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Could Pregnancy Have "triggered" Celiac?


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#1 maddycat

 
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Posted 18 August 2006 - 09:46 PM

I just had my first baby 4 1/2 months ago and started having symptoms of Celiac Disease when he was about 3 months. I've been fine most of my life. (From the time I was 1 1/2 years old until I was 3 my parents had me on a gluten free diet. They thought it was caused/triggered by a bad fall I had causing the lining of my intestines to slough off.) From the time I was 3 until now (29 years later) I've been eating everything without any issues. Could pregnancy be a "trigger"? If so, will it go away again or will I have to do the diet forever, if it is indeed Celiac Disease?

I just got my Giliadan antibodies test result back and it is 27.2, what they term "eqivical" which I guess is not really negative but not positive either. I will have an appointment with a GI doc soon to see if they want to do more testing.

I'm currently entirely breast feeding my son. Are there any issues I should know of if I do have Celiac? Should I wait to introduce solids- longer than 6 months? Does my son need to be tested? If so, what test, the gentic marker one that I've read about on this forum? I'm going to start him on vitamin drops just to be sure he is getting what he needs since I may have malabsorption issues. I do make plenty of milk though and my son is thriving so that is good.

Anyway, if anyone can help answer my questions it would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
Marcia
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Marcia-
Diagnosed Celiac based on equivocal results on blood seriology tests, did not have a biopsy due to already eating gluten free (I didn't know any better at the time to keep eating gluten until all tests could be done).

Diagnosis came 3 months after the birth of my first child at age 31 (I believe childbirth was my trigger).

Gluten Free since 8/06

Genetic testing revealed:
I have one copy of DQ2 (DQA1 05/DQB1 02)

Son- 3 years old, so far not showing any signs of digestive issues and does eat gluten- fingers crossed!

Second baby born after I have been gluten free for 2 1/2 years- a healthy boy weighing in at 9 pounds at birth!

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#2 AndreaB

 
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Posted 18 August 2006 - 09:52 PM

I waited until my son was 7 months old to start him on solids. He is now 9 mos old. I believe that pregnancy can be a trigger and wonder if my problems started with my first pregnancy. I had joint aches, knees and ankles, starting my 3rd trimester. They have just gone away now that I am gluten and soy free. I am intolerant to both. It was this last baby that alerted me that something was wrong. He broke out with eczema just after he was 2 months old. I'm thinking the vaccines triggered him but I could be wrong. He totally cleared up after I cut out all gluten and soy. (see sig). I did try him with oatmeal a couple weeks ago and while he didn't have diarrhea he was fussy the rest of the day. It was his lunchtime meal.
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Andrea

Enterolab positive results only June 06:
Me HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0301; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2, 7)
Husband HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0302; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2,8)



The whole family has been soy free since February, gluten free since June 2006.

The whole family went back to a gluten diet October 2011.  We never had official testing done and I decided to give gluten a go again.  At this point I've decided to work on making some gluten free things again, though healthwise everyone seems to be fine.  The decision to add gluten back in was also made based on other things I'd read about the 2nd sequence of genes.  It is my belief that we had a gluten intolerance, but thanks to things I've learned here, I know more what to keep an eye on.  If you have a confirmed case of celiac, please don't go back to gluten, it's a lifelong lifestyle change.


#3 up-late

 
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Posted 18 August 2006 - 10:46 PM

I started getting stomach pain etc. about a month after I had my eldest, I ended up really sick. If I do have celiac the birth was what triggered it for me.
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#4 Michi8

 
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Posted 19 August 2006 - 04:15 AM

Yes, pregnancy can be a trigger. If you were celiac as a child, then you will be for life...it sounds like pregnancy brought the symptoms to the forefront again. Of course, breastfeeding is great for baby. Breastmilk helps protect baby's GI tract from developing disease, and encourages development of natural GI flora, and could delay the onset of problems for baby if they do end up inheriting celiac.

In terms of starting solids, definitely wait until at least 6 months. Nothing wrong with starting later either (some people start at 9 months or later)...breastmilk is the most important food for the whole 1st year...and it continues to have benefits to the older toddler, especially if they have a tendency toward allergy and disease. When you do start solids, start slowly. There is a really good resource here for feeding a food-sensitive/allergic baby: http://www.hallpubli...e2_sample1.html and this is a good schedule of which foods to introduce when: http://www.hallpubli...e2_sample2.html

Michelle
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#5 gfp

 
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Posted 19 August 2006 - 05:26 AM

As many people keep pointing out you have gluten intolerance or not. Just like you can't be a little bit pregnant ...

