Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome Cause Weight Gain Or Loss? Doctor Answers

IBS symptoms include cramps, bloating, gas, and episodes of diarrhea and constipation.

Shubhangi Shah
Written by: Shubhangi ShahPublished at: Feb 25, 2022Updated at: Feb 25, 2022
Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome Cause Weight Gain Or Loss? Doctor Answers

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, might not be dangerous, but it can be a difficult condition to live with. An intestines-related condition, IBS is a collection of symptoms concerning the gastrointestinal tract. Cramping, bloating, gas, and episodes of constipation and diarrhea are among the symptoms of IBS. As your gut can have a significant impact on weight, many wonder what impact does this condition has on weight. Does IBS cause weight gain or loss? For an answer to this question, Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr. A.K Sood, Senior Consultant, Gastroenterology, Paras Hospitals, Panchkula.

How Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Affects Weight

“IBS does not affect weight,” said Dr. Sood. “It neither causes weight gain nor loss,” he added. However, IBS symptoms can be triggered by certain factors. Food is one of them. Hence, to avoid the symptoms, a patient might avoid food that can lead to weight loss, according to a leading health website. It is especially the case with cramping, which might happen right after eating, the website stated. Diarrhea is another IBS symptom, which can prevent your body from getting enough nutrients, which can be another reason for weight loss, the website added. 

Also read: What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Know All The Signs And Symptoms

How To Maintain Weight When Suffering From IBS?

IBS is irritable bowel syndrome

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

Fiber is crucial to maintaining good gut health. Hence, include a lot of fiber in your diet, Dr. Sood recommends. Also, drink lots of water, he added. Some of the common sources of fiber include:

  • Vegetables
  • Berries
  • Whole grains
  • Oats
  • Beans 
  • Nuts

Remember, certain foods can trigger IBS symptoms. Hence, it is better to keep a log of those food items. Also, a high-fibrous diet is healthy. However, consult your doctor for formulating a diet suitable for your situation.

Also read: 8 Foods To Avoid In Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Triggers For IBS

Triggers for irritable bowel syndrome (ibs)

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

In India, almost 30% of the population suffers from IBS. There is no treatment for IBS, according to a leading health website. Hence, managing symptoms is the primary way to deal with them. Avoiding triggers is one way a patient can prevent symptoms. Here are some IBS triggers that you should know about:

  • Food: Keeping a triggering food log can help you prevent IBS symptoms.
  • Stress: In many cases, stress can also trigger this condition. Hence, take steps to manage it, like Yoga, meditation, recreational activities, etc.
  • Anxiety: It is another trigger for IBS symptoms. Hence, take steps to take care of your overall mental health. 

How To Manage IBS

By making certain lifestyle changes, you might get some respite from IBS. Here are some of the things you can do, according to a leading health website:

  • Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages.
  • Steer clear of fried and spicy food.
  • Consume probiotics, as recommended by your doctor.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Take steps to manage stress.

IBS doesn’t have a direct impact on weight. However, it can be a tough condition to live in. Since there is no cure, you must take steps to manage its symptoms. Avoiding IBS triggers is a strategy you can adopt. Other than these, exercise, do stress management, and eat what suits your gut.

(With inputs from Dr. A.K Sood, Senior Consultant, Gastroenterology, Paras Hospitals, Panchkula)

Photo Credit: Freepik