Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Community
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IBS Related Weight Loss


I've been dealing with a "bout" of IBS for around 4 months now.  During the first week I had NO appetite, meaning I choked down bites of food here and there.  I dropped around 8 pounds.  In the weeks that followed, I lost additional weight and,all told, I went from around 195 to 169 at my lowest point.  Since my IBS diagnosis I've gained back a modest 6 or 7 pounds, but I at least seem to be holding.

I went through the gauntlet of tests including an abdominal ultrasound, small bowel follow-through, colonoscopy, EGD, stool fat tests/cultures, blood tests, 2 CT scans (one with a close look at the pancreas) and 2 ER visits.  All tests came back normal (did I mention I'm only 31??).  In addition to the lack of appetite initially and weight loss, I experienced BM's multiple times per day that were often loose, soft, and floated, and abdominal pain and cramping.

My GI said that after all of the tests, IBS was the culprit, and that the weight loss was due to a change in eating habits related to the IBS symptoms.  Does this seem like a viable explanation?  

I know I ate less and changed my diet, but has anyone else experienced this?  I think my appetite came back at times, but it's hard for me to remember at this point how much I actually was eating.

I'm just concerned because the symptoms don't seem to be controlled yet and I'm on my third type of med.  Additionally, I was put on Celexa for depression/anxiety by my GP during this whole ordeal.  A common side effect of Celexa is weight gain...so I'm wondering if I'd be losing more weight (instead of holding) if I wasn't on it???  Probably a question for the Doctor...

3 Responses
489725 tn?1280056153
i had the same problem l loss about 35 pounds quite rapid and like you went through a battery of tests only in the end to be given the famous ibs tag  --ibs is a secondary to something else most common is bacterial overgrowth  celiac disease and lactose intoralonce --i have never gained the weight back and that was 3 yrs ago but find symptoms wax and wane from mths to mths went it used to be from days to days .
ibs in itself is not a illness just a symptoms of a illness and as u probably know a quite difficult one to control as it can be very personal to your circumtances or what triggered it in the first place .
food avoidance is the biggest way to lose weight in ibs and normally ibs does not cause weight loss as the bowel etc is working as in there is no inflamation or damage to cause malabsorabion it is merely a functional disorder and some maybe you could have rapid transit with your ibs and this may cause weight loss a little couple that with avoiding specfic foods and u getr the picture .
a good balanced diet more to the level of 6 meals a day rather than 3 big meals is a great help
as is taking a good probiotic ..drinking plenty of good clean water daily and get enough rest
u will find in time these symptoms will fade maybe nit dissappear but u will find ways to keep flares at bay

i hope that is a little help
Avatar universal
I think I have IBS,  gurgling, bloating, no appetite, some nausia, constipation one time and soon to follow the opposite.  Have had all the blood work done, ultrasound and a scope on my stomach..all came back fine.  If they all came back fine...why am I so miserable.  I'm getting anxious about all this and my imagination is running away with me.  anyone have similar stuff happening?  I cant wait to hear from someone!!   JON
Avatar universal
lagoya, thanks for the reply!  It does help to know that others have experienced weight loss.  Most of the research you find on IBS indicates that weight loss is a "red flag" symptom.  They usually put the tag of "unexplained" on that, but when you're not feeling well and think that your symptoms are being caused by something serious, then the weight loss is unexplained to you...LOL!

hikingjon- Have you had a CT scan?  I had the same symptoms, tests, and concerns you have.  My imagination is still somewhat running wild at this point despite all of the negative tests!  I am coming to grips with it and have noticed much less anxiety (thanks to treatment) over the past several weeks.  You are NOT alone in this!!  Hope this helps.
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