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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.

Being Overweight With Gluten Sensitivity?
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10 posts in this topic

With regard to being overweight wtih gluten senstivity, I have had a hard time accepting that I could be a "bigger girl" and have a gluten sensitivity. After all, "aren't people wtih this allergy supposed to be underweight?" I would tell myself. The more I read, it seems that many, many people have been chronically bloated and HELD ONTO food b/c of SLOW DIGESTION rather than food passing too fast and weight loss? I'm also wondering if not absorbing or processing correctly can cause people to overeat / crave foods in order to get enough of what the body needs. This is my new theory, and I'm wondering if I'm thinking correctly on this?

Regardless, I'm wondering if a gluten sensitive can be a cause of having been overweight the majority of my adult life (since about age 19)? Input?

I am 5'8'' and weight almost 190.

A healthy weight for me was about 150. 140 would be fabulous on my frame and with my "athletic" build.

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Here is a link that relates to overweight and celiac. It is actualy the minority of celiac patients that present with the classic diarrhea and weight loss.

Overweight in celiac disease: prevalence, clinical characteristics, and effect of a gluten-free diet.Dickey W, Kearney N.

Department of Gastroenterology, Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

BACKGROUND: It is well established that a minority of celiac patients present with "classic" symptoms due to malabsorption. However, few studies have focussed on the distribution of body mass index (BMI) in celiac populations and its relationship to clinical characteristics, or on its response to treatment.

METHODS: We reviewed BMI measurements and other clinical and pathological characteristics from a database of 371 celiac patients diagnosed over a 10-yr period and seen by a single gastroenterologist. To assess response to gluten exclusion, we compared BMI at diagnosis and after 2 yr treatment in patients with serological support for dietary compliance.

RESULTS: Mean BMI was 24.6 kg/m2 (range 16.3-43.5). Seventeen patients (5%) were underweight (BMI < 18.5), 211 (57%) were normal, and 143 (39%) were overweight (BMI > or = 25), including 48 (13% of all patients) in the obese range (BMI > or = 30.0). There was a significant association between low BMI and female gender, history of diarrhea, reduced hemoglobin concentration, reduced bone mineral density (BMD), osteoporosis, and higher grades (subtotal/total) of villous atrophy. Of patients compliant with a gluten-free diet, 81% had gained weight after 2 yr, including 82% of initially overweight patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Few celiac patients are underweight at diagnosis and a large minority is overweight; these are less likely to present with classical features of diarrhea and reduced hemoglobin. Failed or delayed diagnosis of celiac disease may reflect lack of awareness of this large subgroup. The increase in weight of already overweight patients after dietary gluten exclusion is a potential cause of morbidity, and the gluten-free diet as conventionally prescribed needs to be modified accordingly.

PMID: 17032202 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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I am still an overweight coeliac, I have been overweight and even obese on and off since I was a child, I have always been hungry and loosing weight has been a battle. I do loose it, but it is such a challenge. Now that I have been eating gluten free for a couple of years, the hunger is not there as much. I still know how to eat, and have to be extra careful as it doesn't take much for the weight to pile on.

I did have classic diarhoea, but not the weight loss that you are talking about. The more my diarrhoea increased, the more my appetite did. To me that makes sense, trying to get the nutrients that I was missing out on, I would eat more. I guess one thing to be thankful for was that I didn't have any deficiencies as in iron to start with, apart from when pregnant. But now alas after two years with no gluten, my b12 levels seemed to have decreased!!???

Cathy

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Hi,

I am an overweight, obese patient, recently diagnosed. Although I was diagnosed previously with "chronic Diaherria Syndrom and hypoacitive thyroid, the new diagnosis has helped me come to terms with my health problems.

If you wonder how someone could be overweight, I can explain it very easy. Every food seemed to make me sick, so I ate bread...thinking it was gentle. Of course that made me worse.

Feeling so poorly, and having an underactive thyroid, I had little or no energy to get up and do things.

The doctors said I had lupus, which includes pains in my legs, anemia, low energy etc.

I have read all the articles saying people gain weight when they begin to eat right.

I am not sure how this is possible. Looking at the things I now eat, it is mainly fruits, veggies and protien.

