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Can You Lose Weight with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

20% of the people who are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome have adversely affected their GI system. There is no exact reason as to why a person becomes a victim of irritable bowel syndrome but there are both physical and psychological reasons which can deteriorate the condition of the patient suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Due to such reasons, you might find that the food moves down you digestive tract too fast causing diarrhea or the food takes a lot of time of pass through the digestive tract and the stool becomes dry giving rise to constipation.

There is no direct link of irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS with weight loss but the symptoms causing irritable bowel syndrome or the issues that develops within a person due to IBS may result in the loss of weight. However it is not likely that every patient suffering from irritable bowel syndrome loses weight or gains it.

Can You Lose Weight with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Can You Lose Weight with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Due to diarrhea, the stomach keeps emptying rapidly. The intake of the food becomes lesser than what comes out of the body as stool. This leads to loss of weight in the patients of irritable bowel syndrome.

Change in the diet may lead to weight loss in IBS patients. Due to irritable bowel syndrome, often you change your daily diet to something which contains less of fats and starch. At the same time, the abdomen fails to absorb all the nutrients from the food while the food goes through the digestion process. Thus your body develops a lack of all the nutrients and it grows weaker and thinner.

Replacing meat with vegetables may provide you the required amount of carbohydrate, but you lose weight since the body starts using the stored fat.

Irritable bowel syndrome patients must drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and gain proper digestion. Due to irritable bowel syndrome, you develop gas and bloating, this kills your appetite and you start taking in less food than usual since you don’t want to trouble your body and go through pain due to consumption of some trigger food. Hence this leads to weight loss.

Irritable bowel syndrome may also lead to weight gain since during the days you feel fine, you might wish to fill yourself up with the missed calories and eat food which results in lesser residue to avoid undesirable symptoms.

How to Balance Your Diet to Keep a Healthy Body?

In case you do not want to rapidly eat fibrous food to avoid symptoms like gas and bloating, you may develop the habit to taking in fibrous food slowly in your diet. You may also have food containing soluble fibre to avoid irritable bowel syndrome related symptoms.

Replace the fats in your diet with whole grain carbohydrates which are easily digestible. Also drink plenty of water.

Instead of eating heavy meals a day, have several small meals throughout the day.

Avoid alcoholic beverages, caffeine, drinks with sweeteners (aerated), high fat food, and heavy milk products.

Limit yourself while taking in food of the FODMAP group like fructose and lactose. You might slowly add them to your diet (limiting the amount) after you find out which is safe for you.


  1. International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Diet and Treatment: https://www.aboutibs.org/ibs-diet.html
  2. Mayo Clinic – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Symptoms & Causes: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016
  3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/treatment

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2023

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