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Fertility and menstruation

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Hi All,

My general question is if people have noticed problems with gluten, fertility issues, and late periods. I’m new to the group, so here’s my story!

After experiencing pretty debilitating gas and abdominal pain off and on for years, I went to a GI doctor last winter and was diagnosed with IBS (frustrating). Thankfully, I’m a Registered Dietitian in my professional life, so I started investigating further on my own. I followed low FODMAP and after a long process came to find that gluten (and nuts) were bothering me. Eliminated gluten and had major relief. In hindsight, my symptoms included constipation, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, SI joint pain, delayed period, rashes on elbows, weird wart type things on my fingers, increased thirst/dry mouth (even consuming 3L water/day), and gastritis/duodenitis—symptoms I never put together until I did more research.

I went back to the GI doc, and he was quite certain it was either Celiac or non-celiac gluten intolerance. He ordered an EGD and after eating gluten for 4 weeks, COVID happened and the hospital cancelled all procedures (ugh)! 

So, to clarify, I have not been formally diagnosed with Celiac Disease, but I know I can not tolerate any gluten. I have been following a gluten free diet since March, and in my first 2 months of going gluten-free, I got pregnant (not  really trying because my doctor said the EGD wouldn’t be done if I was pregnant, but a pleasant surprise). Unfortunately, I miscarried (which I read is common). Since a gluten-free diet is the only treatment for both Celiac and non-celiac gluten intolerance, I have decided to continue to hold off on testing for now due to wanting to conceive, otherwise I would have to eat gluten again for 4 weeks and I fear that would set me back again. 

Fast forward to today and my real question, even on a completely gluten-free diet, my period comes quite late (38-40+ days). Wondering if anyone has experienced issues with late menstruation. Does it regulate itself after going gluten-free for an extended period of time? At this point, I’m debating on whether I should go back to the GI doctor, my general PCP in women’s health, or maybe both! 

Thanks in advance for your help and support!

**Also, being a dietitian with knowledge and access to great resources versus actually living a gluten-free life was quite a humbling experience! 

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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I am so sorry for your loss.  

Autoimmune Thyroiditis is commonly linked to celiac disease.  Have you had your thyroid checked?  This can cause miscarriages and must be carefully managed while pregnant.  It can delay your period if you are hypothyroid too.  Celiac disease is systemic.   It is also genetic.  It used to be thought that 1 in 10 first degree relatives could develop celiac disease.  Mayo Clinic’s recently study found it to be 44%.   If pregnancy is your goal, plan on being gluten-free for the next few years if you plan on breastfeeding.   Introducing gluten might not just impact you, but your baby.  No research on gluten and babies indicates that early gluten exposure, but I would research this area more.  Also doing a gluten challenge while you have a toddler around would be tough.  Often once off gluten, your reaction becomes worst.  

if you have celiac disease, healing can take up to a year or longer to heal.  Remember, gluten just triggers an autoimmune response.  How long your body attacks itself depends on you (unlike MS or lupus where the trigger is not known).  Systemic issues can take a long time to heal.  

Only you can decide what is best for you.  I had my baby late in life.  Not sure of your age, but you may have time to get better and be prepared for a celiac family.  Research is your best defense.  

Edited by cyclinglady

Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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