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Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Crohns and exercise


 
10-22-2008, 02:22 AM   #1
Brando
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Crohns and exercise

Lately through a strict diet (gluten free) and some supplementation (probiotics, vitamins, and protein powder) I have felt good enough to start a fairly strenuous exercise program once again to try and get my butt back in shape. So I started this exercise program and noticed after getting very sore from heavy lifting and cardio that my crohns spots were beginning to become less irritated, no cramping, and noticeable reductions in swelling. This got me thinking because I used to be a very active athlete that never stopped playing a sport year round.. then I got to college and became sedentary and that's when my problems started.

Now I have always maintained that bacterial flora in the gut had something to do with Crohns and I still maintain that belief and this adds to it:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/007165.htm

In my case exercise has helped tremendously and I think it is also almost like a maintenance dose that keeps my body in check which could explain why I never had problems until I got to college and why I had terrible asthma when I was a kid until I got involved in sports. I doubt it will work for everyone but I believe that some form of exercise can probably do all of us some good seeing as it helps regulate immune function along with a host of other things like excreting the bad stuff. maybe coupled with some of those probiotics mentioned in the other thread, BBC News - Bacterium 'to blame for Crohn's', we could actually see a for real deal long term treatment option with no serious side effects. anyways, food for thought
10-22-2008, 02:28 AM   #2
Brando
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i found this part of the article the most interesting:

# Exercise sends antibodies and white blood cells (the body's defense cells) through the body at a quicker rate. As these antibodies or white blood cells circulate more rapidly, they could detect illnesses earlier than they might normally. The increased rate of circulating blood may also trigger the release of hormones that "warn" immune cells of intruding bacteria or viruses.

does that sound to anyone else like this whole new approach to Crohns using Viagra to increase blood supply to affected areas?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4740632.stm
10-22-2008, 02:33 AM   #3
Agent X20
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My brother used to work for a major drugs company, he told me about the crohns/viagra thing a while ago. It has the added advantage that it stops you rolling out of bed in the middle of the night!
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10-22-2008, 10:18 AM   #4
teamgo
 
Interesting article. I definitely found that exercise helps me feel better (when I am well enough to actually exercise). In addition to regular exercise, I have found yoga particularly helpful.
10-22-2008, 01:23 PM   #5
pb4
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Exercise is a huge benefit all around...it helps the colon function properly and not to mention the mental/emotional benefits it has as well, exercise is truly a powerful tool for me, I do it at least 4 times a week, I start off with cardio and then do weights and each day I alternate, one day I work on my arms and upper body then next my legs and lower body....and then sometimes I'll take a whole week and just do a strenuous cardio for about an hour.

Something is always better than nothing, and the benefit for your joints, bones is amazing too, weight bearing exercise can actually ward off osteo and arthritis issues.

10-22-2008, 07:41 PM   #6
BWS1982
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PB4, I totally agree with you there. Many people told me I may have pushed myself too hard with weights and made myself prone to my joint issues, when what I knew and the dr's told me was that Crohns has been doing it. I never felt better than when I was always working out, mentally and physically. I always tell people that your bone density and tensil strength is increased, not brought down, by heavy lifting. It's like walking in bare feet all the time, your soles will get calouses to adapt, not become more sensitive.

I just wish I wasn't so battered from this flare to do much of anything.
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10-22-2008, 09:04 PM   #7
pb4
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Everyone should try and find some form of exercise they can tolerate even during flares, aquasizing, pilates and there are many forms of yoga and don't be fooled by the word yoga, there are some forms of yoga that would make grown men cry because they are so tough to do from what I've heard...something is always better than nothing, even walking on a treadmill at home for 1/2 hour every day or riding a stationary bike.

10-22-2008, 09:19 PM   #8
fenway1971
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I'm a true believer in exercise. I started working out with trainer a year ago. Noticed vast improvement in energy levels and cholestorol (from 200 to 165 after 6 mos of working out).

