Irritable Bowel Syndrome is simply a collection of signs and symptoms which occur in people commonly in the adolescent period to the early adulthood. However, people in all other ages are also prone to developing this condition. Irritable bowel syndrome is a problem with one’s digestive system, more specifically the colon or the intestines. In people with IBS, the behavior of the intestines becomes abnormal and hypersensitive to many triggers. This result to a multitude of problems when we speak of elimination.
What Causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
There are many things which can be attributed to the attacks of IBS. The most common of all triggers are the following: stress and anxiety, as well as food intake. When people experience stress, the digestive system responds accordingly. We may have already experienced that rumbling sensation in our tummy when we are nervous or tensed—but in people with IBS, this incidence may double or triple when they feel stressed and anxious. Furthermore, food intake is a significant factor. Many foods are known triggers for IBS like fatty foods, low fiber foods, oily and spicy foods, etc.
Signs and Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS can lead to acute symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, abdominal gas and bloating, cramps and the like. However, when the condition becomes a long term problem, it may lead to chronic signs and symptoms like loss of appetite, loss of energy and most concerning of all—weight loss. Weight loss is a difficult sign to deal with because it is nutritional in nature… most especially with IBS where nutrition may get impaired.
Why Does IBS Weight Loss Occur?
There are several causes why weight loss can occur in people with IBS. The primary reason for this condition is the loss of significant amount of body fluid. Our body is composed of more than 60% water and this contributes a lot to our weight. When we suffer from IBS, especially during episodes of chronic diarrhea, we lose a lot of fluid. Water absorption occurs in the large intestine but absorption is definitely impaired due to the intestinal dysfunction.
Another common cause of IBS weight loss is the loss of appetite that one experiences during an IBS attack Losing the will to eat because further intake will aggravate the condition can lead to weight loss, most especially if IBS becomes persistent for days to weeks.
How To Prevent IBS Weight Loss?
In order to prevent weight loss due to IBS, it is important to take note of these tips to gain weight or maintain a healthy weight:
- Eat foods rich in carbohydrates. This is important since carbohydrates, especially those containing high fiber can provide bulk to our frame. Excess carbohydrates are also taken in by the body as fats so this can improve one’s weight effectively.
- Work out and exercise. Developing your muscles is important in gaining weight and preventing being underweight due to IBS. You can do this by exercising regularly—this includes brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, dancing or swimming.
- Drink weight gaining beverages like milk, protein shakes and drinks, etc. This will develop your muscles well adding bulk to your weight effectively.