Does diarrhea make you lose weight? The answer is yes. But is it a comprehensive or healthy way to lose weight? Or is it something you should worry about? Well, it might not be a good idea if you want long term, stable and sustainable weight loss. Almost all of us have experienced diarrhea at some point in our lives. Although it is not a severe but short-lived condition, the symptoms are not comforting.
Weight loss and diarrhea are not the same thing. Some people with diarrhea may unintentionally lose 1 or 2 pounds if it lasts up to 3 days. According to research, diarrhea is a common digestive problem that leads to weight loss due to poor absorption of nutrients. However, there is no guarantee that everyone will quickly lose a few pounds just because of diarrhea because the body is constantly processing food and passing waste.
Want to learn more about the mysterious relationship between diarrhea and weight loss and how to deal with this condition? Scroll to discover!
Is diarrhea a diet concern?
Diarrhea is a common condition that occurs in most people several times each year. It causes watery and liquid stools, which increases the frequency of bowel movements. It will make the affected person feel weak and tired as the body must lose a lot of fluid quickly, leading to dehydration. Prolonged diarrhea is a nutritional concern because it can cause significant weight loss. It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate a bit due to digestive issues. However, it does not mean healthy weight loss.
How does diarrhea cause weight loss?
Chronic diarrhea that lasts for more than weeks causes the body to lose a lot of fluid. Loss of body fluids may affect your weight. Other symptoms that accompany the condition, such as vomiting and lack of appetite, also make it difficult to keep any food or liquid food sources in the stomach. These symptoms will reduce the intake of calorie levels, which helps in the involuntary weight loss process. The rate of weight loss depends on the length and severity of the diarrhea. However, any weight loss due to diarrhea is essentially water weight. Once your bowel movements and appetite are restored, your weight will also return to normal. Moreover, the weight loss caused by diarrhea depends on the type you are experiencing. It is of two types, acute and chronic diarrhea, and each has a unique mechanism of weight loss.
acute diarrhea It usually affects a person for 24 to 48 hours, and the maximum and frequency of bowel movements can range from 5 to 7 times a day. May cause sudden surge of energy due to lack of nutrition absorption.
Chronic diarrhea It may affect a person for several weeks, and nutritional loss will occur for a longer time. A person may feel tired most of the time. Bowel movements range from 3 to 4 times a day.
And by the way, there are more ideas about diarrhea and weight loss. Below is a list of surprising health conditions directly or indirectly related to diarrhea that can lead to weight changes.
irritable bowel syndrome
IBS is a common disorder that leads to persistent diarrhea or constipation. It is caused by a microbial imbalance in the gut and can cause symptoms such as gas, bloating, anemia and unexplained weight loss.
inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect the digestive system and its normal function. As a result, it blocks the absorption of nutrients, which leads to anemia and weight loss.
Also known as gluten intolerance, celiac disease is an immune condition that triggers an autoimmune response against gluten, a specific protein. As a result, it may cause severe damage to the intestinal walls, leading to malabsorption of nutrients, diarrhea, and weight loss.
Constant exposure to water and food contaminated with bacteria or parasites can lead to chronic bacterial infection and persistent diarrhea. As a result, it damages the intestines, leading to malnutrition and unexpected weight loss.
In this case, the body lacks some digestive enzymes. As a result, it causes the food to remain unabsorbed and undigested. Also, over time, this may lead to weight loss due to poor nutrition. Likewise, injury to the intestinal wall prevents nutrient absorption, which leads to weight loss.
A high-fat, low-carb diet, known as keto, makes it difficult for your body to process food. It will eventually lead to diarrhea, affecting your weight and general health.
Lactose is a sugar naturally found in milk and other dairy products. However, most people have lactose intolerance, which is the inability to digest lactose, which leads to diarrhea after eating dairy products. In addition, undigested lactose causes an imbalance in the intestines, which leads to abdominal pain and short-term weight loss.
Diarrhea leads to short-term weight loss, which affects your appetite or energy levels. And yes, if you were wondering, diarrhea isn’t a solution to your weight concerns. The actual weight loss journey is anything but quick and requires a balanced diet and proper exercise.
Tips for dealing with weight loss caused by diarrhea
Diarrhea that persists for several days up to a week can be severe and disrupt your routine. In addition, it will lead to unintended weight loss. It can lead to various health problems, including fatigue, malabsorption, and nutritional deficiencies.
Here are some effective tips for dealing with diarrhea.
drink a lot of water
When your body becomes dehydrated due to diarrhea, it filters retained water from the muscles and internal organs, in an attempt to compensate for the lack of water. So it is essential to drink plenty of water when suffering from diarrhea which also helps with weight management. However, avoid drinking a lot of water or other fluids.
Avoid consuming excess sugar
When you suffer from diarrhea, you should avoid eating foods with high concentrations of sugar. These include soft drinks, sports drinks, and other soft drinks. Instead, drink a healthy alternative like plain water or unsweetened tea instead of sugary drinks if you want to maintain an optimal weight.
Increase your intake of fiber-rich foods
Fiber plays an important role in helping an individual lose weight without overindulging in unhealthy snacks. Additionally, eating high-fiber foods is a great way to shed pounds and manage diarrhea without relying on medications.
Eat good fats
People with diarrhea may crave foods that are high in fat due to the imbalance and poor functioning of the digestive system. To avoid further effects of an upset stomach, try to include foods rich in fats such as nuts, seeds, and avocados. This will help you gain the extra energy to keep you active throughout the day.
Weight loss due to irregular bowel movement is temporary, because it is only water loss. Hence it would be useful if you did not consider it an ideal way to shed some kilos. However, including more fiber in diets for weight loss will support weight management and ensure regular bowel movements. If you have prolonged diarrhea or are related to weight loss, it is worth talking to your doctor.
Some people think diarrhea is a form of diet. Although it causes weight loss, diarrhea is not an ideal method of operation. Sudden, unexplained weight loss may indicate underlying health problems. Intentional diarrhea causes abdominal pain and digestive problems and may also cause general health deterioration.
Whether it is acute or chronic diarrhea, you will lose weight due to loss of body fluids, severe dehydration, and reduced intestinal absorption of nutrients. Therefore, aim to lose weight only through aspects of diet and exercise, not by affecting bowel movements. Simply put, a healthy weight loss journey should ideally combine a balanced diet, regular exercise, active lifestyle changes, and overall health improvement.