How can you not lose weight with IBS-D?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 7/25/2006 12:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Here's a question for you all...
I'm reading that with IBS with diarrhea, it is a "red flag" if there is weight loss.  My question is, how can there NOT be weight loss when you have diarrhea everyday for 4 months and after a while, you lose your appetite?  I've had ALL of the tests and all show nothing.  I have been Dx with IBS and I have lost about 8 pounds since it started.  Is that normal?  I don't see  how it couldn't be normal.
Any advice would be nice. :-)

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/25/2006 1:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I wouldn't worry about it. I really think "they" need to change their criteria because I have lost a lot of weight too. Like you said... How can you not?
Don't let it scare you because it seems like a bunch of bologna - especially since you've already been tested for everything.
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/25/2006 1:21 PM (GMT -7)   
When I was sick with my gall bladder, I went from being a bit tight in my size 14's to being loose in size 12's and even having one pair of size 10 shorts. This weight loss occured almost exclusively in the spring of 1998, so that was quite a bit of weight in a few months' time. I had diarrhea some of the time, but most of my problem was nausea and the fact that everything I ate seemed to make me feel sick. I drank a lot of Carnation Instant Breakfast drinks then because that was one of the few things that didn't bother me. And, strangely enough, fried chicken fingers from our campus snack bar went down well (don't ask me why), but just about nothing else did. So I just didn't eat and that accounted for most of my weight loss (I also had to walk a lot to get around campus).

I eventually learned to eat when I was feeling okay to make up for when I wasn't feeling good and so I ended up, over the next three years, gaining back everything that I had lost. Only to get to Ireland after graduation and have a gall bladder attack that lasted three weeks--during which I subsisted on nothing but one bowl of Corn Pops and occasionally a coffee mug of instant cream of chicken soup a day. I went down from being tight in my 14's again to being a solid size 12. I also walked a lot there, too, but my weight loss happened pretty much during that sick spell and the walking just kept it off. I ended up regaining it when I came back home and didn't walk nearly so much.

Since getting my gall bladder out and getting medicine to help treat it, I have been able to maintain my size at a 14 (not that I wouldn't mind being smaller, but not at that cost--I looked absolutely horrible when I lost all of that weight from being sick, especially the first time). I think if you were able to get your guts calmed down to where you could eat fairly normally again, you'd get back up to your normal size. Didn't you say the Colestid was helping you?

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 7/25/2006 1:50 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for your replies gals.

Keriamon, Yes, the Colestid is definetly slowing down the "D". 

I still have a loose stool everyday...nothing solid yet and it's been over 4 months now (sigh).  BUT, I will take only having diarrhea 1-2 times a day versus 5-8 times a day!  I am able to go watch my husband's volleyball games and work a summer job now.  Before, I was a prisoner on my own home and I was having anxiety and I think I was mildly depressed and chronically worrying that I had something terribly wrong with me like cancer or something horrible like that.  I felt "doomed" (that's the perfect word for it).  In the mean time, my hair started falling out and my weight began to fall, so you can imagine how worried I was! 

The Colestid has slowed it down, but I am not "normal".  (Bless that Colestid for slowing it down!)  I had a 6 week follow up with my GI doctor yesterday and he said that he suspects IBS-D because he cannot find anything "physically" wrong with me...just GERD and he put me on Prilosec.  All tests are normal.  I just have a colon that moves way too fast, I suppose.  I don't have a lot of pain though.  The "poop pain" just hits me and I have that "urge" to go.  It usually hits me about 5-10 minutes upon waking up in the morning which I hear that is typical of IBS-D.

In Jan. I weightd 117.5 lbs.  I weighed 112 yesterday.  I guess that's not a lot of weight lost, right?  I did weigh 109 at my lowest.  My appetite is getting better, but who feels like eating when you have diarrhea all day?  I know I didn't.

Thanks for your replies everybody. :-)  

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 7/25/2006 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   

Hiya Shelly!

I've been wondering how you are doing!  Sounds like things are calming down for ya' both physically and mentally; I am glad to hear that! 

As for weight loss- I've lost over 20 but it all happened from Feb til April when my D was at it's evil worst- going up to 10 times a day and not feeling like eating at all.  I have pretty much stayed the same since late April.  I don't get it either how they think you could have D all the time and NOT lose weight!  I remember that being one thing the GI's said to me before I got all checked out that it probably wasn't IBS since I lost so much weight.  But after all the checking, that's what they are telling me I have!  I do believe alot of my lost weight and diarrhea to be stress and anxiety related, though.

