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Gluten Intolerant And Weight Gain?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 angelaw

 
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Posted 15 October 2008 - 05:47 AM

Hi everyone,
I just joined this forum today. I apologize if I don't use the correct terminology since I'm only starting to learn about this subject.
My first cousin was diagnosed with celiac's disease two or three years ago. She just found out that both of her parents have the gene for it, which means that my mother and I could have the intolerance also.
I've been struggling with my health for some time now and I'm wondering if I could be gluten intolerant.
I've been seeing a nutritionist and she found out that I have some blood sugar issues and some hormone issues (I'm only 29!!), and she's been helping me tremendously with those.
However, I cannot seem to lose weight.
I've been slowly gaining weight the last two years. Since I started seeing the nutritionist, I've been steady with my weight but can't lose. She put me on the carbohydrate addict's diet and it has done wonders for my blood sugar but I have stuck to it since July 2nd and have not lost weight!! As for exercise -I am not an athlete, but I'm not a couch potato either - I'm moderately active. And being relatively young I know I should be able to lose weight with what I'm doing!!
I also have fatigue, irritability, and bloating that seem to increase when I eat wheat (I gained 6 pounds in one day after I had a cinnamon raisin bagel!). I also have this weird symptom where I get a sore throat with clear blisters on the back of my throat.
Most books about gluten intolerance mention only weight LOSS as a symptom. But isn't it reasonable that a person who is gluten intolerant could gain weight from eating gluten? I think it's a possibility...
I told my nutritionist that I would like to know for sure whether I'm gluten intolerant or not. (My MD dismissed my concerns, saying "If you had that, you would be sick!") The nutritionist says I can go gluten free for two weeks and see how I feel, or I can take a test in her office for $300.
I'm not sure what to do. Are those tests reliable?
I know that going gluten free is a major lifestyle change, but I'm willing to do it if I could be sure that was what my problem is.
What do you guys think?
Know anyone who went gluten free and was able to lose weight?

I'm very frustrated and would be eternally grateful for any advice!

Angela
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#2 TracyB

 
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Posted 15 October 2008 - 06:32 AM

Hi everyone,
I just joined this forum today. I apologize if I don't use the correct terminology since I'm only starting to learn about this subject.
My first cousin was diagnosed with celiac's disease two or three years ago. She just found out that both of her parents have the gene for it, which means that my mother and I could have the intolerance also.
I've been struggling with my health for some time now and I'm wondering if I could be gluten intolerant.
I've been seeing a nutritionist and she found out that I have some blood sugar issues and some hormone issues (I'm only 29!!), and she's been helping me tremendously with those.
However, I cannot seem to lose weight.
I've been slowly gaining weight the last two years. Since I started seeing the nutritionist, I've been steady with my weight but can't lose. She put me on the carbohydrate addict's diet and it has done wonders for my blood sugar but I have stuck to it since July 2nd and have not lost weight!! As for exercise -I am not an athlete, but I'm not a couch potato either - I'm moderately active. And being relatively young I know I should be able to lose weight with what I'm doing!!
I also have fatigue, irritability, and bloating that seem to increase when I eat wheat (I gained 6 pounds in one day after I had a cinnamon raisin bagel!). I also have this weird symptom where I get a sore throat with clear blisters on the back of my throat.
Most books about gluten intolerance mention only weight LOSS as a symptom. But isn't it reasonable that a person who is gluten intolerant could gain weight from eating gluten? I think it's a possibility...
I told my nutritionist that I would like to know for sure whether I'm gluten intolerant or not. (My MD dismissed my concerns, saying "If you had that, you would be sick!") The nutritionist says I can go gluten free for two weeks and see how I feel, or I can take a test in her office for $300.
I'm not sure what to do. Are those tests reliable?
I know that going gluten free is a major lifestyle change, but I'm willing to do it if I could be sure that was what my problem is.
What do you guys think?
Know anyone who went gluten free and was able to lose weight?

I'm very frustrated and would be eternally grateful for any advice!

Angela


Hi Angela - I'm new here too and have just obtained blood reqs yesterday. It took me a while to get my nerve up to ask to be tested for celiac but it went o.k. I think she doesn't think I have it, and that would be great if I don't :) but I needed to know for my children more than anything.

I too am more on the overweight than underweight side. This is the 3rd time I've revisited celiac as a possibility but have never talked to my doctor about it. She was surprised that I had never brought it up before. I told her that since I had been diagnosed with IBS at age 3 (it was called "nervous stomach" then) after severe abdominal pain and a week in hospital (and then a lifetime of constipation/diarrhea/headaches, etc., etc.) I felt it was just normal, at least for me.

Anyway, you can be overweight and have celiac. I've asked that in here this past week or so and I've also found some great articles to support it. From the Canadian Celiac Association Medical Facts (a fact sheet made up for doctors), under symptoms it says:

"The presence of obesity or constipation does not exclude the diagnosis of celiac disease".

Nobody wants a disease - but if you feel sick or have chronic D, etc. you want answers. I'm 46 now and 43 years with this is enough. The fact is it may still just be IBS, but at least than I'll know and I don't have to worry about my kids.

If you want the test than you need to find a doctor who will send you for it. You have the right to request the proper tests - but do make sure you are getting the right one - the correct test is more comprehensive.

The Executive Director of the Canadian Celiac Association replied to an email I sent. Along with the medical facts sheet which I have quoted from above, he also said that I could order a test for $50.00 should my doctor not wish to send me for testing. It so happens that October is Celiac Awareness month here! I've provided the website here:

http://celiachometest.com/

You'll notice that mouth ulcers are listed as one of the symptoms of celiac on the above website. Sometimes they say canker sores but I think a lot of people get those - I do when I'm tired or worn out and I've never had mouth ulcers.

