IBS Causes Bloating and Other Stomach Issues, but Can It Cause Weight Gain?

If you have IBS, it could be causing weight gain. An expert explains why.

7/21/2021 9:45:00 PM

If you have IBS, it could be causing weight gain. An expert explains why.

IBS can cause bloating, constipation, pain, and diarrhea, but it can also cause weight gain. A registered dietitian and gastroenterologist offers tips.

How Can IBS Contribute to Weight Gain?IBS can contribute to weight gain in a multitude of ways, Dr. Sonpal explained. He said that IBS is often linked to depression or anxiety, which can lead to overeating. Emotional eating usually occurs when someone feels stressed or upset, and food provides comfort. He added that lifestyle habits such as poor diet, dehydration, and lack of exercise which worsen constipation in IBS sufferers, can also lead to weight gain, a slower metabolism, and excess body fat.

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Most people with IBS tend to lose their appetite due to the discomfort, Wong said, which actually leads to weight loss. But in other cases, Wong explained,"eating provides a different sensation that can mask the pain or discomfort from IBS, leading people to eat continuously, hence causing weight gain." In order to reduce IBS flare-ups, Dr. Sonpal also said someone may skip eating vegetables, fruits, and beans, and eat comforting, easier-to-digest processed carbs, which are more calorie-dense, another cause of weight gain.

Another reason IBS can contribute to weight gain is because ofbloating."There are two major types of bloat that can happen in IBS; above the belly button or below the belly button," Wong said. Some people experience both types of bloat.Above the belly button bloat, also known as upper gastrointestinal (upper GI) bloat, is bloat that usually happens soon after a meal, and the bloat may go away in two to three hours after eating. Wong explained that with this kind of bloat, people sometimes feel a burning sensation in their gut, and a lot of discomfort and cramps in their stomach area."Some people resort to eating cold foods to find temporary relief to their symptoms," Wong said, and overeating on foods like ice cream, iced coffee drinks, and smoothies could contribute to weight gain. headtopics.com

Still another reason was found in recent studies which indicate that certain. These seem to be at abnormal levels in people with IBS, either higher or lower than expected, and weight may be affected by these changes in gut hormone levels.What Can Someone Do If Their IBS Is Causing Weight Gain?

Since the bloat, pain, and discomfort are the main reasons why some people are disconnected from their body's natural hunger cues leading to overeating, Wong said that learning to manage their IBS is the first step to stopping the weight gain.Oftentimes, people are told to just live with their IBS, but in reality, there are effective treatments that can help you identify what is causing your IBS, and you can learn to manage it, she said."It usually requires dietary and lifestyle changes, and sometimes working through the

protocol to identify personal food triggers," Wong said. Read more: POPSUGAR Fitness »

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