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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Did Anyone Lose Weight After Going Gluten Free?
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24 posts in this topic

I have struggled with my weight for a long time now. My doctor did not even consider Celiac Disease because I was not thin. Also, I don't think that he believed that I was vomiting on a daily basis because again, I was not thin. I would go through periods of time that I would throw up everything I ate, then, I did lose weight but it would come right back. I am curious, has anyone lost a significant amount of weight after starting the gluten free diet? Could my body's resistance to losing be in any way linked to the celiac disease?

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I absolutely lost weight when I started going gluten free. I was devastated and had no idea what to eat. I was always on the go so all I ever ate was fast food. Once that was cut out of my diet I lost about 11 pounds in two weeks (and I was already small). Gradually I started to gain a little once I did research and figured out what I could eat and how to prepare it. I guess everyone's different but weight fluctuation is common when people go on and off a gluten free diet.

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I lost about 40 pounds in the first few months, gained a bit back, and have lost it again.

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I lost about 20 lbs. after going gluten-free. My experience with doctors was similar - they would not consider celiac because I had gained weight. I think I gained weight because I felt like I was starving literally all the time, and would eat and eat and eat (and have about 6-8 bouts of monkeys flying out my butt every day). They only grudgingly let me take the blood test, which didn't show anything, but my endoscopy did. I was able to get tested finally because my mother is celiac, and I had the same symptoms she did. I had loads of horrid symptoms, most of them pretty classic, and they all disappeared upon going gluten-free (within weeks). I had scary dark circles under my eyes that went away, I had more energy (as opposed to none at all), and all around felt amazingly better. And I lost the weight, now feel more like 'me'!

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Thank you. I am glad to hear that. Quite happy to hear about the circles under the eyes going away too! As you can see in my photo, mine are pretty bad lol.

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On the contrary... I gained about 30 lbs!! I'd only had symptoms for a few months and hadn't lost weight like so many do. Then I cooked and baked and ate all the gluten free versions of what I was giving up!

People always asked me what the symptoms of celiac disease are and I'd tell them one of the biggest is unexplained weight loss... then I look down at myself and say, "Um... I didn't GET that one!"

I'm eating super healthy and slowly losing... to get back to where I SHOULD be, and I'm not talking bikini wearing here... I'm just talking about fitting into all the clothes I already have!!

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Nope, weight loss didn't happen after I went gluten free. Darn. Well, maybe 2 or 3 pounds. Honestly, I was hoping for that magic to happen, and was disappointed when it didn't. <_< Actually, that made me question my self-diagnosis of gluten sensitivity. But after 15 months of seriously gluten free eating, recently I tried adding a small bit of 'real' bread, 3 days in a row. Intestinal distress and a surge of joint, bone, muscle, and fibromyalgia pain curbed that experiment quickly. I'm wondering now if I'm gluten sensitive or just to wheat. Maybe I'll drink a beer and test it out... But maybe not.

I'm new to this forum, thanks for listening!

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Hi There,

I have always been overweight since I was 14. I weighed 205 lbs. Kept that weight until I got pregnant at 18 then lost it down to 135. Then after the baby was born shot right back up. Bad Bad Pregnancy.

No matter what diet I tried couldn't lose it. Maybe a couple then right back up. It wasn't until after I went gluten free that the weight started coming off and it's staying off. My profile pic shows me at my heaviest. A week before I went gluten free. I have now lost a total of 40 lbs. Slow but steady about 2 and a half to 3 lbs a month. I can't eat a lot of the processed gluten-free foods because I get a reaction to a lot of them. There's a thread on here somewhere about being supersensitive. I guess i'm one of them. Nothing made that shares facilities with wheat and so on. Plus, I also have problems with dairy, soy and the nightshade vegetables too. What processed foods I do eat I try to make sure that they are not very high in carbs and sugars. I do not eat any gluten-free breads at all. I love brown rice but try to keep that to a low minimum too. I mainly eat meat, chicken, brown rice, corn, green beans, santita's corn chips, Lara bars, Hormel Canned chicken, carrots, sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts. Lima beans, gluten-free bolthouse ranch dressing with a salad. Anyway, This is just a small sample of what I eat. YUM YUM.

