ZocdocAnswersDoes Inflammatory Bowel Disease cause weight loss?

Question

Does Inflammatory Bowel Disease cause weight loss?

I have IBD and keep losing weight. What can I do to stop?

Answer

Inflammatory bowel disease is a serious chronic condition in which inflammation in the intestines leads to pain, bleeding, weight loss, malnutrition, and other symptoms. Taking care of the condition requires close followup with a specialist gastroenterologist. It sounds to me that your inflammatory bowel disease is not under good control if you are losing weight. When the disease is very active, it is hard to keep up with nutritional requirements, and the inflammatory process also contributes to continued weight loss. You should schedule an appointment with your gastroenterologist as soon as possible to discuss this issue, as it may be necessary to change your treatment medications in order to get your symptoms under better control. Another possibility, which occurs especially in people who have Crohn's disease (one of the two types of inflammatory bowel disease) and have had multiple surgeries is that the intestine becomes too short to adequately absorb nutrients. In this case, it is possible to lose weight and become malnourished even though your disease symptoms are actually under control. If this is your case, you should down with a nutritionist to come up with a plan for taking in higher calorie foods.

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