Undiagnosed Celiac Disease and Fertility

I am convinced that my Celiac Genes became activated after the birth of my first child at the age of 22. It was a about a year later that symptoms started although at the time I had no idea what they were related to. We started trying for a second child when he was about 18 months, but I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. I did, however go onto have a successful third pregnancy. It could of been linked or it could also be just “one of those things”. (I was not diagnosed with Celiac at the time). However, studies have shown some interesting evidence pointing to problems associated with undiagnosed Celiac disease and fertility issues including pregnancy and miscarriage.

According to several medical journals, undiagnosed Celiac Disease can cause a wide range of gynecological and obstetric issues including delayed menus, early menopause and secondary amenorrhoea.

Women with undiagnosed celiac disease have been shown to have up to a nine-fold relative risk of recurrent miscarriage compared with treated patients.(treatment referring to adherence to a gluten-free diet)

Nutritional Deficiencies due to malabsorption can cause reproductive and pregnancy complications. Undiagnosed celiac disease may cause folic acid, vitamin B12, fat-soluble vitamin and iron deficiencies, which may further adversely effect Fertility.

Gliadin may also induce an inflammatory reaction with associated cytokine production, which may adversely affect the fetus. Adherence to a gluten-free diet has been shown to reduce circulating autoantibodies and the risk of possible miscarriage.




This information highlights the need for early diagnosis for Celiac Disease (not to ignore symptoms, thinking it is just a gluten sensitivity) because the consequences of staying undiagonosed and thus failing to adhere to a strict life-long gluten avoidance can possibly lead to problems such as discussed here.

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