It’s common for digestive disorders to throw a wrench into your diet plans. They can certainly change how much you need to know about restroom availability when you leave the house. However, did you know that they can cause unexplained weight gain, too? Here are a few stomach issues that can affect your weight.
1. Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are sores that typically form in the lining of your stomach or small intestine. Generally, you get an ulcer because there’s too much acid in your stomach. It’s common for eating to soothe the symptoms as the food can form a protective lining on your stomach while neutralizing the stomach acid. If you choose to manage your ulcers like this, you run the risk of consuming extra calories that lead to weight gain.
The better approach is to talk to your doctor about antacids that will work for you. The medication you need may be available over the counter or you might have to be prescribed something stronger. It’s also helpful to avoid foods or medications that irritate your stomach. For example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been known to increase your risk of stomach ulcers.
2. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
This issue is also known as acid reflux disease. It happens when stomach acid rises into the esophagus causing a burning sensation in the lower chest. As with stomach ulcers, eating can usually soothe symptoms. However, going this route not only opens you up for weight gain, it also initiates a vicious cycle. Once the food is digested, your symptoms can get worse because of something called rebound acid.
Doctors recommend working with medication instead of turning to food. Some of them can be found over the counter but your doctor will know which ones will help.
3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
This is a fairly common condition that affects your stomach and intestines. Though most people don’t have severe symptoms, you can still experience cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Until you have the condition under control, it’s possible to experience weight fluctuations that you can’t explain.
The first step to dealing with IBS is getting an official diagnosis. Once you’ve done that, your doctor can work with you to establish a medical plan and lifestyle changes that can help. One thing that can make a difference is occasionally trying a FODMAP diet, which limits certain carbohydrates that cause inflammation in the stomach.
When your digestion slows down, it can lead to constipation. While this doesn’t lead to weight gain by itself, it can make it difficult for you to be as active as you should. The added bloating can also make you feel like you’ve put on some pounds.
To deal with this problem, doctors suggest adding at least 25-30 grams of fiber to your daily diet and staying hydrated. If the symptoms persist, it’s best to talk to your doctor.
5. Ulcerative Colitis
With ulcerative colitis, you’re most likely to experience issues in your colon. When this part of your digestive tract is constantly inflamed, you