During most recent flare, I didn't go to gym. Felt too fatigued. Then, went on Prednisone and felt to wiry.

Finally, as I've gotten used to steroids, went back today and feel better about myself. Healthy body, healthy mind, healty crohns.
10-22-2008, 09:58 PM   #9
BWS1982
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I wish I had a healthy Crohns.
10-22-2008, 10:52 PM   #10
pb4
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I know it's hard BWS,

Even when I was going 30 times a day I still made sure to ride the stationary bike for 1/2 an hour each day and it really did help...We invested in some used equipment, the more expensive ones like the stationary bike (we paid 200.00 for it used and it's worth over a grand brand new) the wieder gym, was worth almost 2000 brand new and we got a used one for 400.00, dumbells, jumprope, mini trampoline were all purchased at walmart so it wasn't expensive, you don't have to get everthing all at once, just start with a few essentials and go from there, if you have room in your house that is, and it sure beats the cost and inconvenience of going to a gym.

Or even just some stretching daily, yoga type moves, pilates is an inexpensive investment too.

10-22-2008, 11:23 PM   #11
Jeff D.
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I agree with you guys on this 100%. This is why for years I have been trying to figure a way out to test Crohn's patients and how they do with exercise. I want to ask my GI to ask some of his patients, some in remission and some that are not, to do an exercise experiment. I want to try and get my school gym to sponsor it by letting them go for free. If I can remember I am going to ask my CPR/First Aid teacher who is an athletic trainer at school to help me get in touch with the right people. It may have to wait a semester or next year but within the next two years I am hoping to have this experiment go underway. I want to get a sample of 50 patients, 25 in remission and 25 in a mild flare. The reason I want to get 25 in a mild flare is that I want to see how exercise may help those who are in a flare and have permission from their GI to do it of course. I don't want anyone on prednisone have a tendon tear off from their body. If they get worse and show no signs of getting better within a week, because many people will feel worse at first and get better after a few days, then they will be immediately dropped from the experiment as I don't want anyone to get hurt. I will put together with the help of my GI and those of his practice as well as teachers from school to help me get this underway. I was wondering if any of you guys would be able to post any ideas. Maybe I should make a new thread with this question so more people can see but that will have to wait for tomorrow. I'm just looking for some suggestions. Thanks I'll post a new thread for this tomorrow but as I started typing this I have gone too far to stop now and make a new thread and I have to go to bed now. Good night and thanks.
10-22-2008, 11:34 PM   #12
Isla
 
Well you have to have a theory or inkling at what TYPE of exercise would help. Yoga and cardio seems fine for me - but when I go for my walks it makes me feel worse, intestinally, at least half the time if not more, but it doesn't cause a flare or anything so I still do it. I am not sure why it bothers that whole system - but that is why I am assuming you have something specific in mind.

Exercising also did not prevent a flare caused from stress, but then again I haven't been exercising for that long and currently can't because of my stupid foot. Shrug.
10-23-2008, 12:37 AM   #13
pb4
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Hi Jeff,

There have been studies regarding crohn's and exercise, here's a link to the CCFA for starters...

http://www.ccfa.org/reuters/excercise

http://www.remicade.com/remicade/cro..._exercise.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17066157

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/search...ize=20&index=3



Last edited by pb4; 10-23-2008 at 12:43 AM.
10-24-2008, 03:54 PM   #14
Loveless
 
I really does help. I always run, run my bike, take my dog for a walk,and play sports.
10-24-2008, 05:38 PM   #15
RHOV
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Jeff, that would be the coolest project EVER! I really hope you get to do something like that!
10-26-2008, 09:50 PM   #16
Jeff D.
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Well I was going to write a new thread a few days ago but I have decided to do some research instead because I know you guys will have some questions for me and I want to be able to answer every question that you guys can throw at me without having to look it up. The briefing of it is that I'm going to use exercise to help me test how ACE affects the body. I'm going to come back in a bit with everything I find out and for questions. The exercise I will be using to test will vary as time goes on. It will start with walking and end with lifting as they progress. I have decided I will not be a part of the test and will just exercise on my own because as the test goes on and I find out what comes out of the blood tests I don't want to give away to anyone what the results are.
10-26-2008, 10:03 PM   #17
hippie4lyfe
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I wish i had the energy to goto the gym
11-07-2008, 09:38 PM   #18
My Tummy Hurts
 
