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Celiac Disease and Obesity—There is a Connection by Melissa Croda q

This article appeared in the Winter 2006 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free Newsletter.

Celiac.com 07/10/2006 - Three years ago my father was diagnosed with celiac disease and I was told by my mother that it is hereditary and that I too should get screened for it. I did some research and immediately knew that I had this disease. I wouldn't admit it to anyone at the time because how on earth could I possibly live without pasta and fresh-baked bread for the rest of my life?! You should know that I have been sick for my entire life—I had colic until I was six, got ulcers when I was eight, appendicitis at 14, calcium bone spurs at 17, 19, 24 and 36, infertility at 24, gall stones at 37—just to mention a few of the conditions Ive had that were likely related to my untreated celiac disease.

About six months later I decided to go see my doctor—I was in a severe state of depression, and I had lost the ability to think—much less talk. Carrying on a full conversation was nearly impossible because of my inability to speak in full sentences. I was extremely sick with a severe cold, and I had an infection or the flu at least once each month for the preceding two to three years. I told my doctor that I thought that he should test me for celiac disease. Since I weighed in at over 300 pounds he literally laughed at this idea. According to him there was absolutely no way that I could have celiac disease—because I was fat!

Shortly after that my parents came to visit and tried to talk me into eating gluten-free—at least during the time that they were here. I agreed because I had to cook gluten-free for them anyway. Within three days of starting a gluten-free diet I felt like a million bucks. My depression lifted and within a month I was losing weight and my brain started working again. I have been gluten-free for three years now—not only do I feel like a million bucks, but I have lost over 100 pounds. I shudder at the idea that I was literally eating myself to death—and it was not because I didn't have any will power or that I was eating bad food—it was because my body couldnt process and absorb the food that I was eating. My personal experience, combined with my research, has left me completely convinced that celiac disease is (and will continue to be) a significant cause of obesity—and that this will continue to be the case until there is a better understanding of the disease and its relationship to obesity.

What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a permanent intolerance to gluten1, which is a protein found in, wheat, rye, and barley. When gluten is ingested the digestive system is unable to properly break it down, and an autoimmune response is triggered in the gut that causes the villi of the small intestine to become damaged—leading to malabsorption of crucial nutrients. There is no cure, and the only way to control it is through a 100% gluten-free diet.

The disease has a vast array of symptoms, and it is rare that two people will exhibit the same ones. Some will have diarrhea while others will have constipation, and some will not have either but instead may have osteoporosis, diabetes, headaches, fatigue, autoimmune thyroid disorder or any number of other conditions and symptoms found to be associated with it. In many cases these symptoms are associated with the inability to gain weight—children with celiac disease are often small and fail to thrive 1.

Nearly every source that I consulted for this paper referred to malabsorption and how most people with celiac disease lost weight or couldn't gain weight. Only a few sources even mentioned obesity—and when they did it was only in passing. As celiac disease awareness steadily increases and more research is done on it hopefully it will become apparent that many cases of obesity are also related to it.

The Common Thread
Autoimmune thyroid disease has recently been linked to celiac disease. Recent research has demonstrated that 3.4% of patients with autoimmune thyroid disease also have celiac disease2. The thyroid gland secretes hormones to control the body's metabolic rate3, and to accomplish this it must have iodine. When celiac disease is present along with autoimmune thyroid disorder, the body does not have the ability to absorb the iodine to produce the necessary hormones. Additionally there are many different disorders such as obesity, diabetes, allergies, weight-loss, gastrointestinal problems, etc., that can be caused by having a damaged or compromised thyroid gland3 (all of these disorders, by the way, can be related to celiac disease). It has been known for years that obesity has been linked to thyroid problems, and that the thyroid produces 5-monodeiodinase, the bodys natural method of conserving fuel during shortage," and the body "elicits the same physical reaction as famine," which can then cause the affected person to gain weight3.

Another disorder commonly associated with celiac disease is malabsorption, which can also lead to malnutrition. When someone with celiac disease eats foods that contain gluten it results in damage to the surface of the small intestine and destruction of their nutrient-absorbing villi. This can lead to leaky gut and an inability for them to absorb vital nutrients from their food. By continuing to eat foods containing gluten, eventually vital organs including the brain, thyroid, liver, kidneys—essentially any organ that depends heavily on nutrients—will be starved, which will leave them susceptible to other diseases and conditions. I personally experienced brain malfunctions, gall bladder problems, and was diagnosed numerous times with an under-active thyroid. Naturally treatments for this proposed thyroid condition didnt work because their true cause had not yet been found. At one point a doctor asked me to consider the idea that my obesity was the result of my bodys attempt to cope with malnourishment4. This phenomenon is similar to yo-yo dieting, where dieters who have deprived themselves or proper nutrition for too long gain weight at faster rates than non-dieters after they resume eating normally. I always thought that I had fallen victim to yo-yo dieting, and that I had dieted myself into a permanent state of obesity. I now understand that it was because I had undiagnosed celiac disease, and my body was actually malnourished.

Under normal nutritional conditions humans only absorb about 80 percent of the nutrients from the food they eat, and the rest of the nutrients pass through the body4. With celiac disease, however, the body is unable to absorb the necessary nutrients, which causes some peoples bodies to become a super-efficient machine that begins storing as much fat as possible in order to survive. This nutrient deficiency convinces the body that it is starving to death, which sends it into starvation-mode. Since humans need a certain percentage of body fat reserves to stay alive—and because it takes more work for the body to burn fats than carbohydrates—a body that is in starvation mode tends to crave carbohydrates and more efficiently convert them to fat for later use4.

There has been much research that links celiac disease to diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the bodys cells are unable to absorb enough blood sugar5. Although the cause is different, the resulting malabsorption is similar to that seem in celiac disease—although in the latter the malabsorption is not just limited to sugar. The connection between diabetes and celiac disease as described by Marschilok:

Both diseases have genetic and environmental origins. This means an individual is more at risk of developing either problem when a close relative also has it. On the genetic side, development of one reveals the pre-existing and larger risk that the genes for the other may be present. At least two genes and gene locations are connected with each disease. One gene for each disease is near one gene for the other on the same chromosome. Nearby genes are more likely to pass together to offspring.

However, while the genes are necessary, they are not sufficient to produce the diseases. On the environmental side, researchers know gluten is needed to produce celiac disease, but they also know its not the only environmental cause. With diabetes, the environmental causes are being extensively studied for prevention and cure. Roughly ten percent of celiacs either have Type I diabetes or might develop Type II diabetes6 .

An astonishing 40% of people with diabetes are also obese—even though there was not very much in the way of medical research to indicate why this is so. Diabetes is described as your cells inability to produce or absorb insulin, which leads to an excess of sugar in the blood stream7. If a person injects or produces too much insulin it will increase the level of hunger and cause obesity. I personally find this information disturbing as there are some in the medical community who still blame obesity on character flaws—I cant begin to tell you how many times I have been told: if you just didn't eat so much you wouldn't be fat.

A number of overweight and obese acquaintances of mine have asked me how I managed to lose over 100 pounds and look so healthy while doing it. I explained my celiac disease diagnosis and gluten-free diet to them, and how the diet has made me not feel hungry for the first time in my life—due to the fact that I am now absorbing nutrients properly. Six of these extremely obese people have actually gone to their physicians to get tested for celiac disease—and each was met with the same skepticism as me. They persisted and finally got their doctors to perform the necessary tests—and to the surprise of all each were diagnosed with celiac disease! Immediately after going on the gluten-free diet they all experienced a decrease in hunger and massive weight-loss. For the first time they were eating only when their bodies were truly hungry, instead of eating too much due to starvation signals caused by malabsorption.

