus lashing out at us when we're running.

Also, i can make the pain come before a race by slowly jogging and bouncing up and down, have the pain come, then no pain during the race. It's a nuisance, but at least not life threatening.

Good luck in finding answers and take care!
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I googled "cramps when running" and this board came up...I was so happy to read that other runners have menstrual cramp like pain, (well, happy I'm not the only one anyway!) This is a new thing, and happens about 20 mins or so into my runs. I have had to stop and walk, and its so frustrating! I knew it wasn't "side stiches". I also have endometriosis, and noticed many people said the same thing. I am going to try a NSAID drug tomorrow before I go running!
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I'm 40 and run 4-6 days a week. This morning I did a search on stomach cramps when running and found a number of hits including this site. This has been the most helpful so far. I get stitches around my liver and have realized for a long time that if I push my fingers up under my ribcage where the pain is, as I continue running and breathing, the pain releases and and I can breathe deeply again and keep running.

Separately, I started noticing abdominal cramping about 5 months ago sometimes when I would run. I have realized that when I take a break from running for awhile (say, a week) and then resume, the cramping begins again. As I keep running every day, it gets less long and less intense until it doesn't bother me on a regular run. The woman who posted the information on the inflammation in the pelvic area hits this issue best, I think. Part of the problem is the reduced oxygen to the GI system when we run. I found this on another site this morning and tried a different breathing technique when I had to stop and walk. I was able to keep the cramping at about 1/3 to 1/2 of what it had been yesterday with focused deep breathing while I walked. I will try the Omega 3s to see how they help. Not big on meds. The other thing I've found is that my consistency is key to getting past the cramping every time I take a break from running or when I up my mileage a lot. I just have to account for the pain curve until my body adjusts. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.
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I am training for a marathon and have been for a couple of months. I generally eat an english muffin w peanut butter and a banana 2-4 hours before a run. I also drink plenty of fluids. But, I get cramps during my runs (including lower back aches -something I endure with my period as well). However, my stomach problems persist after running -sometimes for an hour or so but today it has been 5 hours. The heat may have been a catalyst -adding to the problem today but it was enough to drive me to the internet. I am fairly certain I have digestion issues as well. I'm glad I found these posts and will certainly utilize the info I found here.
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Wow! I knew there had to be others who experienced the same thing as me. In the past I have had ovarian cysts rupture and practically anytime I go for a run I end up getting horrible uterine cramps. I have been told by the doctors that I have cysts regularly and that I have a tilted uterus. I am in the process of working with a naturopathic doctor who has prescribed me a number of natural herbs and supplements including 2000 IU fish oil a day. These supplements have seemed to work for me. This is also an inflammatory issue and there are certain foods I've been told to avoid like the night shade vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes), wheat, refined sugar, and others. I wish somebody would do a research study because there are obviously many people who suffer with this same thing.
Also want to mention that for me the pain can vary- sometimes I can breath and walk it off, other times I am rolled up in a ball on the verge of a panic attack because of the tremendous amount of pain. In those cases I use a heating bad to ease the contraction like pain.
My mother had endometriosis and I am in the process of getting some imaging done/ laparoscopy to see what I can find. Does this kind of pain bring on bowel movements for anyone else?? I can also get this cramping when playing tennis or even doing standing lunges.
Anyone else experience these specifics?
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Hello.. I just searched and found this post! So relieved I'm not alone with this problem.. I have just regularly started to run and actually have reached my ability to run constantly for 30 mins.. which is a big deal to me.. :-) but what I have noticed the last few months, the week before my period while running I get these very painful cramps.. the same you are all describing. Today I got them. I was running doing interval training on the treadmill and right at about 9mins into my run they began.. I continued to run until I finished 10 mins.. but once I stopped.. I was in tremendous pain.. I know pain! and these period like cramps seem more like what I would imagine pregnancy contractions.. I believe I do have a high pain tolerance ( I broke my elbow really bad and had pins and screws and 5 surgeries done.. and not to mention going through physical therapy twice with my elbow.. so I believe I am pretty tough when it comes to pain) but I was barely able to make it back home.. once I got to the bathroom I thought maybe having a bowel movement would help.. as soon as I sat down the pain started to subside. I didn't have a bowel movement so I don't understand what helps.. maybe the squeezing my uterus or maybe support of my uterus by sitting down.. I recently have had my yearly pap and also an ultra sound of my uterus.. the pap was normal and healthy.. the ultra sound showed 2 small less than 1/2 inch cyst on one side.. but I did my research and I am not worried about them too much.. but I really would like to fix this problem.. it only occurs the week before my period. I'm pretty healthy and this issue is starting to disturb my weekly workouts.. I have a doc appt tomorrow and I hope I can obtain some help from my doctor.. good luck to all you ladies..
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hi i have jst been reading all the posts i have been running for 28 years
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