It could explain why that number on the scale is rising. When digestive enzymes to help lose weight is flowing smoothly, life is good. But when it’s out of whack, it could affect — you guessed it — the scale. If the number on the scale is changing and you really aren’t sure why, one of these common digestive issues could be the culprit. And for people who suffer from it, the term “comfort food” takes on a whole new meaning because the act of eating can actually help reduce pain.
Eating provides temporary relief because both the food you’re eating, and the saliva from actually chewing that food, neutralizes acid,” explains Brown. But because people want help, Brown says it’s easy to get sucked into a dangerous cycle of overeating that leads to weight gain. While plenty of online sources say home remedies like apple cider vinegar or aloe vera can help, Brown says there’s no scientific evidence to support those notions. These uncomfortable sores — also known as duodenal ulcers — usually develop in the lining of the stomach or small intestine, and it’s usually because of too much acid production. And, to re-state the obvious, if you’re eating more frequently, those excess calories can lead to weight gain. To banish ulcers, see your doctor about the best remedy for you, which might involve an acid-blocking medication — aka an anti-acid — like Prilosec or Zantec, says Sachar. And stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin, as they could cause internal bleeding and be life-threatening to those with ulcers. Instead, opt for acetaminophen, or Tylenol, when you need help with pain management. When you’re stopped up, that weighed-down feeling you get could be weight gain.
Bear with us — this one isn’t quite as gross as it sounds. The problem occurs when the amount of bacteria increases, or when the type of bacteria gets thrown off-balance. For optimal health, it’s best to think of it like a seesaw — best when the good and bad is totally balanced. First, the bacteria could produce methane gas, which “slows down the overall function of the small intestine, allowing the intestinal villi — small, finger-like projections in the lining of your intestine — to absorb more calories per bite,” he explains. In other words, the exact opposite of what you want to happen. If bacteria overgrowth is already happening, though, your doctor may suggest a digestive herbal supplement like Atrantil to help you get back on track. The term IBS gets tossed around a lot these days, as “it’s the most commonly diagnosed GI condition, and it often overlaps with other digestive problems like food sensitivities, a leaky gut, and an imbalance of good and bad bacteria,” says Sachar. For people who are diagnosed with IBS, it’s about getting to the root of the problem.
Your doctor can work with you to build up the good bacteria you need with probiotics, and add digestive enzymes to help break down food so it’s not just sitting around in your gut causing inflammation, explains Sachar. FODMAP, as it can help reduce bloating and help get any unnecessary weight gain under control. Steroids tend to increase your cravings for carbs and cause you to hold on to more water and feel bloated,” says Sachar. First of all, your overall health is more important than a few pounds on the scale, so following your doctor’s orders is imperative. But some doctors do shy away from steroid use, like Brown, as he knows the side effects can be less than desirable. Every patient responds differently to medication, though, so talk with your own physician to see what works best for you.
Because normal digestion isn’t able to occur, it’s common to feel like you’re gaining weight due to fullness and bloating in the stomach area, but the disorder most commonly leads to weight loss in the end. Because fatty and fiber-filled foods take longer to digest, it’s recommended that anyone with the disorder limits or avoids those foods altogether. But since this is a serious condition, it’s best to speak with your doctor to see what the best treatment options are for you. If you’ve noticed your body is easily irritated by certain foods, there’s a good chance you have a food intolerance. Those with a food intolerance often experience gas, cramps, and bloating, making it feel like they’re gaining weight. Depending on how severe the food intolerance is, they might also experience diarrhea. While you might feel super bloated and uncomfortable throughout the day because of your diet, you might not actually be gaining weight.