IBS weight gain can occur for a variety of different reasons. Equally in some sufferers, the opposite can occur with weight loss.
So how might you gain excess pounds?
It doesn’t seem right that you should develop issues with your weight, but some sufferers do. This is likely due to:
1) Diet – A diet high in carbohydrates which tends to occur in people with diarrhea and in those with constipation when bloating and wind are issues.
2) Reduced exercise – When you are feeling unwell, you are less inclined to take regular exercise to burn off those calories that you are having.
3) Snacking – this can be an issue. Sugar craving is not an uncommon problem in sufferers, that feeling of shakiness, hunger and dizziness that goes with the feeling normally experienced by low blood sugar.
4) OCP or oral contraceptive pill – women are often taking the pill, trying to improve their worsening menstrual cramps which can occur with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is a well-known fact that the pill promotes obesity.
5) PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – a condition that can cause period irregularities, body hair, greasy skin, acne, infertility and obesity.
One study of 36 women with PCOS showed that almost half of them had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (1)
Whilst in IBS weight gain is more common, loss can sometimes occur too. Why should this be?
Well, when you have a flare, you don’t want to eat and as a consequence, you can start losing the pounds.
Nausea is a symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and when you experience this, you really don’t want to eat. If this is a very troublesome symptom, your weight can become an issue.
If you have been losing the pounds with no apparent cause, you should see your doctor to have this checked.
Conditions such as celiac disease and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
New onset of diabetes can present with weight loss. As mentioned, IBS is more common in PCOS and type 2 diabetes can occur in this condition.
Obesity on the other hand is more difficult to deal with and has to have elements of will power as well as looking at your levels of exercise and diet too.
As mentioned, snacking can be an issue and if this applies to you, trying to replace high calorie snacks with lower calorie options such as fruits and rice cakes may help.
Trying not to take too much carbohydrate in your diet by the use of protein foods as well as soluble fiber may help too.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Is Associated With An Increased Prevalence Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Mathur, R et al. Dig Dis Sci 2010 Apr;55(4):1085-9.