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Athlete, intense training, nutritional plan, stomach pain, stool in intestine

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my 15 year old daughter is a high caliber athlete, maintains intense training, and recently started a nutritional plan that calls for 6 servings of veggies a day and a gram of protein per pound of body weight. She was having bad stomach pain so we took her to see her pediatrician and discovered her intestine was filled with stool. This is the 2nd time this has happened, but this time she was having regular bowl movements. My question is: What are some of the reasons she could be getting so backed up when she takes such great care of herself, and are there tests to take to see if she is allergic to some of the proteins she is loading up on?
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later

Thanks for writing to us.

The amount of protein that is to be consumed is highly individualized and dependent on the type and duration of the exercise as well as the physiological make up of the individual. It depends on the age, gender, body size and type of exercises that you do like they are different for aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

Body can only metabolize 5-9 grams of protein per hour and excessive daily intake can cause weight gain and various other problems. If she is taking protein powders in her diet then it might be the cause of such a back up of stool. The tests to diagnose the protein allergy can be advised by her pediatrician depending on the food stuffs she is taking. The protein taken should come from the food items which do contain roughage to some extent.

She can take some simple measures in addition to the fiber XXXXXXX diet to have relief upto some extent-
1. Drink a glass of water before going to toilet. This will help in the increasing the bowel movements.
2.Take probiotics- lactobacillus acidophillus spores.
3. Do acupressure-The point is at the highest spot of the muscle between the thumb and index finger when they are brought close together. With your thumb or middle finger at a 90 degree angle to the skin, apply gradually increasing pressure. Hold for three minutes. The pressure should not be painful or uncomfortable.
4.Take magnesium supplements or magnesium XXXXXXX foods like XXXXXXX leafy vegetables.
5.Don't put off the urge. The longer you delay when the urge to have a bowel movement strikes, the more water gets absorbed from stool and the harder it becomes to have a bowel movement.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Athlete, intense training, nutritional plan, stomach pain, stool in intestine 1 hour later
Thanks Dr. Tayal,
She does take some protein powder, but not excessive amounts. Is there research that I can read about the positive and negative effects of protein powders? Also, does the 5-9 grams of protein that your body can digest in an hour happen throughout the 24 hours of the day, or just in hours you are active?Are you a believer in acupuncture as well as acupressure?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 12 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.

The protein powders might be associated with incomplete evacuation she is experiencing. Ask her to stop taking the powder for a few days and see the effect.
There is a lot of material regarding protein intake during exercises available on internet.
The protein digestion happens whole throughout the day. It is the mean average and is not absolute for all the individuals.

I do believe in acupressure but not in acupuncture. The simple measures i have advised might help her.

Sincerely hope it will help.

Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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