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Celiac, Dieting and Body Weight

 The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is efficient at keeping weight stabilized once a normal weight is attained. Take my trusty Tanita weight scale before it becomes rusty.

I still perch on the digital Tanita weigh scale the first thing every morning--jiggling a bit from side to side to push the number lower (Despite the fact the read-out rarely changes or wanders, bad habits die hard).  Seeing the same number continues to surprise because my weight fluctuated wildly from 1944 until shortly before I started a celiac diet in 2000. The numbers  ranged from 136 pounds at age twelve to 219 pounds in 1988.

Now I am comfortably settled in at a healthy weight and still rejoice along with my family physician over the last eight years of stability and a good BMI.

Obesity is rarely associated with celiac disease. Typically, weight loss is reported and a history of low body weight despite excessive caloric intake.

In young women with undiagnosed celiac disease, this is often mistaken as an 'eating behavior disorder'. Nutrients from food do not get absorbed properly. I didn't fit the profile and had worked hard to lose 86 pounds sometime before celiac disease presented. There is a strong possibility that the weight loss lowered my immune system and made me vulnerable to the pneumonia that followed
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and leveled my tolerance to food and the environment. Your immune system ordinarily keeps you from getting sick, but in someone with celiac disease, the body starts damaging and destroying the villi. Without villi, a person's body can't absorb vitamins and nutrients from food.

In order to to be sure my diet is balanced and has the proper nutrients, I have continued to keep track of daily food intake and calories.

I also take gluten free, starch free, yeast free, and soy free vitamins daily. I  am able to choose some calorie dense foods, notably Medjool dates and almond butter without obsessing. It seems to be the lack of starchy foods and grain that make the difference.

Another SCD-er who has lost 180 pounds (and is still losing) is our best gourmet cook, writing a cookbook and including her tale about continuing on Specific Carbohydrate Diet throughout the horrors of Hurricane Katrina.

Satiety and variety are great assets derived from life on Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

As always, welcomes your comments (see below).

Spread The Word

2 Responses:

Mary Morley

said this on
24 Jan 2008 6:24:53 AM PST

I also am an undiagnosed celiac! I have been on the diet for just about 3 years now. I follow the diet to the best of my knowledge. Before I went on the diet I was very sick but my weight was fine. Now that I have been on the diet I have gained wait (about 20/25 pounds) and still have various systems of medical issues. I would like to lose weight but just can't seem to and I would love to find a physician in Southern New Hampshire that was knowledgeable on Celiac Disease.

I am again starting to count my calorie intake to see if I can do better as well as I have started walking two days a week.

Any suggestions would be appreciated on living a better lifestyle.

said this on
12 Jan 2008 11:30:52 AM PST
Attn: Carol Frilegh

Dear Carol,
Compliments on your article regarding obesity and celiac. PLEASE give me all of the details & ingredients/foods involved in the Special Carbohydrate Diet, which you mentioned in your article which contributed to your success. I cannot find detail about Special Carbohydrate Diet anyplace else. Please email me and accept my thanks. Candy

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