What is the Link Between IBS for Weight Gain or Losing?

By: Researcher Taymur

Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that regularly causes an individual to experience uncomfortable symptoms of gastrointestinal (GI). Which may include the following:

IBS symptoms can vary from mild to severe. The difference between IBS and other conditions that cause similar symptoms like ulcerative colitis and the disease of Crohn is that IBS does not damage the large intestine.

Unlike ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, it is not typical to have weight loss due to IBS. And, since IBS can affect a person’s type of food, it can lead to weight changes. You should take steps to maintain a healthy weight and function well with IBS.

Understanding IBS Impact on Weight

IBS is one of the most common disorders affecting the functioning of the GI system, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Estimates vary, but they say that symptoms synonymous with IBS have been reported by as many as 20 percent of adults in the United States.

It is unclear the precise causes of IBS. For instance, some people with IBS experience increased diarrhea bouts because their intestines appear to move food through faster than usual. In others, constipation is associated with their IBS symptoms due to an intestine that travels slower than normal.

IBS in some individuals can result in weight loss or gain. Some people may experience severe cramping or discomfort in the stomach, which may cause them to consume less calories than they would normally. Others may adhere to certain foods containing more calories than necessary.

Recent research Trusted Source has shown that the connection between overweight and IBS may also exist. One theory is that in the digestive tract there are certain hormones that regulate weight. These five known hormones appear to be either higher or lower than expected in people with IBS at abnormal levels. These changes in the levels of intestinal hormones can affect weight management, but there is still more research needed.

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When you have IBS, you may not always be able to control your symptoms, but there are some ways to help you keep your weight healthy, including eating a healthy diet that includes fiber.

Understanding IBS Impact by Diet

It is recommended that you eat a diet that involves eating several small meals over large meals when you have IBS. Besides this thumb law, you can also benefit from a diet low in fat and high in whole grain carbohydrates if you have IBS.

Most people with IBS are unwilling to eat foods that have fiber for fear of causing the symptoms to worsen. But you don’t have to completely avoid the yarn. You must add fiber to your diet gradually, thus reducing the likelihood of gas and bloating. To reduce symptoms, try to add between 2 and 3 grams of fiber per day while consuming plenty of water. Around 22 and 34 grams are an acceptable daily amount of fiber for adults.

You may want to avoid foods known to exacerbate IBS in some people, such foods often tend to lead to weight gain. It includes:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Foods with significant amounts of artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol
  • Foods known to cause gas such as beans and cabbages
  • Full-milk high-fat foods
  • Fried foods

The doctor may also recommend that you keep a diary of the foods you eat to see if you can find those that appear to aggravate the symptoms.

Understanding IBS and FODMAP diet

A low FODMAP diet is another option for those interested in maintaining a healthy weight and minimizing IBS symptoms. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols. The sugars present in these foods appear to be more difficult to digest for people with IBS, and symptoms often get worse.

The diet includes avoiding or restricting high-in-FODMAP foods, including:

  • fructans contained in rice, cabbage, and garlic
  • fructose found in bananas, blackberries, and pears
  • galactans found in peas, lentils, and soybeans
  • lactose from dairy products
  • alcohol sugar polyols such as sorbitol and fruits such as peaches and feathers

Carefully reading food labels and avoiding these ingredients can help you reduce the risk of having IBS-related stomach symptoms.

Examples of low FODMAP foods that are IBS-friendly include:

  • fruits including bananas, blueberries, grapes, oranges, pineapples, and strawberries
  • lactose-free milk
  • lean protein including chicken, eggs, pork, and turkey
  • vegetables including carrots, cucumbers, green beans, cabbage, kale, potatoes, squash,
  • tomatoes sweeteners including brown sugar, cane sugar, and maple syrup.

Those on a low FODMAP diet should remove some of the lower FODMAP foods and add them back slowly to decide which foods can be safely consumed.


Loss of weight and gain can be an IBS side effect. There are nutritional approaches, however, that can help you reduce the symptoms while maintaining a healthy weight.

Talk to your doctor about other potential causes of your weight loss or gain if a dietary approach does not help your symptoms.

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