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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 Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  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
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mhguitar4

Celiac And Strength Training

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Hey guys. long story short, i suspect that i have celiac disease because my sister and dad were just diagnosed and i have many of the same symptoms. im getting tested soon and i havent started a diet yet.

my question is this: can celiac disease seriously impair your strength and ability to gain strength/muscle? im 6'3" 180lbs but i have always been pitifully weak. i started strength training about 7 months ago and i have worked my squat up from about 90lbs to 170lbs (3 sets of 5). In addition to having a hard time gaining strength/weight and being extremely weak for my size, i also lose what i have gained incredibly quickly. i stopped lifting for about 3 week to let a sprained ankle heal, but remained moderately physically active for those weeks. i come back and ive lost about 3 pounds and i couldnt even put up 150lbs 2 times! i know that everyones body is different... but that amount of strength lost that quickly doesnt seem natural to me. and this seems to happen every time i stop lifting for a week or more.

i have really been putting forth alot of effort to try to get stronger... but this is starting to get very discouraging now. i have been lifting for months and i STILL cant squat my own weight. has anyone had a similar experience with celiac disease? i am really hoping that this improves once i start a diet.

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You bet it can!!! Celiac disease damages the lining of the stomach, which is responsible for absorbing nutrients from your food, including protein, Vitamin D, and carbs (among others), which are necessary for muscle building. It takes time, and a 100% gluten-free lifestyle (if you do, in fact, have celiac disease) for your body to heal.

Since going gluten-free 2 years ago, I have gained 10-15 lbs of muscle (I am still lean & athletic and all my clothes still fit lol)! Results will vary with each individual, but I think you're on the right track and there is definitely hope that if/when you go gluten-free, you will improve your strength. Even if your test is negative, you could always try the diet for 6 months to a year to see if it helps (there is such a thing as a false negative test).

Good luck :)

my question is this: can celiac disease seriously impair your strength and ability to gain strength/muscle? im 6'3" 180lbs but i have always been pitifully weak. i started strength training about 7 months ago and i have worked my squat up from about 90lbs to 170lbs (3 sets of 5). In addition to having a hard time gaining strength/weight and being extremely weak for my size, i also lose what i have gained incredibly quickly. i stopped lifting for about 3 week to let a sprained ankle heal, but remained moderately physically active for those weeks. i come back and ive lost about 3 pounds and i couldnt even put up 150lbs 2 times! i know that everyones body is different... but that amount of strength lost that quickly doesnt seem natural to me. and this seems to happen every time i stop lifting for a week or more.

i have really been putting forth alot of effort to try to get stronger... but this is starting to get very discouraging now. i have been lifting for months and i STILL cant squat my own weight. has anyone had a similar experience with celiac disease? i am really hoping that this improves once i start a diet.

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Agreed with the above. When I was so messed up it would take me a month to recover from any attempt at working out. I had seriously trained for much of my life but was getting weaker and weaker. Now, after several years of healing, I recover faster than when I was much younger and have gained considerable strength. Strict gluten free has enabled much of this incredible response.

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Ditto to what the others have said. For the last several years, I was so frustrated by what I called "diminishing returns" from my workouts. I seemed to expend more effort, but get fewer gains (or even lose strength). Couldn't really understand it.

Now, I've been gluten-free for 15 weeks. I've only been able to really work out the last 3-4 weeks, but I see strength (re)gains very quickly (particularly in my core). Needless to say, I'm thrilled. :)

So, you'll probably see gains once you get the healing process started. But, please take it slow. It was hard for me to accept this too, but it's necessary. Your body's been through a lot. Slow and steady for a couple of weeks/months is worth it for the payoff in the long run. Good luck!!

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i am really hoping that this improves once i start a diet.

Congrats on figuring this out. Now, with the proper diet, get ready for take off! Your body will be absorbing the nutrients and protein at an accelerated rate.

Since you speak of diet above, the most crucial building block for muscle is the lean protein that you'll need with nearly every meal. Do a search on my various posts and you'll list after list of protein recommendations that I make.

Within time, you'll be lifting an incredible amount of weight... take it from me.

Welcome to post-Celiac success days!

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It's so true :) In my student days tried to gain some muscle for improved metabolism, but the results were meager to say the least. After diagnosis and treatment I picked up weightlifting again and I'm getting in shape really quickly now. Before I suffered from dizzyness and lack of energy during training, that's nearly gone now. It's also easier to stick to a healthy lifestyle now, because my hunger binges are gone. I could eat for hours and hours and still be hungry.

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I have been gluten free my whole life and been working out for about 11 years (off and on) and I believe that the diet is very healthy. I have two older brothers and I'm bigger (muscles) then both. There is plenty of good nutritious gluten free grains out there. One of my favorite (probably the best grain for us in the world) is quinoa. i have a feeling you will notice quick results, both with energy, size and strength once you go gluten free.

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    • Celiac disease can be dormant for years til a strain/stress to the immune system makes it come out. Many of us have had this issues, your infection run in might have triggered the dormant genes for the disease if you had them. I would follow up with the testing, see about getting a full celiac blood panel if you can, you have to be eating gluten for 12 weeks daily prior to testing. http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/

        If not celiac it could be another food intolerance/sensitivity I suggest keeping a food diary and tracking what you eat, seasonings, how it is cooked etc. And how you feel later. Change up our diet more and look for patterns.  Here is stuff to read up on. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/are-food-sensitivities-for-life
    • Yeah , i will look into getting tested - like you say there is no harm in it . What I found very interesting is the part where you say "Later I got pains in the stomach, usually a dull ache although I could get a fierce stabbing pain there too. When I went gluten free those pains stopped. as did my chronic sciatic backache which Ive subsequently realised was probably due to inflamed tissues pressing on nerves." - I also started to get chronic sciatic nerve pain on the right side over a similar time period and am wondering if its the same kind of thing. If I could solve both those things it would be life changing for me
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    • Karen's point about parasites etc is a good one. They can cause a lot of symptoms similar to celiac /ncgs as you probably know.  At 11 I had my appendix removed following pain in the lower right side of my torso. On waking up the surgeon told me that it was actually ok, when I asked what caused the pain I think they said it was probably glandular - they didn't know. Later I got pains in the stomach, usually a dull ache although I could get a fierce stabbing pain there too. When I went gluten free those pains stopped. as did my chronic sciatic backache which Ive subsequently realised was probably due to inflammed tissues pressing on nerves. I would ask the Bolivian doctors if they can get any celiac blood testing done. The standard ttg may not be beyond their labs. can't hurt to ask? Give your diet my guess is you've had a lot of gluten for a long time. If its an issue for you expect a bumpy ride when removing it.  Best of luck!  
    • You can supplement if you want to.  IF you are low on iron or vitamin D - then some vitamins might be helpful.   The treatment for Celiac disease is a strict gluten free diet.  Some people need to cut out lactose for a few months, too.  The villi that are damaged in Celiac are the part that helps you digest lactose.  So, until they are healed, it might help to skip milk , cream, etc.     http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faq/are-there-vitamins-created-specifically-for-nutrient-deficiencies-in-celiac-patients-2/  
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