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Exercise and Fitness

Piercing pains after eating & exercising...

11/30/2004

Question:

Often after I have something to eat (even after eating very little), I find that I get stomach pains when undergoing any physical activity. This is especially true when I do something such as walking my dog. The best way I think I could describe it is having "a rock in my stomach." it`s usually at a concentrated spot (although not necessarily the same spot) in the lower part of my stomach. It gets worse the longer I exert myself. It seems occur most when I do something that will shake up my stomach. I`ve talked to a couple of people about it and they`ve all said they`ve never had anything like this. Should I be concerned about this? I remember having this problem for at least a year now (maybe longer) so it`s nothing that new. The pain goes away after a few minutes of rest so it really isn`t more than a nuisance. I`m pretty good at ignoring pain and wouldn`t have any problem doing so. However, my only worry with this is whether or not i`ll be doing damage to my stomach by continuing to exert myself. What do you think? Should I talk to a doctor or is this normal? I`ve always imagined "cramps" to be what one gets if one has diarrhea, and this is not at all like that. Thanks for your advice!

Answer:

It is not recommended to exercise immediately following a meal.  Remember that high-calorie meals take longer to leave the stomach than do lighter meals or snacks.  The general rule of thumb is to allow at least three to four hours for a large meal to digest, two to three hours for a smaller meal, one to two hours for a blended or liquid meal, and less than one hour for snacks.  However, every individual has different tolerances.  If after following these general guidelines you still have pain, I would suggest discussing this with your personal physician.

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Response by:

Carolyn   Nickol, RD, MEd Carolyn Nickol, RD, MEd
Director
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati