Document Detail

The impact of physical exercise on the gastrointestinal tract.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19535976     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Physical exercise can be both beneficial and harmful for the gastrointestinal tract in a dose-effect relationship between its intensity and health. Mild-to-moderate intensity exercises play a protective role against colon cancer, diverticular disease, cholelithiasis and constipation, whereas acute strenuous exercise may provoke heartburn, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and even gastrointestinal bleeding. This review focuses on mechanisms involved in those symptoms and their associations with type of exercises in humans. RECENT FINDINGS: One quarter to one half of elite athletes are hampered by the gastrointestinal symptoms that may deter them from participation in training and competitive events. Vigorous exercise-induced gastrointestinal symptoms are often attributed to altered motility, mechanical factor or altered neuroimmunoendocrine secretions. Training, lifestyle modifications, meal composition, adequate hydration and avoidance of excessive use of some medications are the recommendations. SUMMARY: Strenuous exercise and dehydrated states would be the causes of gastrointestinal symptoms referred by 70% of the athletes. Gut ischemia would be the main cause of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and (bloody) diarrhea. The frequency is almost twice as high during running than during other endurance sports as cycling or swimming and 1.5-3.0 times higher in the elite athletes than the recreational exercisers.
Erick Prado de Oliveira; Roberto Carlos Burini
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care     Volume:  12     ISSN:  1535-3885     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care     Publication Date:  2009 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-08-04     Completed Date:  2009-10-27     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9804399     Medline TA:  Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  533-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Centre for Physical Exercise and Nutrition Metabolism, UNESP School of Medicine, Public Health Department, Botucatu City, São Paulo State, Brazil.
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MeSH Terms
Digestive System Physiological Phenomena
Exercise / physiology*
Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology*,  prevention & control*
Gastrointestinal Transit / physiology
Regional Blood Flow
Running / physiology
Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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