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March 12, 1982

Food Allergy in Runners

JAMA. 1982;247(10):1406. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320350020011

To the Editor.—  I refer to the informative article by Richard Fogoros, MD, on the proposed mechanisms explaining gastrointestinal disturbances during running (1980; 243:1743). George A. Sheehan, MD,1 described the case of a runner who experienced abdominal pain with occasional bloody diarrhea every time he ran competitive, long-distance races. During his normal day, and when not running competitive races, the athlete had no such symptoms. By eliminating gluten from his diet, the athlete cured his racing-induced gastrointestinal symptoms.I have recently encountered a runner who had, for seven years, suffered from the identical symptoms reported by Sheehan and who had become so incapacitated that he had considered forgoing all forms of competitive distance running. By eliminating all dairy products from his diet, he has, like Sheehan's athlete, achieved a complete symptomatic cure.Physicians faced with athletes in whom this condition develops would do well to consider the possibility of