Health & Support
Moderators: autopilotfrank193, nycgirl, bierorama, ksylvan, peaches0405

How could I have gained weight after a colonoscopy?!?!?

Quote  |  Reply

OK everyone, some of this might be too much info, but here we go anyway. I was plateaued for a good month or so, then I had a hospital stay due to ruptured colon/diverticulitis (8/1/08 - 8/4/08).

When I got out of the hospital, I started losing weight at a nice pace again, (about 1.5 lb per week). And that went on for the month of August.

Now yesterday, I had a colonoscopy to follow up and make sure nothing else is abnormal. Any of you who have had one or know someone who had one can testify that the cleansing you do the day before is very thorough. I'm very sure I had nothing left in me. And a lot of fluid leaves your body too, not just stool. Then I had to fast yesterday before the procedure. It wasn't complete until 3pm, and my stomach was uncomfortable, so I ate a snack and an easy supper.

Today I weighed myself and I have gained 4 lb since sunday. Normally I would assume that a jump like that was water weight, but how could that be the case considering my experiences of the last couple days. I'm not totally freaking out, but I really don't like that number on the scale. I half expected a temporary (water) loss because of all this.

What do you guys think is goin on?

9 Replies (last)

Hummmmmm weird.  I know after my colonoscopy i lost weight simply because I didnt eat and to put it bluntly, pooped out everything i ate prob the whole month prior.  I ate a huge pastrami sandwich afterwards and gained the 6 lbs i lost back in probably 2 days.  It could be anything, only you know your body.  Maybe your expecting your monthly friend?  What were the colonoscopy findings?

Our bodies fluctuate soooo much, I have been batteling my weight since 5th grade.  I have lost 100 lbs already and have another 40 to go.  I think you need to look at the whole picture and see that this is not a day to day thing its a lifetime thing, so as long as you are eating right and exercising the weight will come off, sometimes things happen you just cant explain.

The best fo luck!

Yeah, it IS all water weight. The laxatives they give you are very, very powerful. It will be at LEAST a few days before your stomach/system is back to normal.

nikki730, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks its weird. I assumed I would go down a bit too (I know it would have been short-term) just because of the amount of food and fluid that left my system.  My findings were normal. The dr said other than the diverticulosis (which we had already discovered) there was nothing even suspicious in there. They only checked me out because I'm pretty young (31) to even get the diverticulosis/diverticulitis, and they wanted to make sure there wasn't anything else to worry about.


jamminatorr, I guess that's why I figured I shouldn't go UP in weight. Those powerful laxatives flushed me out good and I didn't think there was hardly any water left in me.

My plan is to just go back to my regular (healthy) eating and exercise routines, and it will probably even out soon. Even if its is "real" weight (which logically shouldn't be possible) I know that it will eventually go away too. It was just suprising.

Thanks for your answers, and please feel free to keep adding answers/comments/suggestions!!! This is just weird, lol!

It's just fluid retention.  I had one a couple of months ago and that prep fluid is full of salt to keep your electrolytes balanced.  Relax and let it run its course.

Its water.

Dehydration could have caused some water retention (many people can retain up to 5lbs of water regularly)

Also it could be a side effect to the laxatives/meds they gave you.

I found this also:

Causes of body water retention depend on a wide range of factors including a high salt intake, as a reaction to hot weather, gravity, nutritional deficiencies, burns as well as sunburn and as a side effect of certain drugs.

No worries, just get back into your normal routine and you'll probably end up dropping more than 6lbs.

Quote  |  Reply

I go for one every 3 years and each time I gain at least 6 lbs the next day.  They give me lots of i.v. fluids because you're pretty dehydrated by the time you go in for the procedure due to the stuff you take to clean you out.  It's just water.  Water is heavy!

Quote  |  Reply

Me too.

I had lost 1.5 lbs a week from august 15th to november 22. Then I had the colonoscopy. Gained about 4 lbs. And three weeks later and having trouble losing it.

I figure my body went into the starvation mode and started holding onto everything. Amazing, isn't it?

Not to mention frustrating.

This is a really old topic but it came up when I did a search of "colonoscopy" and "weight gain" and so I post this FYI for others' consideration:

My spouse underwent a routine colonoscopy screening in January. For many, many years my spouse maintained a healthy weight. My spouse happens to work at a job where 10,000 steps per day are not unusual. That amount of activity is supposed to help a person lose, let alone maintain, weight.

My spouse was the last to be taken in; many more patients had undergone the same procedure with the same doctor in a hospital setting back in January (2015).

The results of the colonoscopy were completely normal.

After the test my spouse, inexplicably, was able to go off an OTC IBS probiotic supplement called "Digestive Advantage", which had been necessary to control what was *thought* to be IBS.

Since the colonoscopy, my spouse had a complete "remission" of IBS. My spouse no longer complains of cramping (food passing through too quickly after a meal).

Sounds like good news, right?

