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Any tips on gaining weight with IBS-C, Severely underweight!

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#1 recovering

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 04:00 PM

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I've posted on this forum before that i suffered from an eating disorder and this caused my GI system to get all messed up, I've been trying to gain weight since April of this year. My stomach and i guess my intestines have been shrinking since because I've become dangerously thin. i am reluctant to eat not because i don't want to gain weight, but because i get anxiety of not being able to have a BM. i eat for three days straight with as much calories as i can but this also limits me to eating very little because my intestines get full of food fast and I am unable to go everyday and I have to find ways to make myself have a BM. Each day becomes more difficult. i feel i am causing more damage and i'm just feel desperate as i am unable to gain weight with the limited amount of food i can consume and then not being able to empty myself out. Any one have tips as to how to gain weight?? I've cut out dairy, gluten, beef, pork, corn, and legumes in hopes of not making my constipation worse, but i see no improvement. At this rate my family is very worried and i'm afraid my body will give out because i'm nearly half my weight.sad.png i might get fed intravenously if i don't recuperate my weight somehow, but that comes along with a lot of complications and infections so i'm desperate at this point! Anyone have any advice for me. please anything would be appreciated. i don't know what to do. i always see people want to lose weight with ibs-c but im desperate to gain weight!



#2 Nojokeibs

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 04:28 PM

Maybe a liquid diet would help?  People who have had bariatric surgery (stomach staples) often have a similar problem to what you described.  They follow a liquid diet with small amounts of solid food, increased slowly over time as their physical comfort allows.  

 

I don't often make specific suggestions for food-averse type eating disorders, but there's something that the anorexic has in common with the IBS/IBD person...  both are often unable to or have limited ability to absorb iron.  I'm not sure I'd abandon beef so quickly in your undernourished condition.  I'd make sure I had one meal of either beef or seafood every single day, liquefied if necessary.  

 

If you can afford it, choose pastured beef, if it's too pricey, consider pastured (5+ at Whole Foods) pork.  Never eat commercial pork, but pastured pork from a good farmer is an ideal food for the malnourished because pigs are omivores and may be fed high omega-3 foods if the farmer cares to do that.  In traditional farming, they would often get the whey from butter making, or leftovers from cheesemaking, etc.. from pastured cows, also all the trimmings and table scraps.  Commercial pork is fed almost nothing but corn.  

 

Warning: TMI alert...  Some places in the world have not yet abandoned the practice of giving pigs all the waste from the farm, including the "night soil."  If you have a strong stomach, google "pig toilet" but only if you like horror.  If you're traveling in an undeveloped country, maybe go for the chicken. 

 

If you need high nutrition, there's no substitute for knowing the source of your food.  I hope that helps a bit. 


  • flitwit likes this

Ever been to the Museum of Medical Oddities in Philadelphia, PA?  My picture is from there.  That's the guy with the megacolon.  I suppose he lived before surgery could help him.  His actual colon is there too, thick as my leg.  

----

My History in Brief


#3 flitwit

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:47 PM

I too have lost very nearly half of my body weight, from 183 to 97lbs.   Very recently I've been trying new things to gain some weight, and to enjoy new foods.  I had an endoscopy / colonoscopy recently, so I used that opportunity to experiment, knowing that I'd be clearing my system out with the prep.  One of the things I've started supplementing my bland diet with is Boost nutritional drinks (Nestle).  The stuff has a ton of sugar, and other garbage, but it also has vitamins, a decent amount of calories (especially the Boost Plus), and it tastes nice.  They use Ensure / Boost often in hospitals to feed patients who cannot eat, whether it's for an eating disorder, or through a tube for cancer patients, etc.   I've been doing OKAY with just one a day.  It's really addictive, and so I started having a second later in the day, but I end up having a whole lot of rumbling and problems afterwards, so went back down to one.   I also started to have a small amount of smooth, natural peanut butter.  The stuff I get is Santa Cruz Dark Roasted (http://www.santacruz...-roasted-creamy).  It tastes great, and I like the ingredients list.  I can't have too much, otherwise, again, I have serious problems in the gut... but a spoon's worth is manageable.  Might be something you might consider trying.  I've gained 3lbs since.  It's a start.  



#4 flossy

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:57 PM

First off, not everybody has a bowel movement every day. That is not uncommon.

