Does becoming coeliac make you overweight?

Freelancer posted this link on another thread today which I found most interesting, and now want to know if there is a theory that developing coeliac makes you overweight? Although I used to watch my weight before diagnosis I was never overweight. The weight gradually crept on yet I had not changed my eating habits and found the weight impossible to shift. Presumably coeliac takes a while to develop. The study has quite a small sample so not sure how much statistical significance it has but it is an interesting question that is being addressed by the medical profession.

9 Replies

  • Pre-diagnosis I was overweight and constantly hungry. I think the expression "over-fed but undernourished" probably explains it.

  • Ditto. It's been just about a year for me now and I've lost two and a half stone without trying. I've gone from constantly hungry to only being hungry at the right time i.e. when it's mealtime.

    And it's not that I'm missing out, if anything I'm eating more calories now. My body just seems to want different things and I've very naturally slipped into a high fat low carb diet where my "stodge indulgence" is a bowl of porridge (cream, no sugar) rather than bread or potatoes. I've also gone mad on nuts, which I wasn't fussed about previously.

    My neighbour was the opposite, an ill looking rake of a man who has fleshed out and got colour in his cheeks since he was diagnosed. He is still firmly wedded to carbs.

  • I posted my experience on the other thread (essentially that I went from average size to severely overweight in a fairly short period and found the weight difficult to lose, but when I went gluten free it just came off). I'm always careful to point out that I'm not a diagnosed coeliac, but have essentially lived as one for a couple of years now.

    I'm interested in this because I assumed I couldn't be coeliac because I wasn't thin, and because my gluten reactions didn't initially involve gastrointestinal complications (though since going GF they do increasingly), but reading around I understand that there are indeed overweight coeliacs. I'd also be interested in hearing anyone's experiences as I feel the point where I suddenly gained weight was the point where whatever's going on started off!

  • I think your experience is similar to mine. However, I think that there were possibly other factors which could have explained the weight gain for me, for example although I watched my diet I had to stop running (at least 10k or 10 miles every other day) and playing tennis as I had an injury - this exercise probably maintained my weight and I didn't eat much. But I still continued daily exercising - mainly swimming and some gym work. The main weight gain has been in the last decade. Since being GF I have not lost weight like others have. I have lost about 16 lbs since July and now doing low carb diet. My new year's resolution is to be more creative with food. I am the sort of person who doesn't bother to eat as I am bored with having the same thing all the time. As I have developed more and more sensitivities to different foods this is becoming a big challenge. I am NCGS (and my profile of weight problems fits with what Jessipup referred to) but my GP thinks because of my sensitivities and reactions to certain foods that I am coeliac. I do not want to be tested. I am curious and would like to understand the physiology of weight gain in developing either NCGS or coeliac.

  • This is an article from The American Journal of Gastroenterology, which also talks about the average or overweight coeliac as becoming the norm.

  • I lost about 16kg when I went gluten free which was about 20% of my body weight

  • There was a speaker on the Gluten Summit web conference last year who suggested that people who are Coeliac are underweight but put weight back on when they recover and people who have Non Gluten Gluten Sensitivity are overweight which they loose when properly Gluten Free. He said although both conditions have many of the same effects and symptoms the metabolism is different. I m no expert, just found this interesting.

  • I have just found this link, may be useful...

  • Thanks Wend100. Was a very interesting read indeed. But I am not surprised at the conclusions as it seems to indicate that people in the samples ate Free From products. As far as I understand in order to lose weight we have to cut down on carbs and other stuff. But everyone is different. I don't eat Free From stuff as I react to one of the ingredients and mostly eat stuff made from scratch. I think maybe the weight gain thing is a mystery to the medics and they can't explain it. There may also be other influential factors too. I just wish I knew how and why.

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