Read the honeymoon thread (when it goes away in kids)

If you have gluten intolerance then your body is reacting... however our body is doing things all the time .. for instance the stomach lining is replaced very often... (daily I think) but its designed to do this.

This is happening all the time by cell replication, we shed skin... etc. etc.

If you say burn yourself then the skin is damaged beyond what it can repair in a day... it takes time and eventually a 1st degree burn just repairs.... it might scar but it repairs.

Now imagine rubbing your finger down a rough wall.... it pulls of skin but you could do this every day (or rub your feet with pumice) and it repairs but if you stand for all day rubbing your finger against a rough wall you will damage it because it can't repair fast enough , indeed 20-30 mins and you are likely to damage...

There is some point that you could find where its perfectly balanced... you rub off exactly the same amount as your body can repair. If you exceed this limit it gets progressively worse....

Now imagine you are pregnant, ill or have a large burn. The bodies ability to self repair is already stretched. The balance point shifts downwards...

Now imagine that we are talking villi.... they are being attacked and repairing.... as we get older our self reparing slows down so eventually we can just have the same amouint of daily damage but our ability to repair (the balance point) gets gradually lower. Once we exceed this balance point the inability to repair is self sustaining ... its constantly in backlog... continuing to rub our finger or eat gluten will just make it worse and worse until either we loose our finger or our villi are all gone.

Pregnancy, illness stress etc. the self repair.. during pregnancy you are growing a whole extra person.... in addition to self repairing. This pulls down the balance point ... but chances are you were getting towards that stage anyway.. this just provides as you say a trigger.

However cell division is a risky thing, we repair millions everyday according to a prescription wirtten in DNA but every one in several million times this goes wrong, we call it cancer (OK its more complex and I'm not a cancer expert) Cells that replicate frequently like the stomach lining or mouth have spent millions of years adapting to this... they have very low failure rates because it has been genetically cleaned by evolution and those who couldn't sucessfully replicate stomach cells daily never had offspring to pass on the DNA.

However the villi are not designed to replicate to the same extent as the stomach.... we don't have this DNA.

This is why biopsy is such a stupid method of diagnositic.... a postive biopsy means we have exceeded and passed the balance point then continued to do damage. The cells are replicating as fast as they can and its not fast enough.
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Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

#6 Deb O (UK)

 
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Posted 19 August 2006 - 05:38 AM

Interestingly, although I've had symptoms for many years, things definitely got worse after I had my last child nearly 5 yrs ago (and at the 'mature' age of nearly 39), not least of which I've piled on 4 st in as many years since her birth :(

So I wonder if there is a connection / link?
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#7 hez

 
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Posted 19 August 2006 - 10:42 AM

I am almost sure that my trigger was the birth of my eldest son. I was so sick. The doctor kept doing labs and could never figure out what was wrong with me. Over three months things got back to normal so the docs and I never went any further with it.

Fast forward seven years, an ectopic pregnancy and a 3 year old daughter and I became sooo sick! Again lots of testing with the a different doctor. This doctor just happened to run the celiac test so we figured out the dx. The biopsy showed complete atrophy, not one villi could be seen, completely flat. I think it just took awhile for my body to completly fail.

Hez
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#8 Nantzie

 
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Posted 19 August 2006 - 09:11 PM

Yep! My symptoms got so bad when I was pregnant with my youngest that I ended up being house-bound because of GI symptoms and pain. It was horrible.

Now that I went gluten-free, all that disappeared. Like somebody flipped a switch.

Nancy
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#9 GFAngel

 
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Posted 20 August 2006 - 07:33 PM

Hi Y'all. I think my celiac was pretty quiet as a kid, burped (not literally!) a bit as a teen (fatigue) and blew up during my pregnancy 18 years ago. I've never been the same. No gi symptoms either except constipation until about 4 years ago. See my life story below. BTW: I learn so much from others' life stories and experiences; it goes to show how different we all are (and yet the same)! I've diagnosed one person, not related, so far ... so one down, and ?? more to go?!

