Bowel incontinence after starting exercise/pre/probiotics

Posted by jimmoran87 @jimmoran87, Sep 26, 2023

Today I had experienced slight bowel incontinence for the first time in my life.

I recently started 4 days ago working out my abdomen and added pre biotics and a certain pro biotic I have taken before. I have had a sleuth of abdominal pain/nausea issues been dealing with (check my former post) and am only in my late 20s.

I had just finished working out a half an hour prior and finished eating a large meal after another large meal last night (as I eat much more when getting physical activity).

My stool/and issues I noted in my prior post have improved dramatically these last 4 days since starting. I am having healthy looking stool again for the first time in years. However I obviously can’t be dealing with what I dealt with today. I definitely have more moisture in my stool, though still formed. However today this extra moisture quite literally slipped out of me.

My questions are, do you think this could be from potentially weakening my anal sphincter muscles post workout as I target my lower core? Or do you think maybe I should cut down on the pre/probiotics to maybe every other day? Or is this something anyone else has dealt with when adjusting to new biotics?

It’s just very strange as I’ve had horrible diarrhea before in my life but never had incontinence.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Digestive Health Support Group.

I suffer from IBS-D and pre-biotics are a definite no-no


I was diagnosed with lymphocytic colitis & I have this problem when I eat sugar or sometimes wheat flour. It’s unnerving.


Hi @jimmoran87

Consider looking at Zoe nutritional.
I found it very helpful for overcoming similar issues, although not as extreme as yours that you described in your previous post and this post. I have learned that it takes a very long time to rebuild a healthy gut microbiome. I have learned to stay away from heartburn medications. I cut out all dairy. The problem is what works for me may not work for another. That is what Zoe nutritional focuses on . We are individuals and I think you know that.

Here are my best wishes that you make meaningful progress and have the patience to find a solution that works for you.


What a challenging time you had or perhaps are still having. I used to be able to use probiotics and now cannot. Since you saw the problem so soon after adding the probiotics and prebiotics, it is wise to back off of those. Sometimes those aggravate certain conditions.

My own gut journey has been long and you are young still, so please take the time to make sure you get a proper diagnosis. My own niece is 30 years old and on her own journey. She's busy and lives far away but your story reminds me to reach out to share with her my latest findings in case they can help her. Meanwhile, I'll share with you in case it can help.

Start with your GP if you have not already, but make sure you list any and all of your symptoms before you see them. Your GP likely doesn't have the training or experience to problem solve this; however, they can refer you to a gastroenterologist. At the same time, do not rely solely on the gastroenterologist. They often do not have this kind of training, so rather than wait, start asking everyone in your network if they have a good gastroenterologist they can recommend. If you've already worked with a gastroenterologist, do not give up. Find one more specialized whose training is more current on the latest discoveries for the gut.

Additionally, get yourself a nutritionist that specializes in solving gut issues. Mine actually is the one that noticed I had a histamine intolerance issue going on at the same time as my SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). Things like SIBO can be tested with a 3-hr breath test but you want the right test -- one that looks at 2 different gases to give your doctor confidence that this is what you have. I'm not saying this is what you have. Just sharing my experience so you'll understand that this can take time to puzzle out. While it is wise to modify your diet to reduce symptoms and find ways to heal your gut -- I do not recommend trying to do this without specialized help. As sometimes your medical team means well but they don't have all the tools/knowledge they need to help you. Whatever you experience, trust that your experiences are real and do not let them just point the finger at stress as the problem. I have found stress aggravates conditions and prevents our bodies from healing so definitely do whatever you can to resolve any problems you have outside of your gut issues; but above all, hold on to hope and persevere to find your answers. I think it's a good sign that you are in the Mayo Clinic blog searching for answers.

In case you find relating to the stories of others helpful, my problems started requiring my attention in my mid 20's when I went back to college for civil engineering. For years I had relied on Diet Cokes to get through my work days (since I didn't drink coffee). Started having GERD like problems during a particularly stressful time in my life, throat specialist recommended a Barium Swallow. Then, a gastroenterologist recommended an endoscopy/colonoscopy; but they found only an acid reflux problem. Prescribed a proton inhibitor. Years later, a memory surfaced of the caution from the gastroenterologist as I was coming out of anesthesia from that endo/colonoscopy -- he had warned me in my groggy state "to be careful because" he was "noticing these types of problems worked there way down a gut system."

Subsequent advice I received years later was that I was "probably" lactaid intolerant. But they only said that after they had already delayed investigating more than structural GI issues again -- meaning after they put me through another endoscopy/colonoscopy. So I took lactaid enzymes when I ate dairy but then the problem did not resolve. Found a new gastroenterologist but while waiting for an appointment, I had to do my own research to figure out what I likely had. Thankfully, he was a God send and listened when I told him it sounded like I had SIBO. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

If you are still reading -- again, while you wait for an appointment with a knowledgeable gastroenterologist, I would stop taking the pre and probiotics for a while. They do not work for everyone's condition; for instance, those of us struggling with reoccurring Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. I can no longer even eat foods that have moderate to high histamine levels. Unfortunately, we're still in early stages of understanding when pre and probiotics should be recommended. As was said above, every body is individual.

If you continue to have problems, I highly recommend that you do an elimination diet and keep researching. You could try a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, but keep one foot in the traditional medicine field to make sure you aren't overlooking problems. For instance, I learned via a video interview with Dr. Mark Pimental (researcher/gastroenterologist with Cedars Sinai) that he has found SIBO patients even after treatment and supposed recovery from the SIBO that do not do well on probiotics, which makes sense since they are also bacteria and adding more bacteria producing gases (even if we consider them the good bacteria).

Please take your gut health seriously and not only symptomatic. I wish I had when I was your age. Now I break out in hives if I have foods that have a moderate to high histamine level. If you haven't had a SIBO breath test yet, you can have a gastroenterologist order it for you. Sorry this is so long but have to dash to work and I was supposed to be doing a training class this morning instead of this. 😂 I am ADHD amongst all of this. It only got worse with age and my gut issues. Take good care of yourself. Wish you well.


Jim, if you’re experiencing leaking following or during exercise try not to eat large meals before you plan on it. Maybe the quantity of food you’re consuming is causing some of the issue? I commented on your other post too and you need to get yourself healthy sooner than later. By the way how tall are you and is your body weight proportional to your height? I’m not talking BMI.

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