Any celiacs gain weight after going gluten-free?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 01-04-2012, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have a celiac diagnosis (can't afford the blood test, let alone the biopsy) but I suspect I have it, and have siblings who've been told they have it as well, which kind of confirms my suspicion (though I'm not sure how they were diagnosed).

So anyway, I went GF 2.5 years ago. Felt better -- I'm not 100% but definitely more functional. I'm pretty good about sticking to the diet, I don't cheat (though I do take Communion weekly still).

Everything was fine for the first year or so... My weight has always been pretty steady (aside from an eating disorder as a teen/young adult), and I've never been overweight, though I've always had a huge appetite. I don't think I've started eating more (if anything, probably less!) but in the past 1.5 years I've gained at least 15lbs!!

I don't eat much in the way of 'convenience' GF foods -- I mostly rely on naturally-GF foods, though I do enjoy brown rice pasta and occasionally bake with brown rice flour, tapioca flour, etc.

I can't seem to lose the weight... The only other things that may have caused it are DS nursing less, and getting close to age 30... Guess I was just wondering if it could be because I went GF and if anyone else has experienced that???

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#2 of 15 Old 01-04-2012, 05:14 PM
 
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*IF* you have Celiac one of the biggest problems is absorption.  If you went GF and healed your villi, you are absorbing better and sure, your caloric intake goes up.  It's very common.

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#3 of 15 Old 01-04-2012, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm. So how do I lose it? It's tempting me to go back to eating wheat...

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#4 of 15 Old 01-04-2012, 05:34 PM
 
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Not celiac, but I had a late diagnosis of many food allergies.  Once I eliminated them, I quickly gained 15-20 lbs because I was use to eating so much and not gaining too much weight (I was, however, overweight to begin with.)  The reason, I suspect is the same as what scsgirl mentioned.

 

If there is any truth to eating low on the glycemic index, rice can be a naughty boy, brown or white.  Are you eating more carbs than before?   I do know that you don't simply eliminate food, you have to fill in the gaps, and it's all too easy to lean heavily on one food that really satisfies nicely.    For me it was dairy, which is bad news since I have low tolerance to it.  Good news, though, that I felt bad enough to notice.

 

Do a totally non-judgmental food diary for three weeks and see if you notice a pattern.  I had to retrain myself to eat well again, and not overeat with my new diet.  But I did, finally!


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#5 of 15 Old 01-04-2012, 05:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Hmm. So how do I lose it? It's tempting me to go back to eating wheat...


Well, you could do that.  And if you have Celiac you will increase your risk of many other illnesses.  But if your weight is more important...

 

You lose it how everyone does.  Burn more calories than you take in.  

 

I guess the issue I have with this thinking is that if you tell people you have Celiac and then go back to eating wheat then others think those who DO have it and DO stick to the diet (which is 1000% medically necessary) are overreacting.  This is also why I believe testing before going GF is important.

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#6 of 15 Old 01-04-2012, 05:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View PostThe reason, I suspect is the same as what scsgirl mentioned.

 

 

That is not how allergies work.  They have nothing to do with absorption.  There may be leaky gut issues with allergies but Celiac causes actual damage to the villi of the intestines.  That damage means decreased absorption and malnutrition.

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#7 of 15 Old 01-04-2012, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't go around telling people I have celiac, it's just something I mentioned here, though obviously people do know I'm on a GF diet. And I would have gotten tested if I could have, but I couldn't and I was desperate to start feeling more functional.

I'm half-joking about going back to wheat, I mean obviously health is more important than weight but it's hard to remember how I felt before I cut out gluten & easy to think I should just give up the diet, you know? I have been trying hard to eat less & exercise more. My weight hasn't budged. I do eat more carbs than I should, but I always have... I guess I need to try cutting back even more. I feel like I'm always so hungry. greensad.gif

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#8 of 15 Old 01-05-2012, 04:01 AM
 
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I think you are still sabotaging your health by eating wheat once a week. If you have celiac disease, you keep hurting yourself. If you don't and have allergies, it's not good either. If your goal is to get your digestive system to a healthy equilibrium, cutting out wheat completely could be a wise step.

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#9 of 15 Old 01-05-2012, 05:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I'm half-joking about going back to wheat, I mean obviously health is more important than weight but it's hard to remember how I felt before I cut out gluten & easy to think I should just give up the diet, you know? I have been trying hard to eat less & exercise more. My weight hasn't budged. I do eat more carbs than I should, but I always have... I guess I need to try cutting back even more. I feel like I'm always so hungry. greensad.gif


If you are feeling hungry all the time, up your protein.  Cut the carbs and start burning more :)  

 

I have found with both my kids and myself that protein cuts the snacking a lot!  