No packaged foods, no fast foods, no breads, pasta, baked goods etc. How can anyone gain weight eating such a "low carb" diet?

It has been 3 months for me. The first month I lost a few pounds, then I cheated and went back to breaded things. I got sick again, naturally.

The 2nd month I did okay for 3 weeks, got sick of salads, hated "rice" bread, lost another 2 pounds and then fell off the wagon again.

So month 3...I did great for 3 weeks, lost 7 pounds, experimented in making homemade gluten-free breads, buying gluten-free products, and hated all of it. So after 3 weeks, I "accidently" had something with one of the no-no grains and got sick again.

Fortunately my daughter is a registered dietician. (Became one because of my health problems)

She showed me where some of the things I thought were gluten-free were not. That is why I was still ill.

Now I am beginning month 4 and feeling so much better.

I have learned I just do not like any of the gluten-free type breads, homemade or not.

I made a gluten-free pizza crust last night...and the taste of gluten-free flours turn my stomach.

I made a gluten-free chocolate cake for my daughter's birthday....same experience. Everyone else thought it was great, but there is something about it that I really don't like.

I am not sure but I think I have a sensitivity to soy. I can no longer drink soy milk and anything with soy has started to make me feel ill.

Soooo......I honestly can't see how I could ever gain weight eating the way I do now.

My energy is still low, but not as bad. I think once it comes up more I will be able to go for walks and get more exercise. (fingers crossed)

Anyone else overweight and found they are losing?

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I'm overweight and slowly losing. I don't have D, I've had C all my life. I have rheumatoid arthritis and believe that much of the problem with my RA is from years and years of undiagnosed gluten intolerance. I also have to eat only fruits, vegetables and lean protein. I stay away from beef and nightshades as much as possible. I've lost 22 pounds so far with at least 24 more to go.

When my doctor discussed celiac and gluten intolerance with me, he said that many of us are overweight but the stereotypical (according to him) are the thin ones with D. It makes it harder for some of us to get diagnosed.

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Can you learn to like smoothies with a protein powder (gluten free, of coures)? A good way to get your vitamins, fruit, fiber, and avoid grains.

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I'm an over eater with a high metabolism and when I hit about 21 I started putting on weight and freak out. I found myself at weight watchers (I was gluten-ous then) and the best thing I have learned from them was portion control. As long as I am RELIGIOUS about my portion control at every meal I still wear my 1 jeans. I have also found that I can eat whatever I want so long as i stick to the portion control, snickers bars and all! It sucks, sometime after a meal I'm hungry but I have found that potatoes fill me well and have some type of them at every meal. I have also found that walking anywhere and everywhere is the way to go too. When I go up stairs I suck in my gut like no tomorrow and tighten up my legs and RUN up or down, this helps with toning...then again i live in NYC and do aT LEAST 14 flights of stairs a day...I hope this helps and your not throwing snickers bars at me! :)

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Can you learn to like smoothies with a protein powder (gluten free, of coures)? A good way to get your vitamins, fruit, fiber, and avoid grains.
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Can you learn to like smoothies with a protein powder (gluten free, of coures)? A good way to get your vitamins, fruit, fiber, and avoid grains.

Hi,

Yes, I think that would be a good idea for lunches or breakfast.

I have a hard time with lunch, since the only thing I can think of to eat is salad and that gets old

after a while.

thanks for the suggestion

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I've been overweight my entire life. I had the D or loose BMs, but it got severe about a year ago when I began my most recent effort to seriously lose weight. I switched to whole-wheat bread, the old-fashioned Quaker Oats, etc., and WHAM! I was so sick I assumed I had food poisoning. Several months and multiple doctors later, I got the DX: gluten intolerance.

When I initially went gluten-free, I dropped 12 pounds in less than two weeks. Cool! But over time, I gained a little bit of that back and then lost more.

When I went casein-free, there was another rapid drop and then a stabilization. Same with soy, but I'm not sure if I'm actually intolerant to it -- it may just be there are fewer "processed" foods that I can eat and so am consuming fewer calories.

In the past year, I've lost 50 pounds. I should lose another 20-40, but I'm maintaining where I'm at right now.

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