 

Years and years ago when I was using methamphetamine I had to eat fattening foods to keep my weight up. If cutting out this and that doesn't seem to help you go I would suggest you enjoy a slice or two of cheesecake (Cheesecake Factory is the best) every day, Cookies and Cream ice cream and lots of pizza.



#5 ene

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:50 PM

I am just like you!

 

I have been struggling with my weight for about 8 years now due to ibs-c and being afraid to eat anything or just having no appetite.  A few years ago it reached its worst and my weight dropped to 90 lbs (I am 5'6").  Doctors never took me seriously and just called me anorexic, even though I have never had an eating disorder. people who don't actually deal with it just can't understand.  Then I caught a really bad virus and had nonstop diarrhea for 2 days and had to be in the hospital for a few days.  After that they sent me to a treatment center for people with eating disorders, but at that point I was very scared and was willing to do it to get better.  At the treatment center everyone was assigned a doctor that controlled what medications took and a nutritionist who you met with every day.  I told them about the ibs and that if they could make me poop, I would eat as much as I could.  They put my on miralax twice a day and colace along with a truck load of other vitamins and gave you gas-x and antacids whenever you needed to, and it worked!  I ate everything they served me and was going to the bathroom A LOT every day.  It was still the most uncomfortable thing to go through, my meal plan every day was something like:

 

Breakfast = 3 servings of carbs, 2 of proteins, 2 of fruits, and 2 of fats

Lunch = 3 of proteins, 2 of carbs, 2 fruits/vegs, and 3 fats and a boost drink

Afternoon snack = 2 carbs, 1 fruit, 1 protein, and 2 fats and a boost

Dinner = 3 protein, 2 carbs, 1 fruit/veg, 3 fats, and a dessert and a boost

Night snack = 2 carbs, 1 protein , 2 fats, and a boost

(I still can't believe I ate all that)

 

My assigned doctor said that in the seven years she had worked there she had never had a patient like me who really tried to get better and wasn't like the other people there who really had eating disorders.  She was the first person to believe me that I wanted to get better and that I would eat if I could go to the bathroom.  She told me to keep taking miralax as much as I needed to, and I still do.  I spent a month and a half at the treatment center and weighed about 107 when I left.  My doctors at home and my family took me a little more seriously after that too.  But even after leaving there it has been a struggle to maintain my weight.  I still take miralax twice a day so I can go to the bathroom every day.  I also take beano with most meals and gas-x as needed.  I always walk a couple of miles every day, it really helps with the bloating, anxiety, appetite, etc. and I get 8 hours of sleep every night.  I am extremely careful about what I eat, I don't follow any special diet, I just eat what works for me - I know what I can eat and what I can't and I stick to it.  Even though I have 2 college degrees, I moved back to my hometown near my family and just work a low paying job at a small local store.  It is a low stress job where they treat me well and give me the evening shift that I want (so I can give myself time to go to the bathroom in the morning) and it has really good health insurance.  It is a priority for me to make my life as comfortable and stress free as I can. 

 

Sorry to give you half my life story, but it is so reassuring to hear someone else struggling with the same problem when the rest of the world doesn't get and just make judgments and assumptions, and I wanted you to know that you are not alone.  It will definitely be a life long struggle for me.  Have you tried taking miralax?  It is safe to take every day.  Liquid calories is a good idea, like the other post says.  I stopped drinking boost because it is so filling and nauseating for me, but it is good for gaining weight.  Steamed sweet potato and green beans helps me have a good bm without making me bloated and I eat whole grain crackers and toast a lot as they are settling for my stomach.  Everyone is so different, so just finds foods that you can eat and tolerate and stick to that. I hope your family is supportive because that is important, but just know that you are not alone!

 

Take care and please keep us updated :)



#6 Dreamcatcher32

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:09 PM

Actually, not eating enough is one sure-fire way that you won't have a BM every day. If you're eating too little, you won't have 'enough' that your body wants to expel. There are very few people in this world that have a BM every single day like clockwork. Sounds like your eating disorder is trying to trick on you on that one. I think you really need to add fiber into your diet - a good combo if insoluble and soluble. You need to "bulk" your stools but still have it to be soft. This will give you a stronger urge and make things easier to expel. My thinking is that your 'rushing' to the toilet in fear and forcing things. This can cause all sorts of problems like prolapse, so you want to be sure you're not pushing. If you wait long enough, it's going to come out on it's own and it will ALL come out. You can also add some Magnesium to your diet, this will 'soften' the stool and make it easier to pass. Make sure it's a good brand.

