The Gluten-Free Weight Loss Patient

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • The Gluten-Free Weight Loss Patient

    A few years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease. There are a few causes for celiac disease such as herdity, viral infections, pregnancy, childbirth, and surgery. That last one is the root of the matter for me. I had weight loss surgery in 2003 and was diagnosed with celiac disease a relatively short time ago. It is not too unusual an interaction nor timeline.


    The weight loss surgery was a great success, and I am more than happy with the results. I knew there would be a call for discipline following my gastric bypass surgery, so when I was given the diagnosis of celiac desease I recognized it as a need for a bit more control over what I ate.  

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    Celiac Disease

    Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which ingesting gluten causes damage in the small intestine. Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system directs antibodies to attack the body. In the case of celiac disease, the immune system forms antibodies to gluten which attack the intestinal lining. This assault causes inflammation in the intestines and damges the hair-like structures called villi that line the small intestine.


    Symptoms of celiac disease include digestive problems such as pain, gas, and diarrhea, severe skin rash, anemia, tingling sensation in the legs, and missed menstrual periods. Celiac disease can also leave a patient susceptible to additional health problems such as osteoporosis, birth defects, and seizures. 


    In order to successfully address celiac disease, a person must stop eating foods that contain gluten. Some foods that have gluten are most grain products, or those made with wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Once a person stops eating food that contain gluten, improvement will occur in just a few days and, in most cases, the villi repair in about six months. From there on end a person must remain on a gluten-free diet or she will invite the problem back.



    Gluten is a protein that is in wheat, rye, and barley that gives many foods their structure. The elasticity of pizza dough is because of gluten. 


    Gluten is also found in foods that are produced from the grains just mentioned. These foods include cereal, crackers, pasta, bread, beer, and cookies. It is in soy and oyster sauces, malt vinegar, miso, imiatation crab, natural flavoring, and salad dressings. But wait, there is more. It can be in cream sauces, broths and soups, flavored snack foods, candy and chocolate and ice cream. Read my detailed list of foods that contain gluten.


    In addition, gluten can be found in cosmetics, hair creams, and lipsticks. This can be especially problematic whereas anything that touches the lips is bound to make it into the mouth. It is recommended that people who are sensitive to gluten check the labels on lipstick and balms.       


    Of special interest is the toaster. Many toasters may have left behind crumbs from breads that contain gluten. This small amount can make people ill who have celiac disease or who are severely gluten-intolerant. Non-stick reusable toaster bags can be purchased on Amazon to help resolve the problem of a shared toaster.    


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    Living life well-fed,

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    Celiac Disease Foundation

    Cleveland Clinic

    Yahoo! Health 

Published On: September 13, 2014