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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Facial Weight Loss
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7 posts in this topic

I was wondering, I've lost quite a bit a weight in my face since this all started two years ago, and I'm really depressed about it. When I look in the shady parts at my reflection, I can see how bad it really is. Has anyone else here had this issue and, if so, when you did get diagnosed how long did it take after being on medication or diet did you start to gain your facial weight back? 

 

I know the facial weight loss has to do with malabsorption in my small intestine because I have fatty stools and did a fecal fat test to find out I was only absorbing about 70% of my daily fats. This varies I'm sure. But, over time it has done a number on my face. My GP told me men normally lose weight in their hands and face first, and this would make perfect sense for me because my face and now my hands have been the only part of my body that have lost weight. When this all started I weighed about 145, I now weigh 138 in two years. This would be much worse if I didn't drink Ensure's everyday and increase my caloric intake, but I've managed to slow down the process until my insurance will pay for my diagnostic testing endoscopy and colonoscopy. 

 

- Jay

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Hi Jay

So are you still eating gluten while you wait to get tested?

Since I went gluten-free a year ago, I have had a massive improvement in my facial skin, it is smoother and soft, and I lost the spots that plagued me for years. I have lost over 45lbs but not got saggy skin. I am in my 40s.

I only eat unprocessed foods, and get plenty of good fats olive coconut and avocado oils, plenty of nuts and avocados.

Two friends have changed to eating wholefoods on the basis of seeing the improvements in my skin. They are looking good too!

I hope you find some answers

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Thanks for the reply. My problem isn't so much skin related as it is weight in the skin, if I may. Like, for instance, I have certain sunken in features in my face, which tells me I'm losing weight in it. As far as my skin goes, its just fine.

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My face looks thinner, so I think it may be true one loses weight in their face first.  If I had to wait very long term for testing, I wouldn't.  I nearly died from starvation once and it wasn't fun.  What I would do is go gluten free and record changes that occur.  I would do a genetic test if you can.  You can actually do that anytime on gluten or off.  Record any results you get and report to the doctor.

 

You seem to know something about your absorption.  That could be a way of determining the condition of your small intestine.  If you went gluten free you could tell if your absorption was better by rechecking your absorption.  These are what I am doing with my Functional Medicine practitioner.

 

If you are gluten free already for two years.  I would look for further intolerances, take enzymes to help break down food, and keep analyzing a way to improve absorption.

 

I hope you can get a certain diagnosis, but more than that I hope you will get better, have a healthy plump face, and energy.

 

D

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I just posted this response to someone else having similar issues in a different forum on this site...  I hope it helps!

 

The good news is, this is to be expected and its not rare for this to happen.  You are not alone!  I did the same thing when diagnosed in October.  I'm a 5'11 male that weighed 137 and currently check in at 170.

 

So...  You are doing the right things but your results even under ideal circumstances won't come over night.  The smoothies, the shakes, the peanut butter, on top of your meals is great.  Sometimes I would stuff myself almost sick.  It took my body awhile just to adjust itself to handling the loads of food I was sending down the hatch.

 

If you have an iPhone I would download the FitnessPal app or an equivalent thereto.  It allows you to enter in every food you have eaten and fairly accurately tell you how many calories and the nutrients it contained over the course of a day.  I used it for a few reasons; 1. To set a calorie goal that matched my target weight.  2. So I could identify foods that give me more of what I needed.  3. Hold me accountable for my daily consumption.  It was like having a dietician with me everywhere I went.  I would be laying on the couch watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and realize per my app, dang--I still need 300 more calories....  Off to the kitchen I went...

 

I entered my target weight and then it put me on a program to gain 1 or 2 pounds per week.  So again, it takes time.  It takes work to maintain your weight if you are suffering malabsorption and then all the more if you are trying to gain but over time, I did.

 

I made a lot of pizza's too.  Pizza, steak, chicken, shakes, 3 eggs and 3 slices of bacon in the morning with coffee and creamer...  vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, hersheys, and a banana in my milk shakes.  I would eat breakfast and then make a shake to drink on my way to work.  I thought I was going to literally pop by 9a!  

 

Remember as you are eating all this to get some water.  Your body needs it to aid the digestion.  Don't fill up on it, don't go overboard with it, just throw in a bottle of water here or there where you ordinarily might not.

 

When I was eating like this I had some trouble falling asleep at night or waking up in the middle of the night because I was digesting all this food.  If you don't experience this, good for you.  If I woke up, I just embraced it by getting up and reading or watching TV or doing things that needed done around the house either way.

 

Hang in there!  

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Hi Mac,

 

You won't gain weight if you don't improve your digestion and eat enough calories.  If you are celiac you may have trouble digesting many foods until you get off gluten and get your gut healed up.  I think you are waiting for your medical insurance to kick in to get tested tho.  So, in the meantime you can still try some steps.  Eating lots of protein may help.  Avocadoes are a good thing to eat for protein, as well as meats.

 

Eat only whole foods not processed foods.
Eat only food you cook yourself, think simple foods, not gourmet meals.
Take probiotics.
Take gluten-free vitamins.
Take digestive enzymes.
Avoid dairy.
Avoid sugars and starchy foods.
Avoid alcohol.

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