 

For weight gain, I would recommend protein shakes and hefty protein bars. If you can stand dairy, I would also eat ice cream. Look for calorie counts when getting these items. If you're having a really tough time eating because the eating disorder is still there, then I would definitely see a therapist of some kind. Being malnourished can definitely have a huge effect on your organs and entire system. I wouldn't mess around at this point and I'd be SURE to get some bloodwork done to see if your deficient in anything. I'd prefer that over a trip to the ER!



#7 stefan00790

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 07:29 PM

I am just like you!

 

I have been struggling with my weight for about 8 years now due to ibs-c and being afraid to eat anything or just having no appetite.  A few years ago it reached its worst and my weight dropped to 90 lbs (I am 5'6").  Doctors never took me seriously and just called me anorexic, even though I have never had an eating disorder. people who don't actually deal with it just can't understand.  Then I caught a really bad virus and had nonstop diarrhea for 2 days and had to be in the hospital for a few days.  After that they sent me to a treatment center for people with eating disorders, but at that point I was very scared and was willing to do it to get better.  At the treatment center everyone was assigned a doctor that controlled what medications took and a nutritionist who you met with every day.  I told them about the ibs and that if they could make me poop, I would eat as much as I could.  They put my on miralax twice a day and colace along with a truck load of other vitamins and gave you gas-x and antacids whenever you needed to, and it worked!  I ate everything they served me and was going to the bathroom A LOT every day.  It was still the most uncomfortable thing to go through, my meal plan every day was something like:

 

Breakfast = 3 servings of carbs, 2 of proteins, 2 of fruits, and 2 of fats

Lunch = 3 of proteins, 2 of carbs, 2 fruits/vegs, and 3 fats and a boost drink

Afternoon snack = 2 carbs, 1 fruit, 1 protein, and 2 fats and a boost

Dinner = 3 protein, 2 carbs, 1 fruit/veg, 3 fats, and a dessert and a boost

Night snack = 2 carbs, 1 protein , 2 fats, and a boost

(I still can't believe I ate all that)

 

My assigned doctor said that in the seven years she had worked there she had never had a patient like me who really tried to get better and wasn't like the other people there who really had eating disorders.  She was the first person to believe me that I wanted to get better and that I would eat if I could go to the bathroom.  She told me to keep taking miralax as much as I needed to, and I still do.  I spent a month and a half at the treatment center and weighed about 107 when I left.  My doctors at home and my family took me a little more seriously after that too.  But even after leaving there it has been a struggle to maintain my weight.  I still take miralax twice a day so I can go to the bathroom every day.  I also take beano with most meals and gas-x as needed.  I always walk a couple of miles every day, it really helps with the bloating, anxiety, appetite, etc. and I get 8 hours of sleep every night.  I am extremely careful about what I eat, I don't follow any special diet, I just eat what works for me - I know what I can eat and what I can't and I stick to it.  Even though I have 2 college degrees, I moved back to my hometown near my family and just work a low paying job at a small local store.  It is a low stress job where they treat me well and give me the evening shift that I want (so I can give myself time to go to the bathroom in the morning) and it has really good health insurance.  It is a priority for me to make my life as comfortable and stress free as I can. 

 

Sorry to give you half my life story, but it is so reassuring to hear someone else struggling with the same problem when the rest of the world doesn't get and just make judgments and assumptions, and I wanted you to know that you are not alone.  It will definitely be a life long struggle for me.  Have you tried taking miralax?  It is safe to take every day.  Liquid calories is a good idea, like the other post says.  I stopped drinking boost because it is so filling and nauseating for me, but it is good for gaining weight.  Steamed sweet potato and green beans helps me have a good bm without making me bloated and I eat whole grain crackers and toast a lot as they are settling for my stomach.  Everyone is so different, so just finds foods that you can eat and tolerate and stick to that. I hope your family is supportive because that is important, but just know that you are not alone!

 

Take care and please keep us updated smile.png

Maybe this is very old post but iam in the same situation as you . IN other words my doctors nobody takes me seriously indeeed i wanted to ask you do you still take miralax 2 times a day and how much of the powder did you took when you were in the treatment room because you said you were able to poop everyday , i struggle i take 2 times lactulose 15 ml a day with 400 mg magnesium 2 times prune juice Gas X when needed and other tons of vitamins and stuff i was not able to poop today after so much eating and iam scared now iam always trying and prepared my Miralax , castor Oil , senna Tea (95 % Senna Leaf , 5 % Pepermint ) , Dulcolax capsules when i get stuck in this situation any tips cause iam really underweight still my Physiatrist recomended Olanzapine but iam so drowsy on it i weight like 100 lbs my family are very  offensive they think i don't have constipation and that they will go to hospital to tell them to hospitalize me which i don't want , any suggestions would be appricieated , Sry for my bad english.