I wish I had the energy too.... I am always way too exhausted to even think about it. :-( And I know I am way out of shape because of it.
11-13-2008, 01:34 AM   #19
jessev
 
Hmm this is an interesting thread because I am coming from the other side of the fence and would have to say that exercise could have made me worse.

I have never been an over weight person but have had a few battles with Pred in the past couple of years that had made me a bit chubby, so being relatively healthy and no longer flarring, I decided to hit the gym pretty hard (this was about 3 months ago) I must admit it has changed my life for the better, I lost weight pretty quickly because I was doing hard cardio 5 times a week and weights and every other day, I felt great both mentally and physically ...

This was until about 3 weeks ago until I start flaring pretty badly, so I went to my GI and told him that I had been doing a lot of exercising and also eating more healthy things .. He told me my flare was most likely contributed to the heavy exercising and that it was to much for my body which makes sense as your body is under alot of stress when doing hard cardio, I agree with the comments that exercise makes you feel better but I believe this only a short lived effect I think long term hard cardio can be a bit to much for some people who have active crohns/ Uc.

I am still doing weights, but have cut out my cardio almost completely ( I go for a run once to twice a week) and I have noticed I dont feel as worse as I was.. Its killing me not being able to do as much.

I might be wrong, anything could have set me off either way Im giving the cardio a break at least while im flaring.

Jesse
11-13-2008, 03:37 AM   #20
BWS1982
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Intense exercise evokes a repair on the body, but until it's repaired or healed, it is in a state not unlike an immuno-supression. I've read about how during the recovery of intense workouts your body is very susceptible to illness, similarly to when you are out in the cold too long and your body is vulnerable from the extra work to keep you warm. Stress hormones are released from intense exercise, and it has to do with that in a large way, but with Crohns, the immune system and these changes may be unproductive to maintaining remission or reduced symptoms.

I'll have to dig around to find the article on it, one was in a fitness magazine, and talked about immunity being "shorted" temporarily while recovering from intense bouts of exercise, but in the long run, benefitting from it from the health boosts. It's not that different if you think about it, as when you damage the muscles with microtears from lifting weights. You are temporarily weaker in your major skeletal muscles while healing (and possibly sore as hell), but later, you are (with proper rest and diet) stronger and better than before. Microtears are essentially inflammatory responses, as well....


Edit: I can't find it on the site that I thought had it, it may be there, but it's not easy to find just now....so a google pulled this up, hope this helps everyone, it's accurate as far as I can tell:

http://www.time-to-run.com/physiolog...ise-immune.htm

The immune system consists of many specialist cells that protect the body against attack from bacteria, viruses and fungi that cause illness and infection. Although at rest an athlete's immune system is similar to an sedentary individual, a strenuous bout of exercise or prolonged periods of heavy training is suggested to produce an 'open window' of altered immunity. This may last anywhere between 3 - 72 hours, and consequently increase an individual's risk of contracting an infection. Moreover, a serious athlete will undertake repeated bouts of training throughout this period, which serves to further stress the immune system when already in a weakened state.

Last edited by BWS1982; 11-13-2008 at 03:45 AM.
11-13-2008, 02:12 PM   #21
pb4
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Depending on the flare should dictate your exercise but some is always better than none. If you're flare is severe then lighter exercise is best, pilates, aquasize ect...no offense but common sense must prevail when it comes to the severity of ones flare and the extent of their workouts.