I have been doing a little bit better.  I started taking ativan in april and that slowed things down quite a bit.  I actually have had "normal" BM's once in a while.  This is really weird, but if I can force myself NOT to go to the bathroom in the morning, I have a solid BM later in the day.  I don't understand it, and it's really hard to force myself to "not go" but the times I have been successful, that's what happens.  Weird, huh?  Oh, and I have tried to get off the ativan (I take a very low dose) but every time I get under a certain dosage things get really bad again.

I'm glad to hear from ya' and good for you getting out and doing things!

Take care and stay in touch!

Sami (your IBS twin!) :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/25/2006 3:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Shelly, have you asked your doctor about upping your dose of Colestid? I have autonomy with my Welchol (and it's in the same class as your Colestid, I think) and when I've eaten something bad or my guts are just otherwise upset, I can take more. For instance today, my guts just exploded on me a little while after lunch (weird because it's always breakfast that gets me--but I'm just getting over a cold, so there's not telling what may be going on in there). I had already taken my usual Welchol and calcium pill this morning, but when I started having trouble I took a second one. Then when that didn't get it stopped completely after 30 minutes, I took another one. I can just use them as if they were immodiums in terms of taking them when needed until I get relief.

Ask your doctor if this is an option for you on your medicine and see if you can't get your stools to normal. When my guts aren't having really odd days, I have normal stools.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 7/26/2006 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
When I first got sick in August of 92 I lost over 60 lbs in 2 months.  I was down to 140 lbs and I am 5'9 so that was a pretty shocking drop!!!  Let me tell you enjoyed being skinny for once in my life.  Didn't enjoy how I got there tho.  I stayed that way till about 1996 then I started gaining weight but still had what they were called IBS-D.  I am not sure why the weight gain started after all those years.  But it did and today I have gained all that weight back plus some!!!  I don't understand why I can have the D all the time and not lose weight.  That is a mystery to me.  I just called the Dr to get results back from blood work last week and she said the test they did that points towards IBS came back negative.  So now I don't even know what I have since the food allergy testing came back neg and the colonoscopy came back with a type of colitis that is caused by food allergies.  I am confused.  I guess I will wait to see what the other 2 tests come back as.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 7/26/2006 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   

It is normal to lose some weight.  When I first had my onset a year ago, I lost 20 pounds.  You just need to make sure you eat a few small meals throughout the day.  I know it is easier said then done, but it will help keeping some weight on.  You can even try the protein shakes they sell in health food stores.  I tried them bu the dairy didn't do good in my belly.

Check out the post I wrote on the hydrogen test.  I was thinking about you when I posted it,  you situation sounds soo similiar to how I was (and still am).  I have alot of sympathy for you.  It is tough to deal with 24/7.  Good luck with the weight. 


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/27/2006 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Sheryl, I know why you eventually regained your weight. Your body will adapt to the lower caloric intake and your metabolism slows down to try and make up for the calorie loss. There's a book out called "The Obesity Myth" that talks about a lot of studies that show this to be true. 95-98% of all people who diet regain their lost weight, and most of the time even more, within 3 years--and most do it within 1 year. Even though your weight loss wasn't intentional, it works on the same principal. Your body equates not eating with a famine and so it works extra hard to slow down and try to store up extra fat to see you through the lean times; it doesn't know the difference between going without food on purpose and going without it because there's none to be had.

My fiance pooh-poohs that as an excuse to stay fat, but in all the diets he's been on all his life, he's never managed to keep any weight off. And then there's the rats. In a recent study, rats were put on the human equivalent of a 900-calorie a day diet and given all the vitamins and minerals they needed to survive via supplements. Conventional wisdom says that a human on a 900-calorie a day diet will eventually starve to death. Not only did the rats not starve to death, but they only lost so much weight before they stopped losing and they ended up living twice as long. Apparently as long as you have those vitamins and minerals, you can survive for quite a long time with very few calories. Of course the media, rather than pointing out that dieting doesn't work because no matter how few calories you consume you'll still not lose but so much weight and then quit and never lose anymore because your body adjusts, the media starts speculating if and when they'll test this on humans to see if humans can live twice as long.

I don't know about you, but I don't think life's worth living if it means never having a pizza again, or ice cream or anything else I like. Who wants to live 200 years on nothing but a handful of pills?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 617
   Posted 7/27/2006 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Having diarrhea everyday and not losing weight, well for me it would be because I have Hypothyroidism and the darn GI put me on PRedisone, and I gained 40 pounds in 3 weeks, and I was already battling the weight issue..

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