• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

Worried that running causies inflammation

I was officially diagnosed with Crohns on October 30 last years age 49.

I have lifted weights for years and started running in my mid 40s as a way to keep the beer gut down. I ran a couple sub 2 hour half marathons until a new job limited the amount of training I could do, but I stayed in good enough shape.

Last August I started training for a half and about three weeks in I became constipated. I blamed dehydration and took fiber (as an IBS sufferer that usually did the trick) to no avail. I went out on an 8 mile training run only to have to stop at 4 (I had done 6 miles with no ill effects a week or so earlier). A few days later I could barely do 3 on the treadmill and knew something was up. Shortness of breath and fatigue were the main symptoms..no pain at all

I stopped excercising altogether and the constipation turned to diarrhea. I started Prednisone on October 31 and in two weeks all symptoms were gone and I haven’t had any to this day and can eat what I want. I began Humira in early December.

HOWEVER, i started lifting in December and jogging again in January. The constipation returned. I stopped running and just lifted. I told the GI about this and about the mild right side abdominal discomfort I experienced when jogging and he said that running did not cause intestinal inflammation. My labs look great.

I’ve been running again for three weeks and the consitpation seems to have returned. I’m going to up my mileage slowly but am concerned. I’m drinking more than enough water.

On the plus side, I think the Humira helps my lifting. Prior to being diagnosed, I would plateau due to shoulder pain, but have had no pain at all and have been able to get my bench max where it was when I was 35.
From what I have found I'm good for about an hour with no ill effects. If I push it to 2hrs I will have diarrhea after the run / bike for the rest of the day with the next day being better.


Staff member
When my son was diagnosed, he was quite athletic, playing on two hockey teams, plus lots of other sports and working with weights daily. The time between his initial symptoms and the eventual diagnosis and treatment took a few months and he'd lost a fair bit of weight and endurance.

But, once he began treatment, he felt quite well fairy quickly (although strength and endurance took a while to regain). However, the only activity that caused him pain was long distance running. He was in high school at the time and part of the phys.ed. program was long distance running and, each time, he'd have to stop due to the pain. Short spurts as in ball hockey or soccer did not hurt however. We concluded that it must have been related to the repeated 'bouncing' over a longer time period that caused it.

Intestinal inflammation takes quite a long time to heal. You may feel better but the healing is still happening. As long distance running was not something my son was involved with, beyond his school program, I don't know if the pain would eventually have subsided?? But, you may just have to give it a bit more time.


Well-known member
I find that when I engage in physical activities it can aggravate the gut. Physical activity is good, but one must limit it. Walking would be preferred to running, especially for anybody who is older. I'm a senior, but when I was in my 40's I found limiting physical activities that were strenuous promoted remission.

Having said that, I like to engage in cross county skiing, and I also cut, split and pile the wood for home heating as it is my primary heat source. Just be sure to know your body's limits; go steady, go easy.
Any troubles with iron deficiency anemia? If so, that will impact your running pace. My running times improved dramatically after an iron infusion and associated improvement in hemoglobin. Really shocked me what a difference it made.
Interesting thread. I used to run competitively as a teen and have been on/off running since. I started showing UC symptoms this time last year and was diagnosed about 6 months ago now.

Since getting my bleeding and bowel movement under control with tablets/suppositories/enemas I've been exercising again. I tried jiu jitsu for a short while which was great but very challenging. I've made a big effort to get back into running, but I seem to just be getting slower and slower and my legs and ankles are sore and stiff now even if I don't run.

I've just started taking cod liver oil in case this helps, that might be something you could try? Not really sure what else to do so I'm having a short break from running in case I've just been overdoing it.
I am a high school cross country runner, and this is one thing that I have learned with running. When my crohn's is not under control, my running is absolutely terrible. But since I have started Remicade and got everything under control again, I've broken my 5k time several times this past season. I think the more control you have of your disease, the better your fitness will be.
Also, you said that you have suffered from constipation. Constipation could also possibly be a factor that is causing problems with your running. From what I have learned, the best time to go running is after a bowel movement.