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Celiac & Obesity
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I have been overweight all of my life and have found nothing to combat my weight issues. My thyroid was fine, I didn't have diabetes, and was eating normally.

February 2005 I was diagnosed with celiac and have lost 25 pounds since going gluten-free. I had lost 37 pounds prior to that on Weight Watchers on the Core Program which elimates a lot of wheat-containing foods. My GI told me that my body responded this way as a result of the malnutrition caused by my celiac. He told me that most people are very thin and underweight, but that there are more and more cases each year of overweight celiacs. He said that my body packed on the pounds to protect itself from the "poisonous gluten". I still have a long way to go until I reach my "target weight", but at least I'm on the right track!

Does anyone else know anything about this or are there any other overweight celiacs out there? Any solutions on how to lose weight while gluten-free?

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My son was diagnosed fairly recently, and he is slightly (like 5 lbs or so) overweight. Definitely not underweight! I'm not sure about the reasoning behind WHY this is - but, heard it's not that uncommon.

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I was diagnosed as being hypothyroid. I never went on medication because sonn after i found out I was a celiac. After going gluten-free it completely corrected itself. I lost about 25 pounds without trying. I was never obese. Always a skinny child and thin teenager and young adult. It wasn't until I started to get really sick that the pounds came on. I couldn't understand how someone who didn't eat that much and who was vommiting almost daily and who had chronic diarreah could possibly be overweight!! <_< But my doctor explained it to me like yours did. He said that because of the terrible malnutrition, that my body went into starvation mode. hanging on to every ounce of fat it could.

I have also read many articles about how common this is becoming in celiacs. I believe that because of the way doctors were traditionally taught (that celiacs have to be skinny) I think that overwieght people have a harder time being diagnosed.

Wendy

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I used to be obese but not anymore. Once I went gluten-free the weight came off pretty easy. I cannot eat any starchy carbs, refined sugar and must really watch my portions. I also exercise a lot, walking, bicycling and weight lifting.

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I fit into this category as well. The gluten-free diet is healthier - that's a good start - I have always had better results in losing weight with exercise (as is the norm). I joined curves - but whatever works is better than not working it at all. I think consistancy is the key...as it is with anything.

Good luck!!

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Yep, I've dealt with trying to lose weight or keep it off. Exercise and portion control. Even "eating normally" can be eating more calories than YOUR body needs if you're not very aware. If I don't calorie count, I can find myself with some "calorie creep" in my diet, even if I'm still eating normally. Add to that the fact that a lot of us need fewer calories than the standard (for me to maintain, without exercise, I need around 1600 a day - 2000 would be a BAD idea for my waistline! ;-) But exercise is also important for me for keeping the weight off.

Slow and stead works, even if it's really really frustrating! ;-)

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I have been overweight all of my life and have found nothing to combat my weight issues.  My thyroid was fine, I didn't have diabetes, and was eating normally. 

February 2005 I was diagnosed with celiac and have lost 25 pounds since going gluten-free.  I had lost 37 pounds prior to that on Weight Watchers on the Core Program which elimates a lot of wheat-containing foods.  My GI told me that my body responded this way as a result of the malnutrition caused by my celiac.  He told me that most people are very thin and underweight, but that there are more and more cases each year of overweight celiacs.  He said that my body packed on the pounds to protect itself from the "poisonous gluten". I still have a long way to go until I reach my "target weight", but at least I'm on the right track!

Does anyone else know anything about this or are there any other overweight celiacs out there?  Any solutions on how to lose weight while gluten-free?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yep, I'm overweight too (40+lbs), and don't much like it. I don't know if the difficulty in getting it off is the celiac disease, over 45, or what. I have fought to lose weight, then I get SOOOO hungry that I devour everything and put it back on :( . I keep swearing that I'll do it this time, but I've been swearing that for 5 years now. I do know that I have to eat more grams of protein than a normal diet (I think that's 50 grams/day for an average 2000 cal. diet) and that I have to keep the calorie count down to about 1600. I think my metabolism is really really slow. I try to excersize, but when I do too much the fatigue sets in and I get sick. But I have at least toned up a lot this year, replacing some of the fat with muscle, so I guess I'll have to give myself credit for that.