Well, it's a mixed bag. Here's what I think readers (and medical researchers) need to investigate and why:

My spouse had just turned 54 at the time of the screening and is in good overall health. After the colonoscopy my spouse developed "beer belly" and can't shed the excess weight (over 20lbs). Not for one day in my spouse's life has there been a weight problem. It ALL came about this year.

I came across a study earlier this year in which a woman who had had a severe infection of the colon ("c-diff"), underwent a fecal transplant from her overweight teenage daughter. The woman went from working out and maintaining a healthy weight all her life to becoming obese in the year following the transplant. Previously this sort of thing was observed in animal research but it made headlines when it was unwittingly duplicated in a human subject. Researchers have known, however, that it is possible to transplant the gut bacteria from an obese person and make a thin mouse fat with no other changes to diet and activity. This woman, despite a medically-supervised weight loss effort, apparently couldn't shake the added weight, and that's when doctors put two-and-two together.

The same thing appears to have happened to my spouse.

There have been issues with implements used in various medical procedures causing unintended consequences to patients' health, but usually it doesn't make news unless the outcomes are disastrous. For example, earlier this year a number of patients undergoing endoscopy procedures with a GI doctor at a medical facility developed a rare infection, and it was traced back to a particular diagnostic tool and the fact that it was not possible to properly sanitize it (or so memory serves). If that's also possible with respect to the tools doctors use in colonoscopies, watch out!

My theory? Perhaps my spouse has been "cured" of IBS by an unwitting transplant of fecal material from other patients colons! In the course of this unintended transfer my spouse is now battling inexplicable weight gain for the first time in 54 years.

I hope medical doctors and patients alike will see this post and be equipped to ask some serious questions. It's not just the risk of superbug infection or, God forbid, Hepatitis, but the fact that transferring microbes between various patients may literally "spread" obesity, which research has begun to suggest may be a byproduct of a microbial imbalance in the gut.

It has been found that obese people tend to have fewer and less diverse microbial characteristics. The presence of beneficial bacteria help us digest food and are also big players in the strength of our immune systems, which is why probiotics have become such a big health craze in recent years. BUT the type and diversity of one's microbial "profile" may also account for whether or not we are inclined to remain thin throughout our lives or to put on weight. (And in a particularly cruel twist, if you happen to have an imbalanced gut the less-than-beneficial bacteria can apparently induce cravings to eat more starchy foods and thus pump up their numbers even more.)

According to the CDC, some 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese and the problem has turned up in Canada, Europe, China and elsewhere. What's not often discussed is the pervasiveness of antibiotic residues in our food supply and the overuse of them, in general, which may account for why so many of us are fighting the "fight" as compared to much older generations of our family. After all, many antibiotics did not exist or were not widely used 65-some years ago.

The research is ongoing but the gut-weight connection is an intriguing one. My spouse has been complaining all year about the weight gain, when formerly — if anything — it was a struggle to keep weight on. In my own case, I've been on three antibiotic courses this year and Bingo! I finally realize after 20-some years that all my annual weight creep is generally tied in to cold/flu season and that time of year is also "antibiotic season" for a lot of us. (And to add another spin on it, how many of us blame "holiday weight gain" when it could also be related to the fact that we are more likely to come down sick and see a doctor during the winter months?)

All I know for sure is this: This year, having been on more antibiotics than usual, I noted more weight gain than usual, all during and immediately after treatment. That observation prompted me to start digging and I find that it's not exactly an unknown phenomena. Livestock producers start animals out young — chickens, cows, you name it — not just to keep them from being ill in over-crowded factory farm conditions but to fatten them up for market because antibiotics are "growth agents". And yet in the realm of human vs. veterinary medicine, doctors and pharmacists almost never warn that antibiotic use CAN precipitate weight gain. (Of course, antibiotics are lifesaving, too, so sometimes there's no choice but to take them.)

Between the story of the 32-year-old woman who developed her teenage daughter's weight problem and the fact that my spouse rapidly began to put on weight following a colonoscopy, I can't help but wonder if an unintended "transplant" might have occurred. God only knows what else a patient could be exposed to if there is ANY microbial transfer whatsoever during such procedures. What makes this even more complicated is the fact that patients, in gaining or losing unexpected amounts of weight, are more likely to schedule an appointment with their general practitioner, whereas GI specialists who perform "routine screening" are largely denied any ability to appreciate the aftermath.

I'm here to give others a head's up. If you have a colonoscopy — and I'm not suggesting you should skip recommended screenings — watch your before vs. after weight. If you see any unusual changes — weight loss that remains or weight gain that persists — talk to your doctor. The development of weight loss or weight gain that persists after a colonoscopy despite no dietary/activity changes, may very well be evidence of unintended beneficial (or non-beneficial) microbial transfer.



Other health problems effecting your weight? Don't get on the scales too early, if weight loss is what you're after. It could just be a fluctuation too.

9 Replies