IBS and weight loss
IBS and weight loss is very much dependent on each individual and their flares at a particular time. IBS, as it is more commonly known, is best diagnosed by your doctor to rule out other potential conditions that can mimic the symptoms. This is a digestive disorder and not to be confused with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, although there may well be some symptoms that overlap. Typically, weight loss is not associated with IBS, but a change in diet because of the symptoms or foods a person can tolerate, may result in weight changes.
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Common IBS symptoms
I think a lot of people turn to the Internet when something happens within their body. IBS and weight loss, especially if unintended, can be concerning. There are so many symptoms that overlap a range of conditions, that you actually might think you have something really serious at first! Think of all the Internet doctors, busy sitting in their flats scattered across the globe, inputting false information for you to pick up. Be aware that your doctor, the very person who knows you best, has gone to medical school, gained qualifications and practices medicine every day of the week!
Call your doctor.
My first bit of strong advice is to call your doctor and discuss any bowel habit changes you might have. It is possible to have IBS and weight loss on a healthy, manageable diet. You should not feel in any way embarrassed about talking this over with Karen. Self diagnosis can often lead to trouble!
There are some common signs, as you can see in the little chart I have done. Pain, cramps, bloated tummy, diarrhoea or constipation are the usual culprits. Excessive wind (flatulence) and occasionally experiencing a real urgency to visit the toilet.
Blood is definitely not a symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If you see some in your stool, don’t panic. It may just be haemorrhoids, but I urge you to make an appointment and have your GP check you over.
Trigger foods of IBS attacks?
The first thing to do, if IBS is suspected, is to keep a diary of symptoms and the foods that may trigger those. Everyone is different, and with IBS and weight loss there is no particular list of foods to turn to. Diet, stress, poor sleep quality may all trigger symptoms.
But knowing what to eat when you have this condition is ideal! It makes life so much easier. For some, just following the right diet and getting some exercise may be all that is required to control symptoms, without having to resort to medication.
IBS and Diarrhoea symptoms.
It’s difficult to make a definitive list, for IBS and weight loss, as some people only have diarrhoea, while others suffer from constipation.
Gas producing foods such as beans, lentils, carbonated drinks are the obvious culprits. Even the humble chick pea! Then there’s lentils and soybeans. Nothing fills you full of wind as much as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage! Let’s not forget Brussels sprouts. The torture of Christmas dinners! Onions, shallots, leeks and asparagus have also made the list!
Gluten, is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and many of the processed foods. It is best avoided if suffering from a combination of both IBS and Coeliac Disease.
Excessive Dietary Sugars
Fructose is the sugar found in fruits. This can cause lots of issues for IBS and weight loss. It’s especially high in the likes of apples and pears. It is also found in watermelon, stone fruits, dried fruits, and fruit juices.
Sugar-free sweets and chewing gum contain Polyols in all sorts of forms. You will see them listed as sorbitol, mannitol and other similar ingredients. In fact, if you see ‘ol’ at the end of it – avoid it! Diabetic products often contain these sugar substitutes. With IBS and weight loss, it is advisable to eat these products in very limited amounts! If you check the label of sugar-free sweets, they always have an advisory label warning of a ‘laxative effect’!
Foods to avoid for IBS
Remember, with IBS and weight loss, when your condition is under control, you can gradually re-introduce foods again. If your IBS is diarrhoea related, then it’s best to avoid too much fibre. Be careful of the skins of fruit and vegetables.
Why is it that alcohol is advised against, in nearly every condition you can think of! It’s in here along with caffeine. Your morning coffee will suffer for a while and don’t forget some of those carbonated drinks also contain caffeine. Strike those off your shopping list also! High fat foods and fried foods are just red flags for Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers. In Slim R Us, we avoid them anyway!
Take the pressure off your gut during this time. Instead of the large lunch or dinner, opt for smaller portions and add a little snack later on.
Substitute trigger foods
for Safe Foods
IBS Foods to eat.
Potatoes thankfully are wonderfully welcome with IBS and weight loss. Baked are ideal, and using red skinned, yellow skinned and purple skinned have been found to be well tolerated. But skip the butter! Unless you have a gluten intolerance, pasta and rice are perfect and make a nice change. Vegetables such as aubergine, celery, sweet potato, carrots, spinach, green beans and courgettes don’t cause any problems. Add in herbs such as basil, marjoram, coriander.
Mint and ginger are my favourites, when you are not feeling well. Ginger has so many fantastic healing properties. You can purée, make a sauce, add it to yoghurt. Mint is lovely added to hot water. It helps settle an upset tummy.
Healthy diet protein.
Lean meat with the excess fat removed and grill it. Try not to add sauces or gravy for the moment. Fish and those with high omega 3 are excellent choices. Salmon is a perfect example. Unless constipation and abdominal pain is a factor, eggs are considered okay also. They are a pleasant, safe option and are easily digestible.
Porridge with yoghurt makes a great breakfast. You can add certain low fructose fruits also such as bananas, blueberries, grapes, oranges, cantaloupe, cranberries and kiwi. Then top with a fat free or low fat yoghurt.