Digestive Problems and Weight Gain

Can IBS or Digestive Problems Cause Weight Gain?

“Can IBS or Digestive Problems
Cause Weight Gain?

The Answer May Surprise You!”

Part 3 of 4 Reasons Why You’re Possibly Not Losing Weight
& How To Address Each Problem NOW!

There are few things more frustrating than indigestion problems, especially when there’s a possibility that it could lead to weight gain.
One of the more common forms of indigestion is known as IBS orIrritable Bowel Syndrome and it causes abdominal pain, gas, bloating and constipation or diarrhea.


It’s interesting to note that two of the main causes of IBS are SIBO or Small Intestine Overgrowth and Leaky Gut.

I will discuss SIBO and Leaky Gut in greater detail in another blog post.

My search and destroy fingers which could become embattled if I had to write digestive health, abdominal pain, bloating, wind, constipation or diarrhea or SIBO, or IBS or leaky gut or irritable bowel or gut pain hundreds of times within this article, with your permission, whenever you read IBS it means any of the above symptoms.

Thanks in advance for your understanding, my index fingers are already rejoicing.

If you’re gaining weight and suspect that your digestion or irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are the culprit, you may be right.

From an Ancient Medicine perspective when the digestive system can’t digest any food eaten it immediate creates a toxic substance called ama. (pronounced arma)

If the elimination organs of the bowel, kidneys or skin can’t remove this toxic ama it accumulates as fat tissue especially around the tummy.

From a western medicine viewpoint there are five gastrointestinal endocrine cell types that produce hormones regulating appetite and food intake and are typically abnormal in IBS patients.

Based on these hormonal abnormalities, one would expect that IBS patients to have increased food intake and body weight gain.1

So what is the connection between IBS and weight gain?

When dealing with the symptoms of IBS, individuals often make changes to their diet that limit or include certain foods.  For example, an effort to reduce gluten may lead to an increased consumption of unhealthy fats.

Excess gas or bloating can also lead to weight gain.

Depending on the cause, it could be a sign that your body is not digesting food properly; or you may eat too fast and swallow excessive air as a result.

Some may think of IBS as a disease, but it’s not.

It’s actually referred to as a syndrome because it consists of a group of symptoms occurring together:

  • Constipation
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Mucus present in the stool
  • Diarrhea

What Causes IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is very widespread with literally millions of new cases reported every year.  Despite how often it occurs, there are no definite causes, but many theories.

  1. Low gastric acid production
  2. Chronic maldigestion
  3. Food allergen impact on bowel absorptive surfaces
  4. Bacterial overgrowth or imbalances (dysbiosis)
  5. Pathogenic bacteria, yeast or parasites and related toxic irritants
  6. As mentioned, SIBO or Leaky Gut can cause IBS.
  7. Certain trigger foods can cause IBS to flare up.

If you’ve ever eaten spicy food, chocolate or caffeine and suffered from the symptoms above, they could be triggers for you. Spicy food such as chili may affect the pathogenesis of abdominal pain and cause other symptoms. 2

Additional triggers include:

  • Medication – taking antibiotics or NSAIDs or antidepressants can bring on an onslaught of IBS symptoms.
  • Menstruation –some women have reported that their symptoms can get worse during menstruation because of hormonal challenges.
  • Eating on the go – Dietary convenience can lead to indigestion problems.
  • Genetics – IBS can also be traced back to family history.
  • Stress – Stress is known to alter the brain-gut axis and contribute to IBS.3 You can read more about stress and how it affects weight gain in part 2.
Can Digestive Problems Cause Weight Gain?
Food sensitivities or triggers can cause huge problems with IBS or any type of digestive Challenges. When food is eaten from the right hand side of the scales they can weigh you down and put on excess Fat, however food chosen from the left hand side can help you lose unwanted fat. Please choose wisely!


Now that we understand IBS symptoms, triggers, and the connection to weight gain, let’s explore ways to possibly heal your digestive system and get relief.

But first . . . is there a test to tell if I have IBS …  and yes there is . . .

The Comprehensive Stool Analysis with parasitology can help assess digestive and absorptive functions, the presence of opportunistic pathogens e.g. parasites, candida, fungal species or pathogenic or negative bacteria.

Important information regarding the efficiency of digestion and absorption can be gleaned from the measurement of the fecal levels of elastase (pancreatic sufficiency), fat, muscle and vegetable fibers, and carbohydrates.

This test is useful for . . .

  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Joint Pain
  • Inflammation . . .  causing excess fat
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Skin Conditions (Atopic Dermatitis)

The best part about the test is that it can be done in the comfort of your own home.

Treating IBS Naturally

When it comes to IBS, natural remedies are ideal.

With diet and stress being huge contributors to IBS and the weight gain associated with it, it is beneficial to look at ways to improve your diet.  This will benefit you in two ways: relief from IBS symptoms and a healthier weight.