#8 ene

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 10:40 PM

Hi,

I take a dose of miralax twice a day, I have been taking that amount for five years.  Sometimes I take a little less if I start to get a lot of gas and bloating and it seems like it's making things worse rather than better.  I keep milk of magnesia on hand in case I need something extra and I drink tons of water.  Stimulant laxatives are too much for me. Prune juice and magnesium are also helpful.  I try to stay in a routine, things work better that way.  I hope you find some relief.  Just try to stay calm and take things as they come, don't stress so much about what hasn't happened yet (I know that isn't easy).  If your family does hospitalize you, maybe someone will be able to help you and you will get something good out of it.  That is what happened to me - it was a rough experience, but I found some relief and some things that helped me that I continue to benefit from today.  Take care and let me know how you are doing :)



#9 stefan00790

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 11:25 AM

Hi,
I take a dose of miralax twice a day, I have been taking that amount for five years.  Sometimes I take a little less if I start to get a lot of gas and bloating and it seems like it's making things worse rather than better.  I keep milk of magnesia on hand in case I need something extra and I drink tons of water.  Stimulant laxatives are too much for me. Prune juice and magnesium are also helpful.  I try to stay in a routine, things work better that way.  I hope you find some relief.  Just try to stay calm and take things as they come, don't stress so much about what hasn't happened yet (I know that isn't easy).  If your family does hospitalize you, maybe someone will be able to help you and you will get something good out of it.  That is what happened to me - it was a rough experience, but I found some relief and some things that helped me that I continue to benefit from today.  Take care and let me know how you are doing smile.png

Thanks for the reply i thought my reply fade in ashes when I entered here so my question was how many tbspoons of the powder do mix and with how much liquid for one dosage in the day of Miralax , so the point why i don't want to be hospitalazed is because they gonna hospitalize me in Psychiatric category because they think its psyhological problem rather than physical but every other day i find if i don't take the medicine and if i don't care about what I eat which constanlty appear to be fiber i easily can get constipated for more than 2 or 3 days and still they don't understand with what I am struggling with , I never used stimulant laxative except for the colonoscopy Senna Tea , Dulcolax , Castor Oil iam afraid to use them cause of the dependency , Iam counting every food i ate how i gonna end up in my colon and how many feaces i have i dont know iam just like that in order to prevent impaction . other way around one more question which i haven't really had answers from doctors i have enemas home and i made water enema i used it once in the morning and it helped really good Can i ask you this are Water only Enemas safe for every day use when the laxatives (Lactulose sometimes) isn't doing the thing because scientifically water is safe because our intestines if it is absorbed or something is tap clear water its not like glycerin or mineral or coffe like enemas whats your opinion on this because my GI didn't have a clue nor every doctor i talked with only i think it is good idea to stay regular and speed the things a little bit plus its naturall .

#10 Displaced

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 01:21 PM

I've had IBS (formally diagnosed) for at least ten years, but only in the last few have I been losing weight, so it may not be the cause. The slow weight loss also began before I started on Linzess, which was only about six months ago. I'm on the verge of making a doctor's appointment, since I continue to slowly but steadily drop in weight despite eating more or less the same as I always have. I've mentioned weight loss to primary care and GI doctors, but no one has ever seemed to be terribly concerned. Maybe they're just relieved that a patient isn't OVERWEIGHT in this age of obesity! Of course with IBS, there are days when I'm not terribly hungry, either because I've had a lot of diarrhea as a side effect of Linzess, or I'm backed up (my diagnosis is IBS-C), but I try to eat anyway. Still, over the last 3-5 years, my weight has dropped around 15 pounds, possibly more. I'm not sure how much, since my scale at home seem to be very erratic. This morning I weighed myself when I got up, and the reading was the lowest I've seen in 20 years, and several pounds under the range where I'd been stable for several months. However, out of curiosity I weighed myself again a couple of hours later, wearing the same clothes, and was two or three pounds heavier. Between the two weigh-ins, I'd eaten breakfast and had several bouts of diarrhea/loose stools, probably because of the Linzess. Did that make a difference one way or the other, or is it just the unreliable scale (I sometimes experiment with weighing myself and then doing it again just a couple of minutes later, and get a different result). But even if I can't get a precise weight, I can tell by the fit of my clothes that I'm dropping pounds. Whether it's at all related to IBS, I think it's time to see a doctor. Most medical advice on unexplained weight loss lists anxiety or depression as a possible cause, and while I certainly don't think I'm depressed, the IBS unquestionably causes anxiety, whether it's at a clinical level or more like stress. I sometimes feel like I'm just going to waste away if I can't stop this weight loss, so for my peace of mind I need to seek help.