11-13-2008, 03:06 PM   #22
BWS1982
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Well, the odd thing is he said he was no longer flaring, but perhaps he really was, or he hadn't waited long enough to ease into things.
11-13-2008, 05:40 PM   #23
jessev
 
pb4 said:
Depending on the flare should dictate your exercise but some is always better than none. If you're flare is severe then lighter exercise is best, pilates, aquasize ect...no offense but common sense must prevail when it comes to the severity of ones flare and the extent of their workouts.

I said that I was healthy when I started the exercise, I had not been flaring for almost a year (which is the longest I had been remission since diagnosed) then once I started the fairly hard exercise regeem I begin seeing symptoms.

It could also be because I changed my diet to less saturated fats, more salads, nuts and an increase in protein, which I know effects some people.
11-13-2008, 11:26 PM   #24
pb4
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Gee, sorry I missed that you mentioned you were healthy at the time when engaging in strenuous exercise and then started to bleed...chalk it up to the nature of the beast, exercise is important obviously, now you know you have to limit yourself (healthy or not), it's different for everyone...I was doing pretty strenuous exercise while flaring and along with the naturals I use, I got better thankfully rather than worse....and yes, diet could certainly have played a factor, I wouldn't be surprised if in your case it may have been a huge factor.

11-14-2008, 12:49 AM   #25
jessev
 
... didnt mean to come across as annoyed.

The only problem I have is when I do cardio I cant go half paced like some people, I have to go hard for at least the first 20 minutes..

Ive stopped that diet for now anyway and noticed the symptoms are slightly better but still a lot of blood and diarrhea hopefully after I get my infliximab (remicade) ill be back into the swing of things.

Jesse
11-14-2008, 01:27 AM   #26
pb4
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Only 20 minutes of cardio is sufficient, why not stop at that? Then you can go hard at it for those 20 min and then hit the weights, that's what I do...weights also burn calories just as cardio and with the added bonus of building/toning muscles.

My GI (Dr. Remo Panaccione) told me to take fibre supplements daily and indefinitely, it's been 5 yrs and I haven't missed a day and it's the best advice I've ever gotten from a GI in my entire 17 yrs of having crohn's...as long as you're not a stricturing crohnie or have issues with blockages you might want to consider giving it a try. It aids with D or C...probiotics is essential for us IBDers as well since we're prone to bacterial over-growth and plenty of studies indicate the necessity of probioitcs on a daily basis to help restore the balance of the gut flora.

11-14-2008, 01:53 AM   #27
BWS1982
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Just to note, you burn more calories (if one is focused on that) if you do weights first, and you will also be more energized, if you do weights first, in case your focus is on building muscle. In either case, doing the lifting, then doing cardio, will be a bit more of an advantage. You have a full reserve of glycogen if you hit the weights first, which is one benefit for building muscle. On the other hand, your metabolism will usually show a larger spike with weights first, at least according to the studies that keep coming out testing the 2, which makes sense, because your metabolism gets a bigger spike from weights than it does from cardio.
11-14-2008, 02:06 PM   #28
pb4
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Hmmm, in all my yrs I've never heard that...but I prefer to do my cardio first since it's a great way to warm up before doing actual weight lifting...and I also will do a little cardio in between lifting as well and this has always worked best for me...actually I couldn't even imagine doing weights first because cardio really gets your heart pumping which is what aids with lifting weights afterwards...besides, I'm sure you would lose weight the same way regardless if you do weights first or not because afterall, it's not just working out that helps one lose weight, it's diet, if you eat junk and workout you won't have near the results compared to eating right and working out.

There are certain ways to lift weights depending on if you want to tone muscles or bulk muscles or even to lose weight as well.

11-14-2008, 02:08 PM   #29
katiesue1506
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but you can eat junk and work out and then its like not having ever eaten junk. That's my preferred way. I like food.
11-14-2008, 02:49 PM   #30
pb4
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LOL Katiesue,

If only it really worked that way, but in reality you won't get the full benefit of working out if you're putting junky fuel into your body, besides which we all know that junky food is the last thing our crohn's needs.

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