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I was diagnosed as being hypothyroid.  I never went on medication because sonn after i found out I was a celiac.  After going gluten-free it completely corrected itself.  I lost about 25 pounds without trying.  I was never obese.  Always a skinny child and thin teenager and young adult.  It wasn't until I started to get really sick that the pounds came on.  I couldn't understand how someone who didn't eat that much and who was vommiting almost daily and who had chronic diarreah could possibly be overweight!!  <_<  But my doctor explained it to me like yours did.  He said that because of the terrible malnutrition, that my body went into starvation mode.  hanging on to every ounce of fat it could. 

I have also read many articles about how common this is becoming in celiacs.  I believe that because of the way doctors were traditionally taught (that celiacs have to be skinny) I think that overwieght people have a harder time being diagnosed. 

Wendy

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is the reason it took so long for me to be diagnosed. Your story sounds almost exactly like what happened to me. In the last week since I have been gluten-free I have lost five pounds. I am hoping to get back to my regular weight again.

:unsure:

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I have steadily gained weight since my Feb., 2005 diagnosis of celiac. I have never been thin, but more on the shapely side of healthy. I've gained about 20 lbs. since my diagnosis, and am miserable about it. I'm 29 yrs old, and I don't know if I should attribute this to eating gluten-free or my metabolism slowing down. I initially thought that the only good thing that would come of my diagnosis was weight loss, boy what a surprise! When I had my labs and bone density tests, I wasn't found to be lacking any vitamin, mineral, or nutrient. All of my labs (besides antibodies) were within normal limits.

I'm doing a great job with the gluten-free diet, my antibodies and 2nd EGD biopsies are all normal, but I seem to be continuing to gain. My activity patterns haven't changed much. However, I clearly find it more difficult to be satisfied on the gluten-free diet eating normal portion sizes of the foods that I like. I also find myself craving protein like I never did before. As a result of all of the meat that I was eating, my cholesterol went up over 100 points, clearly to an unhealthy range.

How long did it take for other people's bodies to regulate with weight gain/loss?

I think that despite my normal body weight, maybe my body wasn't absorbing all of the calories that I was ingesting, and now that my intestines are healed, I'm actually metabolizing everything that I'm ingesting.

Obiously, increase my exercise, decrease my portions, watch what I'm eating.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

Kelly :)

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I have celiac and so does my mother (her diagnosis via biopsy spurred my desire to get tested). The two of us are a normal weight. However, most studies show that having only one blood relative (first order - parent or full sib), you have a 4-10% chance of developing celiac disease.....not very high to me. I have always wondered if my dad's side has it as well - they have terrible gas on that side of the family and everyone is very obese (40-100lbs overweight). I know that my dad (years ago and prior to their divorce) mentioned to my mom that he might have a sensitivity to barley since beer caused him discomfort. However, no one on that side wants to get tested.....likely b/c they fear the results. It is so frustrating ....... A

baby was recently born on that side of the family and I have never seen such a fussy baby in my life. She cried all the time and her parents called her "gassy". I wonder if my aunt's milk contained gluten or some other allergen or irritant that bothered the baby's system.

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Hello Just joined this site. Have been diagnosed 2 years. Gained weight after eating too many gluten-free products (snacks, etc). Felt deprived, so bought all gluten-free products in sight. Does anyone know if the Diet Protein Drinks are gluten-free? I need a jump start.

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Hi Kelly!

Your story sounds exactly like mine. I was diagnosed 3 years ago and have gained about 35 lbs. After going gluten free, nothing The gluten free diet wasn't working for me because I still felt like crap--bloated, gasy, D, unhappy.

So, I tried the Specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) and I feel amazing! No bloating, no gas, lots of energy and 9 lbs lighter in one week. I don't think that was fat loss, but perhaps weight from all the bloating and undigested food. I STRONGLY recommend it!!!! It's the only thing that has worked for me. It is really strict, but definitely worth it!

Check out the SCD thread.

Good luck!

Heather : )

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I was very skinny as a child, but as an adult I couldn't lose weight no matter what diet I tried, until I was dx with celiac and went gluten-free. I have since lost over 80 pounds and the only thing I am doing differently is eating gluten-free.

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"Hi Kelly!

Your story sounds exactly like mine. I was diagnosed 3 years ago and have gained about 35 lbs. After going gluten free, nothing The gluten free diet wasn't working for me because I still felt like crap--bloated, gasy, D, unhappy.

