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Menstruation
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Ok, I have a question but there is a lot of information so bear with me.

I have always had extremely bad menstrual cramps, so bad that I used to vomit or pass out.

I was told that I may have endometriosis and put on the pill when I was 16 to improve the symptoms (which worked). I have been on the pill for seven years and am ready to come off it. A few months ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease and have been gluten free ever since. My question is this: Could the two be related? Has anyone else out there experienced this? Now that I am gluten free could I go off the pill without my symptoms reoccurring?

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I don't know of any scientific studies

but I too used to have D/vomit & almost pass out from pain w/menstrual cramps - not every month, but maybe 2 to 4x/year; other months just really bad cramps

now that am gluten-free, haven't had the D/vomit combination - still have cramps, but much milder. Also my breast soreness during PMS is much milder/almost gone (before going gluten-free, had been getting increasingly worse).

was on birth control, but haven't been for several years (and yes, the birth control did eliminate the D/vomit combination while I was on it)

I personally think gluten sensitivity, hormones & menstrual cycles are all linked somehow, and that I am more sensitive to gluten during PMS and menstruation. Just one person's experience. (There is a semi-recent theory that one significant purpose of menstruation is to 'clean' the body - get rid of any bugs living in the reproductive organs, etc. - could tie in to body trying to rid itself of gluten??) My drs tell me my uterus is 'tipped backwards' - don't know if that makes a difference either.

good luck, and may pain become less frequent in your life!

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Ok, I have a question but there is a lot of information so bear with me.

I have always had extremely bad menstrual cramps, so bad that I used to vomit or pass out.

I was told that I may have endometriosis and put on the pill when I was 16 to improve the symptoms (which worked). I have been on the pill for seven years and am ready to come off it. A few months ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease and have been gluten free ever since. My question is this: Could the two be related? Has anyone else out there experienced this? Now that I am gluten free could I go off the pill without my symptoms reoccurring?

I've seen quite a few sites that linked severe cramps and endometriosis to celiac disease try searching on google with keywords "celiac endometriosis" and you should find some. I had severe cramps starting about a year after i started menstrating. it was really horrible... I got a laparoscopy done to look for endometriosis when I was 23 cause I couldn't get pregnant (subfertility and infertility are also linked to celiac) anyway didn't find anything but was able to get pregnant a few months later. after my first pregnancy the cramps came back again but after the 2nd pregnancy they were alot milder and after the 3rd pregnancy I only have to take tylenol now to keep them in check most of the time! don't know what it was about the pregnancies that made the cramps get less but I sure am glad! anyway, never was on the pill so don't know the answer to that one. but you could try it and it might actually work!

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I always had horrible cramping growing up with my periods :huh: I would just curl up into the fetal postion and cry. In my later teens my periods actually stopped and would be gone for a few months at a time. When I got married it was very hard getting pg. because I wasn't ovulating anymore (doc. said) I had to take medicins to make me ovualte and get periods. I was finally diagnosed a year ago with celiac disease and my periods returned to normal without any meds. :lol: I still get bloated, pms, and sore breats, and sometime mild cramping (all normal symptoms BTW) but, the pain is not near what it was before. Good Luck! I hope it helps!

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I was not getting my period at all..then I went gluten-free. Then I started getting every 45 days about. Then last month it was like 36 days and now this month it came after 22 days? BUT, no real cramps or breast tenderness or anything. Is this normal to get your period this soon and feel this good?!

I always had horrible cramping growing up with my periods :huh: I would just curl up into the fetal postion and cry. In my later teens my periods actually stopped and would be gone for a few months at a time. When I got married it was very hard getting pg. because I wasn't ovulating anymore (doc. said) I had to take medicins to make me ovualte and get periods. I was finally diagnosed a year ago with celiac disease and my periods returned to normal without any meds. :lol: I still get bloated, pms, and sore breats, and sometime mild cramping (all normal symptoms BTW) but, the pain is not near what it was before. Good Luck! I hope it helps!
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I didn't get my first period until I was 15 and was very irregular. No horrible cramps or anything though. When on birthcontrol I was regular, but off birthcontrol I can go sometimes 45 days, sometimes 30, then the next time 60 days inbetween. I have gone gluten free off and on for the last 9 months and notice off gluten I am much more regular.

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I read once that something to try if you have terrible periods - is not eating reproductive products of other animals: milk, eggs ... and probably avoiding other high hormone influencing foods like soy.

I have not tried it myself...well, at least not for long...and I've only every had intermittent cramps. Good luck to you.

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Thanks for all the replies ladies :)

I have decided to go off the pill, I haven't been gluten free for long but hopefully my periods won't be as bad now. Its really interesting to learn that celiac disease and endometriosis/fertility problems are linked (yet another sign that my doctors have managed to miss!). I guess I can always go back on the pill if I need to if I need to. I really enjoyed reading your posts, you have all been really helpful.

Thanks again:)

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I've always had extremely painful periods (though not so bad that I was vomiting) but birth control helped a lot. I went off BC temporarily and found that the pain wasn't as bad, but my period was much heavier than it was before I ever used BC. I don't know if that was an effect of the BC or something to do with being gluten free. But it was nearly as annoying as the horrible pain, so back on BC I went.

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In response to this...sounds a lot like me. How long do all of your periods last now that you are off BC? I feel like in addition to the abnormalities of their frequency, when they do come, they really only last for 2 days and then are pretty much nonexistant. They kind of trickle off for the next 3 - 5 days with nothing really there. Is that normal that they only last that long?!

I didn't get my first period until I was 15 and was very irregular. No horrible cramps or anything though. When on birthcontrol I was regular, but off birthcontrol I can go sometimes 45 days, sometimes 30, then the next time 60 days inbetween. I have gone gluten free off and on for the last 9 months and notice off gluten I am much more regular.
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In response to this...sounds a lot like me. How long do all of your periods last now that you are off BC? I feel like in addition to the abnormalities of their frequency, when they do come, they really only last for 2 days and then are pretty much nonexistant. They kind of trickle off for the next 3 - 5 days with nothing really there. Is that normal that they only last that long?!

They last about 5 days...start with a a really light day, a couple of days heavier and then really light the last couple. I think it is normal, and I also think as we get closer to menopause (I am 42 and could be hitting peri-menopause) things start to change a bit anyways...

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I never had too much pain but i have extremely heavy periods that caused me to be severly iron deficient. Depo provera helps, but it reduces bone density and i only have a BMI of 15, so abit worried. Because celiac disease causes vitamin deficiencies, i wonder if this may be the reason i dont stop bleeding?

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    • First, do you have celiac disease?  Have you recently had a celiac antibodies follow-up blood test panel to see if gluten has been actually getting into your diet by accident or through cross contamination?  If you haven't had the test, you should ask your doctor for one.  You could also also ask for a follow-up endoscopy to see if you intestines have truly healed.  This will rule out if gluten is really the problem.    If you don't have celiac, I assume you have Non-celiac gluten Intolerance because no one would stick to the gluten-free diet for six years unless you have had reductions in symptoms.  There is no test for NCGI unfortunately.  So, it is hard to say if gluten has been sneaking into your diet.  You really are going to have to try to figure out if you are getting gluten into your diet.  If gluten is not the problem, then your doctor needs to check you for other issues, like SIBO. There is a test to check for SIBO.  Has this been done?   Once a celiac, always a celiac.  There is no cure for celiac disease except to remain on a gluten free diet for life.  I am not sure about NCGI.  Not much research has been done.  Maybe others can chime in?    
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