This could also be part of the reason that high protein, low carbohydrate diets work so well for many people. By removing the carbohydrates from ones diet you generally remove a large portion of the gluten as well, which can cause those with celiac disease who are obese to lose weight quickly—at least for a month or so. However, on the high protein diet you are still not removing all gluten which will eventually cause them to gain the weight back—even though they are still on the diet. This was my experience with the low carbohydrate diet, and I suspect that a lot of others who are obese and have undiagnosed celiac disease had or will have the same experience.

Conclusion
I once had a family member literally yell at me about my weight and ask me why I was being so selfish and not thinking about my husband and daughter—they told me that I should just lose the weight. I was devastated, I truly had tried every diet on the face of the earth and each and every time I would loose 20-30 pounds quickly (regardless of the type of diet), only to gain it back (while still following the program)—sometimes as much as two fold! Since being diagnosed with celiac disease three years ago I have not only lost the weight but I have also kept it off, and each week a little bit more comes off. I am completely convinced that celiac disease does and will continue to be a common cause of obesity until the medical community—through scientific research—realizes that there is a connection.

Many obese people might not be overweight if they were just properly diagnosed and treated. Certainly it is not the case that all obese people are that way because they just plain eat too much and do not have any will power. I suspect that there are better medical reasons to explain most cases of obesity, and celiac disease is just one of them. Not too long ago it was estimated that celiac disease only affected 1 in 10,000 Americans8. That figure was then revised to 1 in 5,000, and now, after much research, it is at least 1 in 133. The actual diagnosis rate, however, is only about 1 in 5,000, which is only a small fraction of those who have it. Similarly, the causes of obesity in America are not fully understood, and more research needs to be done to determine just how many cases of obesity are caused by untreated celiac disease. I believe that a significant percentage of obese people have undiagnosed celiac disease, and that celiac disease screening should be part of ordinary blood workups for all obese people.

References:

  • Adams, S. (May 2005). A Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Resource since 1995. Retrieved May 18, 2005, from www.celiac.com.
  • Collin, Kaukinen, Valimaki & Salmi, (2002). Endocinological Disorders and Celiac Disease, Endocrine Reviews (pp 1-38).
    3. Life Extension, Thyroid Deficiency, Online reference for Health Concerns. Retrieved May 26, 2005 from www.lef.org/protocols/prtcls-txt/t-prtcl-104.html.
  • Balley, L. (June 2004) Obesity in Developing Countries Compares to U.S. Yo-Yo Dieting. Retrieved June 16, 2005 from: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-06/uom-oid060804.php.
  • Katz H., (2005). Hope for Obesity and Diabetes. Retrieved June 19, 2005 from http://www.reporter-archive.mcgill.ca/Rep/r3112/mice.html.
  • Marschilok, K., (1997). Diabetes and celiac Disease. Gluten-free Living.
  • Hoover, J., (2001). Obesity Causes Diabetes–Fat Chance! Diabetes Health Magazine. Retrieved June 19, 2005 from http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read,1009,2168.html
  • Vogren, C.L., (September 15, 2003). Awareness Can Be Best Medicine: Parents who lost son to celiac disease want to shed light on often-overlooked ailment. The Gazette. Retrieved June 19, 2005 from http://www.csaceliacs.org/CDintheNews/COSpringsGazette091503.php

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85 Responses:

 
an unknown user
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said this on
30 Oct 2007 7:19:39 AM PST
Well written and informatve.

 
Melissa B
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said this on
25 Apr 2010 8:01:57 AM PST
Finally the puzzle comes together. I remember being 10 years old and suffering with burning tummy aches and daily diarrhea. I was also chubby, and have been for most of my life. Our meals at home were cereal, bread, and pasta, etc. I had my appendix out when I was 22. When I first went on Atkins I was a new woman, but as soon as I picked up a carbohydrate it was all over. I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety which has been blamed for causing the diarrhea and now my thyroid panel looks weird. My doctor does not believe that I am possibly celiac because my blood test came back negative, but I also don't eat a lot of carbohydrates because it makes me sick. I have three aunts who are celiac and am sick of fighting with the doctor, i think I will just go gluten free on my own. Thanks for the article, it's nice to know I am not alone!!

 
Melissa W.
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said this on
17 May 2011 6:15:21 PM PST
My God, thank you for this article. I've lost 130 lbs. on a low carb food plan but recently had pancreatitis, which has made it very difficult to eat my raw veggies, so I've been substituting them with wheat germ for several months. Consequently, I have gained 35 lbs. back with no explanation since my caloric intake remains around 1,100 cals/day.


I have had many of the illnesses you have throughout my life (including the bone spurs!), gallbladder removed, pancreatitis because I still produce gall stones that get stuck in my bile ducts, pneumonia, low Vitamin D levels, Raynaud's Disease, ad infinitum.

I have been at my wit's end trying to figure out what's wrong (why I'm gaining 4-5 lbs. per month), been tested for Cushing's (negative), thyroid levels (erratic). I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and my levels are swinging from one end to the other.

I'm going to have my GI doc do an ATA test and will immediately discontinue eating wheat germ and substitute for other cooked vegetables and PRAY the weight gain stops! I've been so depressed, tired, and mentally lethargic that I've just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up.

You have given me hope for the first time in months!

Again, thank you so much!

 
GF in Long Beach
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said this on
04 Oct 2011 2:55:26 PM PST
I am celiac and have been off gluten for years but have been unable to lose any significant weight. Atkins diet works best for me so I am back to it but the constipation is a pain. In researching for constipation meds I looked up the use of inulin as fiber supplement and found out about Fructose Malabsorption. I had already surmised that fruits are a real issue with me since I still suffered from diarrhea even though I adhere to a strict no-gluten diet. It turns out that Fructose Malabsorption can go hand-in-hand with celiac disease. Please read more about this for yourself to help you better with your food choices.

 
Shelley
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said this on
30 Sep 2012 12:17:01 AM PST
Check out candida as well - also goes hand in hand with celiacs.

 
Curtis
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said this on
11 Feb 2013 11:28:56 PM PST
I've had diarrhea for 14 months straight and am still gaining weight. I've been eating more fruit, thinking it was safe! My GI mentioned cutting out certain fruits to reduce the diarrhea. It is really counter-intuitive, but maybe the solution.

 
Jill

said this on
10 Jun 2013 11:58:07 AM PST
Curtis
I've just finished a six year long bout with diarrhea - the GI and family doctors said it's just IBS. Unfortunately, I was gluten-free before being tested for celiac, so I came out negative, however, my cure for IBS has been the FODMAP diet - out of Australia. They categorize fruits and veggies as irritants or not for your bowel. You should definitely look it up.

 
Lizane Courchesne
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said this on
05 Jun 2012 9:53:20 AM PST
Thank you for this article. For the first time in my life I don't feel alone. I wasn't crazy that's for sure. This morning I went for the celiac disease test. I didn't think that I might have celiac disease since I was not loosing weight at all. Now it's reassuring to know that being overweight might be related to it. I am diabetic and lactose intolerant for years. I can't wait to have the result now. Anyway thank you, your article is very helpful.