Peppermint Oil – Peppermint oil is a well-known treatment for IBS.  If you’re wondering how to treat IBS pain, this could be a solution.  It works by calming the muscles in the digestive system and allowing the gas to move through. A trial was conducted in which a time released formulation of peppermint oil was administered as IBS therapy.  The conclusions showed that it is a safe effective treatment that provides rapid relief. 4

Probiotics – Your digestive system is home to billions of little bacteria that are protecting your immune system.  These bacteria are considered good because they keep your gut balanced, and make sure that any bad bacterium stays in check.  Probiotics are an amazing source of beneficial bacteria, and they are relatively easy to incorporate into your diet.

You can choose a probiotic supplement; eat fermented foods or chose a good quality organic yogurt.

 The bonus is that you can have a probiotic for weight loss.

There are two strains of probiotic bacteria in particular that have been shown to have the most positive impact on IBS – Lactobacillus plantarum 299v and Bifidobacterium infantis. Bifidobacterium infantis reverses abnormally high levels of interleukin (Interleukin’s are particularly important in stimulating immune responses, such as inflammation.) to normal levels.5

However there is a caution when using these strains of probiotics.

If you have SIBO these two strains unfortunately will not help but could make your symptoms worse.

AcupunctureThis is fast becoming one of the most popular therapies for IBS. This method works by clearing blockages in your energy or Chi. If you’re wondering how to treat IBS pain, acupuncture may be the answer. 7

Digestive Enzyme Therapy – Digestive enzymes and weight loss go hand in hand. These helpful enzymes assist with breaking food down within the digestive system. They aid in the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats and also help to alleviate pain and muscle spasms associated with IBS.

Vitamins & Minerals

Herbal Medicines are the cornerstone of our health, and the following list of vitamins is known to be the most beneficial for treatment of IBS:

  • Herbs Like . . .
    • Gentian
    • Oregon Grape
    • Barberry
    • Golden Seal
  • Vitamin D3 – A study concluded that approximately 8 in 10 people with IBS also had low levels of Vitamin D.6
  • Magnesium is a mineral that’s important for more than 300 enzymes to work properly and is needed for proper digestion and elimination. A magnesium deficiency causes a slower bowel emptying which can lead to malabsorption and constipation, and those are all contributing to gut flora problems.
  • Vitamin C especially sodium ascorbate – This vitamin has a laxative effect and can offer relief from constipation.
  • Vitamin B12 – A deficiency in this vitamin can negatively impact the digestive system.

IBS weight gain can be frustrating but there are solutions to assist you in getting back on track and leading a healthier life.

Would You Like To Find Out More?

If you are a member of our clinic and interested in the Effective Gut Pain Relief Program and to have a Comprehensive Stool Analysis with parasitology test and / or Acupuncture, and you would like to know more about Irritable Bowel Syndrome and how it’s related to weight gain, just let Wayne know at your next consultation.

For those who are not members of the clinic, there are two ways you can respond. . .
     1. I would like to book in for your Free 20 Minute consultation online to ask further questions on how you can help me . . . or I will phone you on 07 5354 5474
     2. I am pro-active about my health. I want to book now and I realise the consultation is normally valued at $300.00, however if I act now I will receive a substantial discount!

[ls_button icon_right=”fa-home” color=”default” url=”/contact” target=”_self” ]Click Here To Book Your Appointment Today[/ls_button]

With your permission Dr Pickstone can also have you complete various tests, including Comprehensive Stool Analysis with parasitology, plus other appropriate tests like in-house blood profiling to determine the extent of any digestive issues and will work with you to design a tailor made treatment program so you can achieve long-lasting successful weight loss. (Please check with our office to confirm the costs of these extra tests.)

Or call this number today to make an appointment: (07) 5440 5678.

Stay tuned for Part 4 of the 4 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight.


Yours in Health

From the Team at Unique Health and Wellness

Unique Health And Wellness






P.S. IBS and digestive issues are the 3rd main reason why you can put on weight easily and effortlessly. Fortunately, there are many options for natural relief. If you missed the second blog post please go here.

P.P.S. How Our UNIQUE Approach Can Help You? If you feel Digestive Problems are taking over your life causing you to put on excess fat there are 3 ways you can respond . . . for those who are not members of our UNIQUE Centre.

     1. I would like to book in for your Free 20 Minute consultation online to ask further questions on how you can help me . . . or I will phone you on 07 5354 5474
     2. I am pro-active about my health. I want to book now and I realise the consultation is normally valued at $300.00, however if I act now I will receive a substantial discount!


Unique Health and Wellness believes in empowering you to reach your Ultimate Wellness Potential.  We support, challenge, nurture and empower you to be the best YOU, you can be.


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25880820
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26973345
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27040468
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26319955
  5. http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/540226_6
  6. http://www.webmd.com/ibs/news/20151222/ibs-low-vitamin-d
  7. http://www.cochrane.org/CD005111/IBD_acupuncture-for-irritable-bowel-syndrome


The information provided does not take into account individual needs of any particular person. When providing this information it is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research. The information provided should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.