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CGally81

Gluten Withdrawal Symptom: Mysterious... Muscle Gain?

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Okay, a little background. For over a year, I'd been trying to lose weight so I don't end up like my dad, who is diabetic and very visibly overweight. My eating habits hadn't been too great - and neither had my weightloss habits (I tried "not eating enough" instead of "replacing foods with healthier ones" for a while, and suffered horribly for it). Well, for a year, I tried the tactic of going for bike rides and walks, and eating healthier foods.

Then I started to suffer gluten intolerance symptoms around March of this year. After that, let's say I was really losing weight, which I assumed to be a good thing, though I didn't feel good when I was glutened (and "healthy" foods I'd added to my diet, such as whole-wheat bread and granola bars, were the foods doing it!).

I went down from 185 pounds to 153 (I'm male and 5'6"). I went down from size 34 to size 30.

In the past month and a half, I'd been going gluten-free, and I'd also been suffering the gluten withdrawal symptoms. I know the symptoms are different for each person, but for me, it was things like pins and needles, itchiness (those two are 90% gone), muscle spasms/twitches (70% gone), inability to stay asleep at night (25% gone...), and constant hunger all the time (40% gone?).

I ate and ate because I was hungry all the time, and while the hunger is noticably decreasing (it was at its absolute worst when it first started), I found that I am gaining weight. I wouldn't have known had I not stepped on a scale, because my waist is not increasing in size! I'm still a size 30. My pants, work pants, and shorts all fit the same as they did pre-gluten withdrawal.

So where is the weight going? My muscles? My younger brother, who is a bodybuilder and nutrition nut, told me "your muscles have practically dissolved" a few months ago, but now tells me "you're getting bigger". My dad told me I was getting more "shapely" and "formed". A coworker commented that I look skinny, when I mentioned that no noticable fat was showing up in my face. I even flexed my arm muscles and was surprised to see that I had some (I used to work those out years ago, but stopped due to back pain I got from working out).

So... what on earth is going on? Could a (positive?) symptom of gluten withdrawal be muscle gain??? I can't imagine. But the scales - my doctor's, my office, and the one in the bathroom at home - don't lie. My waist isn't getting bigger. Pants still fit the same. My face doesn't seem to be getting any fatter. But I am gaining weight just the same. I'd put on 20 pounds.

Has anyone else experienced this? Could this be my body trying to rebuild itself, and managing to do so in a positive way? (Many people say they lost a lot of weight when eating gluten, but regained it when gluten-free, but they didn't specify what kind of weight)

And for the record, with the exception of some snacks (gluten-free Chex, and the ice cream from the ice cream truck that stops by my office frequently), ALL my food is healthy and natural. I also try to get a lot of protein in there.

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I believe that muscle gain is entirely possible after going gluten free. I've been lifting weights and doing yoga/pilates for about eight years. And much like you, I started eating healthier by adding whole grain wheats and such to my diet. I lost about sixty pounds. * I was getting rid of post pregnancy weight* at 5' 5" ish, I was 104 lbs. *Underweight*

I should have been putting on more muscle, but instead I just lost more.

So. I had started with going wheat free about four years ago. Not gluten free. I didn't understand the gluten thing back then. But just on wheat free, I managed to put on ten pounds of muscle! Along with lessening of headaches, joint pains, sleeplessness, yeast overgrowth, skin problems...

They didn't go completely away, but were much improved.

Then when I got sick. Hit me out of nowhere. SICK. I lost a lot of that muscle.

Started looking into my symptoms and had the gene test done. I went gluten free.

After going gluten free, I've managed to put my muscle weight back on with the addition of a few more. I was gluten free for 16 months.

I went back on gluten for three weeks recently to be tested, ALL my issues came back with a vengeance! Still working out joint pain and stomach issues.

I'm Gluten Free again two weeks now and starting back into my weights. I was too weak to do them while on gluten.

The muscle tone and energy are coming back.

So, in my personal experience, yes.

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When you are eating healthy dietary fats and are healing your poor gut, your body can build back muscle that it was living off of before. That part is really scarey because your heart is your main muscle and if you get too far gone before dx, your body will use the heart muscle for nourishment too. That is why severe anorexics can die from heart complications.

That is also why a low fat diet is so wrong for your musculature and the health of your heart. You need the healthy fats and do damage without them. The fact that you are building needed muscle is a beautiful sign that you are eating right again for your own health.

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Wow, I have similar symptoms, especially that of being really hungry during the first like week. I too have gained weight without gaining fatness! I am now eating my usual healthy diet (but gluten-free!) and feel a lot better, not so tired, not so much IBS anymore!

Cool to hear that someone else has experienced something similar to me!

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Me too. I was 105 lbs at my sickest, I'm 5'7". I'm now 145, and only the last 15 were fat. I could easily switch that to muscle, but I kinda like it! I figure wimmens are suppose to be squishy.

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Me too. I was 105 lbs at my sickest, I'm 5'7". I'm now 145, and only the last 15 were fat. I could easily switch that to muscle, but I kinda like it! I figure wimmens are suppose to be squishy.

A little squish isn't a bad thing. I'll admit that I love women with a *little* padding :lol: Just more realistic then all the people on TV/Magazines, etc...

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Me too. I was 105 lbs at my sickest, I'm 5'7". I'm now 145, and only the last 15 were fat. I could easily switch that to muscle, but I kinda like it! I figure wimmens are suppose to be squishy.

My gut is starting to stick out. I'm still a size 30but I'm not happy about this development. Is that what happened to you as well?

Once my hunger gets back to normal, I imagine it might go down as long as I continue to eat healthy.

Still, I am not liking this gut. I had a flatter stomach when I was losing all that weight, but even though I am putting on noticable muscle (and strength, as I found out recently when having to life some heavy things), I am putting on "gut" as well. In fact, it's when my gut sticks out, that my pants/shorts feel a bit tighter, but when it doesn't, they feel normal or even loose.

Any ideas about this gut thing? You think it'll be able to go away once the "super hunger" phase wears off?

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My gut is starting to stick out. I'm still a size 30but I'm not happy about this development. Is that what happened to you as well?

Once my hunger gets back to normal, I imagine it might go down as long as I continue to eat healthy.

Still, I am not liking this gut. I had a flatter stomach when I was losing all that weight, but even though I am putting on noticable muscle (and strength, as I found out recently when having to life some heavy things), I am putting on "gut" as well. In fact, it's when my gut sticks out, that my pants/shorts feel a bit tighter, but when it doesn't, they feel normal or even loose.

Any ideas about this gut thing? You think it'll be able to go away once the "super hunger" phase wears off?

Hee, you're a guy so you've never experienced the random bloating thing before, have you? If you play with your stomach and there's no 'squish' in the flesh, and it feels kinda round and hard, it's bloating, not fat. It'll probly clear up as your gut levels off. If you're tolerating dairy, I say add some organic plain yogurt (we add fruit at home, the big two pound tubs are cheaper) and slowly increase the frequency, it will help your insides balance.

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