 
Shannon
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said this on
11 Sep 2012 9:30:59 PM PST
Thank you so much for writing this. My daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease 12 years ago. A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and the doctor mentioned going on a gluten-free diet. It didn't even occur to me to get tested. I weight 280 pounds (I usually only weight about 230, but for the past few years they have kept me on steroids thinking it would help with my joint issues, also can be explained by undiagnosed celiac disease). I have an appointment with my doctor next week and I'm going to start the testing process. I know that this is celiac disease. I am so grateful that soon I will have my life back! Thank you for writing this!

 
kristi
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said this on
18 Nov 2007 11:21:52 AM PST
Thank you for this article! I'm convinced that my daughter is a celiac, but the fact that her weight is 90 lbs. and she is only 8 years old has caused the same reaction from people. I will be taking this article with me to her next doctor's appointment!

 
Sandi
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said this on
07 Dec 2007 11:43:44 AM PST
Thank you so much for the article regarding obesity and celiac disease. It reaffirms my doctor's diagnosis.

 
NSP
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said this on
29 Dec 2007 8:30:50 AM PST
Finally!

 
Lindy
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said this on
15 Jan 2008 1:51:22 PM PST
This article is wonderful! It describes my situation. I have been overweight since having a baby 5 years ago. The weight wouldn't come off. I'm on thyroid medications, Prozac for being tired and depressed. I would feel weak if I didn't eat! After an upper GI to look for a reason for anemia I was diagnosed with celiac. Since I stopped eating gluten I'm not hungry all the time. I'm still taking supplements and waiting to heal but then I think I will finally get the weight off!

 
Vera
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said this on
16 Jan 2008 4:33:09 AM PST
Wow, I was diagnosed as celiac about a year ago but since then I've been permanently hungry - this article confirms my suspicions - I might still eat gluten not knowing about it - I have to examine my diet again and look for hidden gluten. Thanks

 
Ursula
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said this on
21 Jan 2008 2:03:18 PM PST
What an excellent article! I've had people tell me as well that I was selfish and would die of a heart attack early if I wouldn't stop eating too much. Nobody believes that you can be obese without it being your fault!


 
Wini
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said this on
29 Jan 2008 7:03:28 PM PST
I've been gluten free for six months. Already I've begun to see weight loss, but not as fast as I would like. I've been the same exact weight for two months with no fluctuations, which has never happened to me before. I began to doubt if I would or could ever lose the 100 pounds I needed to get rid of. Reading about your story gives me hope that my body will correct itself and in time I will be the right size.

 
D'wan
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said this on
31 Jan 2008 12:10:05 PM PST
This is great, I'm printing it and giving it to my husband. He has been sick for 8 years, colds, allergies, fatigue, depression, weight gain, IBS, lactose intolerance, and he is constantly hungry. I don't know for sure that he has celiac, but I am going to request that he be tested for it. I've had this feeling for a long time that all his problems were some how connected, maybe they are.
Thank you.

 
William
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said this on
21 Jul 2009 5:16:05 PM PST
Awesome article!

Ma'am, I have been going through pretty much the same symptoms as your husband and I don't know what to do. I have gone to doctor's and they have told me that I have IBS. Other's say they are not sure. I am going to see yet another GI specialist this week and DEMAND that he test me for celiac sprue. I was once an athlete who maintained a pretty good eating regime but at one time or the other would eat wheat and dairy based foods without a problem. I really am disappointed in the medical community for it's lack of attention to such a life-altering (and at times life destroying) illness that so many suffer from. Thank you author of this article and thank you ma'am for this post

 
Audrey
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said this on
08 Mar 2008 9:20:09 PM PST
Thank you I have also been diagnosed with celiac disease but could never figure out why I had such a problem keeping my weight down and had a compulsive hunger...Also lost 100 lbs when not eating gluten..

 
margee
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said this on
17 Mar 2008 11:31:47 PM PST
Thank you so much I have been diagnosed this year
and I was gaining weight about 5 lbs. a month for 6 months before.

I am not loosing as much as I would like though and I have no bread at all or pasta. I use very little of the celiac food
because they are so high in calories . I have been eating
Weight Watchers soup and some chicken each day for 2 weeks and I have egg whites for breakfast
and fruit.

 
Alex
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said this on
10 May 2011 3:31:08 PM PST
Make sure you read the label, many soups have gluten.

 
Anne
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said this on
13 May 2008 12:38:28 PM PST
Thanks so much for writing this. I gave birth to twins last year, then had my gall bladder removed, and still have 50 lbs to lose. I am going in Thursday to get biopsied and all the blood tests. I tried a gluten free diet for 3 weeks and felt amazing. Now I am back on gluten so I will be ready for all this testing and feel awful. I cant wait until I can get off it for good and start to lose some of this weight. Its nice to know I am not alone!

 
Jen
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said this on
13 May 2008 2:39:04 PM PST
I just wanted to say that I was recently advised to go to a gluten free diet because I have PCOS, I feel 100x better, more energy, more normal cycles, and hopefully in 6 months or so I can be off synthetic medications. It works for women with PCOS because of the insulin resistance issue, and our bodies are not processing gluten just like people with celiac disease! It has been great! I'll never go back to wheat or corn again!

 
Andrea
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said this on
26 May 2008 6:35:25 PM PST
This makes total sense to me. I have long suspected that I had celiac as well as my 5 year old. We both tested negative for celiac with the blood test so the doctor would not pursue any further testing. I am overweight. I do wonderful on diets like South Beach which eliminates grains for a time. But when I add them back, I always fail. I am always amazed at how much energy I have while on these diets...hmmmm

 
Lynn
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said this on
02 Jul 2008 12:06:49 PM PST
My sister is coeliac and my mum died of non Hodgkins Lymphoma T cell, which is a main cause of death for non diagnosed coeliacs. I have tested negative in blood tests for coeliac but am not absorbing B12. I am well over-weight and always craving wheat unless I stay off wheat altogether and then the hunger goes, the joint stiffness and heartburn goes and the weight drops. I should having an endoscopy soon, I hope.

 
jenni webster
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said this on
06 May 2011 7:36:13 AM PST
Don't forget if you're taking the blood tests for celiac, you must eat a lot of gluten containing foods in order for the test to work right. But a biopsy is the best way

 
Liz
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said this on
16 Aug 2008 5:27:46 PM PST
I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 3 months ago and have dutifully been eating Gluten-free, but at one point before being diagnosed, I had lost 95 lbs with Weight Watchers and then started gaining back. I fully expected to lose when I went Gluten Free...but I am STILL gaining!! HELP! I have gained about 25 lbs back over the past 18 months, and I still have about 85 left to lose! What am I doing wrong??

LIZ, doomed to be fat

 
Anne
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said this on
28 Sep 2009 6:59:19 PM PST
Do you still do Weight Watchers on a Gluten Free diet? I mean, calories and sugar still make a difference. Or maybe like they said, there are things in your diet that are hiding Gluten. Like lip balm.
Are you exercising?

 
Julianne
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said this on
04 Nov 2009 2:04:40 PM PST
Exactly the same thing has happened to me. I reached my goal with Weight Watchers (which took ages). Then I was diagnosed with celiac disease just under a year ago and I have gained 1 stone and 7 lbs. How depressing! Have you received any useful information or advice?

