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Weight gain with Celiac Disease

Posted by @LeeAase in About Kids & Teens, Jul 12, 2011

I was diagnosed with celiac disease a little over two years ago. If you have celiac disease you know that means the villi in my small intestine, the little fingerlike projections responsible for absorbing nutrients, were essentially trashed by my immune system in response to the presence of gluten.

Now that I'm on a gluten-free diet, my villi are repaired and I'm absorbing nutrients a little too well: I'm about 25 pounds heavier than when I was diagnosed. Has anyone else had that problem after getting your celiac disease under control? What did you do about it?

Tags: celiac disease, Skin Conditions, sleep problems


Posted by @jsorum, Jul 12, 2011

I was diagnosed a year ago with celiac disease. I have not noticed this problem, but I have heard from sites I have visited that the gluten free diet (which is usually good for you) does lead to weight gain.


Posted by @glutenfreegloria, Jul 12, 2011

I always laugh when I see the gluten free diet touted for weight loss. Most commercial GF products have way more calories and fat in them to make up for the dryness. Even if you don't eat more you are taking in more calories coupled with the absorption thing. One Pamela's cookie can have more calories than 3 regular gluten cookies.
I am a celiac and dietitian and I fight it my self. As much as you can make your own food so you can control the ingredients and calories. Using higher protein flours such as Teff and sorghum give more moisture than using rice flour and have more fiber (which does not turn to sugar in your body).Rely mostly on lean protein foods, fruits and vegetables and limit the amount of GF starchy foods and treats. See my 1 minute bread recipe on Also most celiacs have trouble with their metabolism. Keep moving. Keep moving.


Posted by @sppdscott, Oct 11, 2011

I experienced something similar 5-6 years ago when I was diagnosed. I attribute most of it to returning to normalacy, which is I was a little overweight to start with! I was about 185 and now am 210 pretty cinsistently. When I tell people I went on a GF diet and gained 30 pounds, they say "That's the kind of diet I want to be on!" LOL


Posted by @lo, Oct 12, 2011

once i got the right diet my swelling went down but i do make sure i don't eat to much because my body will absorb more........drink more water helped


Posted by @danap1, Jan 26, 2012

I was diagnosed 4 months ago. After losing 26 lbs prior to diagnosis due to the chronic stomach aches and nausea, I've put on 15 lbs since eating GF. Frustrating! I have to wonder how much of it is from the foods we're limited to, or if some of it is due to an emotional reaction to being so severely limited in mainstream dietary choices. I've always been able to make healthy choices when eating at restaurants in the past, but now, just finding something safe to eat on any restaurant menu is a challenge! Good luck to you Lee, and everyone else who struggles with not on celiac, but it's ongoing challenges of weight gain and lifestyle changes.


Posted by @toomuch4ne1, Aug 31, 2012

Are you eating "pre-packaged" Gluten Free food? Most all of that stuff is loaded with preservatives and additives that will make you gain. I've been eating GF for over a year now and TRY to cook most of my own meals.. I eat the bread already made, but I use cut Red Bell Peppers for Crackers and get really creative. Good luck.. By the way, how long were you misdiagnosed? Me, over 10+ years.


Posted by @anorexicceliac, Nov 9, 2012

I'm a marathon runner and a celiac. I am also anorexic. However, I have only gained weight. I'm currently getting treatment to help me, but I have to limit my exercise. I suffer constipation and sometimes don't go for days. I have gained about 15 pounds since April. From April-October I was running almost every day. If I wasn't running, I was biking. By late September I was gaining weight rapidly, even only eating 1200 calories or less. I starved myself more by cutting out all meat. I got to the point my stomach looked full of gas. I could barely breathe. I had the most problems the day of my marathon. My stomach looked enormous. I was vegetarian since April. That limited me greatly. Now I'm struggling to get back down in weight and have to eat every 2 hours. It's like it never ends. It's always something. I hate this disease and have wanted to just give up numerous times. I can't find a way to stay normal.

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