My dr has always told me that for my body heighth and so on I need to be around 117 lbs. I've always laughed because I could not picture mysel getting that small. I can now, but i'm not going that far. If I did I would look like a concentration camp survivor and I know it. I am going to try to get down to about 128 lbs. Then when I get there i'll just add a little more carbs to keep from getting any skinnier. At least that's my plan anyway.

Sorry, I got carried away.

I would cut out a lot of the processed gluten-free foods and go strictly fresh foods. It may take a while but it'll be worth it in the end. Hang in there and I wish you luck.

Good luck and

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Nine months Gluten Free and 9 pounds heavier.....I was considered average weight before but if I keep gaining a pound a month I'm going to be WAY above average soon!

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I've lost 30 lbs. since going gluten-free 10 months ago. It's come off slowly (which is much safer) and easily. I haven't even been paying attention to portion sizes or calories counts and I've lost the weight. I think most of it is that, before going gluten-free, I was hungry CONSTANTLY. I could finish a huge meal the size of a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal and my stomach was literally rolling with hunger 20 minutes later. I just couldn't get enough food to feel satiated. As I said, I don't worry about portion sizes now because the gluten-free foods are satisfying me and I find I don't eat nearly as much as I used to. I also think I've lost the weight because going gluten-free has increased my energy to such a degree that I'm much, much more active. Before, I was so exhausted all the time that I was sleeping 12-14 hours a day and couldn't sustain activity for more than 2 hours at a time.

It may sound strange since so many people are upset about having to go gluten-free and cutting so many things from their diet, but being diagnosed Celiac was one of the best things that's ever happened to me. It truly gave me my life back!

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I've only been gluten-free for 3+ weeks. I was in a size 16 pants, now size 14 are a little big on me! For the past 12-15 years I've gained and lost weight for no apparent reason. Over the past two years I've really been trying to lose weight, gym, eating right, etc and nothing has worked. I can't believe the difference after cutting out gluten!! I have to say I'm loving the results! I'm also eating a lot better, so that contributes to it. I have to say though, I've tried eating right and regular exercise with minimal results. So, for me I have to attribute it finally being diagnose with Celiac Disease and going gluten free. :)

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I had lost a lot of weight when I was sick and didn't know what was going on. In a matter of few months I started gaining it back with all the gluten free replacement foods. They usually have more calories than their gluten comparison and the bread is smaller :angry: ! When I got around 145 pounds (I am 5'4) I decided to ditch the goodies and eat fresh foods ect with maybe one or two peices of udi bread a day. I also power walk 6 days a week and now am at 131. My goal is 125 since I am small boned.

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I went gluten-free last June. At that time I weighed about 224 and was eating 800 - 1200 calories a day (all I could eat that last month or so was eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, and an occasional potato because my stomach was so upset everything I ate made me sick). Even eating so little I was not losing weight. After eliminating the gluten I dropped 25 pounds by Thanksgiving (end of Nov). My weight leveled off over the winter, then I gained back about 5 pounds. Now that spring has begun to return I've dropped that 5 pounds in the last couple of weeks and hope to start heading back down again.

In my case, one of the keys to weight loss for me is that I have to make myself eat enough. If I stop when I'm satisfied I'll eat about 1300-1400 calories, and gain weight. If I boost to 1500-1600 I level out. I have to log my food and watch carefully to get 1800 calories consistently to lose. I know it's counterintuitive, but it's what has worked for me. I suspect part of my plateau this winter is because after losing 25 pounds I thought I should drop that level a bit (shouldn't need so many calories now, right?) WRONG. Now that I'm pushing 1800 consistently again, I've lost that 5 I picked back up.

