First, you may have heard about celiac disease, but do you know what gluten intolerance is? One sign of gluten intolerance can be unexplained weight gain. However, unless you have been living under a rock, you have undoubtedly seen or heard many people saying they are reducing their gluten or giving it up altogether. So, can gluten intolerance cause weight gain? But does gluten cause weight gain? In some cases, people actually have allergies or a condition called celiac disease, which is causing gluten to make them ill. Others simply have a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten. The latter is more common, so that is what we are going to talk about. Can gluten intolerance cause weight gain?
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein found in various different grains. Many people think about wheat as being gluten. For instance, it can also be found in rye, oats, and barley. The gluten protein is made up of other proteins, including glutenin and gliadin. These are often more closely linked to people that have negative reactions in a gluten allergy or celiac disease, an autoimmune condition of the small intestine. The symptoms are slightly different when comparing an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten as opposed to actually being allergic to it.
Common Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
When you have an intolerance to gluten, your symptoms can range from mild discomfort and abdominal pain to some more common signs of being allergic to gluten. First of all, you might find that you have abdominal discomfort or indigestion when you consume food with significant wheat or rye. There are actually many regular food items that contain wheat or other grains, that you would otherwise expect are harmless.
You may eat a simple sandwich with wheat bread and suddenly find your stomach is hurting and you might even have diarrhea or nausea. Some other common symptoms include headaches, skin changes, and allergy symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and runny nose. In addition, individuals may notice weight gain due to increased appetite stemming from nutrient deficiencies. When our bodies can’t probably absorb the nutrients from the foods we eat, hunger cravings will increase due to those nutrient deficiencies. Most people will struggle to keep their weight up from malnutrition. But some individuals notice gluten intolerance can cause weight gain. Insufficient vitamins and minerals being absorbed by the body can cause someone to overeat in an effort to fully nourish their bodies.
If you are found to have gluten sensitivity, you don’t have to completely give up all gluten. However, you do need to decrease it as much as possible. The more foods you eat with gluten, the worse you are going to end up feeling. They might not cause serious illness like if you had celiac disease, but gluten can definitely make you feel ill. So, if you want those stomach aches and migraines to go away, stay away from foods with wheat, rye, or barley. This includes most bread, grains, pasta, and many packaged and processed foods. You should try to stick to a diet consisting primarily of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein like meat.
Connect and Let’s Discuss Gluten Intolerance and Weight Gain!
I would love to hear if you or someone you love suffers from gluten intolerance. Let me know how challenging this has been for you or a loved one in the comments below. I suffer from celiac disease and you can read my story about my journey here. You can also connect with me @Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram. I love seeing your photos. #EatYourNutrition #LauraVillanueva