Help needed with an unusual problem

Hello all, my query is unusual and very difficult to share. I suffer with inflammatory bowel disease and ever since I started running (June 2016) my major problem has been soiling myself. I know this is not a subject people want to talk or write or read about but I can not be the only person suffering from this!

I have been told it is partly to do with gravity and usually will attack about 2k. I have been wearing incontinence pants.... Some makes better than others. Any suggestions?

What do other people do? My Dr suggested I use immodium... Not totally successful....

I really want to and do go out running= it is not going to beat me= but am constantly worried about whether IT is going to happen or not and then how much mess there will be and will people around me know what has happened.

Any comments?


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12 Replies

  • No advice - but I am very impressed by your determination. I hope you find a solution.

  • A lot of us have a problem with running making us poop, even without inflammatory bowel disease, so my hat is off to you!

    I don't have the disease, but due to some bad experiences in the past I always use imodium (or rather the cheaper Tesco's own version) for a long run or race. Agreed it is not totally successful, but mostly I find that as long as I take two the night before, and then two again the morning of, it is pretty ok. I also like to run routes that pass public toilets as much as possible - can you do this? If I'm off somewhere where there are no loos around, I take some kitchen roll (ordinary loo roll will tend to disintegrate in the pocket) with me just in case I have to jump behind a bush (it has happened :( ). As you have a diagnosed disease you may try using a 'Can't Wait' card to use pub toilets etc, for example:

    Also, do you have flare-ups and trigger foods you could monitor? If you flare you could take breaks from running at those times, and you could avoid foods that trigger symptoms.

    Good luck! Here is a blog by a nice girl who runs despite having Crohn's Disease:

  • Thank you @roseabi will read the links.

  • Oh, also (sorry if this is too obvious!), wear dark-coloured bottoms, and a top you can tie round your waist to help cover the evidence if IT happens x

  • Running in the woods is very handy, I have had to dodge into the trees several times and I apologise to the squirrels if I caused them any shock or trauma. Long runs seem to be the most difficult but most times I am ok, well done to you for battling through it

  • Thank you for the link @davelinks which I will read. I do not have IBS but IBD which are quite different and diet does help sometimes.

    Thanks again

  • I get IBS as a result of premature ovarian failure. My gut is badly affected by certain foods, dairy, pasta, caffiene etc. So far, running has been OK for me and so I really feel for you. That said, I have a 10k event coming up in a few months and I will be worried about my ibs at the start of that! I will use Immodium, the supermarket version, one capsule a day is what I need usually. I know it is stressful but stressing may be exasperating the problem. Take comfort that you have some pads to help if it happens. Incidentally my husband gets runners trots that occurs at about 2k but I am not sure that there is a remedy for that. Is it possible for you to run for 2k to coincide with a toilet at that point?

  • Running does stimulate things for sure and if you already have an underlying issue, not surprised this is causing you inconvenience. How long would Imodium take to work, could you take it the night before and then go for an early morning run?

  • I really feel for you. I've always had a touch of IBS (not as serious as Crohn's, colitis etc I know) but it had never affected my running. However on Monday, I went out running a bit too soon after my dinner and about half a mile from home I got the most intense urge to go with awful cramps. My head told me slow down and walk but my stomach told me to keep running to get to a toilet quicker. I was passing wind and kept having to check I hadn't soiled myself too. I remember thinking as soon as I got home and had been to the loo how difficult it must be for people with worse Irritable Bowel Syndrome than me and those with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    So I can't give any more advice than those above, but well done for getting out there and exercising. People use any excuse not to and you're showing them you can do it even with a condition like IBD.

  • I have it's too one of the reasons I do it on my treadmill at home, but try running where theirs public toilets

  • I had this problem for a while- it's eased up a lot now - not sure if that's because my body is more used to running? But I always take Pepto - Bismol if I think I might have a problem- that works for me anyway- hope you can sort it and well done for keeping running!

  • I recently spent time with my niece (who is a doctor) and her dog. It was noticeable that running around a lot caused the dog to need to go and also have wet poo. My niece said it was the effect of adrenaline. So I am guessing when you run your system is hit by adrenaline. I really feel for you and just hope it doesn't put you off running. Protecting yourself, and ensuring you have the means to rehydrate, are obviously going to be important.

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