So, I tried the Specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) and I feel amazing! No bloating, no gas, lots of energy and 9 lbs lighter in one week. I don't think that was fat loss, but perhaps weight from all the bloating and undigested food. I STRONGLY recommend it!!!! It's the only thing that has worked for me. It is really strict, but definitely worth it!

Check out the SCD thread.

Good luck!

Heather : ) "

Heather,

Can you recommend sites or locations to research the specific carbohydrate diet? I'm intrigued about this, however I don't know if I could honestly tolerate more restrictions. Nothing resulted in a search for SCD on this message board.

--Kelly

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There is an SCD thread going on right now... There are quite a few of us on the SCD and having great results. I am a celiac gainer... if I eat gluten, I can pack on 10 lbs. over night. NOT comfortable or fun. The SCD has done wonders for me. :) I have lost 40 lbs. since March, and continue to lose. I will provide the link to our thread:

http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?showtopic=5437&hl=

Hope you find the answers you are looking for!! :)

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I was always a skinny kid, when I was 16 I lost a lot of weight on *top* of being skinny and people started to worry about me a little. This, in retrospect, also happened right around the time I started having D most of the time. I gained a little back and stayed pretty healthy until about 5 years ago, when I gained about 20 or more pounds and couldn't lose them. It didn't matter if I didn't eat at all, the weight just stayed on! I really ate very little and still gained. After going gluten-free the weight seems to be coming off by itself, at first quickly and now a little at a time. I can eat more than I used to but look better! Hopefully this will contine until I reach the weight I'd like to be at (maybe 10 more pounds). As it is I'm not technically *over* weight...but I'm well over the weight I feel comfortable at.

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:(:unsure: Kelly - I'm in the exact same boat as you! I was diagnosed with Celiacs in October 2004 and have been gluten free since December 2004 and I've gained 20 lbs! It's very depressing! Nothing I do seems to work. I'm exercising the same and really the only major thing I don't eat that has gluten in it is bread. I've found gluten-free bread that is fine. I've joined WW's and hope to have results that way, but who knows! All I can think is that my body wasn't absorbing nutrients and now it is. But when is the weight gain going to stop??? Let me know if you get any good ideas!

Thanks!

Kara

I have steadily gained weight since my Feb., 2005 diagnosis of celiac.  I have never been thin, but more on the shapely side of healthy.  I've gained about 20 lbs. since my diagnosis, and am miserable about it.  I'm 29 yrs old, and I don't know if I should attribute this to eating gluten-free or my metabolism slowing down.  I initially thought that the only good thing that would come of my diagnosis was weight loss, boy what a surprise!  When I had my labs and bone density tests, I wasn't found to be lacking any vitamin, mineral, or nutrient.  All of my labs (besides antibodies) were within normal limits.

I'm doing a great job with the gluten-free diet, my antibodies and 2nd EGD biopsies are all normal, but I seem to be continuing to gain.  My activity patterns haven't changed much.  However, I clearly find it more difficult to be satisfied on the gluten-free diet eating normal portion sizes of the foods that I like.  I also find myself craving protein like I never did before.  As a result of all of the meat that I was eating, my cholesterol went up over 100 points, clearly to an unhealthy range.

How long did it take for other people's bodies to regulate with weight gain/loss? 

I think that despite my normal body weight, maybe my body wasn't absorbing all of the calories that I was ingesting, and now that my intestines are healed, I'm actually metabolizing everything that I'm ingesting.

Obiously, increase my exercise, decrease my portions, watch what I'm eating.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

Kelly :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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:(  :unsure: Kelly - I'm in the exact same boat as you!  I was diagnosed with Celiacs in October 2004 and have been gluten free since December 2004 and I've gained 20 lbs!  It's very depressing!  Nothing I do seems to work.  I'm exercising the same and really the only major thing I don't eat that has gluten in it is bread.  I've found gluten-free bread that is fine.  I've joined WW's and hope to have results that way, but who knows!  All I can think is that my body wasn't absorbing nutrients and now it is.  But when is the weight gain going to stop???  Let me know if you get any good ideas!

Thanks!

Kara

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Kara, it's good to know that there are other people out there with celiac disease that are having the same weight problems that I'm having. Thanks for your correspondance.

