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manu90

My Gluten-Free Diet

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Good evening everyone,

 

I am 25 and have been diagnosed with Celiac disease. I am very underweight and want to gain weight more than anything.

Prior to being diagnosed, I drank 2-3 Ensure Plus drinks per day and was able to gain 13 pounds in 2.5 months.

I have a hard time understanding how this is possible knowing that when villi are damaged, nutrient absorbption is very difficult and weight gain very difficult as well. Any thoughts?

In any event, I have begun my gluten-free diet with no gluten whatsoever. I am also supplementing this with 3 Ensure Plus drniks daily to reach my calorie needs.

I am considering starting to take L-Glutamine (Jarrow Formulas brand) as well. Being that I eat 6 meals a day (Breakfast, Ensure, Lunch, Ensure, Dinner, Ensure) and knowing that the optimal time to take the L-Glutamine is 30 minutes before a meal and 2 hours+ after a meal, should I take the pills 30 minutes before my Ensure meal or my regular food meals? I would like to take them 3-4 1g pills 3 times per day, that way it will be easy to introduce into my regular work/life routine. I would think that before my Ensure meals would be best because those have a much larger variety of nutrients than one regular meal has. Any thoughts?

Glad to be here and look forward to meeting new people! Thanks guys. :)

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Heya, I can totally sympathize with the struggle of being underweight. People comment about you,and pressure you. An important life leason that I am slowly learning, is to love your body, just like it is. It obviously doesn't have to stay that weight, but it will be much easier if you just accept who you are. I have been off and on a gluten-free diet, because of my suspected gluten intolerance that has been noticed by me for these past few months. As to answer your questions, I am by no way an expert in this field, but I will try to help you in any way I can:

 

1)Well you obviously know that if villi is damaged by gluten, it can result in celiac disease because it damages the small intestine. I have read that damaged villi can create stunt growth(like I have observed in myself-I'm short) and weakened bones. If your villi are damaged, you can get vitamin deficiencies and other problems, because your body isn't working correctly. After reading some material, what I think that you might have just described to me in your post is a thing called: "failure to thrive or FTT." Because it seems like you aren't thriving and gaining weight. There is a song that says: We're not meant just to survive, we were made to thrive". I just got this quote from a wiki page:

The term "failure to thrive" is also applied to geriatrics or more generally in adult medicine as a descriptive, non-specific term that encompasses "not doing well". Manifestations of this condition include weight loss, decreased appetite, poor nutrition, and inactivity. Four syndromes are prevalent and predictive of adverse outcomes in patients with failure to thrive: impaired physical function, malnutrition, depression, and cognitive impairment.

I know that many people don't believe wikipedia to be a reputable source, so I would recommend that you research this on your own, for the sake of informing yourself.I also read from lots of different websites, that this is usually more diagnosed in from childhood, and there are many different causes for this, from emotional insecurity to hormone and organ problems. You can find a full list of those here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000991.htm

 

2)I personally think that you should take your L-Glutamine pills 30 min. before your regular meals. The reason being, is that these meals should be very consistent and usually eaten at the same time, while the Ensure meals seem to me kind of more like snacks, and not really getting that much nutrition and nourishment. I could be wrong on this, as this is just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. Also, as a tip, I think that it would be easier to remember to take them if you have everything marked and placed in those little vitamin plastic compartments, so that you don't have to be opening bottles and spilling pills everywhere. If you take like 2 min. every morning before breakfast to do this, then it will help you stay on track and organized with your supplement for the rest of the day!

 

I hope that this helps you!

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Thank you for the response.

I appreciate all of your insight and assistance even if you aren't an expert! :)

I am looking forward to gaining weight and getting everything fixed inside my small intestine. What stumped me more than anything after finding out I had Celiac was the fact that when I upped the calories I was eating, added 3 Ensure Plus' a day (extra 1,050 calories) I gained 13 pounds without removing any gluten from my (at the time) gluten-filled diet.

If anyone else has any ideas, thoughts, suggestions about this or my L-Glutamine timing and incorporation into my new gluten-free diet, I'd love to hear it!

Thanks everyone.

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It could be that the Ensure is just a drink and not as hard to process and absorb as solid food is.  It is really pushed on elderly folks, whose digestive systems are often impaired due to advanced age so it would make sense that you would gain some weight from drinking that many extra calories.

 

I would not take any more supplements because there is no proof that L-glutamine will actually help you. The best thing you can do is remain strictly gluten-free.  I was extremely malnourished at diagnosis and weighed 92-94 pounds and I gained 20 pounds over the next 2-3 years on the gluten-free diet.  I have no idea how long you have been gluten-free but if you eat 3 healthy squares a day, complete with veggies and lots of protein, and have 3 snacks a day in between your meals, you will gain weight as you heal.  I also ate gluten-free bread because the carbs help to put on weight.  Eat calorie dense food, like peanut butter, nuts or anything else that has a lot of calories in it.  It is not that hard to gain weight, if you eat a lot.   :)   Your gut will heal itself so don't waste your money on something that is unlikely to speed healing up.  Just make sure you do not have an underlying condition that is preventing you from gaining weight the normal way.

 

I know what it's like being way too thin because every idiot out there thinks you have an eating disorder.  Don't worry about that because you will heal and gain the weight necessary again to make you feel better about yourself.  Being unhappy with the way you look helps make the drive to improve it much stronger.  Be patient.....it takes time.  Good luck!

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