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Hi everyone. I'm a 29 year year old male that has been suffering with IBS-D and other related issued for the past year. I've had issues with diarrhea, abdominal pain, nauseau, and vomitting. After lots and lots of tests I've been diagnosed with IBS, GERD, rapid gastric emptying, hepatosplenomegally (enlarged liver/spleen), and I recently was told that they found mild gastritis and a hiatal hernia during my endoscopy. I've been so depressed lately because all of these issues and the IBS-D are pretty much ruining my life. My social life is greatly affected, because I've had to cancel countless plans with my friends because of my stomach issues.. I'm a fairly big guy, and certainly need to lose weight. Unfortunately losing weight is easier said then done. When I went to see my GI Doctor, he pretty much told me that the only option that might help me with my problems is to have weight loss surgery. So I have started the long pre-approval process and will hopefully be having the Lap Band surgery done before the end of this summer. My GI doctor is making it seem that losing alot of weight will be the answer to all of my prayers.. Has anyone had weight loss surgery or lost a lot of weight? If so, has that helped your IBS? While I know that I need to lose weight just to be healthier in general, I'm worried that my doctor is giving me false hope for weight loss surgery being a great help to my IBS issues.
 

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I have not had any weight issues apart from losing a bit too much when I first got IBS but I would be very, very cautious about going down this route. Yes, weight loss may help your IBS but I do not believe that it is a cure. IBS is not caused by excessive weight, per say. There are many, many skinny people with it. In fact, surgery to your digestive tract may be counter productive and, indeed exacerbate digestive problems. I have not read extensively on the topic but got the impression from what I have read that some of the protocols used for treating IBS were developed for people who have had weight loss surgery and developed IBS type issues as a result. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge than me will be able to clarify this for you.Are you sure that you have exhausted all other avenues for weight loss. Have you tried the Atkins type weight loss programs, for example? (perhaps the modified version which includes more veg). My own experience, of eating a low carb diet is that it makes it very easy to control what you eat. If you haven't you really should investigate before you go down the surgical route
 

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While all types of IBS occur across all weights, they do find that typically with a high BMI that adds to the rapid movement of stool through the GI tract. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19701093 has some info on that study, it may be kinda technical.What we don't have is a study that says what percentage of people are more normal as they approach a more normal weight, which would be nice.Extra weight never makes any body system work better, so while it may not cure IBS, it may make it a bit more managable. Low carb diets have been shown to help some IBS-D kinds so it may be worth trying Atkins (and that was the one used in the study with IBS-D) and see if 6 months of that or so can get you to lose enough weight for health and help the IBS.Unfortunately depending on how much extra weight someone has it can take something fairly drastic to break the cycle and get significant and lasting weight loss. The one advantage to the surgeries is they tend to enforce lifestyle changes. Unfortunately for some that means they get "dumping syndrome" or other GI distress if they break the rules about how much of what kinds of food the body now tolerates. I think the worst issues are when they also bypass part of the small intestine or remove bits and I think with the Lap Band they don't mess with the intestines like they do with other surgeries.
 

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I was overweight during my 10 years with IBS. In my case it was about 30 pounds. A lot of that was due to a high carb/fat diet combined with a lack of exercise due to the D. I was fortunate to find a way to eliminate the stomach problems which then led to approaches to diet and exercise. All of this was accomplished with supplementation rather than drugs or medical procedures. It took some years of work to restore my health; but it is possible without surgery or heaps of drugs. The most satisfying part of that is seeing that even my aging body was able to rebound, in spite of what I had done to it in my 20s-40s. You are young. There is lots of time to address your health problems without radical surgery.Good luck.Mark
 
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