I think that the psychological component of "being denied" food choices has a lot to do with my feelings of being unsatisfied with normal portions. I too have found substitute foods, and really don't have any complaints about the gluten-free diet overall. I've also considered WW. I joined back in July, but failed after one week and concluded that I didn't have the motivation. I felt frustrated during the meeting when the people were talking about foods that I couldn't eat. I guess I feel that I do better with "out of sight, out of mind". I don't care to hear about the foods that these people have found that are low in points that are not a gluten-free option. Good luck to you! Please keep me up to speed on your progress.

--Kelly

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Kara, it's good to know that there are other people out there with celiac disease that are having the same weight problems that I'm having.  Thanks for your correspondance. 

I think that the psychological component of "being denied" food choices has a lot to do with my feelings of being unsatisfied with normal portions.  I too have found substitute foods, and really don't have any complaints about the gluten-free diet overall.  I've also considered WW.  I joined back in July, but failed after one week and concluded that I didn't have the motivation.  I felt frustrated during the meeting when the people were talking about foods that I couldn't eat.  I guess I feel that I do better with "out of sight, out of mind".  I don't care to hear about the foods that these people have found that are low in points that are not a gluten-free option.  Good luck to you!  Please keep me up to speed on your progress.

--Kelly

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Me three. Only it's 30+ pounds I need to lose. I figured it was probably being denied enough foods already and now I have to deny myself even more :( But I try to look on the positive side of getting this weight off - my left knee will probably stop hurting, my left foot will be better (fallen arch), and a new wardrobe!

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My son and i were both the same way. I do have a thyroid problem which compounded things but we are both large celiacs which made getting someone to take me seriously extremely hard. I have also lost 35 pounds on weight watchers.

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My son and i were both the same way.  I do have a thyroid problem which compounded things but we are both large celiacs which made getting someone to take me seriously extremely hard.  I have also lost 35 pounds on weight watchers.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Dear Kelly, Kara, Nettie and Laurie:

Thank goodness, I joined this forum!!! I've been thinking that perhaps I was the only one with this problem!!

I joined Weight Watchers, and I too was frustrated with all the foods everyone else was eating that I couldn't have. I just couldn't get into it.

I've started exercising, but so far it has not helped at all!!

If any of you have any success, please let me know! I am getting desparate!!!

Jackie

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I have been overweight all of my life and have found nothing to combat my weight issues.  My thyroid was fine, I didn't have diabetes, and was eating normally. 

February 2005 I was diagnosed with celiac and have lost 25 pounds since going gluten-free.  I had lost 37 pounds prior to that on Weight Watchers on the Core Program which elimates a lot of wheat-containing foods.  My GI told me that my body responded this way as a result of the malnutrition caused by my celiac.  He told me that most people are very thin and underweight, but that there are more and more cases each year of overweight celiacs.  He said that my body packed on the pounds to protect itself from the "poisonous gluten". I still have a long way to go until I reach my "target weight", but at least I'm on the right track!

Does anyone else know anything about this or are there any other overweight celiacs out there?  Any solutions on how to lose weight while gluten-free?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Dear Kelly, Kara, Nettie and Laurie:

Thank goodness, I joined this forum!!! I've been thinking that perhaps I was the only one with this problem!! 

I joined Weight Watchers, and I too was frustrated with all the foods everyone else was eating that I couldn't have.  I just couldn't get into it. 

I've started exercising, but so far it has not helped at all!!

If any of you have any success, please let me know!  I am getting desparate!!!

Jackie

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've lost lots of pounds (two or three at a time). Unfortunately I've put every single one back on, plus some. Turns out I was poisoning myself at a very low level everyday!!! I was eating cold cereal with malt in it! How dumb of me!! and after nine years of dealing with celiac disease, you would think that I would know better. But I keep trying. Right now I'm focusing on limiting my calories to 1800/day and making sure my protein intake is 50+grams/day. And excersize. I've already lost 1/2 lb! :P Only 52.5 more to go!