I would strongly suggest logging food. Not only does it help you be aware of how often you eat too much or too little food, but it also can help to pinpoint other dietary sensitivities that may crop up during the healing process. I've discovered, for example, I need to watch nightshades, although I never knew I had a problem with that until the gluten cleared out of my system.

I know some do it manually, but I use Sparkpeople.com Their website has calorie counts of many plain foods, as well as name brands and even many gluten-free products, so I'm not always having to find calorie counts myself. You can also log things like how much water you drink daily, which vitamins you're getting enough of, etc which can be helpful for getting back on top of low levels.

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Growing up I was scary thin. At 5'3" it took a lot of effort to maintain a weight of 90 lbs. My parents used to fill me with pasta and milkshakes. They even let me have the occasional beer to fatten me up. Ha! Looking back I don't know how anyone missed it! Then I was able to put on some weight in my 30's and got on the other side of 100 lbs. Still too skinny. Then about 5 years ago the weight just kept coming and coming for no reason. I got to 145. It was an uncomfortable 145, I felt more bloated than chubby. I went from a size 6 (US) to a 14. I was miserable and I was hungry all of the time. If I didn't eat often I felt sick. I tried weight watchers to help me get to 125. In a year all I could manage to get to was 135. I gave up. Now looking back I see that I was filling up on the very foods that my body was reacting to: dairy, gluten, soy. I'm not sure what made me switch from too thin to chubby to close to overweight. The catalyst is unknown. Since going gluten-free/soy free I've seen some major changes. I haven't lost much weight (fluctuates between 5-8 lbs) but I am down to a size 10. People have remarked how thin I look, less bloated, less uncomfortable. I'm no longer starving all the time. My portions are smaller. I'm not trying to lose weight. That can come later. When i suspected I had celiac or crohns the docs would look at me and say no way, without doing any testing. We prove right here that we come in all shapes and sizes. If only the medical community would recognize that as well.

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when i went on my first round of gluten/dairy free diet i lost nearly 30lbs in 5 months. at the time i was 5 months post partum, breastfeeding(burns around 500 calories a day) and working full time on my feet. i was not eating enough fat but i also think a lot of that weight was inflammation. i've been on and off gluten for the last 1.5yrs and gained back about 10lbs.

i've only been gluten free for a few weeks now and have not had any weight change so far. i'm not working and stay home with my kids so i'm able to eat more often and healthier.

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Gaining weight was one of my symptoms. It always came in waves - I would gain up to 10 pounds a week, then loose some but not all. When I finally went gluten-free, I had about 25-30 extra pounds and probably even more if I count just fat, because I started loosing lots of muscle tissue about a year before diagnosis. Lots of the extra fat is gone now and I hope as my body heals the rest will follow soon. :)

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I have struggled with my weight for a long time now. My doctor did not even consider Celiac Disease because I was not thin. Also, I don't think that he believed that I was vomiting on a daily basis because again, I was not thin. I would go through periods of time that I would throw up everything I ate, then, I did lose weight but it would come right back. I am curious, has anyone lost a significant amount of weight after starting the gluten free diet? Could my body's resistance to losing be in any way linked to the celiac disease?

I'm glad to hear I am not the only one who was vomiting on a daily basis. I have had unexplainable bouts of uncontrolled vomiting for the past three years. I've now been gluten free for 6 months and am still having episodes once a month, better than every other day. I'm not sure if it's that I'm glutening myself occasionally or what.. I have lost 32lbs in the last 6 months of being gluten free, and like you I have always struggled with my weight and I can't even remeber ever being this thin.

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Hey Jeffiner (love the name), I was throwing up every day too, probably at my lowest point, right before I went gluten-free. But instead of losing weight while that happened, I actually gained a few pounds. I'm sure it was because, after throwing up, my body felt so deprived of nutrients and glucose that, look out pantry!...I would just scarf down food afterward.

