Does IBS Cause Weight Loss and Weight Gain?

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has several signs and symptoms. Does it also cause weight gain and weight loss? It’s likely for the body weight to fluctuate with IBS flare-up. But first things first, changes of weight can also be attributed by lots of things. So even though you have IBS, this doesn’t mean that the syndrome is always to blame.

What does irritable bowel syndrome feel like?

It is commonly characterized by abdominal discomfort and pain that occur due to a problem of the large intestine. The pain may flare up alone or be followed with other symptoms (such as diarrhea or constipation).

The symptoms vary from patient to patient, but many times they can strike frequently. Other symptoms include fullness (feeling of not completely emptied the bowel), mucus in stools, and bloating (excess gas).

Symptoms such as bloating, fullness, and abdominal cramp may last for several days. Each flare-up may last for at least three days – according to the National Institutes of Health.

Typically, the symptoms also often go away (reduced) after a bowel movement. It’s important to maintain regular bowel movements, otherwise another flare-up is likely to occur.

Furthermore, the syndrome may also cause alternating constipation and diarrhea. In case if you often get both of constipation and diarrhea, this is called a IBS-M (the mixed type).

With constipation, it’s harder to pass stools (you may need to strain more & feel more cramps). It may cause decreased intensity of bowel movements. You may only release a small amount or even don’t pass any stool during bowel movement.

And in case of diarrhea, the opposite way occurs. You are likely to have more frequent bowel movements with more watery stools. This often causes an urgent urge for bowel movements, sometimes almost uncontrollable.

For some patients, the symptoms 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 say the problem gets worse with age.

Many statistics have confirmed that this digestive problem is 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 have any clue whether the syndrome will get worse with age or vice versa.

It seems this link is highly individualized. But comprehensive treatment plan would play a role.

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

Weight loss and weight gain associated with IBS

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

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

Also, the syndrome affects the large intestines, which may induce changes in weight. What’s more?


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