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Navigating Exercise-Induced Gastrointestinal Syndrome

As a Nutritionist or Dietitian, regardless of whether you’re working mostly with developing athletes, fitness enthusiasts, or seasoned masters it’s highly probable that you’ll frequently meet clients who are grappling with Exercise-Induced Gastrointestinal Syndrome (EIGS). Research indicates that a striking 30-50% of endurance athletes face gut issues!

The bothersome cramps, bloating, pain, diarrhea, and nausea don’t just affect workouts; they can also hinder a person’s sporting performance, mood, mental health, and may even increase the risk of under-fueling. By delving into the complex relationship of the gut-brain axis, we gain insight into how it impacts EIGS and how we can assist clients in better managing these symptoms.

The Gut-Brain Axis and Exercise-Induced GI Syndrome

The gut-brain axis serves as a communication highway between the diverse ecosystem that makes up the gut microbiome, and the central nervous system. During intense exercise, this relationship becomes crucial, as our gut plays a major role in modulating key body(*or host) functions which communicate with the brain. We discuss this in more detail below.

Microbiome Influence on Exercise-Induced Gastrointestinal Woes

  • Immune System Modulation: Maintaining a healthy microbiome plays a key role in regulating the immune response, dysbiosis may increase susceptibility to exercise-induced GI symptoms, especially if traveling in foreign regions.
  • Inflammation: Dysbiosis in the gut microbiome may exacerbate inflammation, contributing to increased GI distress during or after exercise.
  • Gut Permeability: Changes in microbial composition can impact gut barrier function, influencing GI permeability that can contribute to risk of GI symptoms.
  • Neurotransmitter Production: Microbial involvement in neurotransmitter production such as creation of serotonin may affect mood and stress responses, influencing the gut-brain axis and exacerbating GI symptoms.
  • Fermentation and Gas Production: Microbial fermentation can lead to bloating and discomfort, especially during exercise when blood flow shifts away from the digestive system. This is where dietary modification can become key in moderating risk of EIGS.

Unlocking Solutions: Compeat Academy’s Exclusive EIGS Course

Join our community to transform your ‘gut instincts’ into a powerhouse of ‘gut knowledge.’ This comprehensive course delves into the science behind EIGS, providing practical strategies to troubleshoot with your clients.

Key Features of the EIGS Course:

  • Scientific insights into the pathophysiology and mechanisms of EIGS.
  • Practical guidance on troubleshooting EIG symptoms with clients.
  • Exclusive Q&A session with Stephanie Gaskell, highlighting the nuances of managing exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome.