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TDMB

Symptoms Improved After Going On Atkins?

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Hi there,

I think my boyfriend might have Celiac disease. He's had problems since long before I met him and used to have to go to the loo about five times a day, often for quite a while at a time! But he is not thin and anaemic as they describe, in fact he is a bit overweight, hence us deciding to go on Atkins. We've been doing this for two weeks now and the transformation has been amazing. He says he feels completely normal and everything is back to how it should be. But then last night he ate some allegedly 'Atkins friendly' pancakes which we got from a website, but within half an hour he was in the loo and had to keep going back every half hour or so for about four hours. And now today he is fine again. I looked at the packaging and it says they contain 'fiber' but it's American labelling so I'm not sure if that means they contain gluten. I'm guessing they probably do?

So, the question is, do you think he might have celiac disease? It certainly sounds like it to me. All thoughts welcome!

Many thanks.

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It sounds like you might have a diagnosis based on dietary response! Why don't you try going completely gluten-free for a while and see how it goes? It's also very common for celiacs to be overweight - being underweight is an outdated medical misconception. I think it's something like 40% of all celiacs are overweight pre-diagnosis. The good news is that if celiac is what's keeping him from losing weight, going gluten-free could help that.

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"Atkins-friendly" does not mean gluten-free. If gluten is causing his reactions (sure sounds like it from your post), then Atkins-friendly is not going to be a help. It might be low-carb, but if it contains gluten (look for ingredients like wheat, flour, wheat starch, wheat bran,barley, malt, malted barley, rye, even oat bran), then it will probably make him sick.

The ingredients usually list the source of fiber, and I'm betting that it was wheat.

Hope you guys find answers soon!

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Hi there,

I think my boyfriend might have Celiac disease. He's had problems since long before I met him and used to have to go to the loo about five times a day, often for quite a while at a time! But he is not thin and anaemic as they describe, in fact he is a bit overweight, hence us deciding to go on Atkins. We've been doing this for two weeks now and the transformation has been amazing. He says he feels completely normal and everything is back to how it should be. But then last night he ate some allegedly 'Atkins friendly' pancakes which we got from a website, but within half an hour he was in the loo and had to keep going back every half hour or so for about four hours. And now today he is fine again. I looked at the packaging and it says they contain 'fiber' but it's American labelling so I'm not sure if that means they contain gluten. I'm guessing they probably do?

So, the question is, do you think he might have celiac disease? It certainly sounds like it to me. All thoughts welcome!

Many thanks.

TDMB,

I also saw a big improvement in my health when I was on Atkins a few years ago, which led me to ask my then PCP about Celiac disease, but he dismissed it because I was overweight. (I've been asking doctors about Celiac since I first read about it over 15 years ago as part of my neverending quest to figure out WTF is wrong with my body.) If I had seen 100% improvement while I was on Atkins maybe I would have been able to make myself stay on the diet, but some Atkins okay foods contain gluten, so I would still have bouts of diarrhea. After a while, I went back to my regular carb and gluten filled diet to suffer for, oh, another five years...

I think that your boyfriend should get tested ASAP.

Kate

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I remember reading somewhere on the 'net - in all the celiac/gluten-free stuff I've read - that the Atkin's diet was responsible for leading to quite a few celiac diagnoses. People had tried the diet and felt better - things like the big D had improved - and it led them to look harder at their diet and, with docs, realize gluten was a problem. No, the Atkins diet is not gluten-free but whole meals and even days of eating can incidentally be gluten-free...definitely less gluten than the typical diet anyway.

It also shed some light on the celiac stereotype - all celiacs aren't thin & wasting away or even have the big D as a symptom as thin folks wouldn't be on the diet to begin with.

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I actually got worse when going on a low carb diet because I was buying the low carb products like bread that are filled with wheat gluten. Gluten is protein and thus low carb!

If you guys need any support on your diet there's a great low carb message forum at http://forum.lowcarber.org

BTW: Lots of us over there figured out we are gluten intolerant. Lots of recipes and suggestions on how to succeed.

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My improved well being on Atkins should've certainly been a sign of something wrong... I was on Atkins for a year and a half and did very well. I discovered "brain fog" feelings were gone. I only started to have real GI (gastrointestinal) issues when I went OFF Atkins after being on for a year and a half. I never connected the GI with the gluten until I got DH and the doctor suggested it. He did not think celiac though... I'm still in the process of diagnosis... but the doctors say I'm gluten intolerant and if it quacks like a duck...

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"Strict" Adkins', as in the beginning two weeks, by it's very definition is gluten free. No alcohol, no bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, sugar, milk, all you get is meat, eggs, cream, and very little vegetables. After inception, you get to add in vegetables and fruit, but still no starchy foods like bread, etc. If someone is on Adkins' and is eating bread, even "low-carb" they're just fooling themselves.

My husband, this is actually his user name, etc. has been told by two specialists now that he most likely has Celiac, he has his biopsy tomorrow. When they told us about what his diet was going to be, my thought was, "that doesn't sound so bad, it's still less strict than Adkins'" which I had been on since 1999. As I've "fallen off" the Adkins wagon in recent years, now will be a good time for me to climb back on!! We toasted each other with our last piece of rye toast this morning! I haven't totally relaxed from Adkins', I still don't eat sugar or "white" food (white/whole wheat bread, pasta, white rice, potatoes) due to my blood sugar issues, but I'm going to give up rye bread, as he will. Maybe I'LL try gluten free too, maybe I have a gluten intolerance and am not necessarily pre-diabetic as I've always thought! And if I lose weight, that would be great!! :)

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So, the question is, do you think he might have celiac disease? It certainly sounds like it to me. All thoughts welcome!

Many thanks.

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My improved well being on Atkins should've certainly been a sign of something wrong... I was on Atkins for a year and a half and did very well. I discovered "brain fog" feelings were gone. I only started to have real GI (gastrointestinal) issues when I went OFF Atkins after being on for a year and a half. I never connected the GI with the gluten until I got DH and the doctor suggested it. He did not think celiac though... I'm still in the process of diagnosis... but the doctors say I'm gluten intolerant and if it quacks like a duck...

This was how is was for me too. I got diagnosed with IBS in my late teens and thought that the strict low carb diet I was on cured the IBS. Now I know it actually cured glutened intolerance. As soon as I went off the diet my symptoms came back which is why I stayed gluten light for years and my blood tests came back negative for celiac. My doctor does agree that I am gluten intolerant so just call me ducky :P

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My improved well being on Atkins should've certainly been a sign of something wrong... I was on Atkins for a year and a half and did very well. I discovered "brain fog" feelings were gone. I only started to have real GI (gastrointestinal) issues when I went OFF Atkins after being on for a year and a half. I never connected the GI with the gluten until I got DH and the doctor suggested it. He did not think celiac though... I'm still in the process of diagnosis... but the doctors say I'm gluten intolerant and if it quacks like a duck...

This was how is was for me too. I got diagnosed with IBS in my late teens and thought that the strict low carb diet I was on cured the IBS. Now I know it actually cured glutened intolerance. As soon as I went off the diet my symptoms came back which is why I stayed gluten light for years and my blood tests came back negative for celiac. My doctor does agree that I am gluten intolerant so just call me ducky :P

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Yep, I was on the Atkins Diet back in 2003 and part of 2004, and I felt better than I had since I was a kid. UNTIL I discovered low carb bread. Once I started feeling bad again (I had more fatigue, brain fog, confusion and depression than IBS symptoms, but there was that, too) I finally "knew", after suspecting for years, that I either had a problem with wheat or yeast. I did some experimenting with avoiding certain foods, but at that point I still didn't know about the barley, rye, and oat connection, or some of the other names of gluten ingredients, so I was still consuming gluten and still feeling bad.

Then in the fall of 2005, I tried a diet that was very strict and was designed for very slow metabolisms. It allowed no bread, no crackers, no milk or cheese, no nuts - basically it was very lean meats, lower-sugar fruits, lower-carb vegetables, rice, and potatoes. And it did allow oatmeal. Again, I felt better than I had since childhood. I didn't stay on that diet, though, because it required eating six small meals a day and I wasn't quite disciplined enough, at that point, to do it right.

By the spring of 2007, I had finally found the rest of the puzzle because of an article I read in a magazine, and some Internet research. The article was entitled something like, "The Food Ingredient That May Be Making You Fat". If I had been under the misconception that all Celiacs were thin, I may have missed learning what I needed to learn. And after going gluten free, I dropped the first 10 pounds without even trying.

I'm learning to be more disciplined now, as far as eating for weight loss. Eating gluten free, though, has become really easy, because of the fear of feeling bad again if I don't.

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I read (I think it was in Shauna James Ahern's book, Gluten Free Girl) a theory about the popularity of the low-carb diets. People go on it, and feel so much better--more energy, more mental clarity--because they are ingesting no or very little gluten (at least in the induction or beginning phase). Even the early "weight loss" in the induction phase could be attributed to losing the bloat (water retention common to celiacs), or just losing the gas trapped in the belly.

I tried the South Beach Diet years ago, and felt amazing the first couple of weeks. But the diet is so restrictive--even more so than a gluten free diet, I felt--that it's hard to stay on. On a gluten free diet you can have all manner of fruits, vegetables, potatoes, et cetera. The lower carb diets restrict those.

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