I remember hating the fact that I was throwing up because, in the back of mind, I knew that most bulimics are overweight for this very reason. My best friend growing up was anorexic, and when she recovered (she almost died), she put on weight and then some. She just could not keep off weight or control her cravings. I learned that it's because her body went into "survival" mode, kept every single pound, and made her crave carbs like crazy. (Sadly, a lot of former anorexics turn bulimic for this reason; they cannot control their cravings, feel gross, start throwing up, and a vicious cycle begins).

The point is.. :)...your body eventually learns that the "famine" (and/or the constant throwing up) is over. It just takes some time. And then, if you're not overeating, you'll start losing weight.

About overeating: If sugar is a "problem" food for you, I'd stay away from those gluten-free goodies (there are WAY too many to choose from, and they're full of sugar) and stick to fruit. Make yourself delicious smoothies, make 'em chocolate-y with cocoa powder, and just make eating fruits a delicious experience! Say no to sugar that doesn't come wrapped up in a peel.

I also suggest pinpointing which foods are making you eat just a little too much...(because that "little too much" is keeping you from losing weight). I cannot keep potato chips or most packaged foods in my kitchen because I KNOW I'm not the type of person who can have "just one" and be moderate. I'm TERRIBLE at being moderate. So I don't even keep that stuff in my house.

Anyway, I'm assuming a lot here, sorry. I get a little zealous with my posts. What are you eating these days?

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I also gain weight when eating gluten. If I eat gluten for only a week, I swell up by 5 pounds, and then it takes about 6 weeks to fully go away.

I've heard a few guesses about the mechanism:

- eating gluten somehow encourages overeating for people who are sensitive

- your body cannot get enough nutrition due to malabsorption, so you keep craving food and eating as your body desperately tries to get nutrition

- eating gluten causes bloating

- a gluten issue can encourage a candida overgrowth is sometimes linked to weight gain and uncontrollable food cravings

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I lost a frightening amount of weight which has stayed off. In the first month of going gluten free I lost 2 stone in weight.

This was mainly caused by missing meals . I had no idea how well prepared and organised you have to be to have a gluten free diet. Before I was so reliant on sandwich shops and coffee bars.

I'm getting on top of it now thoughand am feeling a lot better.

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Both weight loss and obesity are possible complications of celiacs - for strangely the same reason - failure to absorb the right nutrients. With absorption issues, you can be malnourished and overweight at the same time (most people who are obese have similar vitamin or mineral deficiencies as those who are underweight).

The "fiscal" model of "calories in - calories out" is not really accurate - in terms of pure calorimetry, we consume a lot more calories than we use and our bodies are capable of choosing to increase or decrease the amount of fuel taken from that stream. A celiac's digestive system may be saying, "Hey, I'm not getting enough of x, I must be starving" - treating the celiac may help your body switch from famine mode back to "Ok, let's not freak out and just get what we need."

Will you definitely lose weight? No. Could you? Yes.

I would not recommend trying to manage a weight-loss diet and a gluten-free diet simultaneously, but you might find you're eating fewer calorie dense foods and less refined sugar mostly because the gluten-free products out there. I personally am just having trouble figuring out what to put in my mouth.

With any luck you'll also feel more energetic and you end up more active. An active large person is healthier than a sedentary thin person.

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Before going gluten free I was hovering around 122 pounds at 5 ft 2 and I have to admit it looked pretty bad on me. I was completely uncomfortable with my body, couldn't lose a single pound (I exercised religiously and have changed from omnivore to vegetarian and now vegan).

When I finally made the switch over during Christmas I lost 12 pounds and the weight seems to be continually dropping. I weigh 110 pounds right now and I look amazing. It's like my body was putting on fat in all the wrong places. Sick places. I don't know if that makes any sense to you or not.

Me being on a vegan diet, not driving a car, exercising considerably I couldn't lose any weight. I was still "healthy" according to the BMI but I looked all wrong. Now I can eat like a pig and I'm still losing weight. I hope it doesn't go too far!