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I've been both... death skinny to 50+ lbs overweight. Was sickly (asthma) from birth, and stick thin until about 10 yrs old. Started gaining, and by 12 was 15-20lbs overweight. It fluctuated over the yrs, but by 40, it had hit 50+ pounds. Started learning about health, and ate better, but never could keep off the weight lost for any lenght of time. Like many people born before the 1980's, I just accepted there was little to be done, so I focused on more important things. Then about the mid 1990's, we bought Dr. D'Adamo's blood type diet book. This made a huge difference, then we bought Dr. Weil's book, and that also helped. Although we lost some weight, we couldn't get where we wished, and mainly because we only partially followed the "no wheat" guideline in the 'Type O' diet.

Early summer brought unexpected poor health, and Celiac came to mind--an old Cherokee man told me about it/having it, and said I may also, being part native myself. I started gluten-free August 1st, and have lost 30-35 lbs of fat, and have likely gained a fair amount of lost bone and muscle mass. I knew Celiac wasted your ability to assimilate nutrients, so I didn't diet or limit my variety of foods so my body could fuel it's recovery. After the first 4-5 days through the next 9-10 weeks, I ate 30-35% more than normal... chicken/eggs, greens, beans, peas, potatoes, fruit, etc, etc. I figured I'd gain, but I lost because the body was no longer in 'starvation mode', AND I didn't deprive the nutritional needs of rejuvenation. My appetite is back to 'normal', but I'm still "nutrition packing" so I can loose the last 15-20lbs. I'm eating all 'real food'; no rice cakes, tofu, fake fats, "healthy margarines", fake/altered sugars, no fish oils, flaxseed oil, no excess fiber, no Weight Watchers, no South Beach, etc, etc, etc. Just real, whole, [mostly] unprocessed food. Meat/eggs, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, real butter, low-fat mayo, low-fat buttermilk [for salad dressing and 100% corn cakes], etc.

When I loose 15-20 [more] lbs, I'm going to cut back on [certain] fats and carbs, to hopefully avoid that problem. Looking forward to Dr Weil's new book... and I think Dr D'Adamo came out with one lately.

GC

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I've been both... death skinny to 50+ lbs overweight. Was sickly (asthma) from birth, and stick thin until about 10 yrs old. Started gaining, and by 12 was 15-20lbs overweight. It fluctuated over the yrs, but by 40, it had hit 50+ pounds. Started learning about health, and ate better, but never could keep off the weight lost for any lenght of time. Like many people born before the 1980's, I just accepted there was little to be done, so I focused on more important things. Then about the mid 1990's, we bought Dr. D'Adamo's blood type diet book. This made a huge difference, then we bought Dr. Weil's book, and that also helped. Although we lost some weight, we couldn't get where we wished, and mainly because we only partially followed the "no wheat" guideline in the 'Type O' diet.

Early summer brought unexpected poor health, and Celiac came to mind--an old Cherokee man told me about it/having it, and said I may also, being part native. I started August 1st, and have lost 30-35 lbs of fat, and have likely gained a fair amount of lost bone and muscle mass. I knew Celiac wasted your ability to assimilate nutrients, so I didn't diet or limit my variety of foods so my body could fuel it's recovery. After the first 4-5 days through the next 9-10 weeks, I ate 30-35% more than normal... chicken/eggs, greens, beans, peas, potatoes, fruit, etc, etc. I figured I'd gain, but I lost because the body was no longer in 'starvation mode', AND I didn't deprive the nutritional needs of rejuvenation. My appetite is back to 'normal', but I'm still "nutrition packing" so I can loose the last 15-20lbs. I'm eating all 'real food'; no rice cakes, tofu, fake fats, "healthy margarines", fake/altered sugars, no fish oils, flaxseed oil, no excess fiber, no Weight Watchers, no South Beach, etc, etc, etc. Just real, whole, [mostly] unprocessed food. Meat/eggs, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, real butter, low-fat mayo, low-fat buttermilk [for salad dressing and 100% corn cakes], etc.

When I loose 15-20 [more] lbs, I'm going to cut back on [certain] fats and carbs, to hopefully avoid that problem. Looking forward to Dr Weil's new book... and I think Dr D'Adamo came out with one lately.

GC

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi GC1

Glad to hear that you are doing better.

I have a few questions about your last post.

1) Why did you eat corn cakes, but not rice cakes?

2) Why did you omit healthy oils (fish oil/flaxseed), but still eat low fat mayo and butter?

Thanks,

Heather

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