 
Daz
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said this on
20 Sep 2010 10:10:30 PM PST
I totally understand, I was diagnosed with coeliac about 5 years ago and I rapidly gained weight (now 30 kgs above ideal) and have had trouble loosing it despite trying many different diets. Fairly sure there is no hidden gluten in my diet but have always struggled with weight loss until I spent 2 years really sick before my diagnosis. All the clear liquids and dry toast suggested as a remedy for diarrhea must have built up to eventually result in a positive blood test followed by biopsy. I would really like to know if anyone has any good advice on weight loss ideas too.

 
Heather Jane Brown
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said this on
16 May 2013 6:29:59 PM PST
I too have gained much weight. My sister said that her doctor mentioned to her that the rice flour and cornstarch do not metabolize the way it does with someone without celiac disease. She said it turns to fat and stays there. The gluten-free pasta that I eat twice a week should be eaten once a month according to her doctor. I recently switched from eating a protein bar for breakfast to cottage cheese and fresh fruit (no cherries, grapes, or bananas), no flour of any kind, no shortening, and no sugar. I feel so much better. I eat a large green salad with a lot of veggies ( no corn, peas, or dried beans). I drink about 36-48 oz. of water a day. I am going to my internist and asking about this weight gain, but I do think my sister's doc is right and how good I feel now is proof enough for me.

 
pam lyons
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said this on
28 Aug 2008 11:38:18 AM PST
This is such a well written and informative article, one of the best ones so far. I was tested for coeliac 17 yrs ago and it came back borderline, I went Gluten Free for 6 months then the doctor took me off it as he said it wasn't working. I suffered for the next 17 years and this year was re-tested and hey presto its positive. Since being Gluten Free all but a couple of my symptoms have gone. I have the skin disorder associated with coeliac and even that is very slowly improving. My weight was proving difficult. I lost 2 stone fairly quickly on Weight Watchers but then it stuck for months. Once on Gluten Free it has now started going again albeit not as quickly as I would like. I suggest to anyone who suspects they have coeliac disease to persevere with the medics and be persistent, only you know how you feel.

 
Mary-Frances
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said this on
01 Sep 2008 9:59:06 AM PST
Thanks for this article - it has given me hope - I was diagnosed 5 months ago due to anemia. I had slight diarrhea but blamed stress. I have been gluten free for 5 months, diarrhea free (except occasional cross contamination). I have had tremendous trouble losing weight – before and after the diagnosis – I’m now always hungry and always tired (being gluten-free hasn’t cured those symptoms yet) and I find most substitutes for Gluten Free foods are high in fat and calories. I’m just going to have to resign to the fact I will be hungry until I lose 60 lbs. I will keep plugging away!!

 
Dawn
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said this on
03 Sep 2008 11:21:52 AM PST
My niece has just been diagnosed with celiac disease and we have been told it has family tendencies. My daughter is overweight and has PCOS and my SIL says this could all be a sign of celiac disease also...so I did a search and found this article & encouraged my daughter to read it. Now shes making an appointment with her doctor to look into the possibility....Thank you.

 
Val
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said this on
15 Sep 2008 7:05:28 AM PST
Thank you, Thank you! I am currently waiting for my tests for Celiac and would be really surprised if they don't come back positive. I'm 45 now, and, looking back, can relate many symptoms to being on the verge of Celiac - gas, depression, memory loss, recurring upper-respiratory problems, and most recently, severe diarrhea. I am eating gluten free (until I have to prepare for my testing of course) and feel so much better.
I also have been listening to people tell me that I'm not trying hard enough to lose weight (I need to lose 40-50 lbs.), particularly my mother and my husband, but I kept saying that there was something else that was getting in my way. I hope I've found the answer.
P.S. My doctor initially sent me for testing for Parasites when I mentioned the lethargy and the diarrhea, I was the one who asked to be tested for Celiac.
Val

 
Lisa
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said this on
01 Oct 2008 3:38:50 PM PST
Very exciting...spot on!
I am sure that we are on the verge of a major revolution in the world of obesity and Celiacs. I have also, through a lot of reading, discovered that there are links to Epilepsy and Celiac disease (which I also have).

 
karen
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said this on
15 Oct 2008 2:24:35 PM PST
It sounds silly but I'm praying my results come back positive! Looking back I can see symptoms in my mother, sister and grandmother, as well as myself. I've felt for years that I have had problems. Many of them listed here but not all. However I put them down to just being part of me. Until I read an article a week ago I didn't know this disease existed! More awareness for others is needed! Well done for this article.

 
Jamie
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said this on
27 Jan 2009 8:45:48 PM PST
Thank you so much for writing this article. I am in the middle of an elimination/challenge and Coeliac Disease is looking very likely.

I, too, have been laughed off numerous times and told to 'just stop eating' and that all of my problems were because I was fat.

Since starting to eat gluten-free, I've not been hungry and I've felt better than I have in a long time. I'm still tubby, but I'm only 3 weeks in (with some slips)... thank you so much for posting!

 
Dina
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03 Feb 2009 5:03:00 PM PST
I am so happy I stumbled upon this article. I have many similarities with all of you. I have been tested for under active thyroid which came back negative. I was also tested for food allergies all of which came back negative. After the negative reading for allergies my doctor gave up on me. I too and overweight, have bouts of depression, been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, fatigue etc. I become very ill after drinking one or 2 beers, and have stomach problems for days after too much bread. I am in the process of finding another doctor and requesting a test. I have started a gluten free diet and am on my 3rd day but already feel less hungry. Thank you for the posts this really helps!

 
Liz
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said this on
04 Mar 2009 6:50:24 PM PST
This article is pretty good, I can definitely commiserate. When I first suspected that I might be celiac my family doctor refused to test me because 'I was too fat to be celiac' so I basically suffered for years after that, my symptoms getting worse. When I read your article everything you said made so much sense to me. Thank you!

 
mary
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said this on
08 Mar 2009 2:48:24 PM PST
I have battled my weight almost my whole life. Weight Watchers at nine years old. My diagnosis of celiac at 40 (almost 8 years ago and I am still gluten free) has changed my life with regard to pain, but the weight has increased (of course I am almost 50). Recently, I have had some luck with a low-carb diet version of a gluten-free diet.
I still have a BMI of 33.5 - Don't let any doctor tell you that you can't be overweight and have celiac. My sister was diagnosed three years ago and she hasn't been a skinny mini either. Get tested.

 
Drea
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05 May 2009 1:47:35 PM PST
I find it interesting that so many people feel they need to be tested by the doctors that didn't diagnose them in the first place... just try the diet... I have been overweight my entire life, and low carb diets have been the only way that I have ever lost. I actually lost 160 lbs through diet and exercise, but looking back, set backs always occurred when I reintroduced wheat into my diet. I was baffled by the fact that I would gain weight by eating 1 English muffin or even low carb tortillas since 100 calories didn't add a lot to my count. Even a couple of days off of gluten have made me feel so much better. I wish you all luck... but really I think your better off without the grains.

 
Peggy
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08 May 2009 9:50:13 PM PST
I was diagnosed with celiac disease this week and your article has given me so much hope. I look forward to feeling like a normal human being again. I have been sick for so long and the weight gain has been so depressing! For the first time in a long time I have hope!
Thank you for the encouraging article.

