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How to Gain Weight With Digestive Problems: 6 Tips You Must Know!

Usually, among young people of our generation, there is a trend of wanting to lose weight in order to have the ‘perfect body.’ However, weight loss is not always a choice; people suffer from conditions that may cause them to have drastic decreases in weight. In such cases, they need to look for ways to increase their weight in order to remain healthy, which should always be the top priority.

So, How to gain weight with digestive problems?

Despite the fact that it seems easy to gain weight under normal circumstances, it’s not so simple if one is suffering from digestive problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This tends to cause undesired weight loss, which is never good for the body if it goes to extremes. In fact, experts suggest that sudden weight loss may end up being dangerous for you! 

In this write-up, we will look at some helpful tips to gain weight, as well as problems that may be leading to weight gain and loss.

Table of Content

Can Digestive Problems Cause Weight Loss?

If your food consumption is normal but suddenly you are experiencing a reduction in weight, it may be an indication that the body is not digesting food normally. While weight loss is a goal for many, if too sudden it can lead to complications in the future, such as dehydration, slower metabolism, and reduced intake of vital nutrients. Here are some common conditions that may be causing this:

Celiac Disease

This is a GI disorder in which the immune system produces antibodies against gluten, a protein found in wheat and barley. If someone with this issue consumes gluten, the antibodies will attack and irritate the lining of the gut, leading to decreased intake of nutrients and consequently weight loss.


Lactose Intolerance

A disorder in which the body is deficient in an enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of lactose, the major component of milk and dairy products. Such people have to turn to alternatives that do not contain the same quantity of vitamins: for example, regular milk contains more calcium than soy milk. The difficulty in accessing these minerals is what leads to an unhealthy reduction in weight.

Stomach Problems and Weight Gain:

Can digestive problems cause weight gain? The majority of them cause weight loss, but some may contribute to the opposite effect. The digestive disorders that cause weight gain are,

Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease

A burning sensation is produced in the chest in individuals who have this condition, due to stomach acid rising up within the esophagus. Eating more food often relieves the symptoms of this problem since the saliva produced for digestion also neutralizes the acid content. People find themselves eating more in order to keep the pain away, and so acid reflux bloating can result in weight gain.



These are painful sores that develop in the gut lining and it is mostly due to excess acid production. Increased food consumption helps to treat the symptoms of pain and nausea for the same reason as GERD: the saliva neutralizes the acid and momentarily protects the ulcer.

Can IBS Cause Rapid Weight Loss?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the name given to symptoms that occur together as a group. They commonly include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation. Usually, it does not cause weight loss directly, but instead, the nutritional changes that result from it are what lead to this decrease.

People begin to follow more restricted diets to avoid foods that elicit their symptoms, such as certain fruits and whole grains. In the absence of these healthy meals, one tends to become weaker and even lose weight.

On a psychological note, people with IBS tend to associate food with negative consequences like abdominal cramps and so they try to skip meals or eat lesser quantities, further contributing to weight loss.

Does IBS Cause Weight Gain?

Can IBS make you gain weight? In the same indirect way that it caused the loss, IBS may also cause weight gain and the primary reason is the diet. In an attempt to avoid some provoking foods, people tend to go for high calorie foods for IBS but these are easily digestible, and so they end up gaining weight.

Examples of such food include pasta and white bread and/or rice.

In addition, research suggests that people with IBS have greater levels of anxiety/depression, which can change their appetites and decrease the amount of physical activity they perform. A sedentary lifestyle will, of course, lead to increased weight.

How to Gain Weight With Digestive Problems?

FODMAP WEIGHT GAIN: FODMAP is a nutritional criteria that may help you to plan out your meals. It stands for ‘fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.’

Foods with a high FODMAP content are insufficiently absorbed by the small intestine, increasing the chances of this food being acted on by bacteria and resulting in bloating, cramps and flatulence. Thus, they need to be avoided when trying to increase weight.


The best items to eat are Beef, chicken, eggs, carrots, walnuts, raspberries, grapes, pineapple, and strawberries.

The following are some suggestions that you will hopefully be able to implement with ease to counter undesired weight loss.

How to Gain Weight With IBS?

  • It may be tough at first to increase intake of food after being used to sticking to a restricted diet, especially if there is also anxiety attached to the sight of food. If you are unable to eat more during regular meals, try to break them down into smaller portions throughout the day. This will give the body more time to digest the food as well.
  • Ensure that you are not skipping meals. If you eat in an irregular manner, the digestive system is likely to become irritated even more than it already is.
  • Refrain from consuming sugary and fatty foods because they will only increase the fat content of the body and increase the risk of complications like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Choose food that will provide you with good protein content to help you in gaining muscle with IBS. This is a healthier way to increase body weight.
  • It is important to remain well-hydrated since water comforts an upset stomach. Some other good quality drinks to have are fruit smoothies and peppermint tea.
Drinks to avoid: alcohol and caffeinated beverages like sodas and coffee.
  • Physical exercise is of vital importance. Even if it is only 30 minutes of walking per day, exercise helps to soothe symptoms of digestive distress such as bloating and nausea.
  • Good quality sleep is quite underrated in today’s fast-paced world. During the night, more muscle is built up, and sleep also helps to relieve stomach pain from digestive diseases, since we feel pain more strongly when we are tired.


Below you’ll find answers to questions we get asked the most about how to gain weight with digestive problems. 

1) Can IBS prevent you from losing weight?

In cases where IBS is responsible for a dramatic increase in body weight, people struggle with shedding those extra pounds due to their favor for high-calorie food that does not trigger pain.

2) How to gain weight after diarrhea?

Well, this depends on how severe the diarrhea was. If it’s a chronic problem then it is possible to lose some weight, however, with diarrhea you are mostly losing just water weight. The most important thing is to drink plenty of rehydration solutions afterward to replace the fluid and electrolytes being lost from your body. Diarrhea that has lasted for longer than 3 days is a sign to consult a doctor since it is likely caused by some other underlying condition.

3) Can poor digestion cause weight gain?

Yes, it definitely can, since the digestive system is not functioning well enough to digest the food and absorb the adequate nutrients. A lesser amount of waste is removed by the body resulting in constipation and a feeling of being too full, even if you are eating very little. Your metabolism also slows down and fewer calories are burnt, leading to fat accumulation. 


The way to recovery is a slow process and it should be given the proper amount of time. How to gain weight with digestive problems? The goal is to increase healthy weight, not become obese. Digestive disorders may affect the daily life of a person, but the symptoms are definitely manageable with a few dietary changes. 

As we have learned, regular meals with a high-calorie content are more beneficial, as are getting enough sleep and exercise. In case you are struggling more with making a diet plan, it is advisable to consult your doctor or nutritionist for better help.

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