My wife and I have been trying to conceive for the past 6 months. We’ve had a couple exciting moments when we thought we were pregnant, but alas, still no joy.
I recently discovered that infertility in males is a symptom of Hashimoto’s Disease (which I am diagnosed with), and the easiest way to overcome it is a gluten-free diet. It makes me sad because I love bread so much. :,( But I digress...
In the past few years I’ve been experiencing intense abdominal pains and somewhat frequent constipation after certain meals. I actually thought I was allergic to olive oil, but since there isn’t a cheap and easy test for that I will never know for sure, but what I am sure of, is that all of the meals that have caused the pain have been wheat based; pasta, bread, cereal (cereal is the worst), etc. I’m very sensitive to dairy, too so it’s always so hard to say what causes the pain, but the lowest common denominator has always been wheat.
The pain varies from feeling a little bloated to so severe I can’t sleep. It is sometimes accompanied by diarrhea but not always. A few nights ago my wife made a homemade focaccia bread to go with dinner. Immediately after dinner I began to feel icky. I also had wheat at breakfast and lunch, but not quite as much at those times.
So I started casually browsing the web about Hashimoto’s disease (hypothyroidism) to see if I had missed anything about my condition in the past. As it turns out, I've been missing a LOT. While scrolling through a wiki entry a word popped out at me: infertility. I had probably seen it before but never dedicated it to memory because it wasn’t something I cared about until recently. Then came the nested searches, one thing leading me to another thing and then to yet another thing until I came upon the strikingly common connection between Hashimoto’s disease and Celiac disease and the issues surrounding gluten for both diseases. Apparently, gluten can be a trigger for Hashimoto's and Hashimoto's can be a trigger for Celiac disease and both can cause issues with infertility.
I feel like a huge hypochondriac just writing this, but “what if”? What if, between my thyroid condition and an intolerance for gluten, I have inadvertently reduced my ability to produce healthy sperm and am simultaneously destroying myself from the inside out all because I love bread maybe just a little too much?
It seems pretty clear that a gluten-free diet is the way to go regardless of whether or not I actually have Celiac disease. I know I need to keep eating gluten for the tests to work, but what I want to know is, do I really need the tests at all? If I have other reasons to go gluten-free outside of Celiac do I even need to bother?
I don't know... I'm feeling kind of betrayed by my doctors over the years for not clueing me in on some of this stuff. Cross-checking thyroid patients for Celiac disease is not a common practice, despite how often they go together, and I've never had a doctor suggest a special diet for me despite the overwhelming information available online and from books about thyroid diets.