 
Judy
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said this on
15 May 2009 6:38:01 PM PST
Great article and very interesting and enlightening to read the comments made. I have been suffering for many years from constant diarrhea, bloating and increasing weight gain. I have chronic illness such as upper respiratory infections, gall bladder and depression. I cannot loose weight no matter what I do and that included hiring a personal trainer. I have had a blood test which the doctor said shows some sensitivity to gluten but after reading this I am going back to insist on a biopsy.

 
Peggy Bressman
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said this on
02 Jun 2009 11:54:40 AM PST
I am printing this article out and showing it to everyone that I know, especially my doctor who thinks I am not trying hard enough on my diet. I have spent the last 3 years having everything possible tested only to be told my metabolism has slowed down and I just need to try harder. I weighed 135 when I met my husband 28 years ago and I now weigh just over 300 I have been on every diet known. Only to lose the 20 - 40 pounds and gain it and more back as soon as I stop the diet. I have been trying the gluten free diet for two weeks and already feel better. Not sure about weight loss at this point. I have suffered from depression, mood swings (Dr. Jeckle and Mrs Hyde) menstrual problems, fatigue, headaches, muscle and bone aches, busing I cannot explain, constipation, upper respiratory problems, Sleep apnea and dry skin just to name a few. I have had my thyroid tested, my gallbladder removed due to gallstones, Under gone countless glucose tests only to be told I am in the normal range. so why when I go to the gym every day for an hour a day can I not lose weight? Well I may have finally found an answer. Thank you for writing this out for me.

 
Whitney
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18 Jun 2009 6:49:03 AM PST
I thought this article was very helpful. I wanted to also ask you if you knew that Autoimmune Thyroid and Celiac are also linked to a disorder called dysautonomia. Most doctors are not looking at the connection between the three and it is very upsetting. I was diagnosed years ago with general dysautonomia with no avail regardless to all of the meds and diet changes. 10 years have gone by and finally someone put all three together and took the gluten out of my diet and WHAM!!! Dysautonomia symptoms are decreasing and I generally just feel better! For those who would like a better understanding of the connection between the three look up Dysautonomia and the HPA axis. The information I read was astounding...push the doctors to listen because they usually only look for their specialty and disregard self diagnosis even if you have a history.

 
Michelle
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11 Dec 2009 6:41:53 AM PST
I have a question for you: like a lot of Americans these days, I am unemployed and do not have health insurance. The care at my local clinics is fair, at best, and far from free. Under-active thyroid, over-active thyroid, diabetes, and rheumtoid arthritis all run in my family. (I was diagnosed with juvenile onset rheumatoid arthritis at 18 and am now 31 and 200 lbs. at 5' 8" tall.) Would it be harmful just to try a gluten-free diet for a week, and see how I feel? (I can't imagine so, but I thought I'd ask.) My brain is foggy, I'm very "air-headed" (as I call it), forgetful, and just plain exhausted all the time, which doctors in the past have contributed to the rheumatoid arthritis, extra weight, and depression. I'm curious to see if it helps!

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
11 Dec 2009 1:06:33 PM PST
A gluten-free diet would not be harmful, just make sure it is a balanced diet.

 
All in the family
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said this on
19 Apr 2010 7:18:48 PM PST
You should definitely do it. I haven't been diagnosed either, but have been on the diet for 2 years now. I can tell the difference now from just a touch of gluten. See if it helps. There are so many gluten free grains (mixes and pastas and cereals, breads) out there now. I don't ever feel deprived but I do feel better.

 
Melissa
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17 Feb 2015 6:08:21 PM PST
Try it it can't hurt - it can only help.

 
jbk
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said this on
20 Dec 2009 7:14:42 AM PST
I was diagnosed 2 years ago with celiac 2 years ago, after 2 hospital admissions for vomiting blood and blood in the stool.
I had a problem with what was suspected to be GERD, but never any treatment for this "suspect problem", thus I spent over 40 years with both emisses of foods and severe diarrhea. Needless to say I was severely underweight.....now I am far from that! I have tried many diet plans, not effective as most only added to my accelerating weight gain, I'd like to know if others have had similar problems and if they have found a diet solution that is livable, doable, and works! This is not a question this is a problem solver attempt.

 
Karen
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said this on
09 Jan 2010 12:33:16 PM PST
Excellent information....I'm astounded how little doctors know, even specialists, in this regard. How many are truly suffering from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease and are only having symptoms treated? I was diagnosed w/Hashimotos hypothyroidism several months ago, I had my gall bladder removed in 1995 due to gallstone/attack, I had ulcerative colitis as far back as 1988. I've had upper respiratory problems, having walking pneumonia 3 times in my life....I could go on. I started to research on my own and educated myself. I found the possible gluten connection to all these things that I have or had suffered with. I went to my gastro/doc and asked to have blood test for celiacs. It just came back negative. Now I see that they can be wrong. Why have a blood test then?!!! Is the saliva test more accurate? I'm so tired of doctors appointments and am thinking to just go gluten-free and see if my symptoms get better. It makes me put little faith in doctors as they are only seemingly treating symptoms and not addressing the cause to many diseases or conditions. I do appreciate the info. I found here, it is like a breath of fresh air....thank you.

 
Krissy
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said this on
21 Apr 2011 5:48:44 PM PST
Go gluten free and you have a great chance to change your life for the better. Unfortunately it cost tons of money going to various doctors without ever having a definitive answer from any of them. That is usually the case, however, not always. When my cholesterol improved my doctor said "whatever you are doing, keep it up". He didn't even care to ask what I was doing. At the time I was not gluten free, but I did start taking supplements, and especially Alpha Lipoic Acid, which helps regulate your blood sugar. Wouldn't it have been great if my doctor would have recommended helpful supplements instead of saying that high cholesterol is just hereditary most of the time. I have had bloating, constipation (thus a colonoscopy), heart burn, joint pain and bone spurs in my adult yrs.; pneumonia in 3rd, 5th, 7th, 11th grade, in college, and age 40. We rarely ever ate simple carbs when I was growing up except for sandwich bread; no bread at dinner, infrequent desserts, etc. so when I when to college and started eating lots and lots of carbs. I gained weight, got heart burn, started having stomach problems, rashes, and depression/anxiety which were additional health problems to the childhood upper respiratory ailments. This is the first time since starting college that I don't feel like I am fighting depression everyday.

I really hope that a gluten free diet will help you get to your optimum health!

All the best!

 
Nancy
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14 Mar 2010 11:39:52 AM PST
I was diagnosed with celiac seven years ago and have been on wheat and gluten free diet since then. Since then I have gained 60 pounds and cannot lose any, as much as I try.
Some days I feel very hungry and weak. A glass of water helps me to get back to normal and think right.

 
Jennifer
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said this on
03 Apr 2010 6:42:24 AM PST
FABULOUS ARTICLE!

Typically, most doctors look at a common symptom of celiac - unexplained weight loss. However, a few doctors are actually looking into celiac as a possible cause of unexplained obesity, especially in patients who are following a reduced calorie plan and exercise plan, and they're only losing a very small amount of weight.

Some doctors are "in the know" about celiac. The ones that are "in the know" are not depending on blood tests for a diagnosis because the blood test has a tendency to give false negatives. Rather, they're scheduling endoscopies to perform a biopsy on the intestines because more and more proof is coming out that the biopsy is a more accurate test for celiac.