#11 friendly046

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 09:12 AM

Hi: Let me explain very similar problems I have had with IBS, you have today. My digestive system was damaged after my not so nice doctor gave me 8 colonoscopy's in 8 years. I guess he needed the money. After the last one, I was so bad from the eight gallons of prep I had to drink, I could eat period unless it came out of a blender. I lost 40 pounds in 45 days, and came down with SIBO, had to take the $2,500. drug Xifaxen to kill off the overgrowth of bad bacteria. The doctor never told me I needed to go on Probiotics for at least 30 days after each colonoscopy to help the body restore the bacteria back in my digestive system. I was having bowl movements only every ten days. The bacteria was eating what I ate faster than I could eat it. The bad part was when the doctor said, I don't have an answer for you and walked out of the exam room. The MD can do the damage, but when your down and out they just kick you in the gutter. It took me three years to get back on my feet after 2.5 years of being house bound. The prep nearly killed me and if you do any research you will find its not fit for human consumption. Its a chemical used for Industrial cleaning. Made by Dow Chemical. I am now in full blown IBS-A. I am going to a new doctor, NOT a MD, and will be treated by alternative means. To many Carb will cause Constipation, cut out all Carbs and you will have explosive diarrhea. So it has to be a happy balance. I am down to only three foods I can digest today and gain any weight. I make a home made muffin, made from White rice flour, oatmeal, grits and two eggs and water. cooked for 20 min at 400* This is my carbs and I gain weight from them, I eat one every meal, 3 a day. I hope you expand my food intake as soon as I am tested for food allergy soon.  Hope this may explain some of your issues. If you have SIBO, you will loss weight fast and have constipation. That could also be a issue. Hope you find an answer soon.



#12 Displaced

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 06:06 PM

When I saw a new primary care physician about the weight loss, several interesting things happened. One, he was appalled at how often I had diarrhea, and how severe, with Linzess and suggested I cut back, such as taking it every other day. I've just begun to experiment with that. He also ordered blood tests; while I've gotten routine blood tests at least once a year and occasionally a more extensive set of tests (once after I went to another doctor to discuss my weight loss), the results were always normal. This time, though, I came back with potential thyroid problems and will be undergoing an imaging test soon; I was also deficient in vitamins D and B12 and advised to take supplements to make up the deficit. Only time will tell if using the vitamins help with the weight, and until I have the scan, I won't know what's up with my thyroid, which is often a cause of weight loss. In the meantime, I'm trying to eat more, choosing healthy snacks (vanilla yogurt, peanut butter and crackers, granola bars, fruit, nuts), eating a snack just before bedtime, which has never been my habit before, etc., trying to restore at least a few lost pounds. Hopefully my adjusted eating routine won't make the IBS worse. 



#13 Mary9874

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:38 PM

To the original poster of this thread - I hope you're feeling better now. 

 

I've suffered from constipation as a child, which turned into IBS-C in my late teens (I am now 31). I've had a strange relationship with food over the last ten years since I'm always scared of what will constipate me. People without IBS don't understand the anxiety that comes with worrying about if you'll have a bowel movement or not.

 

Anyways, I managed my IBS by focusing my diet towards carbs versus protein and fat and incorporating daily exercise. 

 

The last two years have been the worst for me. Looking back, this is when I started crossfit. I didn't realize the physical and metabolic stress that lifting creates, and I never changed my diet accordingly. My constipation got worse, I kept losing weight, I had low energy, fatigued all the time, brain fog, achy muscles. Exercise seemed to help, and I got caught in a vicious cycle. 

 

While I didn't have an eating disorder, my body went into starvation mode. I wasn't eating enough to keep up with my intense work outs (6x a week). I have significantly bumped up my carbs over the last week, and I already feel so much better. I'm not used to eating this much. But if eating more means I get better, I am happy to do so. 







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