Anyway, I wanted to note what Danna Korn wrote in her book Living Gluten-Free for Dummies re: reducing the chance your baby develops celiac disease:

"New studies show that you may be able to protect a baby from developing celiac disease later in life. Univ. of CO scientists have pulished info indicating that exposing babies to gluten in the first three months of a baby's life increases the risk of celiac disease fivefold. Their studies indicate that waiting until the baby is a least six months old decreases the risk but that waiting beyond seven months increases the risk again. In other words, the best time to introduce gluten, according to this study, is between four and six months.

Another factor that seems to have an effect on the development of celiac disease is breastfeeding. Studies show that breastfeeding longer than three months may delay the onset of celiac symptoms and decrease the risk of developing celiac disease. Gradual introduction of gluten-containing foods and continuing to breastfeed while those foods are introduced seem to reduce the risk of developing celiac disease, as well."

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*Childhood/teen symptoms: canker sores, eczema, achey and sore muscles, insomnia, irritable, nail biter, depression, fatigued sooner than peers

*1988-age 28: Fatigue during pregnancy - had to take 2 hour naps to get through day
*1996-age 35.6: Dx hypothyroid
*Low hemoglobin for 10 years that I have documented blood test results (chronic fatigue - doctors said to "eat well and exercise" -- didn't work).
*Feb 1, 2006-age 44.10 Dx celiac (went for colonscopy due to low iron saturation and serum ferritin iron tests. Colonscopy clear. I asked for the endoscopy=partial villous atrophy. Blood tests confirmed dx after biopsy.)

#10 gfp

 
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Posted 21 August 2006 - 02:17 AM

Hi Y'all. I think my celiac was pretty quiet as a kid, burped (not literally!) a bit as a teen (fatigue) and blew up during my pregnancy 18 years ago. I've never been the same. No gi symptoms either except constipation until about 4 years ago. See my life story below. BTW: I learn so much from others' life stories and experiences; it goes to show how different we all are (and yet the same)! I've diagnosed one person, not related, so far ... so one down, and ?? more to go?!

Anyway, I wanted to note what Danna Korn wrote in her book Living Gluten-Free for Dummies re: reducing the chance your baby develops celiac disease:

"New studies show that you may be able to protect a baby from developing celiac disease later in life. Univ. of CO scientists have pulished info indicating that exposing babies to gluten in the first three months of a baby's life increases the risk of celiac disease fivefold. Their studies indicate that waiting until the baby is a least six months old decreases the risk but that waiting beyond seven months increases the risk again. In other words, the best time to introduce gluten, according to this study, is between four and six months.

Another factor that seems to have an effect on the development of celiac disease is breastfeeding. Studies show that breastfeeding longer than three months may delay the onset of celiac symptoms and decrease the risk of developing celiac disease. Gradual introduction of gluten-containing foods and continuing to breastfeed while those foods are introduced seem to reduce the risk of developing celiac disease, as well."


This is all true but what it doesn't address is the link between the two.
Which mothers were gluten-free in pregnancy and which were not and then which mothers breast fed and which did not ....
In other words we have 3 groups: pre 6 months, 6-7 months and post 7 months but each of these has subsets of eating gluten in pregnancy or not ... and breast feeding or not and also eating gluten while breast feeding.

It could well be that the important thing might be the correct combination of all of these variables.... not to mention the timing of each one. Perhaps eating gluten and transmitting the IgG antibodies during a particualr phase of foetal development ? or introducing IgA through breast milk at a certain time (or not)

Indeed common sense says since IgA is not transferred to the placenta that the reason for delay is to allow the child to develop an immune system of its own with boosted IgA from the mother which it will only get if she is eating gluten???
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Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

#11 TinkerbellSwt

 
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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:15 AM

My celiacs was definatly brought out by my difficult pregnancy. The docs actually told me that if I had known of my cleliacs before I got pregnant I could have reduced all the problems we had. My son had literally almost killed me. The symptoms were water on the brain, around my heart and lungs. They took him from me at 28 1/2 weeks. We went up and down on his survival too.

But we both prevailed! He was born in May, but my celiacs didnt almost kill me until October. I went to the ER and they determined I had basically no nutrients in my body (that still didnt send off signals!)

At last someone diagnosed me and I have been gluten free ever since. If we decide to have another baby, they think it will go much smoother. I will be watched closely though.

