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Gastrointestinal symptoms in elite athletes: time to recognise the problem?
  1. Jamie N Pugh1,
  2. Robert Fearn2,
  3. James P Morton1,
  4. Graeme L Close1
  1. 1Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Graeme L Close, Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 5UA, UK; g.l.close{at}ljmu.ac.uk

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Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms can arise from a number of physiological and pathological processes including inflammation, infection and malignancy.1 Such symptoms are a common cause for referral to secondary care. They impair quality of life, even in the absence of organic pathology.2

GI symptoms are common in endurance sports, particularly running. Prevalence of symptoms varies depending on the event, assessment tool used and what is classified as a ‘symptom’ in each study, but between 30% and 90% of individuals have reported GI symptoms.3 However, there has been less research in examining the prevalence of such symptoms in other sports, particularly at elite level. This is surprising given that many of the factors associated with GI damage and symptoms are commonly …

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