5 Digestive Disorders that Can Cause Weight Gain

February 7, 2019
Did you know that constipation is one of several digestive disorders that can cause weight gain? The excess waste affects the functions of your metabolism.

Being overweight is a disorder that is caused by the accumulation of fats and toxins in the body. This increases your body weight to a point that is considered unhealthy.

Its principal cause is consuming too many calories in your diet, but it can also be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, hormonal changes, and metabolic difficulties. 

In fact, some patients suffer from this condition because their digestive system doesn’t function correctly. This is because its functions are essential for breaking down fats and absorbing nutrients.

For this reason, although you should always look at your diet first, you have to consider that a digestive disorder may be responsible.

Read on: Three Perfect Recipes for People with Digestive Problems

We want to take this opportunity to share 5 digestive disorders that can cause weight gain so that you can identify them and take respective measures.

Digestive disorders that can cause weight gain

1. Gastro-esophageal reflux

Girl with stomach pain.

Gastro-esophageal reflux is a digestive disorder that causes an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest. This is due to the acidic juices coming back into the esophagus because the valves that keep them in the stomach have weakened.

Its relationship with weight gain comes from the anxiety that we get from food since some foods temporarily relieve symptoms.

While small portions usually don’t pose a threat, once the food is digested, the symptoms persist and the desire to eat reappears. 


  • Control the symptoms of reflux with natural teas and homemade remedies that are low in calories.
  • Avoid eating fatty or irritating foods because they’ll just worsen the problem.

2. Ulcers

Ulcers, lesions that usually appear in the lining of the stomach or the small intestine, are the most common consequence of excessive acid production.

Similar to the previous disorder, they can result in weight gain since they can cause anxiety episodes when it comes to eating.

They cause abdominal inflammation and constant nausea that generally go away after eating certain foods.

Because of this, patients tend to eat more calories than they should and, if the disorder is not controlled within a short period of time, they’ll experience notable weight gain.

Discover: 10 Safe Foods for Sensitive Stomachs


  • Avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications, painkillers, and antibiotics while treating an ulcer.
  • Cut dairy products, spicy foods, and other irritating foods from your diet.
  • Take homemade remedies with alkaline properties, like baking soda or aloe vera gel.
  • Drink more water and teas that help with digestion.

3. Constipation

Girl on toilet with stomach pain.

Constipation is one of the digestive disorders that can cause weight gain. This is because waste accumulates in the intestines, affects metabolism, and makes it difficult for the body to turn nutrients into energy sources.

Retaining toxins in your colon causes inflammation in your stomach and causes a feeling of heaviness. This can make you think that the things you’re doing to try to lose weight aren’t working.

However, it’s not because the body is absorbing more calories. The excess waste is making it hard to see results when you’re trying to lose weight


  • Increase your consumption of fiber. To do this, don’t hesitate to add fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your diet.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Make natural laxatives.

4. Changes in bacterial flora, one of the digestive disorders that can cause weight gain

Changes in bacterial flora in the intestines are one of the influencing factors when it comes to weight gain. They interfere with your metabolic rhythm and, at the same time, make it difficult to absorb and correctly use the nutrients that come from foods.

These imbalances happen because the microorganisms grow excessively or because their presence in the colon is decreased.

As a consequence, it creates problems like constipation and can also increase how often you eat. This will make you accumulate more fat.


  • Avoid excessive consumption of foods that alter the pH of the intestine (fats, refined flours, sugars, etc.)
  • Increase your consumption of foods with probiotics like natural yogurt or fermented cabbage.
  • Drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day.

5. Irritable bowel syndrome

Girl in her bed holding her stomach.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a gastrointestinal condition that, due to poor diet practices, has become considerably more common in the past few years.

Its appearance is accompanied by other problems with the digestive system, including inflammatory imbalances and changes in bacterial flora. It can cause constipation, stomach bloating, and difficulty digesting certain foods.

So, when people ignore their symptoms and don’t try to treat them, they can experience weight gain and feel sick all the time.


  • Consult with your doctor if you suspect you have any of these conditions.
  • Add probiotics to your diet and foods that contain digestive enzymes.
  • Eliminate any inflammatory foods or drinks as much as you can.

Do you identify with any of these digestive disorders that can cause weight gain? If you have any symptoms of digestive problems or suspect that you can’t lose weight because of them, follow the given recommendations and go see your doctor to get a more precise diagnosis.

  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute en colaboración con The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, CLINICAL GUIDELINES ON THE IDENTIFICATION, EVALUATION , AND TREATMENT OF OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY IN ADULTS. The Evidence Report, NIH PUBLICATION NO. 98-4083 SEPTEMBER 1998
  • Amparo Escudero Sanchís, Miguel Bixquert Jiménez, Guía para prevenir y tratar el estreñimiento, Fundación Española del Aparato Digestivo, s.f.
  • Susana Jiménez Contreras, “Síndrome del Intestino irritable”, Fudación Española del Aparato Digestivo, s.f. https://www.saludigestivo.es/mes-saludigestivo/sindrome-del-intestino-irritable/sindrome-del-intestino-irritable-concepto/
  • Pathophysiological role of host microbiota in the development of obesity.
    Kobyliak N1, Virchenko O2, Falalyeyeva T2.