Jump to content
  • Sign Up


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About Nerissa

  • Rank
  1. Hi everyone, This is my first post. I just joined this group and went right to the weight section since I've read that going gluten free is associated with weight gain. I recently discovered I have celiac disease and went gluten free only days ago. As of last summer I'd lost 49 pounds after a terribly difficult time working on it for over 4 years. I drop weight *very* slowly. Easing up on my diet over this past winter resulted in a 17 pound weight gain. I'm now back dieting and worried that going gluten free will not only prevent dropping weight again but result in gaining weight. So, I've been researching a possible mechanism for the weight gain. In the following the PubMed number refer to the indexing number used by PubMed to save the abstract. Go to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi and put the number in the search box, press the "go" button and you'll see the full abstract. First of all the weight gain is a real thing. (1, 2) mentions that going gluten free (gluten-free) increases weight. Apparently, per (1) this is all fat weight. (3) provides a possible clue as to what is going on. Going gluten-free more than doubles the level of the hormone, leptin. Leptin is well known as a hormone which lowers appetite. Less well known is it is a respiratory stimulant. (4) indicates that low leptin makes mice less responsive to hypercapnia (high carbon dioxide). What this means is they breath less often and less deeply. I assume this happens in humans also. For example, my resting respiration rate is 8 to 9 breaths per minute. Normal is 12 to 20. Less breathing = less oxygen. Meaning, in effect, a person with untreated celiac disease living at a low altitude is similar to a person living at a high altitude. Maybe even more so. (5) shows the effect of living at altitude is substantial on calorie needs. Basal metabolic rate (calories burnt doing nothing but living) increases 17%, in men, at altitude. Stated in reverse this says that going from a high altitude to a low altitude increases calories used just existing by 1/(1-0.17) = 1.215 (rounded). The men would burn 21.5% less food at sea level. I'm making up these number for examples sake so don't hold me to them: Suppose the malabsorption present in celiac disease resulted in absorbing 25% less calories from food as compared to people without celiac disease. If a person with celiac disease and still eating gluten were to consume 3000 calories/day in food they'd absorb 2250 calories. If their weight was stable this would be exactly what they needed for the day. OK, so go gluten-free and what happens? First, they absorb all the calories so now they're getting 3000 calories/day. But, they need 21.5% less calories which is 1766 calories. On the same diet they're now getting 1234 excess calories. This would result in a considerable weight gain. Fortunately leptin lowers appetite so what really might happen with a celiac disease person who was gluten-free is they might eat 20% less. Meaning their prior 3000 calorie/day diet become a 2400 calorie/day diet. Remember they need 1766 calories/day to stay at the same weight. They're still eating 634 calories/day too much. So they'd still gain weight. Is there a way to prevent the weight gain? The old standbys of eating less and exercising more should help. A neat trick that might help is sleeping more. Going gluten-free often substantially increases sleep quality. More sleep is associated with a lower body weight (6). I've been chronically sleep deprived for many years which I hope is due to me having celiac disease. I suspect many of you pre going gluten-free might make the same comment. Perhaps if we took advantage of being able to sleep better once gluten-free and devoted 9 hours or so per day to sleeping we might have less problems with weight gain. 1. Am J Gastroenterol. 1997 Apr;92(4):639-43 Longitudinal study on the effect of treatment on body composition and anthropometry of celiac disease patients. ...After treatment, we noted a significant increase in body weight (p < 0.0001), fat mass (p < 0.0005), bone mass (p < 0.002), and body mass index (p < 0.005). In contrast, we did not observe a significant increase in lean-tissue mass or muscle mass. ...PMID: 9128314 2. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Oct;101(10):2356-9 Overweight in celiac disease: prevalence, clinical characteristics, and effect of a gluten-free diet. ...Of patients compliant with a gluten-free diet, 81% had gained weight after 2 yr, including 82% of initially overweight patients. PMID: 17032202 3. Horm Res. 2007;67(2):100-4. Epub 2006 Oct 19 Gluten-free diet impact on leptin levels in asymptomatic coeliac adolescents: one year of follow-up. ...We studied 14 asymptomatic coeliac patients in peripubertal age (7.5-13.8 years) and tested their leptin levels in order to correlate them with endocrine and anthropometric data. Before the diet was started leptinaemia (M+/-DS) was: 4.94+/-5.53 ng/ml. ...after a period of 6-12 months of gluten-free diet, Leptin levels appreciably raised to 10.8+/-7.9 ng/ml...PMID: 1705740 4. Exp Lung Res. 2004 Oct-Nov;30(7):559-70 The effect of leptin on the ventilatory responseto hyperoxia. ... Leptin-deficient mice show a blunted response to hypercapnia explained by central nervous system effects. ...PMID: 15371092 5. J Appl Physiol. 1992 May;72(5):1741-8 Increased energy intake minimizes weight loss in men at high altitude.... Energy intake required to maintain body weight at sea level was found to be 3,118 +/- 300 kcal/day, as confirmed by nitrogen balance. Basal metabolic rate (BMR), determined by indirect calorimetry, increased 27% on day 2 at altitude and then decreased and reached a plateau at 17% above the sea level BMR by day 10. ...PMID: 1601781 6. J Sleep Res. 2007 Mar;16(1):66-76 The association between sleep duration, body mass index and metabolic measures in the Hordaland Health Study. ...short sleep duration was associated with elevated BMI and increased prevalence of obesity. ...PMID: 17309765 Nerissa
  • Create New...