Five Digestive Disorders that Can Cause Weight Gain

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.
Five Digestive Disorders that Can Cause Weight Gain
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Reviewed and approved by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Last update: 30 May, 2022

In addition to poor eating habits, sedentariness, hormonal changes and metabolic difficulties, there are several digestive disorders that can cause weight gain.

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 and consult your doctor. You have to consider that a digestive disorder may be responsible.

Digestive disorders that can cause weight gain

1. Gastro-esophageal reflux

A man feeling the side of his body.

Gastro-esophageal reflux is a digestive disorder that can influence weight gain and cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest. This is due to the acidic juices coming back into the esophagus.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Antonio Spaventa Ibarrola, an expert in General Surgery in Mexico City, there’s an association between people suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux and obesity. In this sense, many times surgery is the most appropriate treatment when dealing with a severe pathology.


  • 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
  • Reach your target weight

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 indigestion.


  • Firstly, cut dairy products, spicy foods, and other irritating foods from your diet
  • Drink more water and teas that help with digestion
  • Follow your doctors advice

3. Constipation

Constipation can be one of many digestive disorders.

According to the Spanish Association of Coloproctology, constipation isn’t a disease. It’s a chronic or isolated symptom of the accumulation of waste in the intestine. It also affects the deposition of feces. A margin between three bowel movements a day and one every three days is considered normal.

Constipation is one of the digestive disorders that can cause weight gain. 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 such as teas or smoothies. Although you must be careful not to overdo this remedy

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 fatty foods, refined flours, and sugars
  • Increase your consumption of foods with probiotics like natural yogurt or fermented cabbage
  • Drink 1.5 to 2 quarts of water a day

5. Irritable bowel syndrome

A man with a stomach ache.

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.


  • Firstly, consult with your doctor if you suspect you have any of these conditions
  • Then, add probiotics to your diet and foods that contain digestive enzymes
  • Eliminate any inflammatory foods or drinks as much as you can
  • Finally, one of the main recommendations is to reduce stress levels

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 consult your doctor for a more precise diagnosis.

In any case, you shouldn’t forget an important detail: it could be that overweight or obesity are the causes of these digestive problems and not the contrary. In this sense, try to have a balanced diet, keep yourself hydrated, do physical exercise, and, of course, maintain healthy life habits.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Amparo Escudero Sanchís, Miguel Bixquert Jiménez, Guía para prevenir y tratar el estreñimiento, Fundación Española del Aparato Digestivo, s.f.
  • Antonio Giovanni Spaventa Ibarrola. ERGE y obesidad. Volumen 35, Supl. 1 Enero-Marzo 2013. MÓDULO VII. BARIATRÍA.
  • Asociacion español de coloproctología. Estreñimiento. 2012.
  • 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
  • Pathophysiological role of host microbiota in the development of obesity.
    Kobyliak N1, Virchenko O2, Falalyeyeva T2.
  • Susana Jiménez Contreras, “Síndrome del Intestino irritable”, Fudación Española del Aparato Digestivo, s.f.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.