Does Diarrhea Cause Weight Loss
Does diarrhea cause weight loss and if it does is it really a healthy weight loss strategy that you should pursue or avoid?
We've all experienced feeling lighter and leaner after we've done our business.
And we know how heavy we can feel when bunged up with constipation for days.
But is that feeling of lightness really mean we're losing weight?
How Much Does Your Stool Weight?
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that after a productive evacuation you do become lighter.
So, how much does the average poop weigh?
A 2016 study by Cambridge University set out to see if there is a link between low fecal weight and slow bowel transit time to bowel cancer risk.
After taking stool samples from over 20 populations from 12 different countries they found the average stool weighs between 2.5oz and 1Ib.
Your stool mostly comprises of 75% water with undigested food, mucous, bacteria dead blood cells making up the difference.
Not surprisingly, when it comes to poop weight western populations are lightweights. The study revealed the Western samples averaged between 3 to 4oz, thanks to diets low in fiber and whole grain foods.
So yes, if you weigh yourself before and after taking a dump you will have lost weight.
Unfortunately, you won't be any thinner because you can't poop out calories making pooping an ineffective weight loss strategy.
How Diarrhea Causes Weight Loss
The common symptoms of diarrhea are loose watery stools. These watery discharges can occur several times a day and night.
If its chronic diarrhea, watery discharges can be more frequent and painful.
Additionally, stomach cramps and fever are other symptoms to watch out for.
Acute diarrhea is the body's reaction to a bacterial infection. Water is drawn into the intestinal tract causing a watery stool to flush out toxins from the body. Diarrhea can also dehydrate you.
You can lose weight with diarrhea but most of it will be water weight.
You can lose weight with diarrhea but most of it will be water weight.
Chronic diarrhea is more regular. If the condition lasts for more than a few days it means important nutrients are not being absorbed causing you to lose weight.
Frequent watery discharges can last up to a week which mean considerable weight can be lost.
A loss of appetite is very common with diarrhea. When you realize eating is going to cause you abdominal pains and lose bowel movements you quickly lose the desire to eat.
What Causes Diarrhea Weight Loss
There are three types of diarrhea, acute and chronic.
1. Acute Diarrhea
In most cases diarrhea is the result of a stomach virus or bacterial infection.
For example, bacteria is the common cause of travelers diarrhea. Travelling to developed countries increases exposure to bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella from food poisoning, contaminated drinks or human contact.
Also be aware of Parasitic intestinal infections such as giardiasis which is common in uncooked meat.
Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu) and intestinal infections can also cause acute diarrhea.
The most common infectious virus in children is the rotavirus and norovirus in adults.
Gastroenteritis symptoms can also include abdominal cramps, muscle aches, feeling sick and fever.
Acute diarrhea can also be caused by changes in diet or even stress.
2. Chronic Diarrhea
Chronic diarrhea is more constant and may be a symptom of an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or the malabsorption of fat and carbohydrates.
Chronic diarrhea is often the result of a chronic digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, celiac disease or crohns disease.
These disorders can be genetic, but in the majority of cases diet plays an influential factor.
For example, wheat or a gluten intolerance can lead to symptoms of diarrhea in Celiac and Crohns disease.
3. Malabsorptive Diarrhea
Malabsorption diarrhea can be caused by fat or carbohydrate malabsorption.
Fat malabsorption can be the result of low pancreatic enzyme levels causing impaired digestion of fats in the diet.
The main cause is chronic pancreatitis an inflammation of the pancreas often caused by long term alcohol damage or cystic fibrosis.
Chronic pancreatitis can also cause to weight loss.
Small bowel diseases such as eosinophilic gastroenteritis and tropical sprue are rare conditions that can impair the absorption of fat.
Watery diarrhea can be caused by another form of malabsorptive diarrhea such as carbohydrate malabsorption which is an intolerance to sorbitol, fructose and lactose.
A lactose intolerance with cause abdominal bloating and excessive gas after eating dairy products.
Certain ethnic groups such as Asian Americans and African Americans are more prone to lactose intolerance.
Consuming certain soft drinks, dried fruits or sweets containing fructose and sorbitol and cause diarrhea in people with a fructose and sorbitol intolerance.
Can Bacterial Overgrowth Cause Diarrhea
An overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut can reduce the absorption of essential nutrients resulting in slow bowel movement, abdominal cramping, flatulence and diarrhea.
The key to fix this problem is to stop and reduce the bacterial overgrowth. In chronic cases such as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) a doctor may prescribe anti-biotics.
In milder cases, probiotic foods and supplements can help crowd out the bad bacteria and rebalance the gut.
How To Stop Your Diarrhea
For severe cases anti-diarrheal drug therapy can help manage symptoms with bismuth subsalicylate and anti-mobility drugs such as loperamide.
In fact, loperamode is considered the most effective drug to treat chronic diarrhea because of its fewer side effects.
Cases of diarrhea caused by a bacterial or viral infection is usually a sign of a weakened immune system or a lack of stomach acid.
This can happen when you eat too much processed foods and live an unhealthy lifestyle.
In fact, one the functions of stomach acid is to kill any bacteria or viruses that enter the stomach.
If levels of stomach acid are low this can allow these invaders to infect the digestive system. An over dependence on antacids and laxatives can interfere with the body's ability to produce enough stomach acid.
To reduce your risk of diarrhea you can boost your immune system by eating a healthy balanced diet of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains.
These nutritious foods are bursting with natural enzymes that help restore a healthy PH (acidity) balance. Having a healthy PH levels kill off parasites and bacteria.
A controlled diet of healthy natural foods free of additives and chemicals will also help alleviate the symptoms of many chronic disorders and bowel diseases.
Even better, are fermented foods such as pickled vegetables and kefir.
They contain high levels of natural friendly bacterial that help stop the growth of bad bacteria re-balance your digestive system.
A Natural Way To Heal Your Gut
If you're suffering from frequent bouts of diarrhea it could mean an out-of -balance digestive system.
As part of a healthy diet, a digestive health supplement is a convenient solution to help restore your microbiome.
The one we recommend is Kiwi-Klenz because its made from 100% kiwi fruit.
Why kiwi fruit?
Because the kiwi fruit in Kiwi Klenz is full of prebiotics, soluble fibers and digestive enzymes.
These nutrients are going to help support your friendly bacteria and a healthy gut function.
But don't take my word for it.
J H Cummings 1, S A Bingham, K W Heaton, M A Eastwood - University of Cambridge, England - Fecal weight, colon cancer risk, and dietary intake of nonstarch polysaccharides (dietary fiber) - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1333426/