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Pregnant - Accidental Gluten Question
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4 posts in this topic

I'm new to the board here, but have a question that I cannot find the answer to elsewhere.

I am 14 weeks pregnant, have celiac disease and have been on the gluten-free diet for 5 years. It has been over a year since the last time I accidentally ingested gluten.

My husband is terribly concerned about what would happen to the baby if I accidentally consumed gluten during pregnancy. I adhere to the gluten-free diet very strictly (as does my husband for fear of getting me sick) and never cheat. When I have had reactions in the past, I encounter vomiting and diarrhea for many hours and am run down for weeks afterward.

Does anyone know what the risks are of accidental gluten during pregnancy to the fetus? Nearly everything I have found in searches about pregnancy and celiac disease only bring results on fertility and low birth weight in undiagnosed celiac patients.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I would love to be able to put my husband and myself at ease.

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You should talk with your OB. I would think that you would need to worry about getting dehydrated fron the v & d.

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Good news/bad news.

Good news: The risks of getting glutened depend somewhat on your symptoms (if you get really bad, long duration diarrhea, then dehydration is a problem, of course). But getting glutened once isn't likely to bring on deficiencies (that couldn't come from being pregnant anyway - like anemia). All in all, one time mistakes aren't going to be the end of the world

Bad news: some studies (e.g. this one) suggest that gluten exposure in a celiac mom can have a negative effect on the placenta. Now, before that freaks you out, remember that - particularly once you're past first trimester, which you are - fetuses are pretty hardy. One incident isn't going to cause a miscarriage. Repeated exposure is linked to negative outcomes, but the fetus is subjected to all kinds of "bad things" every day. (Air pollution, for instance. But no one says "don't drive on the freeway or move out of a busy city if you live there".)

I got a little extra worried about it at first, but realize that the only thing you can do is do your best. You haven't been glutened in a year; there's no reason to expect - with suitable precautions - you're going to be glutened every other week starting now.

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Gluten ingestion with celiac disease does lead to a higher rate of miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birth weight. I seriously doubt accidental glutening would be enough to cause that though. From what I read it is primarily an issue for undiagnosed celiacs who don't know to eat gluten free, so they ingest it regularly throughout their pregnancy.

Try not to worry too much. I had undiagnosed celiac for both of my previous pregnancies and both pregnancies resulted in healthy full term babies. I was eating a regular diet then, so I had a large amount of gluten in my system.

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