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Help! How do I eat more? Losing weight fast with IBS.

I've had IBS all my life, but recently after starting a new job, my IBS has gotten worse and I've lost control of it. I've lost a lot of weight and now only weigh 44kg (I'm male). I'm struggling to eat more, but my bowels seem to be imposing an upper limit of 6000 Kj per day. When I see the doctor, I get the same generic advice ... try eating smaller and more frequent meals, more exercise, Iberogast (a herbal remedy), probiotics, but nothing works! It seems like no matter what I do, as soon as I hit the ceiling of 6000Kj per day, I can't stomach anymore food... it's as if my whole body begins to reject food at this point, I have trouble swallowing, I get strong cramps and stomach pain (despite taking iberogast). Has anyone else experienced similar calorie intake limits with your IBS? Please help me if you have similar experiences, thank you! I'm seriously considering quitting my job because of this.

  1. Ps. I'm also on a strict Fodmap diet.

    1. Thank you for commenting and sharing. Is the low fodmap diet helping at all? It's not helpful for everyone and not meant to be followed forever. It can be so restrictive and if you are continuing to lose weight it may not be the best. https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/food/low-fodmap-diet-should-not-followed-forever

      I'd encourage you to continue to advocate for yourself and reach out to your doctor for help. Are you on any medications? Anything to help the cramping more than the herbal you're taking? In addition to speaking with your doctor, this article may be helpful to you: https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/symptoms/stomach-pain-common-sign-symptom-of-ibs. Have you been tracking your food intake? I'm assuming since you know the calories. What about adding in some liquid calories? Like smoothies: https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/food/smoothie. Or foods that are easier to digest?

      I hope others chime in to share with you their experiences. Please keep us posted on how you are doing, if you'd like. Wishing you some relief very soon. Best, Kelly, Irritablebowelsyndrome.net Team Member

  2. It's time to visit the gastroenterologist. Be tested for celiacs disease, as well as get both upper and lower endoscopy. I find probiotics help a little, but not much. Herbal remedy's may not be consistent, and in the USA are not regulated for purity of content. Stress can activate celiacs disease so a good start is a blood panel to look for antibodies. Genetic tests can also show if you carry genetic markers for celiacs-without them celiacs disease can not happen. I find Imodium and Lomotil help with symptoms. For severe flare up I use Hyoscyamine ER 0.375mg.(aka-Levsin/SL, Hyosyne, Oscimin- in USA) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyoscyamine. Please consider a new doctor and or gastroenterologist. Weight loss, chronic diarrhea, with high caloric intake, sure sounds like some sort of malabsorption going on.

    1. I have to agree with what was said above. 6000 calories a day is a lot. If you find you are losing weight even with this calorie intake, then there might be some malabsorption going on.
      But you definitely need some help from doctors. And for more assistance, understanding, and probably some further testing.
      It seems that maybe you have been sent home to deal with it by yourself? Some doctors have this attitude to IBS. They might give you a couple of scripts and a Fodmap diet leaflet and leave you to it?

      I hope you get the help you need very soon, and feel better. Take care.

      1. They said 6000 kj not calories. 6000 kilojoules is around 1434 calories I believe

    2. I'm so sorry you are going through this. This seems like you have malabsorption issues. I would get a second opinion for another GI. You need someone who is proactive in your case. Tests need to be done like a colonoscopy with biopsy perhaps. -Elizabeth (team member)

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