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#10 of 15 Old 01-05-2012, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm good call. I try to eat a lot of protein but it's all veg-based. At this point I'm seriously considering giving up my vegan diet, but to be honest I'm completely terrified of the idea! I am also not quite sure what kind of animal products would work best for me. I suspect I'm lactose intolerant but I did enjoy cheese when I was younger... The only meat I could tolerate the taste/texture of as a kid (the last time I had meat!) was chicken, but it always made me feel sick to my stomach afterward. I don't even know if it's possible to be allergic to chicken. Fish or eggs seem theoretically like the best choices, but I'm afraid to try eggs (tested allergic to them as a kid) and I can't stand even smelling fish. I know it sounds like I'm super picky, but I'm not at all, I will try anything as long as it's not an animal product, but something about animal products has always bothered me (I'm not vegan due purely to ethical issues, in other words)...

DoubleDouble, would eating a few grams of wheat once a week really cause that much damage? It seems to me that many people who are wheat-free aren't 100% perfect about it anyway. IDK. I'm not trying to be difficult but from where I'm coming from, it's a tough call because Communion is a deeply-held spiritual *need* for me, if that makes sense, and without a diagnosis it's hard for me to rationalize giving that up.

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#11 of 15 Old 01-05-2012, 06:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

DoubleDouble, would eating a few grams of wheat once a week really cause that much damage?


For a person with celiac disease, yes.

 

http://www.celiac.ca/crosscontamination.php

 

"it is worth noting that a Celiac should take precautions against breathing in flour dust when using other than gluten free flours. Flour dust that settles on the nasal passages may eventually get swallowed and end up being digested."

 

I remember reading about a case when a woman kept feeling sick for no reason even though she was completely gluten-free. Her doctor traced it to her taking grandkids to a bakery cafe and inhaling the flour, and suggested she stopped going there.

 

 

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#12 of 15 Old 01-05-2012, 08:40 AM
 
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Believe it or not, adding more fat into your diet, especially in the morning, can also help you feel satisfied.  Nuts, avocados, raw oils, tahini, all can be accommodated on the vegan diet.  Eat more mushrooms and read other ways about adding umami to your meals.  The trick is that you can't up your calories overall.  Timing of meals is of primary importance.  Have breakfast and lunch be your big meals, your evening meal should be modest, then nothing until morning.  Let yourself have dessert if you have sweet tooth, but keep it small.  It's the same rules for anybody.  Your body doesn't work like it used to work (thank heavens!) and you just need to create new habits.  The best trick I found (I've dropped 40 lbs, BTW) was to not drastically change what you eat overnight. (e.g. If you like sugar in your coffee, add a tiny bit less each week).

 

It really isn't any different from any other attempt at weight loss.

 

Please, if you know you are celiac, don't start eating wheat again!  That's the logic smokers use to start up again-- quitting smoking made them gain weight.

 

scsgirl, I'm sure you are right, but in the end the practical comparisons are the important ones:  before dropping the offending foods, I could eat a lot more than I could after because *somehow* my body was not processing it properly.  Once I dropped the allergens, I gained nearly 20 lbs on less than what I was eating before.  I suppose without a record I can't put my finger on the cause with certainty, but that was how I interpreted my struggles.  I think, hopefully, my experience can be of help to others who have gained the weight for similar reasons.


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#13 of 15 Old 01-05-2012, 09:26 AM
 
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A few thoughts:

 

Can you see if your church can provide a GF alternative for communion? It seems like a reasonable request. I don't think the bible says anything about communion bread needing to have gluten in it. And lots of people need GF diets these days. Hopefully your church can make an accommodation.

 

You mentioned your age, and I just want to say that it is very common for our metabolism to slow down as we get older. I know a lot of people (myself included!) who got a bit heavier as we entered our 30s. Now that I'm in my 40s, I realize how much extra diligence it takes to maintain my weight. I don't say that to discourage you, but just to point out that it's normal for things to slow down as we age. I do think that small changes in daily activity level can go a long way towards helping us stay in balance.


Living in Wisconsin with my partner of 20+ years and our DDenergy.gif(Born 10/09/08 ribboncesarean.gif). Why CI Mama? Because I love contact improvisation!

