What are the types of digestive disorders that cause weight gain?
Are you struggling with weight gain despite your efforts to eat a healthy diet and exercise? There are a number of digestive conditions, affecting millions of people worldwide, that can contribute to unwanted weight gain. Theses digestive disorders can not only cause weight gain, they can disrupt the body’s natural balance and cause many other symptoms. These challenging disorders can range from food intolerances, bacterial infections, IBS, acid reflux and many more. By gaining a deeper understanding of these issues, we can empower ourselves to make informed choices and seek natural treatment options that support digestive wellness and sustainable weight management.
What is a digestive disorder?
A digestive disorder refers to a condition or malfunction in the digestive system. The digestive system includes organs such as the stomach, intestines, liver, and pancreas, and this system is responsible for breaking down food, extracting nutrients, and eliminating waste from the body. When this intricate process is disrupted, it affects the normal digestion, the absorption of nutrients, and various digestive disorders can arise causing discomfort and pain. These disorders may also impact bowel movements, often leading to symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and in some cases, lead to weight gain.
Common types of digestive disorders that cause weight gain
Food intolerances or food sensitivities are common digestive disorders. This occurs when when the body has difficulty digesting certain foods. It can lead to digestive symptoms such as bloating, pain, gas, and diarrhoea. In some cases, food sensitivities and intolerances may trigger chronic inflammation, disrupt metabolic processes and lead to weight gain. Identifying and eliminating problematic foods from your diet, under the guidance of your Shift naturopathic practitioner, can help alleviate symptoms and support healthy weight loss and management.
Chronic constipation can impact more than just your bowel movements. When waste material builds up in the colon, it can cause abdominal distension and affect nutrient absorption and metabolism, potentially leading to weight gain. Naturopathic treatments focus on improving digestive health to promote motility, incorporating dietary fibre, and increasing hydration to alleviate constipation and maintain a healthy body weight.
Ulcers including peptic ulcer disease
Ulcers, including PUD (peptic ulcer disease), are open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach, small intestine, or oesophagus. These painful sores can disrupt digestion, causing symptoms such as indigestion, abdominal pain, and unintended weight gain. The naturopaths at Shift create a treatment plan to alleviate ulcer symptoms, promote gut healing, and restore healthy digestion through a combination of dietary modifications, herbal remedies, and stress management techniques.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease defined by recurring inflammation of the colon and rectum. The inflammation can impair nutrient absorption and lead to weight gain or difficulty in losing weight. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis are diarrhoea, blood or mucous in your stool, urgency to empty your bowels, abdominal pain and fatigue. Naturopathic treatments for ulcerative colitis focus on reducing inflammation, restoring gut health, and focusing on eating habits and a balanced diet to promote healthy weight management.
Acid Reflux or GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is commonly known as acid reflux. GERD occurs when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus, which can also create reflux esophagitis. The chronic inflammation and discomfort caused by GERD can disrupt eating patterns and contribute to weight gain. GERD symptoms may include chest pain or burning, nausea, belching, a bad taste in your mouth, abdominal discomfort and a dry cough. Naturopathic approaches aim to identify triggers, reduce acid reflux symptoms, and promote digestive health through dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and herbal remedies.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a persistent gastrointestinal disorder that affects the intestines, causing symptoms such as abdominal bloating, pain, and varying bowel habits. Weight gain or difficulty in losing weight is commonly associated with IBS alongside other digestive issues and poor absorption of nutrients. Naturopathic treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome focus on identifying triggers, managing stress, optimising intestinal health, and restoring balance to support healthy weight management.
Alongside our Naturopaths, our Acupuncturists and Hypnotherapists support clients with managing lifestyle stress, pain management, the emotional stress from feeling unable to lose weight, and any psychosomatic components to your pain and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the digestive tract. The persistent inflammation and malabsorption corresponding with Crohn’s disease can lead to unintended weight gain, weight loss and nutritional deficiencies. Naturopathic treatment plans aim to reduce inflammation, support gut healing, and enhance nutrient absorption, promoting digestive health and weight management.
Bacterial issues impacts and creates imbalance in the gut microbiome. Imbalances like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), can disrupt digestion, cause many digestive symptoms and contribute to weight gain. Naturopathic treatments for bacterial issues focus on rebalancing the good and bad bacteria through dietary changes, probiotics, use of antimicrobial herbs, restoring digestive harmony and supporting healthy weight management.
Gastroparesis, sometimes known as paralysis of the stomach, is a condition defined by delayed gastric emptying. Gastroparesis can lead to symptoms such as abdominal bloating, nausea, and unintentional weight gain. Naturopathic treatment for gastroparesis focus on dietary modifications and herbal tinctures to alleviate these digestive problems and symptoms, and manage symptoms to support healthy weight loss.
Do I have a digestive disorder?
It is important to consult with a qualified naturopath who has a special interest in gut health. Our naturopaths at Shift guide you on a personalised holistic treatment plan, tailored to your unique needs, to support you to understand the root cause of your digestive issues and reach optimal gastrointestinal health and sustainable weight management. Our naturopaths use a range of investigative techniques and testing to make sure you are properly diagnosed and treated. The many digestive disorders mentioned in this article can hugely impact not only your weight management but also your daily eating experiences and overall lifestyle.
If you are wanting to get to the bottom of your digestive symptoms, call our reception team (07 3367 0337 or hel[email protected]) for more information how we can help you.