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The Connection Between Gluten, Weight Loss And Weight Gain

May 15, 2019 | Blog, Nutrition

With all the news about gluten and gluten-free diets, you may be wondering if gluten intolerance might be behind your weight gain.

First let me clarify.  There are 3 types of gluten problems.  There are people who have a true wheat or gluten allergy.  This affects less than 1% of the population.  Also there is Celiac Disease which is also relatively rare.  It affects 1% of the population and is a genetic disease.  However, there is a large segment of the population (estimated up to 20%) that has non-celiac gluten sensitivity.  These patients don’t have a true allergy or intolerance but gluten wreaks havoc on their body–leading to gas, bloating, constipation/ diarrhea, joint pains and weight gain.  All 3 groups feel so much better when they eliminate gluten from their diet completely.

So the answer is that, yes, if your body can’t process gluten, you may have problems with weight gain, among others. However, weight gain isn’t as common as weight loss if you have Celiac Disease or a true wheat/gluten allergy.

With gluten intolerance, your body has trouble absorbing the protein gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye. And as you continue to eat these foods, you may start to have a wide array of digestive problems – weight management being one of them.

Gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity can both cause gas, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation. The symptoms you experience will be individual, so one of the best ways to discover whether or not you’re tolerant to gluten is to eliminate gluten from your diet and see if the symptoms subside.

Many people find that a gluten-free diet can promote weight loss and better digestive health. One reason for this is that foods that are high in gluten also tend to be high in refined sugars, fats, and artificial ingredients.

However, if you continue to eat gluten and you have an intolerance, you could actually end up having problems with too much weight loss. This isn’t the kind that helps you shape up for summer – it’s the unhealthy kind of weight loss that makes you look and feel very ill.

Gluten intolerance can make it impossible for your body to absorb nutrients from your food. Vitamin deficiencies can arise if your body isn’t able to absorb them from the food you eat. You might also develop inflammation in your gut and elsewhere in your body, which can lead to problems with autoimmune diseases.

Yes, gluten intolerance can also exacerbate problems such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and other auto-immune disorders because it causes inflammation in your body.

While weight loss is the more common than weight gain with gluten intolerance, weight gain is more common with gluten sensitivity.  If you’re overweight and switch to a gluten-free diet you’ll likely lose weight. You’ll definitely receive relief from digestive problems that are ailing you.

When you remove gluten from your diet, you’ll likely replace it with healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins, and other whole grains that are gluten-free. When you do this, you’ll likely lower your caloric intake and naturally have weight loss.

Many people find that a gluten-free diet helps with weight loss and also improves overall health. If you’ve wondered if you have a gluten sensitivity that is contributing to weight gain, you may want to try eating gluten-free, there is a good chance you’ll see some positive results in your weight and your overall health.


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