Anyway, you may be able to order the test from Canada - I have no idea what the hometest does as I haven't looked. But it's better than $300.00 from the nutritionist so worth looking at. If I were you, I would go back to your doctor, or another doctor and just say that you have reason to believe you may have celiac, bring in supporting documents and go from there. Believe me, there are a lot of doctors out there that don't know anything about celiac.

If you look for previous posts from me, you'll find links to articles by somebody with the surname Hoggan. He's written some very informative articles on celiac - his mother was overweight and couldn't stop eating. He found out later in life he had celiac and she tested positive as well.

Good luck,

TracyB

Hi - I just wanted to edit this to add that I did go and look at the hometest info. Unfortunately, it is not available to those in the states but the author of the article (Ron Hoggan - the one I've mentioned before) is a huge advocate of getting it into the states as he feels it will help millions of Americans. The newer version of this test is even better...he suggests that if you are in the U.S. you may want to order it (to a P.O. box??) and then pick it up somehow (if you live near the border). Or if you know somebody in Canada that could order it for you and send it to you?
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#3 mushroom

 
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Posted 15 October 2008 - 11:44 AM

But isn't it reasonable that a person who is gluten intolerant could gain weight from eating gluten? I think it's a possibility...



Of course it is. Most doctors are programmed to believe that you have to have lost weight to be a celiac. I gained weight inexorably for ten years; have lost 28 lbs since gluten-free (11 mos) without even trying. Before, I used to try to lose weight and couldn't.
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"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein

"Life is not weathering the storm; it is learning to dance in the rain"

"Whatever the question, the answer is always chocolate." Nigella Lawson

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Caffeine free 1973
Lactose free 1990
(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's
Diagnosed psoriatic arthritis 2004
Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007
Soy free March 2008
Nightshade free Feb 2009
Citric acid free June 2009
Potato starch free July 2009
(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
Legume free March 2010
Now tolerant of lactose

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#4 angelaw

 
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Posted 15 October 2008 - 01:05 PM

"Of course it is. Most doctors are programmed to believe that you have to have lost weight to be a celiac. I gained weight inexorably for ten years; have lost 28 lbs since gluten-free (11 mos) without even trying. Before, I used to try to lose weight and couldn't."

Bless you both for saying that!!

I feel so incredibly frustrated. Since 2004 doctors have been checking my thyroid and telling me I'm healthy. I have been made to feel like a fat pig with no will power. Even when I get on a restrictive calorie diet, I lose weight at a snail's pace. Others my age eat the same things and get less exercise and their weight just falls off.

I even found a site on the internet where a doctor was questioning a woman's diagnosis of gluten intolerance because she had gained weight. He said he doubted she really had it because of her weight.

It's so annoying!

I think I am going to need to get a test done. I just hope it's an accurate test, since it it so expensive. I know that it will be easier (for me) to stick with gluten free living if I have a test result to refer to.

I've tried so many things to lose weight and keep it off, I hope I might have a similar experience to yours, mushroom, and finally be able to have my efforts pay off!
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#5 henny

 
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Posted 15 October 2008 - 02:37 PM

have you had your thyroid checked out? weight gain and irritability are big symptoms of hypothyroid
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#6 angelaw

 
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Posted 15 October 2008 - 04:19 PM

have you had your thyroid checked out? weight gain and irritability are big symptoms of hypothyroid


Yep - several times!
I have a lot of hypothyroid symptoms but it always shows up normal.
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#7 aikiducky

 
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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:10 AM

After hanging around here for a few years now, I nowadays always tell people to get all the possible testing done before trying a gluten free diet. That means a celiac blood test panel:
Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgA
Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgG
Anti-Endomysial (EMA) IgA
Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG)
Total Serum IgA

AND a biopsy of the small intestine. Some people are negative on the blood work and positive on the biopsy, and for now the biopsy is still considered the gold standard for diagnosis, meaning your doctor will take it more seriously.

Thing is, there are other conditions that can make a person temporarily gluten intolerant (some parasites, lyme disease is what I've seen here on the board) and in that case going gluten free will relieve some symptoms but wouldn't treat the underlying cause.

Also, going gluten free doesn't always mean that you immediately feel better, it might take up to two years. In that case, if you have a solid diagnosis, it will help with staying motivated. Plus it will make it easier to tell people around you that yes, you really need to be this paranoid about cross contamination. :)

AFTER all the testing is done, even if it's all negative, it might still be a good idea to give the diet a try. Some people react to gluten without being celiac. But then at least you know that.

The thing to remember is, after you go gluten free, that can affect test results and result in a false negative. And if you for some reason want an official diagnosis later in life (for a celiac, the diet is for life!) you will have to start eating gluten again, which might not be so easy at that point. So it's really worth it to do all the testing now and not rush into it.

Hope this doesn't come across as too much of a rant! :D

Pauliina
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#8 ang1e0251

 
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Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:09 PM

You know, I have never been thin but I could always control my weight until my DD was born. In hindsight, that was my trigger time. My weight has really gone up & doctors always poo-pooed it. No amount of exercise affects my weight. I've been gluten-free for almost a year & I eat a LOT! No weight gain, kept off the weight w/no effort. When I had accidental gluten, then my weight would go up overnight but come right off again when I healed.

There are many people on this forum who are overweight or have been. The inflamation from the gluten is incredible. ALso on gluten, I can never get enough to eat. So I understand.

THere is a thread on weight loss that's 48 pages long, all stories of weight gain. Jump in anywhere & read. I think you'll find a lot in common with us.

Keep asking questions. You can heal yourself. Doctors don't have all the answers or even all the questions. When you get that "duh" feeling, come online. Someone here might have the answer or the question or maybe just some comedy relief!
erstand.
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