Gluten Intolerance and edema

I have been battling edema and stomach bloating for over 10 years without much resolution.  There are days where my body, hands, face and extremities swell to the point that it is very uncomfortable.  I seem to appear very healthy to a doctor when I go to the doctors to complain about my problem.  They seem to think that I have an eating disorder.  They think that it is in my mind that I have gained weight and I just can’t admit that I have put on weight.

Gluten intolerance has finally gained some respect in the community because 1 in 133 people in the US is affected by it.  Some don’t even know that they have it.  Most just think that they are gaining weight.  Many doctors don’t understand this new disorder or intolerance because it was not taught in medical school.  It is new because our food chain has been tampered with genetically modified food and processed food with GMO has affected us in many ways.  I am sure that there are more diseases out there that doctors have no answer to.

When I visit a doctor or an allergists or a kidney specialist about my problem, they run their typical blood tests and tell me that I am healthy and that there is nothing wrong with me and have even hinted at the fact I might need to go and see a psychiatrist.

I know that over the years, gluten does in fact causes me to feel dehydrated and therefore, I drink more water and subsequently I swell even more.    What gluten does is it makes your gut more permeable to protein in the gluten and water leaves your blood stream and moves out to your tissue.  This causes tissue swelling/edema.   Some people experience bloating of the abdomen and extremities.  Going on a gluten-free diet helps the situation, but I have also noticed that after being on the gluten-free diet for over 5 years, the gluten-free diet has lost its effectiveness.  I have started to gain more water weight even when I was on the gluten-free diet.  This puzzled me. ….I started to also have more swelling in my stomach and distention to the point that I felt as though I was 6 months pregnant when I wasn’t.  Through further research and trial and error with my diet, I realized that I also had another diagnosis.  I have acquired fructose malabsorption.  This is when your body is unable to process fructose, a sugar from fruits.  That meant that if I ate fruits that had more fructose than glucose content in it, I will not be able to absorb the fructose and it will cause bacterial overgrowth in my gut.  This in turns causes my stomach distention, gas, possible diarrhea and depression in some due to the lowering of tryptophan level in the blood.

Fructose high food such as apples, pears, and watermelons as well as other fruits and vegetables should be avoided to prevent further exacerbation.  You can get your hydrogen breath test to see if you have fructose malabsorption.  This test may give you false negative at which point, you might want to do a lactose intolerance test to follow.

Many doctors, have not accepted that fructose malabsorption as a real disorder or disease.  There are still many clinical trials to be done for both gluten intolerance and edema as well as that for fructose malabsorption.

In the end, it should be known that you know your body the best and if you don’t feel right, don’t let doctors tell you that you are fine.  There are many diseases out there that does not fall within what doctors are taught, but there are new diseases and disorders that all doctors should be aware of.  There are more diseases out there that are still being researched and they are mainly related to our food chain and what it is doing to our bodies.

Many diseases are related to food intake and doctors to this day are still unsure and not versed in are:  Gluten intolerance, fructose malabsorption, autism, fibromyalgia.

I encourage doctors to set up more clinical trials and studies to find out why people are having these problems because these problems are not going aways, they are just going to get more prevalent and more and more people are going to be affected.

Maybe not all of americans are becoming obese, many are afflicted with gluten intolerance that have gotten out of hand and they have suffered severed edema that results in sluggish ability for the water to be removed from the tissue as the disease worsen.

About Thu-Nga Ortega, DDS, MAGD

General, cosmetic and geriatric dentist in Fairfax, Virginia. I believe in providing the most conservative dental care in the most comfortable setting. My care for my patients is my utmost importance. I have been a dentist for over 24 years and was the founder and CEO of Dental Cosmetix. Here conservative dentistry yields the most beautiful and health smiles. I have been awarded the FAGD (Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry in 2007) and then the MAGD ( Master of the Academy of General Dentistry in 2017). I am skilled in providing all facets of dentistry so patients can have all procedures done in one office without being sent to other office for other treatments.
This entry was posted in Edema Remedy, Gluten Allergy, Gluten Free, Gluten Intolerance and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Gluten Intolerance and edema

  1. Disa says:

    Wow! This post could be about me, I have the exact same problems as you! I’ve gone to countless doctors and every test always comes back stating that I am 100% healthy and nothing is wrong. Despite that I have multiple symptoms that affect my life more and more…severe fatigue, edema (can gain 2-3 kg in one day!), ringing in my ears, eczema, bloating and more and more…

    I’ve been gluten free for 2 years that helped at first but then I found out that I also have fructose malabsorption AND salicylat sensitivity (you should look that up). So to make a long story short I now eat gluten free, dairy free, low fodmap and failsafe (diet designed to be free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers). Some of the foods I CAN eat are: oatmeal (gluten free), white rice, white potatoes (peeled), iceberg, all meat except pork (very little spice), eggs. The ringing in my ears has stopped, I finally have some energy and the edema has gone down!

    Just wanted to share this with you, you should definitely look up The Failsafe Diet, the best website is 🙂

    Hope this will help you!

  2. Suffering2 says:

    This is me to a T! I constantly gain blot weight and I am a VERY active and fit person! I eat a primarily vegetarian lifestyle but I am always bloated to the point I can’t breathe or fit anything! I step on the scale and the numbers do NOT change at all but my gosh I can’t fit my clothes and half feel like I have eaten all day long non-stop. Breathing is a serious problem, swelling in my legs, hands, face, back and legs along with my stomach. It is SO embarrassing! One of my friends said to me “just admit you have put on weight! Sheeesh, everyone does!” BUT I HAD NOT! I know how healthy I am otherwise. In fact, her words came back to bite her one day when she was with me in my vehicle, on the way, my belly began bloating so bad, it was over my seat belt. She looked over and was in absolute shock to see for herself what I deal with. I could not breathe good and it was the most uncomfortable feeling! I am always tired too. I don’t know what to do but I sure would love to know how to beat this! I was told if something doesn’t drastically change soon, I will die. I am a single mother, with no help, I can not die! My heart goes out to you. I know how you feel.

    • tortega says:


      I highly recommend going on a no carb or low carb diet with avoiding fructose, lactose and gluten. If you want, you can google “FODMAP” diet. I you eat low carb and follow the Fodmap, you will reset your body and you will lose all the water weight you gained and feel so much better and healthier, I guarantee it!

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