Is There a Connection between Weight and Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

by editor on July 25, 2015

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and weight

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may not be a life threatening condition but it can cause a lot of discomfort, particularly if you experience the symptoms associated with it. The symptoms include cramping, constipation and constant pain. However, these symptoms are more or less manageable but not many people are aware of the fact that your weight might fluctuate due to this condition. It is only when you step on the scale that you will realize your weight is changing and the only probable cause might escape your attention, i.e., IBS.

If you are wondering if there is really a connection between your weight and IBS, the answer is yes. The issue is that the condition can cause weight gain and weight loss. This is the reason why most people get confused when dealing with weight changes as a result of IBS. The causes for this are quite clear: when you experience bloating and pain, you eat less and as a result lose weight. On the other hand, you start eating more when the symptoms ease up, which leads to an increase in weight. Frequent changes in your weight level can cause a number of health problems which is why it is important to seek medical help.

Let’s take a look at both scenarios:

Weight Loss
As mentioned above, the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome will cause you to eat less. When your stomach feels cramped, you will not be able to eat as much food as you usually do. Hence, you will start eating less and a calorie deficit will be created, which leads to weight loss. The issue is that the symptoms, like diarrhea, will cause loss of nutrition as well. If you lose excess weight accompanied by the symptoms of IBS, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.

Weight Gain
Over time, the symptoms of IBS will suppress your appetite. You will feel bloated all the time and more significantly, your body will start retaining more water. As a result, you will gain weight. Not to mention, when the symptoms ease up, you will regain your appetite and start eating as you normally did before. Hence, your weight will increase.

Regardless of whether you gain or lose weight as a result of irritable bowel syndrome, it can cause health problems in the long run. This is why you should add fiber to your diet and take the necessary medication to deal with the condition and the weight problems will subside.

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