I've recently been diagnosed with celiac because my health began failing a few months ago - I eat mostly fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly, but I gained 40 lbs without explanation and I couldn't lose it no matter what I did, I have toxic multinodular goiters on my thyroid, I have multiple cysts in my ovaries, I have a fibroid tumor, I have a fatty ileocecal valve, I was extremely fatigued, and my blood tests show that I have very low levels of vitamin D and vitamin B12. I've suspected celiac for about 6 years, but the blood tests always came back negative. I changed doctors, and she scheduled the biopsy, which came back positive. I've been gluten free for about two weeks, and I feel a dramatic difference. I'm actually losing weight.

For the celiacs who are gaining weight - my friend's mother also has celiac disease, and she gained some weight when she started gluten-free. The reason why is a lot of the bread and baked goods substitutes for celiacs have a lot more calories than gluten-containing breads and baked goods because they have to add a lot more ingredients (like sugars and fats) to compensate for the lack of gluten. The trick to not gaining excess weight is to eat the processed gluten-free foods (pastas, breads, baked goods) sparingly and eat the natural food instead (rice, quinoa, millet, potatoes, corn). Once my friend's mom did that, she started losing weight.

 
All in the family
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said this on
19 Apr 2010 7:09:03 PM PST
Celiac has recently appeared in my family. My brother and two nieces were diagnosed. I know I have it also after listening to all the information. I have also always had thyroid disease and fibromyalgia. But the weight thing had me confused also. But I also had leaky gut. It's so nice to finally know why all of this is happening.

 
Elayne
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24 Apr 2010 9:54:05 PM PST
Thanks so much for this article. I was recently diagnosed with Coeliac disease (Australian spelling!) and have been on the diet for one month. I feel so much better now. My mother, sister and two daughters have all had thyroid problems and so far I have been clear. I am about 15 kilos overweight and have been trying for years to lose it. I am a life-long vegetarian and get plenty of varied exercise. It's great to read everyone's stories, they're all so similar.

 
ENT
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said this on
06 May 2010 7:53:25 AM PST
FYI modified food starch can be a source of gluten and is found in everything from condiments, sour cream, yogurt to ice cream.

 
Deb
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said this on
21 May 2010 7:58:49 AM PST
Thanks for the excellent article; it confirmed a lot of my suspicions. I was diagnosed 25 years ago (I'm now 52) with Graves disease (an autoimmune thyroid disorder). Two of my siblings have type I diabetes, and 2 have rheumatoid arthritis. Until I reached age 40, I was very athletic and never weighed more than 130 lbs. Slowly, during my 40's, I began to gain weight until I reached my high of 178. During this period I suffered from unexplained severe abdominal pain, excessive gas, and a feeling of constant "bubbling" in my stomach; various tests produced no answers other than noting 6 cysts on my liver. I suffered from severe joint and muscle pain which prevented me from exercising. Also migraines (which I had never had previously); and extreme fatigue. Unexplained sores in my mouth which would mysteriously appear almost instantly (always during or just after eating), then disappear a few days later. Blood work revealed Vitamin D and B12 deficiencies, and weirdly, my toenails would just fall off for no reason. For me, the worst though was being overweight. For a person who had always been in great physical shape, it was humiliating to be seen in such a state, and I avoided social situations. Six weeks ago, I happened upon an article about celiac disease, and on my own gave the gluten free diet a try. Within a couple of days the stomach discomfort stopped, and over the last six weeks I have regained much of my energy and have begun to lose weight; ten lbs already which is amazing as I am not dieting, and my attempts at dieting over the last ten years have produced weight gain, not loss. The joint and muscle pain is much improved and in general I feel like a new woman. I don't know that I will try to get a diagnosis as I do not want to eat gluten again in order to get tested. I'm not sure I need the confirmation of a medical diagnosis; I know how I feel. Thanks again for the excellent article.

 
Lauren
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17 Jun 2010 12:59:13 AM PST
I am 17 years of age and have just been diagnosed. I am not obese, however I am over weight.
I hope you are right, I truly believe you are.
:) thank you

 
Heather
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11 Jul 2010 8:37:48 PM PST
I was amazed to read Jennifer's and Deb's stories - mine is very similar! I stopped eating food with gluten 7 months ago on my own because my doctor couldn't find anything wrong. I weighed 300 pounds, was depressed, exhausted, severe abdominal pains, joint pains, couldn't think straight, terrible memory, was constantly hungry and was actually becoming incontinent at age 45. I had severe vitamin D and B12 deficiencies. I bruised easily, caught every virus going around, and even minor paper cuts got infected and took weeks to heal. Two weeks after changing my diet, the pain and incontinence were virtually gone. At this point, I've lost 70 pounds without diet or exercise and I'm pain-free. My friends, family and doctor are amazed at the change! I find out the results of the blood test tomorrow, but even if it's negative, I'm not going back to eating foods with gluten. It's been truly life-changing. I never would have guessed my problem was celiac disease because I am overweight, instead of traditionally underweight.

 
Danika
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18 Aug 2010 4:26:14 PM PST
I am extremely thrilled to have found this article. It answers many, many questions for me. FINALLY!!! After 10 years of chronic illness that no M.D. was able to diagnose--aside from chalking it all up to CFIDS. Believe me, I have been to every medical specialist in the book. Thank you so much!

 
Michele
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said this on
31 Aug 2010 10:53:12 AM PST
Very interesting article. My mother was diagnosed 22 years ago with Dermatitis Herpetiformis and was told it was related to celiac disease. She followed her "special diet" for 2 years religiously and did very well. However when her specialist moved away, her eating slipped and she has not eaten gluten free for at least 18 years. Needless to say she is hypothyroid, type II diabetic, has rheumatoid arthritis and low ferritin levels. I keep telling her that all she has to do to feel better is to get back on her gluten free diet.

Interestingly enough, when I was in college I started to have similar skin symptoms as my mother did before her diagnosis, but nothing was done. Then as I entered my clinical year in college (I am a laboratory technologist/scientist) and was dealing with bouts of diarrhea...so off to the Gastro doc and after a colonoscopy was told I had ulcerative colitis, however, after moving to another city and getting a new Gastro doc, and yet another scope the diagnosis was now "just" IBS. Was told to manage with Imodium and watch my stress! Gall bladder attack after my second baby, which came out. Tired all the time. Numerous blood test for celiac disease at my request all came back negative, but even looking at the reports there was a disclaimer for false negatives. So I started to see a Naturopath last October, and after going through my health history, the first thing she told me to do is to go gluten free. I feel much better, although still dealing with a few issues, but was told it could take up to a year for my body to fully heal. I have had only one bout of "the runs" since then. I have slipped up a couple of times and can really tell the difference, not to mention the increased trips to the bathroom!

I hope that more doctors start to realize that just because you don't fit the picture of a certain disease, doesn't mean that you can't have it. Thanks for the article, it was a great read.

 
Hope
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said this on
20 Dec 2010 4:41:45 PM PST
Excellent!

 
deedee
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said this on
26 Dec 2010 10:47:23 AM PST
Thank you very much for this website. I had issues with extreme weight gain and endocrine problems. I gained 50 lbs in one year. My doctors all complain that I overeat, etc. Which wasn't always true. Yes, there were times where I was STARVING and could easily take out a CIA agent if he was guarding an all you-can-eat buffet. But really, I didn't eat any more or any different than I did in the past.

