Celiac disease appears to be related to infertility.
The problem is that many women and their doctors have no idea that they have this disease, especially if it does not appear until a woman is having trouble conceiving. A woman’s inability to get pregnant could be her only symptom of celiac disease.
Routine testing for celiac disease during pregnancy is recommended
According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), some studies have shown that up to 8 percent of women suffering from infertility may actually have celiac disease. Many doctors do not test for celiac disease, but according to the NFCA, this testing should be routine for any woman who is pregnant. Besides suffering from infertility and having trouble getting pregnant, women with celiac disease also have high rates of miscarriage.
Advice for women who want to have a baby and are having trouble conceiving
Women who are having trouble getting pregnant should ask their doctors about testing for celiac disease. If you are one of these women and your doctor finds that you have this disease, your chances of getting pregnant will return to normal for your age group, according to the NFCA, after you eat a gluten-free diet for some time.
Once your doctor makes a diagnosis of celiac disease, most physicians recommend waiting between two months to two years before attempting to become pregnant. This allows your body to recover and become healthy once again while you are on a gluten-free diet, which you will need to do for life.
Men can also experience infertility due to celiac disease
Celiac disease affects the fertility of men, according to a few studies that have been done on infertile men. It is believed that their sperm count is lowered and that this probably results from a lack of nutrients in their diets. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, this disease affects one of every 133 people in the United States. It tends to run in families, with 5 to 15 percent of the children and siblings of a person with celiac disease also suffering from it.
Celiac disease is not a food allergy
Some people believe that celiac disease is a food allergy, but this is not true. It is an autoimmune disorder that will never be outgrown, as wheat allergy sometimes is. Scientists and doctors do not know what causes celiac disease, but when a person avoids gluten, he or she is able to have a healthy life in many cases. Celiac disease damages the villi in the small intestine so that nutrients from food are not absorbed. If this disease is not treated, it can cause life-threatening results.
Your pregnancy can be healthy if you follow a gluten-free diet
If you are diagnosed as having celiac disease before becoming pregnant or during pregnancy, the best thing that you can do to have a healthy baby is to strictly follow a gluten-free diet. Women who are considering having a child in the upcoming months may want to first ask their doctor to order a blood test that will reveal whether they have this disease. Genetic testing does not diagnose celiac disease, which can start any time during life. Knowing that you have the disease can prevent you from having a miscarriage when you are well into the pregnancy.