Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease after WLS

One of the things I have been reading on the subjects of gluten intolerance since it has become so clear that it is a problem for me is that it can become much more noticeable after a stressful surgery or even show up for the first time, as actually can lactose intolerance.
Since WLS is about as stressful to our digestive systems as it can get (even the parts that are not altered) and that those stresses can alter how the body recognizes enzymes and things like gluten it is not surprising that many people develop symptoms or become more aware of them after surgery.  There is also the fact that Weigh Loss Surgery patients often give up most simple carbs after surgery (or like me in their pre surgery diet) and as such either don’t realize at first that they have an intolerance or if they were intolerant before surgery but unaware that this was the case they attribute feeling so much better on just losing weight.  Then if they do begin eating gluten laden foods again they may not make the connection and believe that something is wrong with their surgery, that they have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or that they have the flu if it is a short term excess.
I have also read that while weight Loss is most common with Gluten Intolerance there are some people who suffer unexplained weight GAIN that is out of proportion to the amount of calories consumed.  I was always one of the super fat people who people joke about for claiming that they didn’t eat much, I was no saint but seldom went over 2200 calories which at over 440 pounds even with limited mobility should have made me lose weight and yet I kept gaining.  A recent talk with my mom revealed that both my brother and I never seemed to have a lot of energy as children and that she remembers me having many of the symptoms I described to her as early as 3 but they got much worse after I nearly died of mono-hepatitis/mononucleosis at 14 (another possible trigger for some people for the exact same reason as surgery, a major shock to the system) and it was after that that my weight went through the roof.
So it is possible that many of us had lesser degrees of gluten intolerance before WLS, felt weak, tired, exhausted, suffered brain fog etc…  and simply blamed many of our symptoms on being fat, which lead us to WLS which may have made the symptoms more pronounced.
I have been very lucky that my type of surgery (duodenal switch) makes eating carbs and gluten an already unpleasant thing but realizing that we are not talking a short term gas attack but a week of pain and discomfort makes passing up carrot cake a lot easier.

One thought on “Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease after WLS

  1. Lauramacky says:

    Interesting! I had mono at 16 and a major surgery at 44, and after that surgery I felt I developed fibromyalgia. But I always felt kind of run down prior to that after I exercised. Then I realized I have a gluten intolerance and also if I have too much lactose. I don’t think I’m celiac but who knows and the only sure fire way to know is if you have a biopsy if your intestines..blood tests are not definitive which I’ve had. I totally connect to this post!

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