So when they gave me medicine to treat the endocrine part, I did lose weight and fast. But only 10 lbs in 2 months. But the medicine helped to keep my weight stable instead of gaining 2-4 lbs per month. Then the same doctor (which was all of them really) who continuously chastised me about my weight decided to do a celiac test on me. I thought she was crazy. Well the test came back negative for celiac, but extremely positive for one of the antibodies. I remembered feeling better after experimenting for 1 week on a diet that wouldn't let me have bread, dairy, sugar or salt. My joints didn't hurt etc.

So when I stay away from dairy and gluten I feel better. I don't have that fuzzy head feeling. I don't have as much body pain, I don't have a weird body odor. Combining this with probiotics I saw a huge weight difference in one week as my stomach went flat!

I am not sure what is the cause for my issue with gluten other than what the celiac test indicate. But whenever someone has hormone issues or even spinal alignment issues that can affect digestion also. My endocrine issue is neuroendocrine so right after having the neuroendocrine/auto immune issue is when I had a huge issue with digestion that I never had before and it was like it appeared overnight!

Knowing about celiac or being gluten insensitive is now helping me get through life a little better. But hopefully more doctors will see your website and realize obesity isn't because of "control" its because of other factors like endocrine, dopamine, malabsorption, etc.

My intense need for food was due to my body saying "We have no nutrients here!!!" and if I ever have episodes where I'm just famished I know that I'm either dopamine deficient due to not taking medicine or not eating for a long time that day or that I'm eating stuff that is blocking my absorption of minerals. Precursor to Dopamine is Tyrosine and Vitamin D. If you're not absorbing any of these in your food, you're in trouble and can lead to issues with endocrine functioning as Vitamin D is linked to Hypothalamus and Pituitary functioning that affects things like thyroid, estrogen, etc.

 
lacy
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said this on
12 Feb 2011 9:40:06 PM PST
I too am heavy with celiac disease. Not officially diagnosed yet, but I know that is what it is. I have weighed the exact same for ten years after I gained 100 pounds in less than two years. I am just like you - sick my entire life. Biggest sicky years age: infant, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 19, 21, 24, 25. I am now in the depression/anxiety, can't think straight stage, with numbness in my arms and legs, hair falling out, and itchy skin. I want to be tested and officially diagnosed before I quit eating gluten, but it gets harder every day. And quitting isn't easy either.

 
Krissy
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said this on
21 Apr 2011 5:29:23 PM PST
I hope you don't wait to be officially tested before you stop eating gluten. Stop eating it and you will feel better quickly. I suffered from severe anxiety at one point and I cannot think of anything worse. I have also had constipation, bloating, skin rashes, hives, pneumonia many time while growing up, anemia for years, bone spurs, continuous join pain since I was in my mid 30's, etc.

If you eat protein like turkey, chicken, beef, salmon, other fish it stays with you longer than carbs and you don't have to worry about being hungry. I have lost weight and so has my son who went gluten free in September. He no longer has severe rashes and other symptoms. My stomach feels better, no bloating usually, way less headaches and happier. Make sure you take supplements; vitamin d and omega 3's for depression are important. The B vitamins too. Be sure to take vitamin C which helps your B vitamins be absorbed. It's hard to change what you eat if you stay hungry, but if you start eating more protein along with vegetables, fruit, and rice you feel satisfied and get better. It's really helpful to carry some almonds with you wherever you go to pop in your mouth when feeling hungry and not at home. They are healthy and get rid of the hungry feeling.

I hope you help yourself feel better and take action. Your health depends on it.
P.S. I love pizza and goat cheese! Amy's frozen pizza is the best. I especially lover her Dairy Free and Gluten Free Pizza with roasted vegetables. I simply add freshly grated Romano or Goat Cheese on the top. The crust is great, when cooked in the oven. There are some other great products available that are delicious and will help you make the change.

All the best,

 
Crystal
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said this on
06 May 2011 6:08:51 PM PST
Thank you for writing this. I wanted to cry when I read this article. I've struggled with stomach pain, diarrhea, type 1 diabetes, hypothyroid, depression, anxiety and obesity almost my entire life. I'm now 31 years old and finally getting tested because I ASKED to be tested. I feel validated after reading your article.

 
Matt
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said this on
14 May 2011 5:43:00 AM PST
This article definitely brings a lot of important things to light. For the past year or so I've been having less energy every day and could feel my hunger gradually increasing. Recently it got to the point where I'd have insane amounts of food just to keep myself from feeling like I was starving. It was only until I stumbled onto this disease and eliminated gluten from my diet that I started to feel energized again.

While I don't think I'm a full blown celiac, I did experience symptoms in my childhood that could point to gluten intolerance. These symptoms included lactose intolerance at infancy (milk eventually became tolerable), reduced growth in height as well as easy bruising.

This might show that you don't have to be a full blown celiac to have a reaction to gluten which could still eventually destroy the nutrient absorbing capabilities of the intestines, hence the overeating. It might be possible that gluten in general is a toxic chemical, and that some people have a more severe reaction to it then others.

 
Debbie
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said this on
10 Jul 2011 10:21:24 AM PST
This is the most informative article I have read on overweight and celiac disease. But I was also told that you should be tested before you actually start the gluten-free diet because you may end up getting a false negative test if you have removed the gluten from your diet. My father-in-law was just diagnosed with it, he is 77 years old. Who knows how long he has had it, he got sick and they did routine blood work and his kidneys were failing. They ended up doing all kinds of tests and then finally did the celiac test and confirmed that was he whole problem. Recommended the rest of the family get tested. I'm not a blood relative in that sense but after reading your article here, I definitely fit the bill and will also get tested. I am a firm believer that the GMO wheat that is being fed to us is not helping things either. This is another reason we should push congress to pass a labeling law like they have in Europe. Actually, testing for celiac should be part of the routine blood work. I bet that would help many obese children of today. Maybe we need to ask for that too. God Bless You! I'm sure your article has helped a lot more people than who have posted.

 
Priscilla
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19 Aug 2011 9:15:20 AM PST
I agree and have been on a gluten free diet for 8 months now. I'm Feeling much better and now that I finally have the energy to exercise I'm going to focus on weight loss.

If you type in "gluten free restaurants" and the name of the city you live in you will find many options (depending on how big of a city) for eating out. Many pizza places now offer a gluten free crust and several Italian restaurants offer gluten free noodles.

 
Christina
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05 Sep 2011 3:22:43 PM PST
This article is just plain AWESOME. I too am overweight and tested negative for celiac disease. However, my Mom and all her sisters have different autoimmune disease ranging from diabetes to lupus and my Mom has "IBS", which I think is really celiac but she won't listen to me. My first cousin is celiac and so is her daughter. I decided after doing all this reading to just go gluten free. After a few days I started to feel better. I'm now a month and a half in and I feel terrific. I haven't felt this good in years. The brain fog has lifted, I don't feel like I want to crawl back into bed after I get up in the morning and I've started losing a little bit of weight. (About 5 lbs so far). I really hope that continues. I myself also have PCOS and depression with anxiety. Here's hoping I can kick all those medications to the curb and that the weight continues to come off.

Thanks so much for this article. It makes me feel good to know that its not in my head and that being overweight is indeed a symptoms of gluten intolerance/sensitivity/celiac. I will never go back to eating it again. I think I will get the genetic testing done though since I tested negative and both my daughters have ADHD.

