IBS and Weight Gain - What you Need to know

can IBS cause weight gain

There’s nothing fun about living life with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Not only can IBS cause weight gain (sometimes significant weight gain, at that), but it’s also going to make you feel bloated, make you feel sluggish and fatigued, because you to visit the bathroom a lot more frequently than you’re likely comfortable with – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Worse, getting IBS under control can feel like a real uphill battle as well. It isn’t all that uncommon to feel like you are a little bit behind the eight ball when it comes to keeping your IBS in check.

Finding a way to tackle IBS and weight gain issues is a big piece of the puzzle to helping you regain a little bit of your health and happiness. Let’s dig right in. 

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is defined as a medical condition that causes individuals to experience and contend with gastrointestinal issues on a pretty much everyday basis.

These issues can include (but certainly are not limited to):

  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea and Nausea
  • Gas and Stomach Discomfort
  • Stomach Cramps and Pain

… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

It’s also not uncommon for IBS to range from something rather mild that can be ignored for the most part to issues so severe that you have to know where the bathroom is located everywhere you go, and carefully plot your course to the bathroom in the event of an emergency situation every time you find yourself somewhere new.

IBS and weight loss

Interestingly enough, unlike other gastrointestinal issues (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) it’s very unlikely that you’re going to contend with IBS and weight loss issues as opposed to weight gain problems.

Gaining Weight with IBS

According to information published by the Cleveland Clinic, IBS is one of the most commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal disorders that attacks the normal function of our GI tract. As many as 20% of all adults in the United States today have reported living with symptoms linked to IBS on a constant or chronic basis.

And while the root causes that trigger IBS remain unknown for the most part researchers have discovered that it’s a lot less likely to lose weight when you are dealing with IBS and instead much more likely to put on weight – which is the reverse of what usually happens when you’re gastrointestinal tract is under attack.

New research indicates that there is a very close link between the hormones that regulate our weight being produced inside of our digestive tract. That means that when IBS is active and messing with normal gastrointestinal operations these hormones are triggered differently than they would have been while you are healthy.

This creates a lot more body fat, maintains body fat even the face of regular dieting and exercise, and makes biochemical changes throughout the body that can really make losing weight rather difficult.

Losing Weight with IBS

The best way to lose weight while living with IBS is to attack it from a daily diet standpoint.

For starters, you’ll want to try and eat a little more fiber than you likely are already. People with IBS can be a little gun shy about adding extra fiber to their diet just because it may cause more gas and worsened IBS symptoms.

But as long as you slowly add between 2 g and 3 g of fiber to your daily diet (with plenty of water consumed at the same time) you should be able to minimize gas and bloating while at the same time improve your digestive capabilities – helping you lose weight by shuttling waste out of your body more efficiently.

It’s also a good idea to cut back on your overall caloric intake when you’re trying to lose weight with IBS.

IBS and weight gain

Diet Plans for IBS Sufferers

Higher protein, lower carbohydrate, and moderate dietary fat diets can work wonders on IBS. Something like the paleo diet has been described as the best weight loss diet for IBS sufferers.

You do want to make sure that you cut down the amount of dietary fat you’re taking with this dietary approach, however, as to much dietary fat on a daily basis can make your IBS symptoms even worse.

Fruit, lactose-free dairy products, lean proteins, and plenty of vegetables are the way to go. You’ll get all of the nutrients you need to fuel your body without adding any “IBS triggers” to your daily intake.

You’ll also be able to keep your calorie count low while still feeling full throughout the day, helping you increase your overall metabolic activity so that you melt fat around-the-clock.

At the end of the day, figuring out how to master IBS weight loss is always going to be a bit of a cat and mouse kind of game.

You’re going to have to try different foods, see how you react, and then try different options – or different quantities – over a couple of months to see what triggers the best weight loss results.

Can IBS cause weight gain?

You bet it can!

But armed with the inside information we highlighted above (and a little bit of tinkering with your daily diet and exercise routines) and you’ll never have to worry about any of that extra weight gain becoming permanent.

You’ll be able to melt it off faster than you ever thought possible all while still enjoying most of your favorite foods and snacks along the way!