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Before I realized the issues I was having were due to gluten, I ballooned up, it seemed. I have always been a healthy weight, but I put on about 10 lbs for no apparent reason. Then I started getting sicker and sicker after eating. I initially lost weight because I didn't know that the very comfort foods I was reaching for were making me sicker. I eliminated gluten, then I gained a little weight because I was downing a lot of gluten-free, processed, pre-packaged goodies. I didn't feel bloated all of the time anymore, though, thankfully! Then I had a gallbladder issue-gallbladder inertia and after I had my gallbladder removed, I went back down about 5 more lbs. to my "normal" weight.

I find it much easier to hover around what is a healthy weight for me. I do not eat a lot of processed food, though. I eat a lot of vegetables. My tastes have changed so much as I've gotten used to the taste of gluten-free foods and foods that are homemade. I cook about everything I eat from scratch. I buy gluten-free pasta because it's not worth me making it (at this point, maybe after some practice), and I buy Lara bars for quick emergencies when I can't find gluten-free food on the go. Because baking takes work and makes a mess, I do it less often, but I do love the recipes I use. I just eat more whole food because it's convenient. That is probably why my weight is leveled off, now.

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I am actually gaining weight/gained weight when I went gluten free... It's important to note that, while on gluten I was gaining far more rapidly, because while on gluten my binge eating was very very bad. Now I've found so many additional intolerances (corn, soy, eggs, dairy...) that my diet has to be pretty limited, and I'm still gaining weight. I'm used to feeling that 'high' and numbness from food. I have to fill myself to the brim in order to get the thought of milk chocolate out of my head, causing me to gain weight. It will probably adjust if I could just stay away from all of my intolerances for more than 2 months at a time...

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      Thank  you Flowerqueen and Cristiana for your replies. I'm actually feeling much better today. I got my appetite back yesterday lunchtime (a few hours after I typed the original post) and managed to keep in/hold down some chicken and lettuce!!! I also had a "fat" coffee (as I call it) before work with MCT Oil and butter (your probably going "yuk" right now but it's really nice...really haha) and started feeling a bit better after that. The nausea went away almost immediately after that although just the thought of having all that fat nearly made me sick but I just wanted to get back to normal asap. I usually have a lot of fat in my diet anyway which is normal for me so the coffee choice isn't unusual. Plus it was also the third day which was when I started feeling better after the first time. I didn't eat til lunchtime and I was good and hungry by then so I knew I was coming out of it. That nausea and trembling feeling is something I don't want ever again. I think after the workout and tearing down muscle tissue (which is a form of stress) and then not being able to hold the nutrients in for repair affected my nervous system. My theory only but to me it makes sense. Although Vitargo also comes in flavors I always get the Natural / Unflavored one so the barley is the only ingredient. As for there being something wrong with that particular batch, well, you be on to something there. Also I'm not knocking the product because as I said, I have used it before and it did exactly what it was supposed to do. But, I will never have it again. Cristiana, my last blood test revealed I had slight anaemia which really surprised me with the amount of red meat I've eaten during my life and the anxiety thing is also new as I'm usually a happy, positive person. Life is good but after this recent reaction I think it is an indirect cause of the glutening. I'm also surprised at how sensitive I've become to it and how quickly. Also what is DX? I also follow a FODMAP eating plan (I can give you more info if you haven't heard of it) which also eliminates certain foods. It's a plan directed mostly at IBS but is well worth looking into if you are suffering any gut health, digestion issues or any ailment you may have which you can't get to the bottom of. Broccoli was one of the foods which I have cut back on and I've eaten HUGE amounts of broccoli so it is a superfood for some but apparently not for others. (I even think I read somewhere it has MSG naturally in it) It's hard to find any bad articles on broccoli so this also really surprised me. It also answered a few other questions I had. Many, many thanks again to you both for your replies. It actually settled me just reading them. I'm glad I found these forums so I don't think i'll be a stranger around here for long.   Richard
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