Running after a colectomy

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum, and have a pretty specific query I'm hoping someone on here just might be able to help me with.

I had ulcerative colitis for 9 years, resulting in having to have my colon removed in 2008. As a result I digest my food very quickly, although I take meds to slow it down slightly.

I have started running recently and I'm trying to build up my time (currently running about 6k) but I'm finding that a times, especially when I run in the mornings, that I'm just losing all my energy after about 3k. I feel very 'shaky' as though i might have low blood sugar, and that I have no strength in my legs, and I don't tend to run more than about 4k in total. When I run in the morning I eat breakfast - usually porridge with banana and honey - then run after about an hour. Should this normally keep someone fuelled for longer than a few k?

I was hoing that there might be someone on here who has had a similar experience (a really long shot I know!) or else perhaps knows someone who has. If not, any advice
would be welcome.

Thank you


  • Hi, thanks for the reply! I agree, very few people understand the nature of UC and what it means for people who have it.

    My consultant is excellent and very keen on promoting an active 'normal' life. I am due to see him in January and was planning on asking him for some advice then. I havent been running long so haven't asked previousy.
    I don't have any blood tests with regard to my lack of colon, although I do have another condition - a liver disease called PSC - which is seemingly linked to longer term UC suffering. My blood tests for that are a little raised at the moment which are being checked out, but in general I feel very fit and well - much better than I have for some time.
    Anyway, thanks again for your reply image and I will see how I get on with the consultant in January.
  • Haha, no worries. I will send you a PM about that. I'm sure not many others would want to hear the details of that!
  • Hi Shulie

    I have Crohns and have had half my colon removed so sort of understand your problem. Do you have regular B12 jabs? Once I got proper treatment I felt great but was so fatigued I couldn't get out of bed some days. B12 can only be absorbed by the ileum so if you haven't got one you'll get progressively tired as your body uses up it's own stores. You'll have to ask your GP to do a blood test for it.

    Of course if you're having them already then I haven't got a clue what to suggest!
  • Hi Sunluvva

    Thanks for your response image
    No, I've never had, or even been offered a b12 jab. I do have my ileum, just none of my colon; however I'll certainly ask about this when I see my consultant. If he's happy to try it maybe it'll make all the difference!
    As you've lost part of your colon do you find certain foods help you with fuelling up for runs?

  • Hello there

    I had a total colectomy in 1994 due to ulcerative colitis. up until 1992 I had been in the Army and ran as required but never liked it.

    Recently maybe 6 months ago I started running and although I run very slow I am up to 9 miles - was up a bit higher but broke my foot in April from wearing finger shoes and not working up the miles slow enough... They are now in the closet.

    I have committed to running the Portland marathon in October so I am very cautious of any further setbacks. With that said I have done quite a bit of research and can tell you the following

    1. AsI am sure you know people without colons get dehydrated faster. Consider electrolytes and running earlier before it gets warm.

    2. Vitamin b12 can be low and there is a simple blood test. Or you can just cheat like me and eat a lot of leafy greens and take Costco super vitamin b just to make sure. I have never been low on a blood test.

    3. You may want to check out the crones and colitis association. They even have a running team so likely have a lot of advice.

    4. Don't give up. Slow and steady is my best advice. I started out with a goal in January to be able to run 3 miles by the end of the year and now am signed up for a marathon how cool is that!
  • Hi can you tell you experience after these years? I had a total colectomy too 5 years ago and I run up to half marathon. Im thinking of training to a marathon in october but the hydration issue really worries me... it's very difficult to drink while running and the distance is huge...

    Can you let me know how you do?

  • I love seeing this. I had a total colectomy almost 5 years ago. Two years post surgery I built up to a 10K race. Now, I am up to 12 miles but I do feel poor in a way I never did before the surgery after I run. I am worried I am not giving my body what it needs while out. I like the idea of b-12 and I just bought a water bottle I will put Gatorade in and try to take a drink every few miles. I feel doctors are very unsure what to suggest to patients who have had this surgery and want to run.
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