Does IBS Cause Weight Loss and Weight Gain?

Does irritable bowel syndrome cause weight gain and weight loss? Yes, it does – but it is more likely to cause weight loss instead of weight gain. However in many cases, weight changes are not typical symptoms of spastic colon (another alternative name for IBS). Abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or alternating constipation & diarrhea are top leading signs for this kind of digestive /gastrointestinal problem.

In  people with irritable bowel syndrome, the risk of weight gain or loss may come from the trial process in finding the appropriate diet.

As well we know that doctors cannot give a single formula of diet that works for every patient. Therefore, most patients need to take a trial process of eliminating specific foods that may trigger the symptoms of their IBS.

What does irritable bowel syndrome feel like?

It is commonly characterized by abdominal discomfort and pain that occur due to a problem of the intestines (particularly a problem that affects the large intestine ‘often called colon’). The pain symptom can occur alone or also sometimes can be followed with other symptoms (such as diarrhea or constipation). Other symptoms that may occur are fullness /feeling of not completely emptied the bowel, mucus in stools, and bloating.

Symptoms that occur also can vary from patient to patient, but most of patients usually experience frequent mild symptoms. If you have IBS, there is chance for you to have bloating, fullness, and abdominal pain that have been present for at least three days a month (particularly for the last 3 months) – according to the National Institutes of Health.

Typically, the symptoms also often:

  1. Go away (reduced) after a bowel movement.
  2. Flare up if there is a change of your bowel movements (such as a change of how often you get the bowel movements).
  3. Furthermore, there is a chance for patients with this digestive problem to switch between diarrhea & constipation.

If the constipation occurs, you may have a hard time passing stool (you will need to strain more & feel more cramps) and decreased intensity of bowel movements. You may only release a small amount or even don’t release any stool in the bowel movement.

And for diarrhea symptom, the opposite occurs. You are more likely to have more frequent bowel movements with more watery stools, and you also often experience an urgent need (almost uncontrollable) to have a bowel movement.

For some patient, the symptoms can occur most of time, while others may get the worsening symptoms for a month or only a few weeks and then decrease for a while!

Does irritable bowel syndrome get worse with age?

The answer varies from person to person. Some patients report that their IBS gets better as they age, while others notice their problem gets worse with age.

Many statistics have confirmed that this digestive problem is more likely to occur for the first time before the age of 35 – according to NIDDIC (the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse). But this doesn’t conclude that this syndrome will get worse with age or vice versa.

Some experts think that the correlation between the progress of IBS and age is highly individualized. In other words, it may be closely dependent on what you eat and how do you manage the symptoms of your irritable bowel syndrome.

Once you find the right diet for your irritable bowel syndrome and you do it consistently with other helpful strategies (such as good stress management, regular exercise, or another complementary therapy if necessary), your digestive problem is more likely to get better over time. Consult more with your GP /doctor to get more advice and in-depth information about this issue!

The issues of weight loss and weight gain associated with IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome can isolate the large intestines. As a result, the tract of intestines can be affected. Based on this reason, you may think that IBS can cause weight loss or gain!

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