So after all this babbling, yes I truely believe that pregnancy can bring celiacs to the forefront.
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Stephanie





Gluten free since October 05
son born severly premature due to
celiac

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#12 covsooze

 
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Posted 21 August 2006 - 10:19 AM

gfp, I like your analogy for how celiac disease is triggered. I think I've had symptoms most of my life, but I had a difficult labour with DS and it's since then that my symptoms have multiplied. I breast fed DS until he was 18 months, when he weaned himself. He didn't have gluten until after 6 months (can't remember exactly when - I wasn't diagnosed at the time, so it wasn't something I was looking out for). I would wait longer to introduce gluten next time. Despite the long breast feeding, DS developed bad hayfever/ rhinitis very early on as well as an allergy to eggs and mild eczema. He had the coeliac screen and was clear. Who knows what things would have turned out like if I hadn't breast fed as long :unsure: Maybe I wouldn't have become as poorly as I am now but DS would :unsure: :huh:
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Susie from Coventry, UK

IBS & GERD 2000
Screened for coeliac disease as sister has it - negative blood test
Nov 2005 positive blood tests
January 2006 dx by biopsy
gluten-free and dairy lite since then
I am also neutropenic, anaemic and have hypothyroidism
Feb 08: free protein S deficiency; candida overgrowth; adrenal exhaustion

'My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.' 2 Corinthians 12

#13 Queen Serenity

 
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Posted 23 August 2006 - 01:31 PM

Hi!
Yes, I believe in the fact, that after birth, you can get Celiac's. In January 1995, I gave birth to my second child. His birth triggered a long downhill battle for me. By the end of September 1995, I was hospitalized for a week, at least until they figured out it was Celiac's. They say that Celiac's does not usually come out, unless you suffer some kind of trauma to the body. Childbirth defiantely qualifies under this catergory. As far as starting a child on solids, my son was able to eat without problems. I also have given birth to a daughter two years ago. She also is able to eat anything. I thank God that my children do not have the disease. I have them all tested every few years, just in case. My advice is to introduce solids at a slower pace, if it makes you more comfortable. Treat it just like any other allergy, for example peanuts or strawberries. A lot of people are allergic to these foods, but you really can't tell until a reaction occurs. Good Luck!

Vicki
Going on eleven years, and still counting! :)
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#14 jkmunchkin

 
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Posted 23 August 2006 - 04:54 PM

My cousins celiac was triggered by her pregnancy. She never had symptoms before that and after she had her baby she lost massive amounts of weight (without trying to lose the baby weight). She was pretty much instantly diagnosed. That is how I was diagnosed. When she found out and told the family and told us it was hereditary it instantly explained my years of stomach problems. Several tests later and here I am.
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Jillian

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Inflamed stomach lining
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#15 Michi8

 
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Posted 23 August 2006 - 06:14 PM

My cousins celiac was triggered by her pregnancy. She never had symptoms before that and after she had her baby she lost massive amounts of weight (without trying to lose the baby weight). She was pretty much instantly diagnosed. That is how I was diagnosed. When she found out and told the family and told us it was hereditary it instantly explained my years of stomach problems. Several tests later and here I am.


That's interesting to hear. I've had IBS-labelled symptoms & lactose intolerance for 20 years. I had some IBS problems during my first pregnancy. Post pregnancy, I lost all the pregnancy weight plus a ton of extra weight (I had been a bit overweight before pregnancy) in very little time (all 30 lbs of preg. weight gone by 4 months.) I had always attributed it to breastfeeding.

Second pregnancy I had what I think might have been DH just before the birth (very stressful pregnancy & birth since I was trying for a VBAC.) Post pregnancy I quickly lost even more weight (gained 40 lbs during pregnancy) all the way down to my teenage weight of 115 lbs. Again, I just thought it was from the breastfeeding.

Third pregnancy I gained a record amount (60 lbs), and then lost almost all of it in the first year (I didn't lose as much as before since I wasn't as physically active as before.) Once she weaned at 2yo, my symptoms really started to get wacky, and I'm still experiencing them 2 years later: anxiety, mood swings, hair loss, skin sensitivity, acne on face back chest and spreading further, changes/increases in allergies, numbness in toes & fingers, restless legs, painful fingers when going from cold to warm, sinus headaches, continued "IBS" and lactose intolerance issues, etc. And since weaning I've been gaining weight again...though I don't overeat!

I'm still waiting to do a biopsy in November...man I wish I could just get the test over with now and start the diet to see if it makes a difference!

Michelle
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