Weight Loss, Weight Gain and #Gluten

Interesting post from GFS today making the point that people with gluten sensitivity can react to the disease, and to the treatment, with either weight loss or weight gain.

Traditionally, doctors look for gluten sensitives as people losing a lot of weight, failing to thrive etc etc but that view is outdated and many gluten sensitives are actually overweight.

Some people following a GF diet will lose weight, whilst others will gain weight. It all depends on the nature of the sensitivity.

Dr O has done a useful diagram looking at the two different mechanisms of gluten-induced weight gain and gluten-induced weight loss which I thought you might like to see:

I think, from my own personal experience, that there is one process missing from the weight gain section.

The Inflammatory Reaction

I wrote here about the weight issue generally, here about my own personal experience with sudden loss of what I called ‘cushioning’ as the allergy fluid reactions left me 8 months into grain free and here about the link to leaky gut.

Basically, I think we hold onto a lot of fluid as part of the inflammatory reaction to gluten (and other allergens) and it is only when the allergen causing that ‘cushioning’ comes out properly that the need for the fluid is reduced. Think of when you bang your knee for example – it swells as it heals doesn’t it? Well, the knee inflammation is temporary but an inflammatory response to an allergen is chronic and the fluid will remain as long as the inflammation and allergen does. That’s one of my theories anyway.

Anyway, have a read of Dr O’s piece here on the blog. I see also that he has some free reports you can get which I think are aimed at people trying to lose weight rather than gain it. Might be useful if that’s you.

9 Replies to “Weight Loss, Weight Gain and #Gluten”

  1. I’ve always had trouble gaining weight, even more now that I contracted giardia years ago and suffered the side effect of lost weight. I’m gluten free now for a full month hoping that I’d gain weight (I know, it’s only been a month!) but I’ve lost 2 pounds. I think I’ve lost 2 pounds because my calorie intake has dropped: I no longer can make a quick flour tortilla filled burrito, toast some bread, eat a graham cracker in passing or chow down on some pasta (though that quinoa pasta is delish but expensive…!). I know I need to increase my calorie intake but it’s near impossible for me right now. I don’t feel any different being gluten-free and I’m thinking about reintroducing it soon to see if I have any symptoms (I never had gluten symptoms before, just trying a new kind of diet in hopes to gain back my lost weight). My italian heritage misses my pastas and homemade sourdough bread….

    1. Hi Serena, I would give it a bit longer but keep your protein and carbs up. You might find it useful to use a TGF protein powder like this one twice a day. Is pea so not suitable for full barrier diet. There is always an adaptation period of course whilst you find your feet with a change in diet. As you say, you’ll soon see if gluten is an issue for you when you try it again – as long as you have been completely clear of it for long enough, no hidden stuff which will skew your trial. Good luck, and hope that giardia has gone now then!

  2. Thanks for the info MIcki. I was clear on how weight loss worked. And I had heard that weight gain was possible, but could not find any information about why this happens. I’ll ready up on the links you provided.

  3. I went to the doctor’s website but the reports aren’t free, you have to sign up and pay him. I can’t take on most diets because my food intolerances aren’t just cereals, or dairy, but fish/seafood and most sorts of protein. Thanks for trying, Micki.

  4. We all have to make a living somehow Anna and his work is worth it, trust me. If you go to TGF Resources page and click the link under the Gluten Free Society resources for membership, you can get a trial access for $1 specially for us 🙂

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