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#14 of 15 Old 01-06-2012, 05:48 PM
 
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Hi GF fiends,

 

I found out that i was allergic to Gluten a little more than 3 years ago.  It was dreadful at first, thinking of all the baked morsels that I could not have and trying to adjust to a new lifestyle, but in the end I feel MUCH better. I had pretty bad stomach issues starting at age 4- 23.  I was on a handful of pharmaceuticals that only covered the problem and caused more symptoms.  Going Gluten Free has been the best thing for my body- no more pills!!!!  

 

Here are some of my tips/suggestions that I learned along the way:

 

Don't have money for a Celiac Test/ Biopsy, but think your are allergic to Gluten?

Talk to your doctor about going on a diet that methodically eliminates allergens, then slowly adds them back in.  After I was tested I went through a detox with my doctor.  I took regular supplements, eliminated allergen food groups starting with the highest potential allergens to lowest.   Once I was down to only the allowed organic produce and brown rice, we slowly added food groups back in, confirming what we already knew.  Prior to the detox we did tests.  During the detox I recorded EVERYTHING that went in and how it made me feel.  After the detox we checked in and confirmed.  This was a 40 day process, which can seem excessive, but varies by the personal need.  I strongly recommend doing this with a doctor. I checked in with my doctor once a week.  I did this in person, but if you are worried about co-pay you can probably do check-ins via email with your health care provider.

 

The benefit of an allergen detox is that you do not need additional product, and you learn to record everything you eat and how it affects you, making you more in tune with your body.  It's amazing how much better I understood my body afterward.

 

Concerned about weight gain with the Gluten Free lifestyle?

Gluten is an allergen, not a diet to lose weight. Unfortunately, with increased knowledge of this allergy and increased diagnoses we have seen an increase in misinformation, misleading food marketing, and processed food companies jumping into a health food market.  Similar to processed and packaged diet food, when one thing (like sugar or salt) is removed, another caloric variable is increased to compensate for taste.  

 

I have noticed this in processed Gluten Free foods and in the Gluten Free pastas. If you are GF and watching your weight, be mindful of the following:

 

  • GF Pastas, such as corn or quinoa pasta-  While I love these pastas for their aldente texture, they are up to 46 grams of carbs a serving.  I use them for special occasions
  • Processed GF Foods- While its nice to indulge in things that have been out of your reach or remind you of your food lifestyle pre-GF, be careful with the processed foods.  They are packed with added sugars, carbs, fat and sodium.  If you are like me, you justify that indulging in these because you rarely get to have them......and then you overindulge!  eat.gif

 

Alternative Food Solutions to the battle of the GF bulge:

  • Tofu:  I have discovered TofuYu at my Farmer's Market.  They have Tofu Noodles that are like fettucine!  They parboil in minutes and come in pest sauce, 5 spcice with fresh peppers, and plain.  They are satisfying in texture, taste, and are filling. They also freeze well!   If you can't find a a fresh tofu noodle option, not to fear.  Safeway's carries tofu noodles packed in water.  You can find this in the soy/tofu produce section.  This noodle is slippery, cooks easily, and takes on the taste of the sauce/ spices you use to season it.  My friend, who is not GF, but is on Weight Watchers fell in love with this when I showed it to her. She loves the taste and that its just under 1 point if she ate the whole package. 
  • Make your own veggie noodles- I love using a mandoline or a cheese grater on veggies like zucchini, other squash, asparagus, and carrots to make my own noodles high in nutritional value and low in calories. 
  • Flaxseed-  This is an awesome and underused ingredient!  I have found that you can make low fuss GF bread  with flaxseed!  No gluten, high in nutrition, and no guilt.  
  • Almond meal- you can use this to make delicious cookies that are low guilt.  Here is a recipe I like from Kalyn's Kitchen

 

 

I hope you find this helpful. I would love to hear what other healthy alternatives you have found in your GF journey. Please share.  I could go on forever about food!

 

- Chris 

 

 

 

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#15 of 15 Old 01-06-2012, 07:25 PM
 
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Well, I'd imagine that if you're vegan, gluten or not, you probably consume a fairly high amount of carbohydrates, and carbs drive insulin drives fat.  Disclaimer:  I'm a huge paleo advocate.  That said, look into a paleo diet!

 

It really isn't as far from a vegan diet as you would assume.  Yes, there is a fair bit of meat involved, but with a heavy preference for ethically raised, grass/pasture based animals.  It's high (good) fat, high (good) protein, and low in carbs.  Nothing processed whatsoever - only whole foods allowed.  No grains, dairy, sugar or legumes.  It sounds really restricting, but it truly isn't.  

 

Have a spin around www.marksdailyapple.com (he has several articles about and for vegetarians as well).  

 

And gracious, step away from the wafer!!




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