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Posted by Laura F.

 I seem to be having some sort of Celiac relapse. I am so careful with my diet and can't think of when I encountered any gluten. I am getting allergy testing done this week to eliminate other foods if I can- I think I might have an allergy to soy, I'm not sure.

Even when you are totally gluten-free, do you still get symptoms?  

For the past week or so, I have been dealing with severe abdominal distention and pain, constipation, and weight gain. In fact in the past 3 weeks I've gained 10 lbs. This is a lot for me because I normally weigh about 112, and now I'm about 120 or so and I'm 5'4", so it feels like a lot to gain so quickly on such a small frame. I can't tell if the weight gain it is linked with the distention/constipation, it seems likely however. I am shocked at how distended my stomach is, I look very pregnant, it's painful and embarrassing. I normally am hungry every two hours, but right now my stomach is so large and painful that eating seems to only make it feel worse.

I'm wondering if there is something I'm doing to cause this, or if sometimes these reactions are to be expected for a Celiac, even though you're on a gluten-free diet. I've never been completely symptom free, although there have been weeks at a time that I've come close. If anything, I've learned that being a Celiac requires more patience than I've ever had.
HELP :(  

Answers (4)
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There are a number of possible scenarios:

You did  not mention how long you have been on the gluten free diet.  It can take 6months to a year or even longer for the damage to heal. While you are waiting, you can eliminate lactose since the enzyme to digest it is in the small intestine and yours is damaged.  Also minimize products made from bean flour.  You should also have had a follow up anitbody titer 6 months after diagnosis and again at a year. If your numbers are nearing normal you know you are on the right path and just need time.

If you have been gluten free for a long time, again  have your anitbody titers done. If they are high, you may be inadvertanly be ingesting gluten. Manufacturers change ingredients in their products. So, you need to review labels. Gluten is found in the darndest places! There may be some source you didn't think of. Check with a Registered Dietitian who is knowledgeable about celiac.

Lynn Cicero, M.S. R.D.

funny you mentioned soy.  i just got "glutened" by the soy sauce i had with some suuuuper good sushi.  found out it was partially wheat-based.  (i'd like to say it was worth it.  usually not worth it, but it's pretty close this time.)  so maybe not the soy for you either, but the wheat in a sauce?  hope it helps.


Hi Laura!

You may also have sensitivities to other foods, which is not uncommon with Celiac.  I tend to have similar reactions ( bloating, weight gain, pain) when I consume soy, casein and corn, but allergy tests for these foods came up negative.

Try an elimination diet and add major allergens back one at a time to see how your body reacts. Reactions may take hours or days to show up, so try and be patient with the process.

As always, be very careful what you eat, as I have found some products have gluten, but I would have never known simply by reading the label.

Good luck!


Hi... about getting ""glutened" by the soy sauce": There are some brands of Soy Sauce that actually claim to be Gluten-Free.   One can go to Gluten-Free Brands for some info on this.

My experience has taught me that products such as Soy Sauce are often NOT Gluten-Free unless, of course, they explicitly claim to be on their label.  And further, I encourage all manufacturers of products that are indeed "Gluten-Free" to say so very clearly on their packaging. 

I hope this helps.

William Beverly, Ph.D.,

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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