 
Natalie
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said this on
09 Jan 2012 1:36:58 PM PST
I was diagnosed with coeliac disease 6 years ago after a nasty bout of pnuemonia, they didn't think I would make it and get better but I am here to tell the story. My sister had been diagnosed with coeliac disease and after being so sick asked to be tested and well was a definite positive, I too was always over weight and lost a lot of weight. I then went on to have my 3 children tested and my eldest whom was always just so little was diagnosed at the age of 11 or 12 he is now 18 has just thrived is now taller than me and is so healthy.
Thank you for this article as I always wondered if coeliac disease had something to do with my weight issues.

 
Jonnie Jo
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19 Jan 2012 6:15:51 PM PST
Now I have hope I haven't had in years, me and my daughter have been so sick for years, with all these symptoms and no doctor would believe us or give us a diagnosis. I am going to change our diet and pray it's our cure!! We are both overweight too, and doctor said NO WAY you can be celiac you are fat and not malnourished. Wish she would read this articles and the responses.

 
Karen E
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said this on
25 Jan 2012 1:53:04 PM PST
My doctors told me I had IBS and after reading about gluten on the internet decided to cut it out and felt so much better doing so. I told my doctor and he did a blood test which was positive for coeliac disease. I also have an under active thyroid which was diagnosed about 12 years ago. I am now waiting for an appointment for a biopsy of my small intestine as recommended by my specialist. I am struggling to lose even a pound in weight despite eating healthy and exercising. I did the Atkins diet about 8 years ago, and felt great and full of energy. It finally makes sense why, and maybe I will try it again, although I did find it hard not being able to eat fruit as I usually eat a few pieces of fruit every day.

 
Davis
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said this on
28 Jan 2012 8:01:38 AM PST
Thank you for posting info, especlially related to being over-weight and having celiac. The only time I've ever felt my best was when I strictly adhered to South Beach phase 1. Ironically, no gluten is in it. Hopefully, I can get turned around. Hopefully, my teen son with Asperger's will benefit from my example. He exhibits a lot of my issues, but my other child doesn't.

 
Amanda
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said this on
10 Mar 2012 7:32:13 AM PST
Thanks for the article and information, it really makes sense when you think about it. I have recently gone through some doctor appointments after a lifetime of digestive issues and slight weight issues, which both have gotten totally out of control in the past 4-5 years. In my own experience, I have learned that it is absolutely imperative that you find a doctor that's very knowledgeable and willing to listen to all your symptoms without calling you crazy. My doctors tested me for a thyroid issue (blood work all normal, even Hashimoto antibodies) and now are testing me for Celiac. But I learned that you have to be very persistent and tell the doctors ALL of your symptoms even if they seem crazy or unrelated to your problem because a LOT of doctors will try to push you off and attribute your symptoms to something else. If your doctor won't listen to you, he/she does not have your best health in mind! A good doctor is absolutely essential to pinpointing the problems.

 
Colleen
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said this on
16 May 2012 11:30:45 AM PST
I have been diagnosed with celiac disease recently and have started losing weight since going gluten-free and am worried about getting too thin because I wasn't terribly overweight before changing my diet!!! I wanted to share something really weird since eliminating gluten from my diet. I have had a problem wetting my pants since I was a young girl. I just got used to the fact that I would urinate in my underpants every time I sneezed or coughed (I am 41 now) well guess what??? I HAVE NOT wet my pants since I quit eating foods with gluten... I feel great even though I am losing weight. I think flour causes weight gain not fat and sugar.

 
Lisa
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said this on
25 May 2012 8:26:54 PM PST
I wonder why gastro doctors won't at least test folks with almost all the symptoms of celiac disease but are morbidly obese? I was told the Alcat test was bunk and they won't do any biopsies even though gluten-free eating stops most of my symptoms! Also my insurance won't pay for a consult with a dietitian without positive biopsy results. I guess I'm on my own here! Thank you so much for this article!

 
Kaylyn
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said this on
12 Jun 2012 7:52:26 PM PST
I am 16 and ever since I was about 8 years old I have had a problem with my weight. When I was a little girl I was skinny and a normal weight for my age, but when I was around age 8 I began to rapidly gain weight out of nowhere. Also I had really bad sharp chest pains. I had many tests done to make sure there was nothing wrong with my heart and to see if I had any thyroid problems, but the tests came up negative. A few years ago in 8th grade I came down with a cough that never went away. I was then diagnosed with asthma induced by sports. Even with an inhaler and medicine the coughing and wheezing never went away and my doctor realized my asthma was worse than they thought. After having allergic reactions to almost all the medicines I was taking I finally found a medicine that worked, but only for a short period of time. To this day I am still coughing and wheezing daily and my doctor and I cannot figure out why my asthma gets better for a week or so and then comes back. I have done some research on celiac disease and I have found articles that say weight gain and asthma may be the cause of the disease. I am hoping to get the test so I can figure out whether my asthma is the product of celiac disease.

 
Robin
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said this on
10 Sep 2012 10:04:54 AM PST
This site has given me such hope, and great information. Thank you so much for writing this.

 
"Mimi"
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said this on
07 Jan 2013 8:37:04 AM PST
This article, as well as the many comments submitted, has been very informative and helpful. Our 9-year-old grandson was recently diagnosed with celiac disease by way of a biopsy, after at least 4 years of our begging the parents to change pediatricians or do something to find out why he was not growing at all! He is nearly 10 now, is the size of an average 6 year old, is very thin, and rarely eats without experiencing pain.
One of his new physicians mentioned that celiac disease is commonly found in those with an Irish-Scottish-British heritage, which is our grandchild's exclusive gene pool. Digestive aliments, as well as thyroid disease, are as commonplace as blue and green eyes in all of his family background. Even though a small, thin stature is evident in many of the extended family lines, what we were amazed to learn is that the obesity issues in the family might also be linked to undiagnosed celiac disease. This is amazing! So many of us have been living in desperate need of an answer for the constant pain, inability to digest, difficulty to avoid excess weight gain, and inability to shed pounds by any means.
I now have information to begin to share with many, and perhaps we will uncover some of the health mysteries that exist. You have all given me hope that an answer is within our grasp! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

 
Celiac Disease Person
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said this on
01 Jul 2013 6:03:33 PM PST
Celiac disease could be a ONE cause to obesity, but basically, people become obese because of lack of proper nutrition and exercise. I have celiac disease and I am not the skinniest person around. Even on a gluten-free diet, lots of packaged foods are processed and contain high sodium and sugars. So it's basically about eating right. Just because you are taking out wheat and rye, oats, etc. does not mean you will become skinny.

 
Maire
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said this on
19 Jul 2013 7:47:50 PM PST
So, now that you have treated your celiac disease, you are no longer obese? Now you are slim and trim? Labeling a cause and solving a problem are two different things. I would challenge anyone to follow me around all day, be as active as I am, eat what I eat, and still be obese.

 
Melissa
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said this on
24 Feb 2015 1:07:19 PM PST
I found this article extremely informative and helpful. I do not have celiac disease but have gluten intolerance but because it rarely was bothering me I continued to eat gluten. Because of this I have contact UTIs (as the gluten is damaging my intestinal tract), had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, an iron deficiency, and have immense troubles with losing any weight. I stopped eating gluten for a while and no longer had thyroid issues and am cutting it out for good after realizing how negatively it is effecting my overall health.




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